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Becks Beer was founded by a Bremen businessman called Luder Rutenberg in 1873. The beer gets it's name from the man who was hired to oversee the brewing - Heinrich Beck. Becks adopted the "key of Bremen" as it's symbol and it is printed on every label.
I have personally drunk Becks beer since my teens when I was stationed in Germany with the army - the crisp flavour and taste being it's main attractions. So when I saw Becks Green Lemon beer on the shelf in my local Tesco store I decided to try it.
The first thing I noticed was how green the beer looked compared to normal - Becks has always used green bottles for it's beer but the Green Lemon bottles are a much brighter green. Apart from that, the silver foil label around the bottleneck and the green label lower down were all standard.
The second thing I noticed was that it cost a hefty £7.99 for 8 bottles, although they are the larger 330ml bottles. I looked for a smaller pack as I didn't want to buy 8 bottles just to waste it if I didn't like the taste but Tesco only sold them in packs of 8. As I was having some friends round for a barbecue at the weekend, I reasoned that I could offload any leftovers quite easily so plonked the bottles in my trolley and headed for the checkout.
I chilled the beer in the freezer for an hour and opened the first bottle later that evening. It made a familiar "hiss" as I levered off the bottle top and bubbles immediately started to gather on the surface. Becks is quite a gassy beer - but that is one of the things I like about it so everything had started off okay. If you have never tried it before, next time you see someone with a bottle of Becks, tap your glass on the open bottle and watch as Mount Vesuvious erupts before your very eyes !
Anyway, I took a long swig of the green liquid and savoured the taste for a moment or so. The distinctive hops taste comes through quite strong but is mixed in with a sweet lemon taste that tries too successfully to overpower the beer itself. The taste was very refreshing but was also identical to lager and lime that I used to drink in my teens - not a pleasant experience in retrospect.
I persevered and finished the bottle quite quickly. It had definitely quenched my thirst but I wasn't convinced that I had been drinking Becks beer - so I had another one to double-check.
Unfortunately, the second bottle was the same as the first. I wasn't convinced that I was drinking Becks beer to be honest - it could have been anything because the lemon was too overbearing.
Now, I'm not saying that this beer is bad, far from it, but it does NOT have the Becks taste that I am familiar with. It would be perfect on a sunny day if you wanted something to quench your first and there was no lime cordial to hand ......
But Becks beer is supposed to be a premium lager - and here is another point - the Green Lemon brand is a mere 2.5% vol compared to the normal 5.1% vol that the standard Becks beer boasts. I hadn't noticed that in Tesco. But it goes some way to explaining why the taste is so different and why I was still sober.
I took a look at the ingredients and discovered that 50% of the contents was classed as a "soft drink" and even had a couple of "E" numbers thrown in too - E104, "quinoline yellow" used for colouring, and E141, a synthetic copper complex also used for colouring.
In conclusion, Becks Green Lemon was a disappointment. The taste was too lemony and sweet which overshadowed the beer itself. Becks ought to be ashamed of themselves for using their previously good reputation to sell what is basically an alcopop as a premium beer.
I certainly won't be buying this again and would recommend that you avoid it too.
Incidentally, there is a very nice lemon lager called Desperadoe which, as far as I am aware, is only available on the continent and tastes really nice.
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