Barbecue Beers – Best of a Bad Bunch

Often, while turning sausages at the grill in the Great British sunshine, one will be faced with a tough dilemma. Do you stay true to your principles and refuse all lager, or do you relent just this once and enjoy a cool, mostly tasteless brew from the fridge?

Another time I’ll come back with a review of different ales to fill this need. But for now, let’s take a look at some of the lager options currently on offer.

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The Good, the Bad, and the…actually you know what? They’re all the Bad.

Stella Artois

With such a fancy name and such expensive branding, you might expect Stella to be smooth and sophisticated. It is nothing of the sort. Rough and bitter, it is difficult to distinguish from smell alone whether a glass is filled with Stella pre- or post-drinking. One to avoid if possible. 0/5

Kronenbourg 1664

Kron gets a bad reputation from its peers, despite being an overall passable beer. It’s smooth, has a (very) slight hint of malt and, I guess via a technicality, is very well balanced (nothing balances with nothing, after all). Its advantage is also its downfall. Kron is simple, basic, boring.  1/5

Fosters

Bemused by all the Aussie-weighted advertising, I ran Fosters past some Australian friends to determine what they thought. Their verdict? “This isn’t even beer, it’s shite”. 0/5 

Budweiser

The “king of beers” is a pretty impressive title, so I went into this bottle expecting to be disappointed. I wasn’t expecting to be disappointed quite so much. Kronembourg and Fosters were underwhelming, but at least those flavourless beers tasted as though they had at least one natural ingredient.

Budweiser tastes and feels like it was sourced from the udder of a great unnatural machine. If the giant mechanical baby head from the Matrix: Revolutions existed in real life, this is what it would drink. 0/5

Corona

And finally – Corona. Interesting, fruity, fresh, zesty. It’s not a perfect beer, but after stomaching several pints of tasteless dross, this is a nice change. It wins against the others by actually tasting of something, of taking a stand against uniform marketing blandness.

The fact that it’s acceptable – nay, encouraged – to stuff a lime down the bottleneck has the dual benefit of making this beer both a summer favourite and one of your five a day. Not the perfect beer, but at a cookout in the sun? Yes, this will do. 2/5

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