04 May 2009

Western promise

My curry tastes are unsophisticated. Crude, even. A dirty great vindaloo, packed full of potato cubes and laced with generous quantites of lemon juice is just heaven to me. For days when even that is a bit too fancy, there's my local Chinese takeaway and their delightfully gloopy Malaysian curry. Served on chips in the oh-so-authentic west Dublin vernacular.

To accompany this fine repast, I have a bottle of Chang that has been languishing in the fridge for ever. I picked it up in Redmond's just because it's one of those beers you hear people (usually the recently-returned from Thailand) raving about. Is there anything to it, or is it that holiday-lager phenomenon where time and place are the most important ingredients?

It must be the latter, because this stuff is terrible. It is overwhelmingly cidery, a nasty off flavour sitting on a watery fizzy body. I'm guessing it needs to be served at temperatures considerably below what my fridge is capable of, and preferably under the sort of tropical conditions which erode any beer-related fussiness. As an accompaniment to curry it really did not go well. More body is definitely required to withstand the spice onslaught.

Still, I'm sure if I was in Thailand I'd be just loving it.


  1. Truly a foul beer, one of the worst I have ever tried - so bad I even considered a Gambrinus for a fleeting moment to get the taste out of my mouth.

  2. Sounds awful. I wonder just what is the threshold for shit beer in a pleasant environment?

    Sounds like you're nearing it.

  3. Now that is an interesting question. I wonder would any hot-country macrobrewer pay me to research just how bad they can make the stuff.

  4. Having recently returned from Thailand I can assure you the experience was not much better! Tiger seemed to work better.

    My local Thai eatery gives a free bottle of chang away with any order over £25 - I just ask for a free bag of prawn crackers instead.

  5. Your post does make me wonder how good the Tunisian lager Kelt I drank large amounts of on honeymoon last year really was? Did the trick mind.

  6. Cruzcampo always tastes astoundingly good in Spain, especially when the sun is melting the pavements and you haven't taken on liquid for an hour or so. Weirdly, it always tastes like absolute shit back home in the UK.