Oct 16, 2007

The Great Indian Beer Review

First up, the ranking:

1. Foster's
2. Kingfisher
3. Royal Challenge
4. Budweiser

OK, now some random explanatory notes:

Consideration set:
The Bud and Fosters included here are brewed and bottled in India, and probably aren't identical to what you would get outside India. Secondly, they sell at the same price as other Indian beers. So, they qualify for comparison with Indian beers.
Castle Lager and Haywards - I know some of you drink those. We don't. So they aren't included

We performed blind tests to see if we could really tell the brands apart. I could. (Tushi couldn't!)
The blind test also allowed us to do an objective, unbiased comparison. The proof of fair treatment lies in the fact that KF is rated no. 2 above. I'd always rate it no. 4 of 4, if I knew it was KF.

Detailed results:
In a blind test - with the mood being very serious and sombre compared to normal beer-drinking situations - all beers taste awful. (Which is why you should never try replicating the above exercise at home!) We ranked the beers from 'most disagreeable' to 'least disagreeable' in this situation. That's the order I'm going to follow for the post.

4. Budweiser
Summary - Potent, but extremely bland

This beer has no smell, no flavor and no fizz. (And you can see in the ic above - no color either). For it's insipid lack of character, we rate it 4th.

However, this lack of character makes it very suitable for certain situations:
1. F1 races, or situations where people wanna get really drunk. Bud goes down real easy and hits hard
2. Women in the group who usually dilute their beer with 7-up coz they dont like the taste (whats wrong with women?!)
3. Mixing with other spirits. You must have real guts to try a cocktail with beer and whiskey - but if you do, Bud works best coz it doesnt mask the taste of the other spirits

3. Royal Challenge
Summary - Frothy, with body, but bitter/stale taste

The makers claim to have brewed it longer and better. They probably have. This beer tastes very mature, smooth and full-bodied. But it could use some aromas of oak or fruit or something, to give it a more pleasant taste.
Irrespective of the poor performance in this test, it remains one of my favorites.

1 & 2. Foster's and Kingfisher
To be honest, Fosters is one of my favorites and KF is the one I like the least. But it's virtually impossible to tell them apart in a blind test!

Similarities - strong flavor, similar color and body. Both are pleasant to taste and have a lot of character.

Reason why Fosters is 1st. If you have a Foster's first and then a KF, you can't really tell the difference. However, if you have KF first and then the Foster's - you can clearly tell the second beer is better. It has more fizz, and a more pleasant, refreshing taste.

Moral of the story: The Aussies don't just know how to play Cricket, they also know how to brew a good beer. Cheers, Mate!

Though I don't really respect other opinions in a field where I consider myself an authority (i.e. beer guzzling), you are welcome to have your say in the comments section.


  1. u didnt mention anything about the bottle shapes.

  2. You should try Sam Adams (If you haven't done that already) its my fav Beer.

  3. move on to scotch buddy.. and my recommendation - Glenfiddich .... also send me ur address... have to send u a copy of the book .. pandu 9811990888

  4. What a great review!! Its your 'thirst' for knowledge that's driving society forward! Do review other spirits as well, to enlighten the masses :)

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  6. Well, I drink Scotch as well, but Beer has a special place which can't be filled by anything else.

    In Scotch - I recommend Single Islay Malts. Caol Ila is good and simple. Laphroaig is my favorite, but a little challenging. Try these and you'll find Black Dog and the likes to taste like sewage water in comparison.

    Unfortunately, though, I only have a limited supply of these - purchased Duty-free. They are simply not affordable for regular drinking.