Thursday, 12 August 2010
Seven beers of the Middle East
I have previously discussed a few Lebanese beers, but this time, I'm looking at Jordan and Syria, in addition to Lebanon.
First up was the Amman-brewed Amstel, which was, I have to say, not enormously impressive. Poured from a tin can, it was a bit too syrupy sweet. These things need to be crisp to be refreshing, particularly when it's hot out.
The expeditionary team then moved on to Syria, where a few days in old town Damascus brought us into contact with two local beers.
On to Lebanon we went, then, with two old friends Almaza Pure Malt and Almaza Pilsner to comfort us. (Though I have to admit having an Almaza Pilsner in Damascus, too.)
travel article a while back, but he was able to bring me a few lagers in what looked suspiciously like Kölsch test-tube glasses in a Kölsch-style serving tray. The taste was not too bad, but it wasn't the dark I'd looked forward to, nor the Kölsch it appeared to be. Hot-climate lager pure and simple.
Finally, in a non-tasting note, I should point out an interesting bit of old mosaic we found in the museum at the mountain retreat of Beiteddine in Lebanon. It shows something strangely like a glass of Hoegaarden...