Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beer Review: Quilmes

Some countries are synonymous with beer, Germany, Belgium, USA, even little old Ireland. But when you think of beery countries, one of them certainly wouldn't be Argentina. However you have to give Argentina credit for taking the wine world by storm in the last twenty years and from that perspective putting it towards the top of the list when it comes to purveyors of fine alcoholic drinks. I had never before heard of any Argentinian beer until I stumbled accross Quilmes in my local off license. Proudly stating on the bottle that it was Argentina's favourite beer, I was intrigued.

Quilmes, not a beer I will be trying again
Having done a little bit of research I found that this statement was very true. Quilmes beer appears to be a bit of an institution in Argentina. The brewery was founded in 1888 and is credited with helping to create the Quilmes area of Beunos Aires. Incredibly Quilmes accounts for 75% of the domestic Argentinian beer market. Through a series of mergers and takeovers in the last decade, Quilmes is now owned by the global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. So what does it taste like?

The beer pours a very light golden colour with a fluffy white head that dissipates quickly to leave a beer with no head! The aroma is not that pleasant, it is quite harsh and it is difficult to pick out any of the ingredients, certainly not much of a hop aroma. The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy and gives you that feeling that it has coated your mouth and throat. The taste is not good. The only way I can describe it is to say that it has a strongy soapy characteristic. There is no hint of malt or hops and is quite harsh at the finish.

Certainly not a beer I will be trying again. Argentina may be a heavyweight in the wine world, but when it comes to beer it most definitely still fights in the amateur class.


The Beer Nut said...

It's a bit unfair to judge all of Argentinian beer by Quilmes. There are some well-reputed micros, though I've not had any of their beers.

I wouldn't like to think anyone would rate the standard of all Irish beer based on one bottle of Harp.

Mark (Halite) said...

TBN, your probably right, however unless I go to Argentina I doubt I will have any opportunity to try some of the micro stuff. Do you know any of the Micro's names, I might be ably to persuade some of my travelling friends to bring me back a few samples?

In relation to the Harp analogy, your right, but Harp doesn't have 75% of the market share in Ireland!

The Beer Nut said...

I would say th 75% is divided among several in the Quilmes range. Some of which are nearly drinkable. Nearly.

Antares is an Argentinan brand I hear a lot about, particularly their stout.

Mark (Halite) said...

Thanks, I have a few friends who do a lot of travelling in South America and so I'll see if they can pick me up a few bottles from Antares