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As a general rule when I indulge in one of my favourite pastimes which is drinking alcohol I tend to opt for a pint of standard Lager, namely Carling or Fosters. I have been known to venture occasionally into the world of Real Ales, but if a bit of a session lies ahead then I prefer to stick to standard Lager.
Beck's Vier is the latest addition to the selection of standard Draught Lagers available at my local Pub. At just an extra 20 pence a Pint on top of what I would normally pay for my Carling I decided to give it a try on the recommendation of a friend.
Following an initial trial in 50 Pubs and Bars in five different UK Cities Beck's Veir was launched Nation-wide in the UK in April this year in both Draught form and a 375ml Can. This launch was accompanied by a £4 million advertising and promotion campaign, which marketed this new Lager at the top end of the standard range of Lagers already available.
It is classified as a Pilsner Lager, which is a general term applied to hoppy, thin, pale coloured European Lagers. It is brewed in Germany by Brauerei Beck &Co, where it is specifically brewed as a weak Pils Lager for the UK Market.
Beck's Vier takes its name from the German word for the number four. This represents the strength of the Beer, which has an ABV of 4%.
Beck's Vier claims to have the same colour and taste of the original Premium strength Becks Lager, but it has been specifically brewed with a lower alcohol content to appeal to the mainstream UK Pub drinkers.
APPEARANCE & TASTE
The colour is a very pale, straw-yellow colour. It is paler in colour than both Carling and Fosters, but perhaps its most distinguishing features appearance wise are its head and the fact that it is quite a flat Lager.
The head is white in colour but it is quite small, with a thin, watery look to it. In a certain lighting it can also almost have a slightly, shiny, almost metallic look to it.
One of the distinguishing features about this drink, which I touched upon earlier is the fact that it is not a very lively drink. Unlike most other Lagers there are very few bubbles, and if served in the correct glass, it is normally served in an non-etched glass. This flat appearance can be a little off putting at first, but it does have the advantage of not making you feel bloated like other Lagers often do.
There is a smell to the drink, which though distinctive, this is rather nondescript. It has a slightly hoppy aroma with faint floral undertones that I failed to specifically identify, but it lacks the sweetness that you find with Fosters, and to a lesser extent Fosters.
Taste-wise the first sips are very light and refreshing, there is a definite crispness that wets the palate and quenches your thirst instantly, but this is rather short lived, and beyond this the taste then becomes a little bland. It certainly lacks the kick that you find with original Becks.
At £2.60 a pint in my local this Lager is priced at the top end of average, when compared with other standard Lagers of a similar ABV.
According to the advertising blurb Beck's Vier should be served super chilled, but in my own personal opinion I think that when served this way the blandness of the drink, and the lack of any specific flavourings are exaggerated.
I like the idea that it is a fairly flat, non carbonated Lager, which I know will not appeal to some people, but I do sometimes tend to get rather bloated on Carling or Fosters, and in this aspect I find it easier to drink in quantity. I have also found myself buying the odd pint of Beck's Vier in-between my regular Lager, to prevent me from getting too bloated.
On balance this is quite a refreshing drink and one which I will probably find myself buying occasionally, especially as a third choice if Carling or Fosters are not available and the choice is only something like Carlsberg or the dreadful Castlemaine XXXX. It is however not something that I will get over excited about.
Since this is a relatively new brand it is still not widely available in all parts of the UK but I suspect that it will be appearing in a Pub near you very soon.
Mick. The Vier also represents the fact that the beer is made using only 4 natural ingredients as per german purity laws. Hops, Barley, Water and Yeast. Good review. I stock it in my pub and it sells better than 1664 but not as well as fosters and carling.
duskmaiden 30.08.2006 18:41
flat lager sounds interesting not one for me though