Beers of Laos

Beerlaos

Much had been made of this beer, as it is reputed to be the best beer in South East Asia, and is the number one brand in the country. It is also Laos’ biggest brand export, selling in Cambodia (we tried it there a few years ago), Thailand and beyond.

The master brewer is a Laos lady who learnt her trade in the Czech Republic, and so Beerlaos is brewed to a Pilsner style, but uses the cheaper rice malt than barley.

The beer does not disappoint. It is crisp without being bland, and has a well balanced bitterness. It’s a joy to at last drink a beer that is absolutely everywhere in the country and yet actually tastes of something.

It’s easy to carried away though (as the thousands of Beerlaos t-shirts and hoodies – I got one – can make you do), as in Germany or the Czech Republic this beer would at best be middle ranking, and it’s not a touch on the foreign-microbrewed beers we tried in Vietnam. However it is still head and shoulders above any genuine local beer we have tasted yet on our travels.

8/10

Beerlaos Dark Lager

The colour of Coke but surprisingly light despite its 6.5% alcohol. It has a strong metallic taste to state with, but after a few sips it goes and you are left with the decent burnt taste typical of dark beers, and yet it doesn’t have the heavy bitter-sweet flavour of many dark beers.

7/10

Lanexang

This is also brewed by the Laos Brewing Company, and is their smoother and stronger lager. It’s strange that they bothered with this, as they have a much better premium lager in their armoury (see below). It’s not very special – just a middle of the road export-type lager: inoffensive, but not too bad.

5/10

 

Namkhong

The only rival to Beerlao, but always fighting a losing battle. It is smoother and quite a pleasant brew, being a little stronger, but lacks any real interesting flavour.

6/10

 

Beerlao Gold

This is Beerlao’s premium lager, which uses a posher strain of hops than their standard brew. It’s advertised quite a lot and yet hard to track down. It is a tasty beer, but somehow has lost some of the bitterness of their flagship beer and replaced it with smoothness.

7/10

 

Beers of Laos final score: 6.6/10

 

One Response to “Beers of Laos”

  1. LOG191 March 27, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    I love Namkhong beer…. It is smoother

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