Archive for May 25th, 2008

Beer Review: Lőwenbräu Original

25 May, 2008

AFTER my recent look at East-European beers with unpronounceable names and no English writing on it, I felt like a change. So here’s a German beer, with an unpronounceable name and no English writing on it. It’s a can of Lőwenbräu Original. It cost £1.19 and it’s available from a surprising number of off-licences in London.

Lőwenbräu Original can

Painted in light-blue, it’s hard to confuse Lőwenbräu with any other beer on the market. The top features a shield with a typically Germanic looking dragon. Or is it a lion? Whatever it is, it looks German.

Either side of the logo is some writing. It’s hard to read, not only because I can’t understand it, but because of the typeface. I think it says “Ein Bier wie Bayern”. Not knowing any German language, it’s hard to translate. But that never stopped me with the Polish beers. So, I think this says that this beer has “Bayern”. Whatever that is.

Under the Lőwenbräu Original name is some more text that I can’t read. Nor make any sense of. There’s something in there about tradition, but apart from that, I need your help. If you can translate what’s written on this can, do please leave a message at the end of this post.

Under that is the usual small print. That this is a 500 millilitre can. And that it has a slightly above average 5.3% volume.

Rotating the can slightly, and there’s a column of symbols. Some familiar, some not.

Lőwenbräu Original other side of can

There’s also some description of what refund you could get from this can. If you live in Québec. All of 20 cents. Still a good idea, though. We should give refunds for recycling a try, here in the UK. That would clean the streets of bottles and cans in a hurry.

Rotating the can a little further, and we arrive at the biggest and least comprehensible blocks of text I’ve ever soon on a beer can.

Lőwenbräu Original barcode side of can

It’s not the sort of things that you’d try and read just for fun. Sadly, these ‘reviews’ of mine are only 99% fun and opinion. The 1% of actual fact and research of this so-called review is going into trying to make sense of this big block of writing.

First off, we learn that this was brewed by Lőwenbräu AG from Munich, Germany. That is contains water, malted barley and hops extract. Furthermore, this 50 cl can translates into 16.9 US fluid ounces or 17.6 Imperial fluid ounces. I didn’t even know that two different fluid ounce systems existed, but indeed they do.

And that’s all the information there is on that giant block of text. There’s a lesson to be learned here brewers. Tiny text, lots of languages and a big foreboding block aren’t something to aim for.

With no more information to read. And no information that I can understand, there are more questions than usual to answer about what this will be like. The only things I know for certain are that it’s beer. Of some sort. And that it’s from Germany. How bad can it be? Germany is well known for beers isn’t it? So it’s with some optimism, that I crack open the can to see what’s inside.

Be careful with the pouring if you decide to go down that route. The head froths up easily. But luckily, settles back down to a decent, consistent layer of froth in a few moments.

Lőwenbräu Original poured into a glass

The colour is a pale yellow. And it’s very bubbly. I’m starting to fear that this might be a lager. I hope it isn’t.

The smell is not something to write home about. It smells faintly of malted barley. There’s nothing premium, complex or sophisticated about that.

A few gulps in, and my fears are realised. Or are they? With few hints on the can, I could well be wrong. But I’m detecting something lagery about the taste. If you know for certain if this is a beer or a lager, then do please leave a comment at the end of this post.

The taste and flavour is dominated by an ever-so familiar blend of malted barley and hops. The sort that’s so sharp and sour, that it lingers at the back of your tongue. Apart from the taste, that I cant only describe as lagery, there truly aren’t any others that I can find. Even if this doesn’t turn out to be a lager.

To Lőwenbräu’s credit, served cold, it is clean, crisp and refreshing. It’s also not as gassy as I thought it would be. And even though I don’t much like the taste, I can appreciate the quality of the ingredients and the blend. All these things make it easy to drink.

On the other hand, Lőwenbräu Original’s taste is not great. Not bad. Especially when compared to the terrible Polish lagers I’ve tried recently. But it’s not good either. If you like lagers, you might like Lőwenbräu Original. Even if Lőwenbräu isn’t a lager. That mystery remains unsolved.

Lőwenbräu Original also has a watery consistency. And not much originality and character. In a blind taste test, I would have a hard time identifying it.

How can I sum up Lőwenbräu Original? Without being able to read the writing on the can, with some difficulty. Whether Lőwenbräu Original is a lager or not, it is still cheap and foul tasting. Some of you may like that. Others, I hope, will agree with me. And this means that it’s hard to find many good reasons to buy Lőwenbräu Original. Imported to the UK, it becomes more expensive than similar drinks. And it’s certainly not much better tasting.

Rating: 2

Have you tried Lőwenbräu Original? Or any other Lőwenbräu beer?
Can you translate or explain anything about this beer?
Translations, corrections, opinions, thoughts, comments, ideas and suggestions in the usual place please.


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