Not that long ago imported beer choices were very limited

THE first international beer I can ever remember drinking in Australia was draught Lowenbrau at the German Festhaus at the Brisbane Expo in 1988. What an experience it was.

An Oom-pah band, periodic breaks for the chicken dance, sausages and sauerkraut, pretzels, and stein after stein of the golden frothy.

Admittedly I had been told by friends that the prohibition on preservatives in beer under the German purity laws meant it didn't make you crook the next day which proved not to be exactly correct, but still, one of the best nights I have ever had.

The rise of the mega-bottle shops in most regional towns now means being able to drink international beers can be quite easily taken for granted.

If you want to try a beer from Europe, Asia or the Americas you simply have to wander the shelves until you find something you can't pronounce, pay your $20 and get stuck in. Combined with the explosion in local craft brewing, the beer drinker now has huge choice.

Which is probably why when I mentioned at work that Hugh The Neighbour and I had tried the Samuel Adams Boston Lager from the States, just about everybody I was talking to had an opinion on it.

The Company started in 1984, one of the original craft beer start-ups in the US that broke away from the major manufacturers' bulk approach to brewing to a more complex style. The Boston Lager has been one of the constants in their range, and when you taste it, you can understand why. This is a really drinkable beer.

A nice golden colour in the glass, it pours well although the head does dissipate fairly quickly to a lacy, lumpy covering after a few minutes.

In the mouth, it has some citrusy notes and a maltiness that is not over done but always there.

HTN commented that it was a beer to enjoy really cold, and I agree that it was perfect for the extended summer we have been enjoying. It is a beer with balance that has good sessionabilty - certainly if we had had more than a six-pack I suspect they would have been easily downed.

I think this is complex enough to be enjoyed by the craft beer drinker but not so super-hopped that it will deter those just beginning their craft beer journey.

Overall, a quality American beer that is really worth a try.

myshout@apn.com.au



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