World beer advent calendar 15: Super Bock (Portugal)

Name: Super Bock

Country of Origin: Portugal (imported)

Alc vol: 5%

Super Bock reminds me of a stag do I attended in Portugal – it was available everywhere (pretty cheaply, if I recall). And it’s an absolutely straight down the line European lager. Nothing weird or harsh at all; a tiny bit fruity but with a decent refreshing taste. Neither is it particularly good; it really doesn’t have much taste.

Really nothing more to say. 7/10

World beer advent calendar 12: Brahma (Brazil)

Name: Brahma

Country of origin: Brazil (brewed in UK)

Alc vol: 4.3%

Well, it’s a beer brewed in the UK that doesn’t taste like a typical UK beer. But…that’s not necessarily a good thing. There’s a very odd flavour to this, and on top of that the whole flavour of the beer is weirdly…flat. I don’t think I’d enjoy drinking this – like a lot of recent beers, there is an odd chemical aftertaste to this, but definitely more pronounced with this beer.

I’m a bit disappointed, but I guess I won’t like everything.


World beer advent calendar 11: Stella Artois (Belgium)

Not even worth a glass…

Name: Stella Artois

Country of origin: Belgium (brewed in UK)

Alc vol: 4.8%

Certain people will, with me, think “reassuringly expensive” when the name Stella. This was the tagline of UK adverts for the beer in the mid ’00s.

This, for me, was once a sign that I was a bit of a lager connoisseur, that I stayed away from Carling and Fosters and had Stella instead. It didn’t take me that long to realise that this is not a lot better than those, though it’s still drinkable (which I wouldn’t say to Carling or Fosters).

But…it’s not good. And I haven’t really had Stella very often for a while. (I think I did have one when I was in Belgium in the spring; I remember thinking that it wasn’t much better in its home country.) It’s worth, therefore, now that I’ve got the chance, to really think why it is that I don’t like it much.

The overall sensation is that it’s okay – if you don’t think about it too much (and yes, I probably think about it too much), it’s fine. But if you’re really looking for flavour, you realise that it hasn’t got hoppiness; it hasn’t got depth; it hasn’t got crisp cleanness. It’s just…fine. It maybe has a few odd flavours. Bitterness without much payback.

So…not really going to win any prizes.


World beer advent calendar 10: Belhaven 1719 (Scotland)

Name: Belhaven 1719

Country of origin: Scotland, UK

Alc vol: 5%

I feel like we’ve moved from lagers to ales recently, and here we’ve got another one. The flavours are getting deeper, too, and here we have one with some real bite. I have to say, this is a good example of an ale with real interest – some complex hoppy flavours which apparently come from a number of different hops. They call it a ‘modern’ pale ale, and it does seem to be – it can hold its own against the more recent craft ales. A real good specimen.

8/10 – possibly would earn an extra half point if I were doing half points!

World beer advent calendar 9: Sam Adams Boston Lager (USA)

Name: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Country of Origin: USA (brewed in the UK by Shepherd Neame)

Alc Vol: 4.8%

Ah, one more that I recognise. Samuel Adams is a beer that’s fairly easy to get a hold of in the UK, though it’s often a bit expensive.

Now you’ll have to believe me when I say this: I’ve never been much of a fan of this particular beer. I like American craft beers in general, and I think they do a lot of good stuff over there, but I wouldn’t count this among their best. And so it was an unsurprising surprise that I found out that this is brewed in the UK (I’m not guaranteeing that every bottle I’ve ever had is brewed in the UK, though). Surprising because I thought it was imported, unsurprising because it tastes very much like a decent but not stellar British ale like Doom Bar.

It’s dark, and has some caramelly flavour to it, but in the end it’s kind of blunted and a bit boring. Shame, really. But then again, with high standards, it still holds up fairly well.

7/10 – prefer the Canadian beer…

World beer advent calendar 8: Tiny Rebel Cali Pale (Wales)

Name: Tiny Rebel Cali Pale

Country of Origin: Wales, UK

Alc vol: 5%

This one’s a bit of a deceptive one – called Cali Pale and with impression of an American pale ale, but actually it’s brewed in Newport, Wales.

That said, it’s a good beer – despite its slightly odd cloudy look, it’s got some zest to it, with classic grapefruit taste that you get from a lot of American ales. Again, it’s not exactly light, but overall it’s a good beer.


World beer advent calendar 7: Windhoek (Namibia)


Name: Windhoek

Country of origin: Namibia (imported)

Alc Vol: 4%

Wow! This is the most unusual beer I’ve ever had. I’ve not even been anywhere near Namibia, let alone had a beer from there. And this in apparently officially brewed in the country.

The beer itself is pretty good, though it honestly has a few odd flavours to it which I can’t place – not necessarily all pleasant. It’s very faint, but being a lager it’s hard to miss.

Nonetheless, I’m very pleased to have tried my first African beer.

6/10 – if I ordered this in a British bar, I probably wouldn’t order a second. But glad to have tried it!

World beer advent calendar 5: Moosehead (Canada)

It’s a good lookin’ moose

Name: Moosehead

Country of Origin: Canada (imported)

Alc vol: 5%

When I visited some relatives in Canada a few years ago, I have to say the brand beers I had there were, on the whole, pretty terrible (the relatives were excellent, as was the food, the countryside, and eating cheese as a starter).

So I had mixed feelings about this beer – I was worried it might be another tepid and flavourless lager. But it’s not! It has a cool and refreshing taste to it, with a tiny bit of bite. There is something of a flavour as well – caramel or butterscotch. Anyway, a good beer, and I’m glad I tried it.

8/10 – better than American beers.

Okay so Americans do some pretty darn good craft beer.