Steinlager Classic

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Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Lion Nathan
  • Website:
  • Country: New Zealand
  • State:
  • Style: Pale Lager
  • Malts:
  • Hops: Green Bullet
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes: Grassy, bready, crisp, balanced
  • Preferred Glass: Pint or mug
  • Food Pairing: Spicy Thai curry, tomato-based pasta dishes
  • PHM Grade: B+

Steinlager Classic

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This is a can of Steinlager. It’s brewed in New Zealand by Lion Nathan. When it was born in 1958, it was called Steinecker, but in 1962 the name was changed to Steinlager to distinguish it from the Heineken brand. Which is good, because Heineken isn’t as good as Steinlager.

This can of Steinlager was purchased for me in New Zealand and flown across the world, finally coming to rest in my refrigerator. So it’s real authentic like. I was eating chicken fajitas last night and decided it was time to meet this beer. I pulled the can out, popped it, and poured into a basic shaker pint glass (I use the term “pint” very loosely). Surprise, it came out looking like a Pale Lager. It developed a nice foamy white head, and I smelled it. It was grassy and crisp, and I didn’t smell any of that adjunct grain funk. In fact, I’m pretty sure I smelled some hops.

After my first sip of Steinlager, I was thankful enough that it had made the 8,203 mile journey from Auckland to Chicago. It was very cold, and quite tasty paired with my meal. It was light but tasty, with subtle flavors of grains and hops. It’s important to note that this beer is brewed with New Zealand’s famous Green Bullet hops, which are grown exclusively in the country. Green Bullet hops are typically used for bittering and are generally classified as resinous and spicy. I think they’re the difference maker in Steinlager.

Five years ago, Steinlager won a gold medal and ‘Best in Class’ in the lager division at the 2006 Australian International Beer Awards. And it’s won some other awards, too. So some people appreciate it. These days it seems like every beer ever brewed has won some kind of award. So perhaps the “award-winning” part of the Steinlager story is one you can skip over. But if you’re eating an especially spicy meal, or looking for something cold on a hot day, you might give Steinlager a go. It’s certainly one of the better Pale Lagers I’ve tasted that’s brewed outside the USA.

Steinlager Classic, 4.5 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

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