If you've ever checked out the craft beer communities of prevalent social networks, odds are you have come across Stone Brewing before. Creating popular brews such as Ruination and Tangerine Express, Stone Brewing's reputation for quality craft beer lays on a solid foundation. The only Stone beer I had tried in the past was Arrogant Bastard, which is in a grey area as it was originally a Stone brand but went solo in 2015. As far as I can tell, it is still owned by the same people.
On a recent trip to my local Total Wine and More store, looking for beers to review, I came across a beer I had never heard of before in the "Americas" section. Kalik is a lager brewed in the Bahamas. Interestingly, I had never tried a beer from the Caribbean and so I figured I would give it a shot.
If you've kept up with my previous reviews, you will be familiar with my less-than-friendly relationships with IPAs. In my June review rankings, an IPA finished dead last, and another finished second overall. In many cases, I find that IPAs are overly bitter, meaning that by the third or fourth mouthful they are no longer enjoyable to drink.
Fugli embraces the traditional bitter hoppy-ness of an IPA but brings a unique twist to the table. In counteracting the traditional flavors with a slightly citrusy, sweet taste, Oskar Blues have developed a beer that can appeal to those (like me) who are not fans of the growing trend of bitterness.
Like many other Asian lagers (including Singha and Tsingtao, among others) this beer was clearly brewed with a warm, humid climate in mind. Having visited Japan in a rather muggy September, I can imagine Kirin Ichiban would be incredibly pleasant to break through the humid haze.
While many avid beer drinkers will likely be disappointed and underwhelmed, Shiner Light Blonde is a pleasant step up on many of its direct competitors. With its light flavors, thin texture and high carbonation, it is very refreshing while not overly interesting.
Interestingly, the original brewery was dismantled during WW1. In 1916, the German military seized the brewery's equipment to meet the needs of their war efforts. After the war, a struggling brewery was acquired, becoming Lefebvre's home until this day.