23 January 2014

Canned corn

There's more than a hint of duplicity about this pair of lagers from the Konzum supermarket chain in former Yugoslavia. "EXPORT ONLY", the suspiciously English-language livery proclaims. Reading the small print (helpfully in Serbian, Croatian and... no, actually the Bosnians can share the Croatian bit, and all three can pretend they're really separate countries) it comes from Hungary, from Pécs, just across the Croatian border.

König Beer first: 4.2% and a decent sort of a gold colour. It smells a bit sickly and the first mouthful reveals quite a sweet, corny adjunctish centre to the flavour. I start to run the ingredients through Google Translate. Ah, there it is: kukuruz, corn. Once I know that's there, I find the sweetness building as the beer goes down. Thankfully the carbonation is light, so once cold enough it's easily put away: the one redeeming feature of this waste of baggage allowance.

Similar-but-different Müller Beer is a smidge stronger at 4.6% ABV but paler too. More kukuruz in here but not the same level of sweetness in the aroma and... is that a streak of lemon running through? Probably not. It tastes bland rather than bad. Sweet, but not to the point of being sickly. A few gulps in and there's no further sign of that lemon, or anything else that could be marked down as hops. The nearest thing to flavour is a vague rough cardboardy staleness. I can't even throw in the traditional "watery" criticism because it doesn't even have that. It's a heavily-textured and filling sort of nothing, like a binge on rice cakes.

Balkan supermarket lager: you probably don't need to.


  1. Anonymous12:23 am

    Hi there,

    Not to sure if this will get through but hey I'll give it a try. Just wanted to pick you're brain on the best places to get a beer in Dublin. We're heading over in the next couple of weeks and would love to try some local beers.
    Cheers for your time,

    1. Hi Lloyd.

      I really should make this a permanent addition to my blog. Anyhoo, if you're looking for beer in Dublin do not miss: The Bull & Castle, L. Mulligan Grocer, The Porterhouse (Nassau Street and/or Parliament Street), Against the Grain, The Black Sheep, JW Sweetman and Farrington's.

      If you have a smartphone you'll get directions to all of them and more on the BeoirFinder app.


    2. Anonymous7:07 pm

      Ah much appreciated, I remember someone mentioning the Bull and Castle as a good place to start!!

      Although I am partial to a pint of the black stuff I am looking forward to seeing what Ireland has to offer!!

      Thanks again!!