Australia’s Lion Nathan Promises Natural Beer

My respect to Lion Nathan who in December of 2008 unveiled that they are releasing a line of beers free of additives and preservatives.
By doing this they will be the provider (believe it or not) of about half of the known natural beers produced in Australia.
Ironically, it was James Boag’s Beer, produced by Lion Nathan, which gave me the infamous Sydney Hangover of 2003, thus spawning the creation of my beer law.
Beers brewed in compliance with the Natural Beer Promise include: XXXX GOLD – the largest mid-strength brand and second largest beer brand in Australia; Tooheys NEW – the third largest brand nationally; West End Draught – South Australia’s number 1 brew; XXXX BITTER; Tooheys OLD; Swan Draught.
I was so pleased to see this happen, I sent an email to Lion Nathan telling them if they changed all their beers to all natural I would move there, if they also had an NHL team.
One step closer…
I can’t wait to rate them when I visit Australia… as well as a few for the Piss list? We’ll see…

Beer in Taiwan

Coming up is my long-awaited trip to Taiwan, and there are a few things I like to discover when I travel: the people, the culture, the transit systems, and the beer.
As it turns out, in most places we really choose our beer based on the media input. They are, indeed, selling a feeling. Products like Molson Canadian are loved by me, and by canadians, not just because it’s nice, but because “I am Canadian” is a great slogan.
If you think being a victim of advertising is bad, check this out…
Taiwan took it to another level by creating a monopoly on Taiwanese beer starting in 1922. This began while the country was under Japanese rule. This chosen beer at the time was Takasago beer, which changed its name to “Taiwan Beer” in 1946 when under Chinese rule.
Between 1990 and 2002, Taiwan began allowing the import of other beers, but Taiwan beer still remains the most popular beer in Taiwan. I am guessing they hold about 80% of the market from what I read quickly (links below).
Taiwan Beer is made with local ponlai rice. Taiwan beer now has 5 Brands (according to a wikipedia article)
-Taiwan Beer Original (renamed in 2003)
-Taiwan Beer Gold Medal (2003)
-Taiwan Draft (2009?)
-Taiwan Black and
-Taiwan Red (July 2009)
My goal is to try them all while on my trip (I have other goals too, because I am going there for work, but…).
The Taiwan Beer Bar in Taipei is probably my best bet. I have 2 days off to wanter around Taipei, and I may attempt to locate this bar. They brew the beer on site.
The main brewery is near the Wujih station of the high speed rail. They hold a beer festival every year in the summer. Wow, that would be a good little side-trip. Except they may only have 5 beers, hahahahaha.

Taiwan Tobacco And Liquor Corporation (TTLC)
A Report on Beer in Taiwan
Taiwan Beer Wikipedia Article:
Review of the Taiwan Beer Bar:

Taipei 101, and a Statue of Liberty Replica

Chang Kai Shek Square, Surrounded by Barbed Wire

Whistler Brewing Classic Pale Ale

It keeps getting hotter and hotter in Port Moody, and we keep plugging away, tasting beer after beer, and yes, we drink the whole thing, otherwise, what’s the point?
Next is the Whistler Brewing Classic Pale Ale. This one is the salute to the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics. I was fortunate enough to get a bunch of tickets for some events in Whistler, including the Ski Jump (the big hills) and the 4 man bobsled.
I would love to watch every single sport in the Winter Olympics though… except for the two-man luge. I can’t watch the two-man luge. Really, whose idea was this? Two men in spandex laying on top of one another and… not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that I don’t want to watch.
All of the Whistler Brewing beers come in a gorgeous bottle with a slender neck. Very unusual. The colour is a darker copper colour, and it is clear as a bell. The head was very generous to start, and very persistent throughout the beer.
The aroma was faint and as far as I could tell, well balanced. I was pretty neutral about this aroma, simply because it was hard to smell it.
The flavour intensity is about a 2/5, pretty smooth for a pale ale, and it was just a bit on the bitter side. Overall the flavour is about a 4.7/5.  The carbonation was pretty lively (3.6/5) and it had a medium to full body, with a creamy texture in the mouth.  The finish was short (1/5) and not intense (2.2/5) and had just a hint of sweetness.
Overall this beer was excellent, and fresh tasting. The key description is SMOOOOOTH!
If I drink enough of these, maybe I will get the image of the two-man luge out of my head.
Rating 4.7/5