What is Special Brew? It is a super strength lager, famously drunk by alcoholics. It is not very nice, but it is also quite frankly an institution.
This is the story of Special Brew.
What is Special Brew?
Everyone now and again a site, sound, smell, or indeed taste can transport you back like a time-machine. This was to happen to me whilst visiting Hong Kong. There I was following the classic 7/11 Pub Crawl when I saw it, “Special Brew”. For those of us of a certain vintage stuff like Hooch and Bacardi Breezer was not available to us kids, we had to drink other stuff.
There are thus a few drinks I remember from this period, Mad Dog’s 20/20 White Lightning and Special Brew.
To read about 20/20 click here.
Carlsberg claim they are probably the best beer in the world, but they also DEFINITELY make one of the worst. Special Brew is their super strength, low cost drink aimed at the teen, or alcoholic market.
The History of Special Brew
Winston Churchill famously visited Denmark in 1950, to honor him they decided to make a super strength lager, Voila Special Brew was born. It is now brewed only in Denmark and the UK. Although also as it would appear available in Hong Kong.
Lucozade is also available in Hong Kong, you can read about that here .
It was formerly 9% before political correctness went mad, now it is 7.
It would contain 4.5 units, back when the daily recorded amount was 2 units per day per man. It was quickly a must for all street alcoholics and as mentioned teens.
We would stand outside the off license and ask people to buy us booze. The booze of choice often being special brew. Anything that strong gets you drunk quick, essential when you are a young drinker.
Why is it in Hong Kong?
Why is Special Brew in Hong Kong? Quite simply because it used to be a UK colony and for whatever reason the locals liked it. It tends to not be a bum thing either.
I never thought I would ever try this drink again, but Hong Kong is expensive, so when seeing it nostalgia rocked through me. I had to try it again.
How does Special Brew taste?
As a kid I remember it tasting horrendous. The strange means that some do not even consider it beer, but a malt liquor. Generally speaking the stronger you get the more “malty” it becomes.
I have to say though I was pleasantly surprised when trying it again. It was nowhere near as disgusting as a remembered, and certainly did not get me as drunk as it used to do.
I fear though this is more a change in me than the lager. Super Brew keep doing your thing!