Friday, July 09, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the fleet of foot folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help with all your World Cup Final party plans.

Atomizer's not the only one who's caught World Cup fever. People from around the world (and the States) will be tuning in this Sunday as the valiant Orange take on the hated Furia Roja. Yes, I will be pulling for the Dutch to pull this one out against the favored Spaniards.

And so this week's beer naturally has to be of Dutch origin. Despite their proximity to Belgium and Germany (or maybe because of it), the Dutch aren't really renowned for their beer. Maybe when you've got two countries with rich brewing traditions right next door, you figure you shouldn't bother with beer and instead concentrate on what you do well (comparative advantage and all that).

In any event, people don't travel to the Netherlands for the beer. And the beers that Americans typically associate with the Dutch aren't exactly well-crafted taste sensations. Other than Heineken, the Dutch beer that you most often find on stores shelves, bar taps, and increasingly on TV ads in the US is Amstel Light.

Interestingly enough, I've made a number of visits to the Netherlands and have spent a fair amount of time in Amsterdam over the years, yet I've never seen a sign outside a bar, a tap handle, or even a bottle bearing the name Amstel Light. I've come across the name Amstel plenty, but never with the less caloric modifier attached. It seems that version of the Dutch brew is more popular here than in its native land.

Slightly shorter and narrower brown bottle. Traditional logo with a definite European look.

Beer Style: Lager

Alcohol by Volume: 3.5%

COLOR (0-2): Very light and clear. 2

AROMA (0-2): Malty and a little skunky. 1

HEAD (0-2): Bright white with decent volume off the pour. Dissipates quickly. 1

TASTE (0-5): More hops than you would expect from a light beer. Light-bodied, thin feel, and watery. Extremely drinkable. 2

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Sharp but not much follow through. 1

OVERALL (0-6): For the same money you can definitely find much better beers. But if you HAVE to drink a light beer, it's hard to find a better one. Considering the 3.5% ABV, it has decent flavor and doesn't taste half bad. It goes down easy on a hot day and you with the lower alcohol content, it won't sneak up on you. 2

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 9