Joe Six Pack’s World Tour of Beer

John Darling By John Darling, 10th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Food

So what IS the best beer in the world? Join the party as three friends try to find out!

Heads up!

I invited a few buds (pun intended) over to “research” this article with me. Knowing my madcap sense of humor, they (who I will refer to as Peter & Paul since they don’t want their wives to know about their participation) did not believe that I was sincere until it came time to sit down and begin popping some tops around the good old word processor. While they did not help me write this article, in a wordsmith sense, their input is included in the assessments below. They will not reap any profits from this effort, if any, but getting over $40 worth of free beer, from all corners of the world, seemed to mollify them. So join, “Joe Six Pack” as the guys dubbed me, and the P&P boys as we tour the world of beer. Bottoms up!

Red Stripe Beer – I wanted to start out with this beer because of the story behind it. I first heard of Jamaican made Red Stripe beer when I read about it in the James Bond novel, Dr. No. I was only 14 at the time, so I would have to wait another 7 years before I could try it and even then it took me several years to find it. I finally came across it, accidentally, in a beer bar in San Luis Obispo, CA and from my first sip, I was hooked. Though it has been brewed in Jamaica for over 75 years, it has only been available in America for a short time. Now, however, you can get it at most large grocery chain stores. I suggest you do because you will soon become a fan like I am.

Though the color of the beer is similar to that of most domestic beers, it is a shade darker, and when poured into a glass, it produces a large, frothy head. It has a crisp, taste that is pleasing to the palate with just enough bite in it to please fans of dark beer but not enough to scare off those who enjoy a milder brew. It is really a perfect middle ground beer.

P & P had never tried it before, but Paul liked the fact that it is a bit stronger than most domestic beers he had tried without it being heavy on his stomach. Peter just belched which, in his world, is the best compliment he could ever give.

Sapporo Beer – Me and my buds decided to turn Japanese (no, not like that) next and try Sapporo beer, which labels itself as “Japan’s Oldest Brand”. That may be so, but it was new to me and the P&P boys, which is surprising given Peter’s love of Sushi. This beer had a small head when poured and was about the shade of a mild domestic, so I was surprised by the strong hop taste it laid on my tongue—one that I personally did not care for since I am not a fan of dark beer. The P&P boys drank it down without much comment, only saying that they did not like it, but couldn’t say why. As for me, it sent me running for the Rolaids. Maybe next time I will try “Japan’s Youngest Brand”…

On a different note, the can that this beer comes in is very nice. It is agreeably shaped with a slim bottom leading up to a fluted top that sports a surprisingly small pop-top, and it is made of very thick aluminum which none of us could crush with our bare hands. The next frat boy that tries to crush this can against his skull is headed for the ER!

Stella Artois – I decided to add this Belgian beer to this trial because it sponsored a Barney Miller marathon that I enjoyed very much. I had never heard of the brand prior to that and neither had P&P.

The last name is pronounced “ar-twa” and is the family name of the brewer. Initially launched as a Christmas time only beer, the first name, Stella, is Latin for the word “star”. Tax records from the Belgian city of Leuven still exist which prove that the brew has been made continuously since 1366! They must have some serious storage area in that office. Anyway, the brewery, known as the Den Horen brewery, in Leuven is still in operation.

When poured, the beer comes out paler than a lot of domestics, but it had a rich foamy head that dissipated quickly making it easy to get right to the beer. Peter liked that idea while Paul likes to have foam. However, the three of us all agreed that this beer is quite good; with its mild hop taste to its full rich body, we enjoyed every drop of it.

Though it was pricier than the other beers we tried we, again, all agreed that it was worth the difference in cost since it really is a premium beer.

Foster’s – If Foster’s is “Australian for beer”, then so is Budweiser—which is not a bad thing taste-wise, but Bud can be much a less expensive brew for cash strapped hoisters. Just to be sure that we were not all totally past it, Peter agreed to take a blind taste test. I had a cold can of Bud in the fridge so, while he was blindfolded (with one of my best ties) we poured the brews into two identical glasses, let the foam settle, then he sipped them both. He could tell no difference. Just to be sure, though, I closed my eyes and the boys hand me one then the other. I could only tell a slight difference in that the Foster’s had a bit more bite, but just a bit.

Another issue was that, even though it had a rich foamy head on it, the beer almost tasted flat by the time we got down to the bottom of our mugs. Maybe it tastes better down under where water swirls in a different direction than in our hemisphere. Or perhaps the Melbourne brews the beer a little differently than they do in the American breweries in Albany, GA and Ft. Worth, TX. I guess I had better plan a trip to see for myself. I’ll leave P&P at home.

St. Pauli Girl – I remember drinking some of this beer, which is my sister’s favorite, several years ago, but I did not remember if I liked it or not, so I thought I would include it in this taste test since I like my sister very much.

Anyway, I do remember the label. What real man could forget the image of a pretty young frau serving him a tray full of beer? I say pretty, because that is how I remember the almost severely dressed image of the St. Pauli Girl. Now, however, since they obviously switched labels, a better term for the girl would be “hot”, very, very hot! As a matter of fact, if you go to the brewers web site, you will find more information on the girl (model Katarina Van Derham), than you will find on the beer. Now the girl on the label is looking at you with her hair down, arms spread, several glasses of beer in each hand, and a definite come-on look in her eyes.

The beer’s name seems to stem from the brewery it is made in, the St. Pauli Brauerei, which is located in Bremen, Germany, however, it has been rumored that it was named after the famous St. Pauli red light district in Hamburg, Germany. P&P liked that idea; a hot girl, beer, and maybe even hamburgers, a real man’s dream…

As for the beer, it is everything I expected in a German beer. It had a very frothy head, a nice golden color, a very nice smell, a strong "hoppy" taste, and it was very heavy on the stomach. Both P&P loved the beer and the girl, but these last two factors, I think, are in every German beer which is why I avoid them. Still, in my opinion, St. Pauli Girl ranks with the best of them.

Tecate – For our last stop on our world tour, we decided to go down Mexico way. There are a lot of well-know brands out there like Corona (Paul’s favorite beer) and Dos Equis but I decided to go with one I have never tried before. Peter thinks he may have tried this once but he really could not remember.

This beer is named after the city it is brewed in just south of the border in Baja California and it has been brewed there since 1944. It was originally just a sideline for a company that originally was a malt producer.

Tecate beer has a nice golden color to it that is richer than most domestics. It has virtually no aroma, which I thought was nice since some beer scents can be overpowering, and it goes down very smooth. All of us agreed that it was as good a Mexican brew as we had ever had; it will now be our favorite ale made in that country.

That brings to a close our trip around the world in beer. We suggest you try all of the above beers and make your own choice. I prefer Red Stripe to all the others, while Peter joins me in this sentiment, and Paul votes for Tecate.

The best label, of course, belongs to St. Pauli Girl…


Alcoholism, Beer, Beer Drinking, Beer Tips, Party

Meet the author

author avatar John Darling
I write short stories and articles and have five books in print. My articles are on all subjects, my stories of all genres.

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
10th May 2013 (#)

A very interest article on beers of the world. I did a couple of them but a local stand point of Milwaukee area. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Rose*
21st Aug 2013 (#)

You really ought to visit Germany and try their beers

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