Friday, October 2, 2009

The Session: Eastern Beer

For this month's Session I opted to go about as east as I could, until I almost ran out of land: Thai beer in the form of the country's best-known brand (at least abroad), Singha Premium Lager Beer.

Singha is brewed by the Singha Corp., of Bangkok, and labels itself the "original Thai beer, since 1933."

Singha is a pleasant easy-drinking beer that will promptly get one in that "session mood," but could be easy to overdo, even though at 5% ABV it is not overly alcoholic.

The color is a pretty gold and the head, while fluffy and white at pouring, soon disappears; which does not mean that the beer loses its effervesence. I poured it before I sat down to type and it is still fizzy, with bubbles steadily rising through the column of liquid - and I'm a hunt-and-peck typist! I guess it could be classed as an example of the countless "international"-style lagers out there, but if so, it is a solid one at that.

I have enjoyed Singha, and I must say that it is nice to taste it -really taste it- without having it be merely a cooling agent for a curry-ignited palate.

I would like to be able to say that Singha has captured the essence or terroir of Thailand, that in tasting it I can smell the foliage and exult in the tropical sun, that it takes me to the Far East, but I can't. It is not different-tasting enough for that, the presentation (a standard 22 oz brown longneck bottle with a two-tone label) is unispired, and never having myself been to Asia, let alone Thailand, I have no nostalgic associations to be awoken.

Interestingly, if anywhere, it takes me back to South America with its own set of golden lagers and I would not hesitate to pair it with any Latin American cuisine.

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