My love of food and beer, while often complimentary, sometimes force me to make a decision... amazing Asian food or beer I enjoy. With sushi I usually go straight to Sake, preferring an average sake to an expensive and (to me) two-dimensional lager. When the craving for Tom Yum Soup or Thai Basil Chicken kicks in, though, I usually suck up the $4 a bottle cost for a beer I'm not really into. Today, I'm giving the Cosmos Brewery Co. a chance to stand on it's own with their seemingly Thai-restaurant dominating Chang Beer.
Part of a Beers of the World ten-pack I received for Christmas from my sister and brother-in-law, I opened the 12oz. bottle, poured it into a cup and watched the transparent light gold lager produce a bright, frothy head that quickly dissolved over the aggressive bubbling happening in the glass. The nose was funky, like a wet cloth, but not off putting.
The first sip hit the tongue like a soda pop, overwhelming with carbonation and a very subtle salt/citrus combo reminiscent of mineral water. The effervescence subsided within seconds of swallowing, leaving a slight stale malt flavor that quickly faded away, making me wonder if I'd even tasted it ten seconds after.
I wish I could write more, but that's all there really was to the beer as far as I could tell. This isn't a beer that will satisfy someone wanting to drink a beer, but in the context of aggressively flavored Thai food I understand how it fits in... it's meant to provide refreshment and possible a slight edge to fragrant, delicately spiced dishes, not bring it's own flair to the table. Other than a spicy food pairing, this is a beer I could see drinking between yard chores on a hot day, but it isn't the one I would want to bring to the porch to relax when the work is done.