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I first discovered Amstel beer in a surprisingly nice pub in Stockwell called 'The Priory'. Initially I had thought that it was made by the same firm as Stella Artois so had given it a wide birth. As my usual Heineken was unavailable that day I decided to take the plunge and try an Amstel. To be honest, I haven't looked back and Amstel is now my first choice beer whenever it is available.
Brewed in Amsterdam and taking its name from the Amstel river, Amstel is a refreshing beer with a full bodied taste. It has a slightly bitter kick from the hops which sets it apart from other lagers, which I really like. It is nicely fizzy but not overpoweringly gassy and seems to slip down a treat! If only they served it in bigger glasses!
It can be difficult to find Amstel on draught in local pubs. I have had more luck finding it in central London where it is typically priced at around £3.20 for a pint (not too horrendous for London prices). I don't think I have seen it in my local Supermarket (Sainsbury's) so I have restricted myself to drinking it in the pub rather than at home.
Amstel is a refreshing and flavourful beer with an exceptional taste that sets it apart from other beers. I would highly recommend it to everyone, and have no hesitation in awarding it 5 out of 5!
Amstel is one of those Lesser known beers to people from outside The Netherlands.
However, I feel it is particularly underrated. I am yet to find it on tap here in the UK though.
I do enjoy a glass with my family when I go home to visit. It has a nice malty taste, but the hop bitterness comes through as well. It is, as lagers go, rather nice, but you need to be careful, because it is rather strong, and many people underestimate it's strength.
I do not feel it is the best beer that The Netherlands has to offer, but it is certainly better than some of the other large commercial, "typically Dutch" brews!
As a brewer myself, I feel this is a good example of how you can make a beer taste good, even when it is mass produced. Many other breweries throughout Europe could learn a thing or two about how to produce a beer that is respectable, from Amstel.
Like nigelpm I first tried this in Greece (it's just called Amstel there rather than Amstel Light and is sold for about 220 Drx, approx 40p a big bottle in supermarkets.) Apart from Mythos it seems to be the only beer the Greeks drink. (Drinking Heinekin just labels you a tourist.) It's reminiscent of Stella Artois but with a slightly stronger flavour, a more amber coloured and a sweeter finish. I have seen it a couple of times in this country, my local off licence owner had some once and was complaining to me that he couldn't sell it, so I bought the case off him for a tenner (great bargaining skills). I think I've occasionally spotted it in cans in very large supermarkets and it normally retails for a similar price as Stella. I'm sure you could order it in especially from an off licence. The best way to serve it is as the Greeks do. On a really hot day put some glasses in the freezer and the Beer in the fridge, then once the glasses are really cold, pour the beer and relax...
Ironically I first tried this last year on holiday in Greece. It's wonderful stuff. Got a great flavour and good after taste. It's pretty strong as well at 5.4% BV and after several you start feeling it kick in. I'm not sure why this is my favourite beer but it just has something no other beers have got. It's so smooth as well and this just adds to the greatness of the stuff. Christ I sound like an advert for amstel don't I. Oh well nevermind, taste it and see what you think but I'm sure you'll agree it's one of the best if not the best Beer. The biggest problem is trying to get hold of the stuff. I haven't managed to find it in the UK yet. P.S. If anyone knows where I can get it leave a comment.
Lager, 5.4 percent Alcohol. Brewed in Holland