Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Chang Beer

Like Pencil and Spoon who was also sent some Chang Beer for review, I don't feel obliged to say something nice about it, just because it was free. To be fair I don't do much by way of beer reviews these days, but having tried some Chang with food before the GBBF, I thought I'd do a much more difficult pairing today - accompanying Wallender on TV, in Swedish with subtitles.

My first pairing, a couple of weeks ago for the handsomely bottled Thai pretender, was with my home made spicy pork and vegetables with noodles and I thought it did its job quite well really. The sweetness and lemony citrus doused the fires and it was a pleasant if unexceptional drink. It was a bit more exposed in the company of the Swedish detective, where its underlying dry, metallic twang struck a harsh note amongst the sweetness of the malt and the citrus annoyed rather than complemented. Now this really is an issue. While I can see it selling in Thai restaurants as an alternative to the hoppier Singha, I can't really see it as a beer to drink on its own, unless you are in some sweaty Thai bar, drinking it from the neck.

The importers have to face the fact that it is up against a lot of competition and to my mind it will only sell on its authenticity, not its taste. Since my authentic noodles were made here in the UK, I would probably have found a sweet UK brewed premium lager doing the job just as well. Would I buy it just for its authenticity? Unlikely, unless "forced" to in some late night Thai Restaurant. Would I buy it in preference to Singha? Almost certainly not. Would I neck it down in a sweaty Thai bar? Of course I would.

It's about place really and its place is probably back in Thailand.


Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Singha for Thai, Flying Horse for Indian, at least in my neck of the woods. For other Asian flare, like Japanese, I enjoy Saki and plum wine. At home, cask ale and bbq go together a treat! Smoked chickens, brisket, ribs, etc. Nothing better than pulling a pint in your own pub and wandering outside to the smell of smoked meats!!!!! I love the smell of hickory in the morning!

Mark said...

Yup, totally agree. If I was in Thailand I'd drink buckets of it, in a Thai restaurant I'd order it but to buy to drink at home... there are better beers at the same price point which I'd much rather drink. With thai food it did work surprisingly well though.

Jeffrey said...

I was sent half a dozen samples too. I stashed them in the bottom of the fridge. One of my staff accidently sold them. So I never tried it.

RedNev said...

Most of these beers are in a substandard pilsner-style, brewed in 'partnership' with the usual Western suspects. For example, when I lived in Java, the biggest selling beer was Bintang; it's a subsidiary of Heineken. The word Bintang means star, the Heineken trade mark. A lot of beers from exotic countries have a similar provenance, which is why they are all in a faux pilsner style.

Many are just their equivalent of our own UK-brewed lagers ~ a debased echo of the original pilsner style. So why pay a premium buying an Eastern country's equivalent of Carlsberg?

Tandleman said...

Harsh but fair that really.

Cooking Lager said...

Too true. Always better off with a cheap lout.

The southport drinker said...

Why the fecking feck does no one send the southport drinker free beer? I really need it, have lower standards thean most bloggers and am well versed in bullshine.

Any brewers reading this please contact the Southport drinker
at and send me free beer for a fair review read by 3000-500 unique users a day.



Tandleman said...

Three thousand plus? I'll send you my free beer!

Tandleman said...


You only get sent shite beer by and large. Good beer speaks for itself.

I never get sent Brewdog, even when I praise their cask beers, yet others do.

Ho Hum.