Asian Beer: Savoring the East, Understanding the West [The Beer Frontier]

Asia, a diverse continent renowned for its vibrant cultures, rich traditions, and tantalizing cuisines, is also home to an array of unique and refreshing Asian beers.

From the light, crisp lagers of Japan to the robust, malty brews of India, the diverse world of Asian beer offers a kaleidoscope of flavors waiting to be explored.

So grab a glass, pull up a seat, and get ready to embark on a flavorful journey through the delicious world of Asian beer.

Short Summary

  • Explore the delicious world of Asian beers, from Tiger Beer to San Miguel and more.
  • The craft beer movement in Asia is on the rise with local brewers creating innovative flavors.
  • Enjoy an enhanced dining experience by pairing Asian beers with food for a harmonious flavor combination.

The Allure of Asian Beers

Asian beers, with their light and refreshing characteristics, provide a welcome respite from the sweltering heat of the continent’s tropical regions. Perfectly suited to the warm climates and diverse cuisines of Asia, these beers offer a slightly sweet flavor that serves as an excellent palate cleanser after a spicy meal.

The history of beer in Asia can be traced back to the ancient Middle East, where the practice of brewing was closely associated with the domestication of cereal and bread production.

The first modern brewery in Asia, utilizing European brewing technology, was established in 1830 in India by Asia Pacific Breweries. At present, China holds the title of the world’s largest beer producer, a position it has held since 2001.

With its focus on producing refreshing beers, Asia has been leading the global beer production scene since 2009.

Asian beers, with their slightly sweet flavor and lightness, serve as an excellent way to reinvigorate oneself after a piquant meal. Their unique taste profile makes them ideal for pairing with a variety of dishes, enhancing the culinary experience as you drink beer.

The Rise of Asian Craft Breweries

The craft beer movement, once a predominantly Western phenomenon, has been steadily gaining ground in Asia.

Local pioneers, driven by their passion for beer and a desire to cater to the ever-evolving tastes of beer drinkers, have been pushing the boundaries of traditional brewing, resulting in a surge of innovative and unique flavors.

One such example is Singapore’s Sunbird Brewing Company, which has won accolades for its innovative and high-quality brews. The company, along with others like SG Taps and Little Island Brewing Co., are leading the charge in Singapore’s craft beer scene, creating beers that are as diverse in flavor as they are in appeal.

In Vietnam, breweries like Pasteur Street Brewing Company and 7 Bridges are gaining recognition for their high-quality craft beers and successfully selling beer.

Pasteur Street, for instance, offers a Jasmine IPA brewed with locally sourced dried jasmine flower, showcasing their commitment to using local ingredients and creating unique flavor profiles.

Tiger Beer: A Roaring Success

Hailing from the sunny island of Singapore, Tiger Beer is a lager loved by many for its light and refreshing taste. Brewed to the highest quality standards, this beer is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to excellence in all things it undertakes.

Since its inception, Tiger Beer has been a roaring success both locally and internationally. Winning Gold Medals for “International-Style Lager” and “European Style Pilsner” in the World Beer Cup’s 2004 and 2010 iterations, Tiger Beer has made its mark on the global beer scene.

Today, it is enjoyed in over 70 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, making it a truly global brand.

Characterized by its light mouthfeel, refreshing nature, and subtle flavors of malt and hops, Tiger Beer has won over the hearts of beer enthusiasts worldwide. Its light and refreshing nature makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer a beer that is not overly strong.

Tsingtao: China’s Iconic Brew

In the sprawling landscapes of China, amidst the hustle and bustle of its vibrant cities, one finds Tsingtao – the country’s most iconic beer brand. Known for its German-style lager, Tsingtao has become a symbol of China’s rich brewing tradition and international appeal as a widely consumed beer.

Established in Qingdao in 1903, Tsingtao beer has a storied history. Over the years, it has won numerous gold awards both domestically and internationally, testament to its exceptional quality and taste.

The beer is brewed in the North East of China in Qingdao, and is composed of:

This combination gives Tsingtao beer a strong, malty flavor and character.

Today, Tsingtao beer is enjoyed not only in China, but also across the globe. In countries like the United States, Germany, and Kazakhstan, a bottle of Tsingtao can cost several times more than local beers, a testament to its international appeal and quality.

Savoring Saigon: Vietnam’s Beloved Lager

In the heart of Vietnam lies a beer that has captured the hearts and palates of locals and tourists alike – the beloved Saigon Beer. A popular Vietnamese lager, Saigon Beer is known for its sweet, malty aroma and strong following.

Saigon Beer is manufactured without the inclusion of rice, a common ingredient in many Asian beers. This results in a richer, fuller flavor that sets it apart from its counterparts. The beer’s sweet, malty aroma is complemented by a light, crisp finish, making it a refreshing beverage of choice in Vietnam’s tropical climate.

The craft beer scene in Vietnam is also on the rise, with the capital, Saigon, hosting an annual craft beer festival in December. This growing interest in craft beer showcases the evolving tastes of Vietnamese beer drinkers and the country’s budding beer industry.

Japan’s Finest: Asahi and Sapporo

Japan, a country renowned for its precision and attention to detail, brings the same levels of craftsmanship to its Japanese beer production. Among the country’s many offerings, two brands stand out – Asahi Super Dry and Sapporo Premium, revered for their crisp, refreshing flavors.

Asahi Supermarket. Dry, the most popular beer in Japan, is celebrated for its:

  • dry and exceptionally clean flavor
  • brewed using the finest quality yeast
  • characterized by its intense flavor and extreme tightness
  • a favorite among beer enthusiasts both in Japan and in over 80 other countries where it is marketed.

Sapporo Beer is the oldest beer brand in Japan. It is produced by Sapporo Breweries.

The brewery produces a range of beers, including Sapporo Premium Beer, Sapporo Pure, and Sapporo Reserve, each offering a unique taste experience to beer lovers.

San Miguel: The Pride of the Philippines

The Philippines, an archipelago known for its vibrant festivals and warm hospitality, is also home to San Miguel, the most popular beer in the country.

San Miguel, with its distinctive taste and strong market share, is a source of national pride. San Miguel is brewed using a careful selection of the highest quality malt, hops, yeast, and water.

The absence of rice in its composition gives it a richer flavor that sets it apart from other local beers. This unique flavor profile has earned San Miguel a devoted following, both locally and internationally.

With a market share of over 90%, San Miguel Brewery dominates the beer market in the Philippines. Its popularity is a testament to its quality and the loyalty of Filipino beer drinkers who have made San Miguel Beer their beer of choice.

Thailand’s Tantalizing Brews: Singha and Chan

In the land of smiles, Thailand, two beers have captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike – Singha and Chang. These popular songs are popular. Thai beer brands offer a unique flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the country’s distinctive cuisine.

Singha beer, produced by Boon Rawd Brewery, is renowned for its quality and taste. It offers a rich flavor, with a sweet, malty aroma and a light, crisp finish. Its unique flavor profile makes it a favorite among beer enthusiasts, both in Thailand and abroad.

While Singha offers a premium beer experience, Leo beer provides a cost-effective alternative for those looking for a good quality beer at an affordable price.

Despite their differences in price and positioning, both Singha and Leo beers are known to harmonize well with Thai cuisine, enhancing the overall dining experience.

India’s Kingfisher: A Royal Treat

India’s diverse and vibrant culture is reflected in its rich culinary traditions and its distinctively flavorful beers. Among these, Kingfisher stands out as a well-known brand that has captured the hearts of beer lovers with its distinctive flavor and aroma.

Kingfisher, brewed with a careful selection of malted wheat and barley along with hops, yeast, and water, offers a unique flavor experience. It presents a crisp, fresh taste that is slightly darker and stronger than its original counterpart, with subtle hints of citrus.

With its 4.8% alcohol content, Kingfisher is an ideal choice for those who prefer a lower alcoholic beverage. When paired with traditional Indian food, its distinctive flavor profile enhances the dining experience, making it a royal treat for beer connoisseurs.

South Korea’s Sudsy Selections: Hite and Cass

In South Korea, a country known for its technological advancements and rich cultural heritage, the beer scene is dominated by two popular brands – Hite and Cass.

Known for their smooth flavors and easy drinkability, these beers hold a special place in the hearts of beer enthusiasts.

Hite Extra Cold, a mild and clean Asian beer, is famously produced just above the freezing point beginning from its maturation process to filtration. This unique brewing process gives Hite Extra Cold its distinct flavor and refreshing quality.

Cass is a non-pasteurized lager. It is brewed with a higher alcohol content than most other lagers. Offered in three varieties – Cass Gold, Cass Silver, and Cass Red, Cass caters to a wide range of taste preferences, making it a popular choice among beer drinkers.

The Rising Trend of Local Craft Beers

As tastes evolve and consumers seek more unique and diverse flavors, the craft beer scene in Asia is experiencing a renaissance.

From India to China, local microbreweries are pushing the envelope, creating innovative brews that cater to regional tastes and preferences.

In Bangalore, India, premium craft beer brewery establishments like Arbor Brewing Company and Windmills Craftworks are changing the beer landscape with their high-quality craft beers.

These breweries are creating a new beer culture, one that values beer.

  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Unique flavors

Over mass production.

Similarly, in China, the country with the highest beer consumption in Asia, craft beers are gaining popularity. Unique ingredients and flavors are being used by South Asian-owned breweries, with IPA being the most brewed style of craft beer.

This rising trend of local craft beers is a testament to the evolving tastes of Asian beer drinkers and the innovation of local breweries, as they compete with the most popular Asian beers, including the most widely consumed beer.

Pairing Asian Beers with Food

The art of pairing Asian beers with food goes beyond just selecting a beer to wash down your meal. It’s about enhancing the flavors of both the beer and the food, creating a harmonious dining experience that heightens the enjoyment of each.

Whether it’s a rich amber lager paired with spicy Asian cuisine, a robust doppelbock with a hearty stew, or a refreshing wheat beer with a light salad, the right beer can elevate a meal from ordinary to extraordinary.

From Southern Tier IPA, Rochefort 10, to Kona Brewing Co. Longboard Island Lager, there are a plethora of beer options to complement Asian cuisine.

In the end, pairing Asian beers with food is an art form that can increase the taste and pleasure of both beer and food. Through a careful selection of beer, one can craft a delectable and unique experience that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression.


From the light and refreshing lagers of Japan to the robust, malty brews of India, the varied world of Asian beers offers a wealth of flavors waiting to be discovered.

Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or a curious novice, exploring the diverse and tantalizing world of Asian beers can be a journey of flavor, culture, and tradition.

So the next time you reach for a beer, consider trying an Asian brew. You might just discover your new favorite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 Japanese beers?

Japanese beer is highly renowned for its quality and taste, and has been made in Japan since the 19th century.

Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo are the four major beer producers dominating the local market.

What is the best selling Asian beer in the US?

Sapporo Premium is the top-selling Asian beer brand in the U.S., with its American-style lager offering a slightly sweet start and super clean finish.

What beer is from Asia?

Chinese Beers, Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory are all beers from Asia. These brands produce pale-colored light lagers with an alcohol strength of around five percent ABV.

The beers are light and refreshing, making them a popular choice for those looking for a refreshing beverage. They are also relatively low in calories, making them a great option for those looking to watch TV.

What makes Asian beers so appealing?

Asian beers have become increasingly popular due to their light and refreshing taste, making them an ideal accompaniment to any meal or hot climate.

They are often lower in alcohol content than other beers, making them a great choice for those who want to enjoy a beer without the effects of a higher alcohol content.

Their unique flavor profiles make them a great choice.

What is the trend of craft breweries in Asia?

The trend of craft breweries in Asia has been steadily increasing, spurred on by local pioneers and an increased demand for unique flavors.

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