I had the pleasure of trying this beer out at the AUB Business Student Society’s Beer Pong event at Nostrum in Gemmayzeh. I must confess, I think 961 tastes like rancid pee (not that I’ve tasted rancid pee, we’re speaking hypothetically). The guys outdid themselves this time though, and they might be picking through Almaza’s ultimate local beer dominion.
Rejoice, people, for we have a newborn beer! Ever since…. No, that cheesy introduction won’t work here since it’s been forever that a single beer has dominated the Lebanese beer market. Almaza has always been the major, if not only, locally brewed beer. We have seen fleeting images of competition, like the brief appearance of Laziza, up until Almaza bought the company and castrated it turned it into their non-alcoholic beer variety.
We haven’t had anything to complain about until recently. Some people (or just myself at least) have noticed decline in Almaza quality, especially since Heiniken acquired the company in the end of 2002. Granted I was only 12 back then and I supposedly did not drink, the taste did not start deteriorating until around the end of 2008, when a sudden increase in Heiniken was seen on store shelves for some reason.
But now, we have a new kid in town. LB Beer, short for Lebanese Brew, is a 100% local Lebanese beer. From the creators of 961 Beer, LB beer is a new, bold beer with an “authentic better taste”.
Just a few minutes ago I tried out my first bottle. A first of many to come. Whats interesting to note is that the bottle itself is brown, unlike the Almazian green, and that protects the beer better from the light and the UV that could damage the taste. Oh and speaking about the taste, it is really, really good. It’s a different taste than Almaza, closer to Budweiser for those who have tasted it. The first few sips give you a sort of surprise, but after that, once you get used to it, you can really notice how smooth it is.
All in all, As a serious beer aficionado, I find LB Beer could be a serious competitor for the locally brewed, internationally renowned Almaza. But then again a monopoly is never good, so hooray for capitalisim, hooray for competition!