Not one but TWO beer reviews in this guest post By Paddy O’Brien
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Belgium. As many of you might know, Belgium is a tremendous beer country; and by tremendous I mean it is a MUST visit for beer lovers. I had the chance to sample many of the countries fine brews but unfortunately, not all, as Belgium brews over one-thousand differnet kinds of beers and each beer one has their own distinct glass from which you are supposed to drink their beer.
I started my tasting of Belgium’s beers with Jupiler Lager. I didn’t know anything about Jupiler except they sponsor the top division of the Belgian soccer league (think Barclay’s Premier League.) I didn’t even know that Jupiler was a brewing company. When I went into the tiny convenience store outside the hotel I saw the can with Jupiler on it and figured that if they sponsor the top divison of the soccer league than it would be a pretty safe bet.
At the time of consumption, I was unaware that in Belgium you were supposed to drink the beer from the specifically designed glass so I simply drank this high school style, straight from the can. Jupiler was a very good beer and a nice introduction into Belgian beers. It had a Golden color and my initial reaction was that it was very similar to Molson Golden not only in color but also in taste.
When in Belgium I did have a very, very minor problem ordering the Jupiler. In Brussels I ordered a “Jewpiller” and the barman advised me that it was a “Zhu-pilay.” When I was in Brugge I had forgotten the advice in Brussels and again ordered a “Jewpiller” and this time the barman told me it was “Zhu-pil-air.” Although I don’t know this for sure I’m guessing that it is because they speak Dutch in Brugge and predominantly French in Brussels. I’m sure that anyway you order it they’ll figure out how to pour you a fine Jupiler.
Jupiler is a very good beer and in my opinion if you’ve had a Molson Golden you’ve had a beer the equivalent of Jupiler. I would recommend it as it has great taste and is much more commercial in taste and clearly brewed for the masses and not those who turn a trip to Belgium into a near beer pilgrimage or are looking for Trappists. If you can find it in the States I would recommend giving it a shot, especially if you were just going for another pale lager.
BV – 5.2%
Look/Color – 8.5
Smell – 8.00
Taste – 8.5
Price –It was about 2.50 Euro for the 50cl (about 17oz can) at the convenience store by the hotel. I saw it at several different draft prices depending on the pub/restaurant ranging from 2.50-5 Euros.
Overall – 8.33
I knew I wanted to try a lot of beers in Belgium and when I bought the Jupiler I bought the Maes Pils because it was next the Jupiler in the cooler and I figured the Pils meant Pilsener so I assumed that it would be different than the Jupiler lager. The can was also a nice aesthetic blue in contrast to the Jupiler Red. Unbeknownst to me, Jupiler and Maes Pils are the two best selling beers in Belgium; go figure. I also didn’t know at the time that Jupiler is owned by Budweiser/In Bev and Maes Pils by Heineken. The Maes Pils is technically a Pilsener but is a derivative of the Pale Lager family.
The Maes Pils is a decent enough beer. I’d rather drink the Jupiler (and clearly many other Belgian beers.) It’s not bad but it seemed like an ordinary/common beer. It did have a somewhat bitter aftertaste (but not bitter beer face) that is similar to Heineken. Heineken’s a good beer but it’s usually not my first choice; just like Maes Pils wouldn’t be my first choice. If I’m going to drink a Pilsener, I’ll go w/ a Pilsener Urquell or one of my new favorites, the Sam Adams Noble Pils.
BV – 5.2%
Look/Color – 7.75
Smell – 7.5
Taste – 7.5
Price –It was about 2.50 Euro for the 17oz can.
Overall – 7.58