There are many cultural differences between the East and West, and a trip to Asia will often leave you a baffled and confused fish out of water for most of the time.
However despite this there are of course still some similarities between the two halves of the globes. Some things are reliably the same no matter where you go, and some things bridge cultural divides and are Universally. Everyone knows who Mickey Mouse is, and most tellingly, we all enjoy a cold beer from time to time.
When making your way in this exciting, often beautiful, but equally strange and new continent, these are the beers you need to seek out to get that comforting feeling of familiarity.
OB Blue: OB Blue is one of the most recognizable beers from South Korea and is now owned by InBev. It has often been marketed for its very fresh taste and it has a very clean image. A nice light lager that won’t taste too different from something you might enjoy back home.
Hite: Hite is another Korean beer and has possibly overtaken OB as its most popular drink Again claiming to be very ‘fresh’, the company invested in over 70 engineers from various different breweries to spend over three years developing the ‘Fresh Taste Keeping’ system.
San Miguel: Here’s one you might have tried already. A popular export San Miguel comes from Southeast Asia’s biggest food and beverage company and is popular in Hong Kong and the Phillipines. Despite the factory being in Manila, the company originally has its origins in Australia. We’re still counting it…
Kirin Ichiban: Kirin Ichiban is also sometimes known as ‘Number 1’ and is a well known Japanese drink – possibly because Ichiban is so fun to say (especially when drunk). It has a complex flavour and is 4.95% volume.
Tsingtao: It’s perhaps a strange and sad reflection on the male psyche that many of us get so much joy from drinking out of a ‘funny shaped glass’. Well, if that’s something you can relate to, then Tsingtao is possibly the drink for you which sometimes comes out of very tall glasses and sometimes glasses with a stem… It’s also a nice and light tasting beer with a slight tang that is sold in over 50 countries around the world (a testament to its popularity). It is Chinese in origin correctly pronounced ‘Ching-Dao’.
Hanoi Beer: Some people describe Vietnam’s Hanoi beer as the best beer in Asia. It is a little stronger than some of the other beers in the area and has a crisp taste. Perfect for enjoying in the crowded streets of Vietnam.
Beer Saigon: And while you’re in Vietnam you should also try ‘Beer Saigon’. Fun because you say the ‘beer’ part first, it’s a very light beer that borders on watery. Good for hot days and good as hair of the dog.
Bintang Bir Pilsener: Kuta is renowned as a great place for backpackers and hikers to party, and the drink of choice in this part of Indonesia will be Bintang Bir Pilsener – which some report to be slightly salty but largely drinkable.
Kingifsher: Another one you’ve maybe tried. This is one of the most successful and popular Indian beers from around the world and one of the only drinks you’ll commonly find on tap there.