Thursday’s Beer from the Other Side of the World: O.B. Lager

The of South Korea makes this light, American style lager for both export and domestic consumption. After trying it, I kind of wish they’d kept it at home.

When we poured it, the cheap, cereal smell that wafted out of the glass simultaneously raised our eyebrows and lowered our desire to taste. But a hobby is a hobby, dammit, so taste we did. And we were not disappointed. Which is to say we were highly disappointed.

There is more rice in O.B. than in your average sushi bar. The cheap adjunct grain provides fermentable starches at a lower price and worse flavor than real barley. It’s a technique used by American and Canadian macrobrewers for more than a century, but the Oriental Brewery makes even less of an effort to cover the thin, character-free taste than our domestic giants.

The result: a limp, pissy brew that’s mercifully close to flavorlessness until the aftertaste maims your tonsils. If you’re a poor Korean student, or a poor American serviceman, this beer will probably hit the price point for you. If you’re looking for an exotic brew in your local beer store, rest assured this is not it, and I can think of another product named O.B. which is probably tastier than this, although it might leave you with cottonmouth.



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