For a very long time, Asian beer meant lager, lager and more lager. This is beginning to change though with macrobreweries (think mass production breweries like Heineken, Budweiser, Tsingtao etc) throughout the region expanding their range and microbreweries beginning to pop up all over the place.
Beerlao seems to have picked up on this trend and begun expanding its product range. No longer just Beerlao and Beerlao dark you can also get a white lager, an IPA and a Beerlao gold. As the hipsters have spoken, the market has responded.
So, it’s all good to have new beers, but how do they taste?
I had the pleasure of sampling the new range with the street food guy, who’s not as big a fan of beer as I am, however we both agreed the new IPA was the pick of the bunch. Sadly it’s labeled as a limited edition, so I’d you’re in Laos, drink it! Perhaps supply can follow demand.
Beerlao gold was ok, essentially a slightly cleaner and more expensive version of the classic beerlao lager and probably not worth the extra cost.
Finally, there was Beerlao white lager. Neither of us were big fans as it tasted like it didn’t know what it wanted to be, a weird mix of saison and wheat beer, that failed to land and left a bit of an odd taste in the mouth.
All in all it’s good to see the beer scene growing in Laos and hopefully more microbreweries and brew pubs will pop up around the country as the world thirsts for more unique beers.
Laos is a destination well primed for a great beer scene, it’s bringing in more and more tourists , Beerlao is a genuinely good brewery for the region and it’s pretty warm most of the time, making a cold beer a great way to wind down after a busy day trekking, biking or riding motorbikes. A lot of the local street food also goes down well with a cold beer, something I’m rather experienced with.