Harp Lager

The last beer of the Irish six-pack. Harp is a beer that I’ve had on multiple occasions, albeit not in a very long time. I had it when I was in Ireland, and the locals would say that this was made for the Americans to drink. If they wanted something lighter than Guinness, they’d drink Smithwicks or Budweiser. But, I drank it just the same. I even used to look for it when I went out, simply because it was an Irish beer. I don’t think I ever thought that it was fantastic though. It’s also brewed by Guinness and has the classic Irish “harp” on the label.

ABV: 5%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Harp Lager was first produced in 1960 as a bottled beer by the Guinness company (now Diageo), in response to the trend among drinkers in Britain and Ireland towards continental lager. Guinness converted its Dundalk brewery into a modern lager production plant with the guidance of Dr. Herman Muender, a distinguished German brewer. Various names were considered for the brand, including Atlas, Cresta and Dolphin, before Harp was chosen. The brand was marketed with the Brian Boru harp as its emblem. The manufacturer states that Harp is made with pure water from the Cooley Mountains, Dundalk.”

Random: At one point, I considered getting a tattoo of the Irish harp. Then, I actually saw it on someone and didn’t really like it and decided otherwise. I have a claddagh instead.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow color with a large amount of carbonation. The nose smelled a lot like a macro with some corn and sweetness from the malt. The taste was actually not as bad as I expected given the style. The sweetness was toned down a bit with some bitterness to it and a bit of grain. It was pretty unoffensive, actually. The thin body with lots of carbonation made it very crisp as well.The finish was quick with a hint of bitterness. Honestly, although I’m not a huge fan of the style, I’d take this one over a macro any day. Not bad!

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

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Birra Moretti

Today was a long day. I went to the gym after work and got in a good leg workout and then headed to Cranbury Buy Rite to pick up a bomber of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum that Matt set aside for me. Totally excited to try that. Anyways, I’m sore and it’s definitely time for a beer. This is a beer that I have no idea why it was on my list of beers to try. I’m not a fan of “Euro Pale Lagers.” So, here goes.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Birra Moretti was an Italian brewing company, founded in Udine in 1859 by Luigi Moretti. In 1996 the company was acquired by Heineken International. The brewing plant in Udine was sold to the newly formed Birra Castello S.p.A.; Moretti is now a brand of Heineken.”

Random: I’ve heard a lot about this beer, which is surprising because it’s a Euro Pale Lager, typically a style that is not one that gets talked about a lot.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated really quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was skunky with some grain, but overwhelmingly skunky. I can tell, I’m not going to like this at all. On the taste, some carbonation came out and although it smelled skunky like a macro, it was slightly better. It was definitely a crisp beer, but there really was nothing to it. It was watery with a hint of bite (and I mean and ever-so-slight). The finish is a little bit on the skunky side, but not overwhelming. On the positive side, I could easily down these because there was just nothing to them. But, that’s also the bad side. It was just a very bland beer and not something I would rush back to. But, if I had to drink a Euro Pale Lager, this would be it.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

This was the last beer I had New Year’s Eve. I know, not a great beer to choose, but I’m trying to get rid of all the beers in waiting that I have before I restock. I’ve also been putting off reviewing this as I had to have 5 others and really was not thrilled by them. I just think that the whole “Euro Pale Lager” style is not for me.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The Peroni company was established under the founding family name in the town of Vigevano, Italy (1846). The company was moved to Rome by Giovanni Peroni in 1864, six years prior to the establishment of the city as a capital centre in 1870. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the company became one of the most prominent brewing companies in the newly unified Italian nation. The company’s brand strategy continued to refine itself to match industry trends of the 1980s. By the 1990s, both the Peroni brand name and product line were distributed and known worldwide.The London-based brewing giant SABMiller bought the company in 2005, making it one of the few international brands in its portfolio. To re-launch the brand, SABMiller hired an empty boutique on 202 Sloane Street, London to align it with other Italian fashion brands; the boutique was entitled ‘Emporio Peroni.'”

Random: This was another brew that I received from my Dad in the box of mixed imports along with Pilsner Urquell and Tyskie.

This brew poured with a barely there white head that dissipated instantly, leaving no lacing. The body as a straw yellow color and clear with lots of visible carbonation. The nose has a bit of skunk with a hint of grain. There really isn’t much else to this brew. The taste is a lot carbonation and then a bit of skunkiness and a hint of mild bitterness. The finish is quick and unremarkable, like the rest of the brew. There is really just not a lot to this brew. It reminds me a bit of Heineken. I preferred the Tyskie of the three brews in this mix pack, but that isn’t saying much. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Tyskie

I used to drink this beer about five years ago. I used to be friends with a girl from Poland, and she would bring over all sorts of Polish beers. I remember this one because it used to go down pretty easily. This was also the time that I knew nothing about beer and Miller Lite was my brew of choice. I know, not saying much. So, I’m going to see if my tastes have changed over time.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Kompania Piwowarska (which in Polish means ‘Brewing Company’) is a brewing company established in Poland in 1999 as a result of the merger of two SABMiller owned Polish breweries, the Lech brewery in Poznań, and the Tyskie Górny Śląsk brewery in Tychy. The company also owns the Dojlidy Brewery. The three breweries have a total capacity of 15.1 million hectolitres. SABMiller purchased a majority share in the Lech and Tyskie breweries in 1995. Kompania Piwowarska currently controls 45% of the Polish beer market.”

Random: This is another selection from the mixed import pack that my father gave me from Costco.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated rather quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw yellow color with lots of carbonation. There are very mild hints of bitterness on the nose and not much else. It pretty much smells exactly like a macro. The first thing on the taste is lots of carbonation. This is followed by a very mild bitterness. The carbonation is decently prickly. The finish is insanely quick and unremarkable. This goes down quick and easy without much flavor, just like a macro. This is a little better than a macro, but not much. A definitely under flavored lawnmower beer. I would definitely choose something else now that I’ve developed a little more in my beer education.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

River Horse Lager

It’s almost Friday, although I’m going to have a crazy weekend. Nicole and I are watching the Yankees game, where the Yanks just had a killer 7th inning. I’m a Phillies fan, but I’ll root for the Yanks unless they’re playing the Phils. For tonight’s brew, I pulled out the twelve ouncer of River Horse lager.

ABV: 5%

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Trivia: Euro Pale Lager encompasses beers like Heineken, Harp, Sapporo, Peroni and Zywiec. I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed many of those that I’ve had. I may be in trouble.

Random:  I like the new River Horse labels much more than the old ones. Especially the Hop Hazard ones. For some reason, the brewery website still shows the old labels.

I’ve never heard of a Euro pale lager, so I’m not quite sure what to expect (as I said above, I looked up some examples and think this may have been a bad idea). I’m assuming something light and not incredibly complex, but refreshing. This brew poured a nice orange color with a one finger white head. There is visible and active carbonation in this brew. On the nose, I get some sweet grain and really not much else, but I think it’s intentional. Others have called the nose “flowery,” but I think that’s a bit much. Although, after I swirled the glass around, I did get a different smell, which could be what everyone is calling floral. On first sip, I get a decent amount of sweetness to it, but nothing notable that makes this sweet. It tastes pretty much just like the sweet grain that is on the nose. The other thing that is apparent is the carbonation, which makes this beer really crisp. After a few more sips, there is a very subtle hint of orange, but you have to look for it. The finish is mildly sweet and doesn’t linger for long. This is a lighter beer, which given the Belgians that I’ve had the past couple of days is a bit of a change. A brew like this goes down really easy and is easily session-able. I could see having this brew at a barbecue or a tailgate instead of a Bud Light. What I expected was pretty much what I got, which isn’t bad at all, it’s a wonderful simplicity. This is a beer that is accessible to pretty much everyone. And, from New Jersey no less. Another good brew from River Horse.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0