Archive for July 6th, 2008

Beer Review: Beck’s Imported

6 July, 2008

NEXT up in my look at big-name beers in little green bottles that all seem to come from north-west Europe is Beck’s Imported. Now, I’ve tried some Beck’s before. It was alright, but quickly became lousy. That however, was probably not the imported stuff. So it’s with… not an open mind. More a mind that is slightly ajar that I approach this small green bottle of Beck’s Imported.

Becks Imported bottle

First impression is that this little green bottle looks almost identical to its competitors. The glass is green. The bottle is the same shape. And the front label all ensures that you confuse it with every other bottle of premium continental lager.

But this bottle has a secret weapon. Neck foil.

Becks Imported neck label

Not the sort of gold foil that wraps all the way up to the bottle top. This one is solver and simply wraps around the neck. It doesn’t say much either. Simply have the “Beck’s” name; the unusual logo featuring a key on a red shield; and the all important word, “Imported”. Not fancy, but it achieves its goal.

The front label looks familiar. Haven’t we seen a roundel like this before?

Beck's Imported front label

Yes we have. Heineken and Stella Artois are just two that you’ll confuse this bottle of Beck’s with. Sticking to tradition or being unoriginal? Leave your thoughts in the comments at the end of this post.

As for what the label itself says, the borders are always the best place to start. The top gives the name of the brewery as “Brauerei Beck & Co”. With the bottom giving the place of origin as “Bremen Germany”. We get a proper look at their “Reg Tm” which is unusual indeed. Does anyone out there know what the key on the red shield means?

This beer also appears to be an award winner. Something about Bremmen in 1874. And an award from the International Exhibition at Philidelphia in the USA from 1876. That’s a reasonable heritage. But should we be worried by their lack of competitive success over the intervening 130 years?

Over on the back label, the restraint from the front is replaced by the multi-lingual blocks of text that we’ve become familiar with, with exported beers.

Beck's Imported back label

Just underneath a dozen different languages for the word “beer”, is something unusual. And German. In a little box entitled “Beck’s Quality”, we learn that this has been “Brewed Under the German Purity Law of 1516″. Because in Germany, even the concept of purity has order and rules.

The ingredients that we’re told about are “water, malted barley, hops”. Oddly, the vital statistics for this bottle are almost hidden away. You need to go looking for them in order to discover that this is a 33 centilitre bottle with an alcoholic volume of 5%. On the other hand, you probably already guessed both of those details.

For the curious, there are addresses on this label too. There a the full German postal address. And a website address, which is www.becks.com.

So, is Beck’s Imported going to be another indistinctive yet well-made lager? Probably. But I better check to make sure. Time to crack open this bottle.

Becks Imported poured into a glass

As has been the case with most of these lagers, this one comes with an excellent head. Not too frothy or uncontrollable. Yet it leaves a good, fairly consistent layer of foam on top of your drink.

This colour is little surprise either. It’s a pale yellow. Maybe a shade darker than its near competitors. It’s a similar story with the smell. There is the slightest of aromas of malted barley. Very lagery. But somehow fuller than either Carlsberg or Heineken. Not as much as Stella Artois however.

The taste, regrettably, is on the cheap and horrid side of average. It might not say “lager” anywhere on the bottle, but that’s definitely what I’m tasting. And it’s below par. The flavour is surprisingly strong and full-on. Unlike the few I’ve tried recently. It tastes of a blend of malted barley and hops. But all you end up noticing is the ‘sharp’ and lingering bitterness.

After a few gulps, I can see a few reasons why you should consider trying Beck’s Imported . It has flavour. More so than some of the watery lagers I’ve tried recently. Even if that bitter lagery taste isn’t to my taste, it will be for some of you out there. The quality of the product is roughly where I expected it to be. All of which gives it a clean and fairly drinkable character.

Predictably though, there’s a lot to put you off. I found the taste vile. Something you will too, if you don’t much like lager anyway. If you drink a lot of these on a night out and forget to brush your teeth before going to bed, you are going to have monumentally toxic breath the next morning. And it will make you burp.

How can I sum up Beck’s Imported? Or for that matter, the domestically produced Beck’s? Well, it’s adequate. Barely. But ultimately, not something you drink by choice. This is something you drink because it’s the only beer the bar serves, or because your local supermarket or off-license has a good deal on the caseload. In other words, it’s what you drink because you have to. If, however, you get a choice in the matter, then choose something better.

Rating: 2.35

Have you tried Beck’s Imported? Or ordinary Beck’s? What did you think of it?
Leave your corrections, opinions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, recommendations and requests here please.


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