A Birra Moretti lager from Italy
A Birra Moretti lager from Italy

BEER REVIEW: World's awash with lagers

HERE we are in February. Not really a new year anymore, is it.

To mark the start of this year's reviews, Hugh the Neighbour and I have been casting the net far and wide, and decided to start with a double-header - two beers from very different parts of the planet. And while they may be brewed in different hemispheres, you would have to have a remarkable palate to split them.

We tried a Quilmes lager from Argentina and a Birra Moretti lager from Italy - not exactly next door to one another in the atlas, but so close in style and taste that HTN and I could hardly believe it.

Both are sweeter European-style lagers - refreshing enough to drink, quite clean on the tongue and hold a head reasonably well. Indeed, while they lack the complexity and bite of many "new world” beers, on a hot day either would be welcome straight out of the fridge.

My shout
A Quilmes lager from Argentina.

It was really driven home to us that long before European cultures started exporting beer around the world, their first export was actually brewers.

The predominance of lighter, sweeter European-style beers around the planet is no accident. The ubiquitous nature of lager beer had been established long before SAB Miller, Anheuser Busch and Asahi started to own the brewing world.

On the good side, it means wherever on this globe you travel, you will find drinkable beer. On the bad side, you could be forgiven for thinking that everything outside a craft brewery tastes like Heineken.

A First World problem to be certain, but it does makes you wonder if paying the premium for beers from the other side of the planet is actually worth the cash.