Travel arrangements not of my making have landed me in Cyprus for the week. The whole island is a permanent building site and the cement is barely dry on the villa I'm staying in, but there's wireless broadband, so I'm surviving. I was here before, several years ago, so was perfectly aware that beer is not one of the island's strongpoints. Therefore it is in the spirit of determined and pointless tickerism that I here present these offerings.
The dominant local brand is Keo, from a manufacturer in Limassol which pumps out wine, spirits, "sherry" and this maize-laden pale lager. It's a very light and limpid shade of yellow and as gassy as you might expect. It's bulked up with maize, and I suspect quite a lot of it too: the flavour is very sweet and very corny. There's also a severe lack of body so the finish tails off into wateriness where the hops bite ought to be. I'm not a fan.
Carlsberg is the other ubiquitous brand on the island, and it's been brewed here since 1966. Certainly it's one to turn to for a bit less sweetcorn and a bit more hops than Keo. The brewery is owned by drinks magnate, property developer, financier and all-round Big Cheese Photos Photiades. His minions churn out another beer under his own brand, called Leon. It shows that the people brewing this have been making Carlsberg for nearly half a century: it's a very heavily carbonated golden lager, with a decently full body and just a hint of bitterness. Carlsberg tend to be quite proprietorial about their yeast and hops, according to their hype. Leon makes me wonder how close an eye the lads above in Copenhagen are keeping on their licensees at the opposite corner of the continent.
I should get another post in before I leave. No, there won't be any good beer in it. Probably (as Mr Photiades might say).
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