Around the World in 80 Beers

A small debate almost erupted on this blog the other day about PBRs. It quickly fizzled out (i.e. it never got going) but it got me thinking about the relative merits of beers from around the world. So I am embarking on a beer odyssey. Here is the first instalment. We visit The States, Britain and Japan:

We chose Budweiser from The States, Newcastle Brown Ale from the UK and Asahi from Japan. The objective is to decide the best from these three.


Budweiser served in a Perrier Glass – what the hell….

Budweiser is a pale, very fizzy, lager with a slightly unique hoppy smell. I think it tastes a bit sweet/sour (couldn’t drink too many of these). Its fairly strong too.

Newcastle Brown Ale

‘Newcy Brown’ is an ale introduced in the 1920’s; its got a bit of a chocolatey smell and forms a proper head that hangs about for a bit when you pour it. Very popular in Student Unions up North (and I should know I was up there in my younger days).


Asahi claims to be Japan’s No 1 beer. Its a bit weird. Its doesn’t generate much foamage when you pour it but its by far the fizziest of the three when you drink it. In terms of colour its sits between the very pale Bud and the the very dark NBR. It also smells of not much at all.

Now to decide on the best of these three I was going to introduce a complex rating system like I have done in the past for other posts. But in the end that was too much trouble so the Mrs blind-tested them for me. Her verdict:

  1. Budweiser – 4/5
  2. Newcastle Brown Ale – 3/5
  3. Asahi – 2/5

So Bud wins! Personally don’t think much of it – ‘King of Beers’ my arse.

The only glass vessels left in the house – everything else is broken or made of plastic

Where do I go next? Mexico? What about Africa? Any Russians out there?

27 thoughts on “Around the World in 80 Beers

  1. For God’s sake please don’t judge us by the weakest most commercial link in our brewing chain, that would be like judging European beer with Heineken.. Throw down a few of the products from the Hopland Brewing company, Gordon Beirsch, Petes wicked ale, Anchor Porter, Wydmer Hefe….. I mean, I lived here all my life and I wouldn’t feed a lowly frat rat a Budweiser!

  2. Pingback: Beer Test # 1 « Bacon Time !!!!!!

  3. You were kind to the “king of beers”. It is full of rice. I know, because I’ve ridden my Buells past huge silos (grain bins) far from the highways in southern Arkansas with “Budweiser” on the silo – as in Anheiser-Busch storage (with A-B grain trucks outside). South Arkansas is a major rice production area, among other things. Check out the Bud label “made with the choicest grains…” No German purity laws here! To be fair other brands also use rice. Like your beer glasses. What about drinking directly from the bottle/can in your next taste test?
    As for PBR, that was only the opening shot, as you’ll see…

    • Well I do drink out of the bottle, but for aesthetic reasons we needed a shot of the contents. I really do need to get hold of one of these PBRs but that might be difficult in Southern England (crappy and bloody miserable place at the moment)

  4. Thanks for your recent like of my Pizza post at Kippertea, your my first none family member to do so!

    Just adding my ten penneth regarding the world beer debate. For me some of the best beers in the world are coming out of the US at the moment, especially Anchor from San Fransisco. They are really giving the Belgians a run for their money! We have a bar chain in Leeds called North Bar and every year they do an American beer festival. It’s sensational.

  5. You should try your Bud again in a few months time after the brewery has reduced the alcohol content from 5% down to 4.8% to avoid duty. The same is happening to Stella and Becks.

  6. Oh man. To have Bud be our beer representative is flat-out shameful. The US has such a giant craft beer movement.

    I actually read recently that Tesco would be stocking one of my favorite breweries: Goose Island from Chicago.

    If you can find it, I would recommend that! I’m not sure exactly what they will be stocking (either their Honking Ale or their IPA, I suspect). Goose Island releases a lot of seasonal brews that use Belgian yeast (Fleur, Matilda, Père Jacques), but I think that production of those lines are tiny and we drink it all domestically.

    I think Blue Moon is owned by Coors. I would not call that good beer.

    • Well If I can find Goose Island I’ll make sure it gets on here (Not that I just hang out at Tesco all the time). Of course there is no reason why a country can’t be represented multiple times

  7. Of the three Newcastle is the best. Got to look at Samuel Adams and Blue Moon if you are looking for good American beer. Really not much more to look at. I prefer German beer.

  8. Of the three you start with, I would rank them Newcastle Brown – Ah by gum (In a jordie accent). The other two, keep in the fridge for hapless visitors. I suspect you will get a divergence of views here.

      • Well I’d be interested in what they are – I’m normally a Belgian/Dutch beer man – Stella, Kronenbourg – I’m going to cover them all (over a suitably long period of time of course – I mean its not like I’m drinking beer right now or anything…)

    • Yes I wouldn’t go near the others normally. Also I’m going to have to do the Black Stuff one day obviously but I’m holding back on that I had a very bad experience with it some time ago….

      • Hmmm, an excuse to drink lots of beer and do a post on it?

        Might have to throw that in the Bozoputer and see what comes out.
        Some many,many years ago, a friend and myself shared a gift pack assortment of Chinese “beers”.
        Somehow I think that the Chinese have a different opinion as to what beer is.

  9. Belgium! Czech Republic! The Czechs produce probably the best lagers in the world (even if the Danes claim the slogan). Belgium has so many different beers there sure has to be one to everyone’s taste. Some even began a second life in the US with emigrants. My personal favourite: Tripel Karmeliet.

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