Beer Lao - the best beer in Asia
Beer Lao, the national beer of Laos, is widely considered to be among the best - if not THE best - beers in Asia.
Beer Lao is a well-rounded, relatively light European-style lager that goes perfect with a plate of spicy Laotian food and a beautiful sunset along the Mekong River.
This year, Visit Laos Year 2018, the Lao Brewery Company has released three brand-new flavors to compliment their small but trusty selection. These three new flavors are the brewery's first time dipping their toe into the world of craft beer, which is still an almost unknown industry in Asia.
Review of 3 New Beer Lao Flavors
Beer Lao has released three new lagers: White Lager, Hoppy Lager, and Amber Lager. All three of these trendy new brews can be found at shops throughout Laos, costing around 8,000 kip ($1) per bottle.
While the previous selection of Beer Lao Lager, Beer Lao Dark, and Beer Lao Gold are always refreshing and dependable, how do these three new flavors of Beer Lao hold up? This is Beer Lao's first attempt at a more exciting lager, and one of the first mass-produced craft-style beers in Asia.
Beer Lao White Lager
Beer Lao's new white lager is an attempt at a Belgian-style witbier. The beer is light and smooth, and very drinkable. Maybe a little too drinkable! Like the rest of the Beer Lao range, Beer Lao White Lager goes down smoothly and quickly.
Beer Lao White Lager is light and mild, with a slight fruity taste and a very mellow and sweet finish.
Beer Lao Hoppy Lager
Don't expect an IPA from Beer Lao's new hoppy lager. While distinctly hoppy - very hoppy in fact, by Asian beer standards - Beer Lao Hoppy Lager is a lot more mild than the typical British or American IPA. If hops aren't quite your thing, you might consider giving Hoppy Lager a try. The hops are delicate and mild, but still give the beer a nice bitter kick. It's surprisingly smooth, and I can see this beer being very refreshing on a hot Laotian afternoon.
Beer Lao Hoppy Lager is malty, and lightly hoppy. It doesn't pack a hugely bitter punch, but the flavor of the hops aren't allowed to overpower the light citrus flavor of the lager.
Beer Lao Amber Lager
The third beer in Beer Lao's new selection is Beer Lao Amber Lager. Personally, I thought that Beer Lao Amber Lager had the most personality of the three new beers. Like all Beer Lao, it's quite light and pretty crisp and easy to drink fast.
Beer Lao Amber Lager has a gentle fruit flavor and a light almost floral aroma. It's very smooth, and the flavor comes on quickly and fades into a gentle finish.
So, are these three new flavors of Beer Lao worth checking out?
ABSOLUTELY! Like all Beer Lao, these are really solid and very drinkable beers. Though not overly bold, it's exciting to begin seeing craft-style options popping up in Asia. I'll definitely be trying all three of these beers again... and again... and again...