When I think of Steinlager beer, I think not of its native New Zealand, but of Hawaii, where it seems to be about as readily available as Bud Light. While you couldn’t call it a local beer (it isn’t), you could probably fit it into a category between import and domestic. It’s sort of like Heineken is in Canada, in that it’s imported, but you’re still likely to find it at even an under-stocked liquor store or bar.
The taste is simple but satisfying. It’s crisp and refreshing, quite dry with a nice (but light) hop profile that doesn’t get in the way, but still makes its presence felt. Served ice cold, it pairs perfectly with a lazy afternoon and a good book on the lanai.
The price is also surprisingly good, at least in Hawaii. It’s not hard to find a 750 ml (25.4 oz.) bottle at a convenience store for under $3. At home in Edmonton, I’d be shelling out around $5 (or more) for the same thing. Considering the distance it travels from New Zealand in fragile glass bottles, I’m amazed it costs as little as it does.
So, let’s recap.
Giant 750 ml bottles to quench a big thirst? Check. Refreshing like all get-out when served ice cold? Check. A reasonable price? Check. Just the right mix of light hoppy flavour and lawnmower-beer quaffability? Check.
See? The perfect recipe for a good, and popular, beer.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $2.29 (on sale) per 750 ml bottle at the ABC Store. Spotted six-packs of regular-sized cans on sale for about $6. Wow.
Value for cash money: Pretty damned good. Your beer prices continue to delight me, America.
Availability: Easy to find in Hawaii. Not all that hard to find in Edmonton.
Nutrition?: It’s beer. Whatever.
Beerish power: 4.8 % a.b.v.
The verdict: Light, crisp and flavourful. A perfect beer to cool off with on a hot, humid Hawaiian day.