Today is the first real day of summer weather we’ve had here (Written on July 4th), so I thought it’d be a great day to break out a couple of lager beers from the leapbeer fridge. Bear in mind these arent really the craft beers that has been so much my focus as of late. I didn’t include a craft lager as it would likely skew the results.
The Rules of my [Beer]-offs are going to be very simple. I’m going to break them down by Appearance, Smell, Taste and Overall Impression and edge a winner in all catagories. After that the winner will be declared.
Our combatants for this 1st ever Leapbeer Lager-Off are Red Stripe Lager from Jamaica and Steinlager Classic from New Zealand.
Both are quite pale gold, the red stripe is a slight shade darker. Both are well carbonated and have fluffy white head on top. The Red Stripe came in a old school stubby bottle where the Steinlager came in a 750ml bottle. A Stubby will always hold a place in my memory as a piece of canadiana. I believe there’s even pictures of stubbies in the old family photo album.
Edge: Red Stripe – This was a close race for me. Even though the Red Stripe is ever so slightly darker, I can’t make the decision based on the colour of the poured beer. I am going to give Red Stripe the edge on the packaging.
Red Stripe: The scent in this beer is fairly light. It smells yeasty and lager-ish. The way you’d expect a beer to smell, Beer-like.
Steinlager Classic: Smells of a euro hops strain, almost canaboid in nature (strange I was expecting that in the Jamaican beer). The kind of smell you would expect from a Holsten or a Grolsch.
Edge: Steinlager Classic – I like hoppy beers, and this beer certainly brings you the hops on the nose.
Red Stripe: Nice malty body, with a mild bitter note at the end of tasting. Quite carbonated. Refreshing for a hot day.
Steinlager Classic: Considerably more bitter than the Red Stripe. It is very full of flavour. It has been a long time since I’d had one of these. It’s good, for a fairly mass produced product.
Edge: Red Stripe – It is a hot day and I’m really wanting something to quaff to cool me down. The Steinlager, while good, does not have the same quaffability.
Red Stripe: This is my definition of a summer beer. I could easily destroy these in quick succession without blinking. I find them esthetically pleasing because of the stubby bottles, and the beer inside isn’t disgusting. There’s very little defining character to the beer, but when you’ve been working outside on a hot day you just want to cool down.
Steinlager Classic: This beer is very well hopped. I wish I knew the strain of hops that they use in this beer, but I don’t yet. Beyond that hop note it falls a bit flat though.
Decision: Red Stripe – It comes across as the clear winner in this 1st ever lager off. I realize that these beers aren’t craft, but they were both gifts from Leapbeer readers. Because of that I knew I’d have to take them on at some point, and this seemed like a great way to do that. My wife preferred the Red Stripe as well. One other interesting fact about the Red Stripe that I learned while doing the research on these beers is that they are brewed under license by Moosehead Brewery.
Leapbeer #188 is Red Stripe from Jamaica
Our loser, Steinlager Classic will be listed as Leapbeer #189. It still got consumed though, because it isn’t all bad. It just lost the decision to the Red Stripe. I wanted to say thank you to both Frank and Keegan for donating these beers to the leapbeer cause. They were thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks for Reading.