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Strange Foreign Beer

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Strange Foreign Beer

Foreign beer comes in many forms, some of which can even cause you to don the infamous beer goggles...

American beer is held in genial contempt by most Brits, largely due to a concoction made of rice husks called Budweiser.

This is an American icon, brewed originally in Milwaukee, giving rise to the popular song "What made Milwaukee famous (made a loser outta me)". The American version of Budweiser should NOT be confused with the Czech original Budvar Budweiser, which is a horse of a very different colour. Now includes a Budvar Dark (available in my local Morrisons for about £1.38 for a 500ml bottle - worth a try).

Other American brews include Rolling Rock, Michelob, Miller, Schlitz,Coors and various micro brewery outputs in places like Boston ,NY and San Francisco. Many can be freely purchased in the UK.

Mexican beers are also imported cheaply into the United States, and found in greatest abundance in the Southern and Western states, to go with the fine food of the invaders. Tecate (served best in an ice-cold can, with rock salt and a slice of lime on the rim), Bohemia, El Sol, Negro Modelo (their version of a dark beer), Pacifico Claro and Corona are all light, frothy lagers without too much alcohol punch but perfect in the warmer climes. Corona is also sold in UK stores, but it's not the real Mexican formula; it's actually some sugary shite brewed outside of Birmingham -- don't bother.

Travellers to Hong Kong may be surprised to find San Miguel on tap in many of the local bars ( and those with fond memories of the 'new' China Fleet Club in the Wanchai will be well aware of this anomaly). This is because San Miguel is brewed under licence in Singapore for the Far Eastern market.

You don't need to go abroad to be offered Strange Foreign Beer - In many British Chinese restaurants you may be offered a beer from China called Tsingtao.

The history behind this brew is that the port this beer is named after was once a German Treaty port, in the period 1880 to 1939. The German colonial authorities imported a Bavarian brewery lock ,stock and barrel to keep their ex-pat staff happy. When the Reds took over Tsingtao (renamed Qingdao after the new-fangled pin-yin system) in 1949, they kept the brewery going and now it is exported world wide. Its a bit like wifebeater...nothing to write home to Grossmutti about...

The best known Dutch beer is off course Heineken, sold worldwide, although the better product is off course Grolsch. Grolsch is the staple beer of the Royal Netherlands Army; not the navy, those wankers drink Heineken.

In a bold move Tesco have recently started selling Guinness brewed in Nigeria. This is a cheeky little number with 7.5%ABV and a somewhat dryer taste than its Dublin brewed counterpart, Guinness FES. Well worth a taste.