Lhasa

Lhasa Beer
Lhasa, Tibet
Lager

This beer is made from “pure Tibetan spring water, Tibetan barley, Saaz hops, and yeast,” making it the first beer to be produced with Tibetan barley. I don’t know what that means, but I’m willing to find out.

Perfectly yellow straw color, with crystal pilsner clarity and a huge rocky white head – aided by the tall kolsch glass – that subsides slowly, but hurrying down as it separates into a Swiss cheese layer of foam. The nose is grainy and clean, like wet corn husks, but there is something more there.

There are not a lhasa beers from Tibet.

A chewy and floury odor like boiled pasta comes out along with a slightly sweet maltiness. The first sip delivers a good mouthfeel that is refreshing as a good lager should be. There is a lightness yet a complexity to this beer that makes it really appealing. The malt appears first, smoothing out the sip as some nice bitter hops leave a grassy flavor that perks you up a bit to remind you that pilsners should have a bit of a kick at the end. A touch of rice-like flavor is imparted as well, and it is not at all unpleasant.

Each sip of this beer is as smooth as a marble rolling on polished granite countertop toward a pool of water. It glides along seamlessly and then plops with a hop finish that is entertaining enough to have another. This is not a run-of-the-mill gas-pumper. If you like drinking lagers with Asian cuisine, this is a step above most of the cheaper choices. I picked this up on sale at a local Whole Foods, so look for it to be a well-priced alternative.

In my haste to drink this beer, I grabbed the Sierra cap from the Celebration, which is a shame as the Lhasa cap is pretty cool. So, here’s a glamor shot.Good for Lhasa Beer. This earns an Awesome tag.

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