Advantages Tasty, vegan
Disadvantages Tad pricey, not as nice as Hoegaarden
OK, so I'm sat here feeling creative yet uninspired. What to write an opinion about? And then I look at the bottle in my hand and think - "Beck's, yes, I'll write about Beck's".Not David Beckham you understand. I know naff all about David Beckham other than he's a footballer often sporting silly hair and a dress with a wife who sings, supposedly. No, I'm talking about the thoroughly more German Beck's - the frequently overpriced bottled lager.
Now actually, come to think of it, the fact it's German is important. You see, life is not easy for a consciencious vegan like myself when it comes to having a wee drinkie-poo. That's because they put all sorts of nasties into alcoholic drinks, and for some obscure reason alcoholic beverages do not have to list their ingredients. Many of these nasties take the form of so called "fining agents", used to clarify your tipple. Such agents include isinglass, a fish derivitive. Other non-vegan "delights" that can find their way into your alcohol include egg albumen and nasty colourings - yuk.Honestly, I am getting to the part about Beck's being German being important, I hadn't forgotton. You see, any beer brewed in Germany has to conform to the German Purity Law of 1516. This states that "only the natural ingredients of barley-malt, hops, yeast and brewing water be used in the brewing process". Thus, 'tis suitable for a fussy awkward vegan like me. And available (if at a premium) in almost any pub!
Of course, Beck's has the additional advantage for delawney of not being cider...Oh stop wittering on delawney. Get to the beer!
Beck's has been brewed since 1873 and apparently it's available in over 120 countries. That's good - I should be able to get a beer when I travel then! Apparently it ranks amongst the top 10 Pilsener beers in Germany. The website doesn't say where abouts in the top 10, but I'm assuming it's the latter half else they would have said top 5 wouldn't they?!
Beck's is a Pilsener beer, so it is a pale in colour and has quite a strong hop flavour. It is a "bottom-fermented" beer. This refers to the type of yeast used to produce all that yummy alcohol. Bottom-fermenting yeast prefers lower temperatures (5-10 degrees C), and sinks to the bottom of the tank at the end of the fermentation process. This is presumably why no fining agents are needed - yippee!
Apparently it has 42 calories per 100g of beer. That doesn't sound like a lot to me, but since I have never counted calories in my life I'm not really sure. Of course, 100g isn't very much - drink a litre and you're actually getting 420 calories.But hey, it's not all bad. This will ease your conscience! According to the Beck's website (as annotated by delawney): "Consumed in moderation [as if that's likely], beer is a highly nutritious beverage containing important vitamins and carbohydrates as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Hops not only gives beer its characteristic aroma [beer smelling], they can also produce a relaxing, sedative effect [they make you pass out]. In addition, beer is almost completely free of fat and cholesterol".
Apparently they do a non-alcoholic version as well, although for the life of me I can't imagine what the point of that is. (Apologies to any tee-totallers ;) ).
After visiting the website I was pleasantly surprised to discover how Beck's are making efforts to improve the "environmentally-friendliness" of their product. For example they attempt to make better use of water and now use closed-circulation systems and recycling, reducing the amount of water needed to produce one litre of beer to a third less than it was in 1994. They are also working to reduce their comsumption of detergents and cleaning agents to minimise pollution, have a comprehensive energy conservation programme, are working to reduce waste and promote recycling and are working hard to reduce emissions. All good stuff.
Now, I don't even know what a hectolitre is (100 litres, apparently), but Germany produces 108 million hectolitres of beer each year, placing it third in the world after the US (they make beer?) and China.
Like most bottled beers, Beck's contains around 5% alcohol. More than enough for delawney, who only needs a few to get decidedly tipsy. (Again, thank goodness it's not cider).
Much to my surprise, I discover the recommended serving temperature is 8-10 degrees C. This sounds a tad on the warm side to me - I like mine fresh out of the fridge (4 degrees).If you're doing it properly you should serve it in a Pilsener glass rinsed out with water first. However, although delawney is quite skilled at the tipping the glass and pouring to get the perfect head (no giigling at the back please), she generally prefers the totally unladylike swigging it out of the bottle approach. Mr delawney prefers this also as it saves on washing up.
It goes especially well with a darned good curry.
Beck's is not the cheapest beer around, especially if you buy it down the pub. Round these parts it can set you back as much as £2.50 a bottle! (delawney's money saving tip - sneak a few bottles into the pub in a generously-sized handbag. Buy one bottle at the bar so as not to arouse suspicion, and then surruptitiously replace it with fresh bottles from your bag as the evening progresses).From the local supermarket, it's not such a painful experience. Our local Tesco sells a 6 pack for £4.99. Each bottle is 275 ml.
Beck's is not hard to find. You'll get it in almost any pub, supermarket or offy.
*** Availability ***
Well, I seem to drink an awful lot of it, so it can't be all that bad. Truth is, it is not my favourite beer. The winner of that award will have to go to the delightful wheatbeery goodness of Hoegaarden (subject of a future op). It is, however, a pleasant tipple, and relatively inexpensive when bought in a decent quantity down at your local supermarket. It is far superior to some of the other more dodgy vegan options I occasionally have to endure, such as Heineken or Budweiser.
*** Enough of all that - what's the verdict? ***
It has a good beery, hoppy flavour without being too overpowering. It is decidedly refreshing, especially on a hot sunny day. (But be careful - alcohol and sun = sunstroke - I've seen it happen!).Overall, I give it 4 stars - a pleasant, regular drink, but not quite a five star treat!
Right, I've been typing far too long - I'm off to finish the bottle....
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment