Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

With the help of a panel consisting of beer enthusiasts, we conducted a blind taste-test of 12 brands of beer to find the Best Lager Beer & Best Wheat Beer in India.

If there’s a beverage-equivalent of Butter Chicken, it has to be Beer. Think about it; beer never goes out of fashion (like Butter Chicken). An evening out with friends is often incomplete without beer (for many Butter Chicken lovers that accurate too!). And finally, beer is now available in so many avatars (like Butter Chicken), that you can never tire of looking for the brand and variant that works best for you.

After tasting and reviewing 12 beer brands in the Lager and Wheat categories, and blind-tasting them over three specific parameters of Aroma, Appearance & Taste, we can tell you that Budweiser (Lager) and Simba (Wheat) were ranked highest and judged best by our panel of reviewers.

Category 1: Best Lager Beer

We got as many commonly available lager beers for this category. The 7 beer brands in this category were: Kingfisher Ultra, Bira 91 Blonde Lager, Budweiser, Heinekin, Carlsberg, White Rhino Lager, Simba Lager.

Mishry Top Pick: Budweiser Lager Beer

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

Budweiser Lager Beer

Budweiser Lager Beer ranked highest across all parameters of aroma, appearance, and taste by our review panel, and was unanimously chosen as our top pick for the Best Lager in India category.

How did Budweiser score on all parameters?

(9 panelists ranked all 7 beers from 1-5, 5 being the highest)

Budweiser was ranked highest across all parameters of aroma, appearance, and taste.

Aroma score: 34

Appearance score: 34

Taste score: 37

1st Runner-Up: Best Lager Beer

Carlsberg Smooth Lager Beer was ranked second on the two parameters of appearance and taste.

(9 panelists ranked all 7 beers from 1-5, 5 being the highest)

Aroma: 23

Appearance score: 33
Taste score: 31

2nd Runner-Up: Best Lager Beer

Bira 91 Blonde Lager Beer was ranked third in the overall process.

(9 panelists ranked all 7 beers from 1-5, 5 being the highest)

Aroma: 29

Appearance score: 33
Taste: 26

Category 2: Best Wheat Beer

We got 5 popular and commonly available wheat beers for this category. These are Hoegaarden, Simba Wit, Bira White, White Rhino and Hooper.

Mishry Top Pick: Simba Wit

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

Simba Wit

Simba surprised everyone by claiming the top spots across all parameters. Even loyalists of KF Ultra and Bira White rated Simba higher.

How did Simba Wit score on all parameters?

(9 panelists ranked all 5 beers from 1-5, 5 being the highest)

Simba Wit was ranked highest across all parameters of aroma, apperance, and taste.

Aroma score: 38

Appearance score: 37.5

Taste score: 38

Runner-up: Best Wheat Beer

Bira 91 Wheat Beer was a close second on all three parameters.

(9 panelists ranked all 7 beers from 1-5, 5 being the highest)

Aroma: 38

Appearance score: 37
Taste: 37

Our Review Process

This is the first time that we conducted an OPEN Review. We invited a select group of beer-lovers who came together one afternoon to taste and mark 12 beer brands across two specific categories.

What is an OPEN Review?

Some products evoke a great deal of passion; beer is one of them. We decided to open up the review this time to a select gathering of people who love beer. The review was conducted at Together@12th, a popular restaurant, and bar at Gurugram’s Le Meridien.

All panel members got to taste all 12 brands blind, meaning they did not know which brand was which. The brands were served as is, not with a slice of lemon or orange to keep it fair for all brands. The beers were served in the right glasses at the perfect temperature, allowing each panelist enough time to go through each and make notes about their findings.

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

Our Review Consultant

We consulted with Nitin Tewari, Beverage Expert & Veteran Mixologist. Nitin has, over the years, been instrumental in setting up the bars at award-winning restaurants like Toast & Tonic, and The Bombay Canteen. We believe there couldn’t have been a more qualified curator for our review.

At every step of the process, we worked closely with Nitin and took into account his ideas and vast experiences in the beverage field. Together, we came up with a way forward, where a group of beer-lovers (represented fairly across age and gender, and experience) was invited to an afternoon of beer-tasting and review. {We love what Nitin and his team of bar-experts are doing at Together@12th. Do check out more about them here}

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

Our Beer Review Panel: How Did We Bring Them Together?

We aimed to create a diverse group of beer lovers to come together for our Open Review. For each of the panel members, the first prerequisite for selection was that they must love beer, and should have been enjoying drinking beer for a minimum of 5 years. In fact, some of our panelists love to drink beer, more than any other alcoholic beverage and have been doing so for over two decades. Cumulatively, our nine panelists – have more than 100 years (10 decades) of beer-drinking experience between them! Yeah, we were blown by that figure too!

Secondly, we wanted to bring in variety age-wise. The experiences, and therefore palate, of a 25-year-old, would be very different from those of a 45-year-old beer-lover. Hence, we made sure our panelists brought with them a range of experienced palates, starting from 25 years, all the way up to 47 years.

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

For each of the panel members, the first prerequisite for selection was that they must love beer, and should have been enjoying drinking beer for a minimum of 5 years.

For all those who think women need a ‘milder’ beer, we disagree. Women drink beer too, regular beer, and our panel had to reflect that in equal measure. We made sure it did.

Lastly, our panel also had a couple of beverage professionals, who are adept at creating cocktails, try out new types of beverages as part of their profession, and most importantly, frequently listen to their guest’s likes and dislikes about beer. Rishabh Goel has spent over 3 years giving keen attention to wines, the science and art of viticulture, regions terroir et all. Param Veer is a seasoned mixologist and has been the winner of the Hoegaarden Mixology Championship in India. As a winner, he got to travel to Belgium and taste 100s of beers in Brussels.

Beer Review Panel (in order of seating at the table): Amita Saluja, Amit Patnaik, Param Veer, Tanu Ganguly, Jaideep Dahiya, Gaurav Yadava, Sachin Diwan, Rishabh Goel, Sarina Rana

The Categories

We picked two categories to review. These, in our opinion, represent what a wide range of people like and would like to know more regarding:


Category 1: Best Lager Beer
Category 2: Best Wheat Beer

How We Picked Our Brands

The list of brands that we tasted for the Best Lager and Best Wheat Beer categories included brands that are commonly available at bars and authorized liquor stores around you. While most are locally made, some like Hoegaarden are imported. There’s a mix of old and new brands. While brands like Kingfisher and Hoegaarden have been around for years, newer brands like Bira and Simba were also included.

The Brands We Picked

Lager Beers: 7 Brands

Kingfisher Ultra

White Rhino Brewing Co. Lager

Heineken Lager

Simba

Carlsberg Lager

Budweiser Lager

Bira 91 Blonde Lager

Wheat Beers: 5 Brands

White Rhino Brewing Co. Wheat

Simba Wit

Hoegaarden

Bira 91 White

Hopper Whitman Belgian White

The list of brands that we tasted for the Best Lager and Best Wheat Beer categories included brands that are commonly available at bars and authorized liquor stores around you.

Team Mishry

The Tasting Process

All the beers were tasted blind, the reviewers did not know which sample came from which beer bottle. All samples were labelled from A to G for the Best Lager Beer category and from A to E for the Best Wheat Beer category. All samples were tasted one after the other and also side-by-side. For aroma, the reviewers were blind-folded to allow a closer sensory evaluation of the beers.

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

We judged the beers on 3 specific parameters:

Aroma: Beer has a certain unique smell associated with it. A malty smell that goes well with its taste.

Appearance: After being blind-folded for judging the aroma, the next parameter to be judged was appearance. This was was done without the blind-folds. Lagers are supposed to be clear, while wheat beers, on account of some leftover yeast, can be cloudy. This, though, does not have a bearing on the taste or overall quality.

Taste: The taste of a beer is a mix of malty, yeasty, and bitter flavors. Wheaty beers can sometimes have citrus notes and even a hint of coriander. Each reviewer judged the beers on the basis of what tasted the best to them.

The Result

Based on the taste, aroma, and appearance, Budweiser Lager emerged as our top pick for its malty and bitter-sweet taste. It had a clear and light appearance along with a bitter smell that complemented its taste. And as for the wheat category, Simba Wit Wheat Beer, which is a very new entrant into the market, ranked highest by all. It had a fresh, flowery note associated with its taste, which further enhanced the experience of drinking it.

 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)
 Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)
Story Tags :

Leave a Reply on Mishry Open Review: Best Beers in India (Lager & Wheat)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Comments

  1. Amita Saluja says

    Best tasting EVER !!!

  2. Ananya saluja says

    Loved the video ! Makes me want to go have a beer now !

  3. Very beautifully done video. And looks like quite a fun tasting ! Wish I was there too !
    Interesting results.. will now taste all that you have recommended… and enjoy too !
    Thank you!

  4. I like both BIRA white & blond… and usually have that only ! But now after reading your review will go and try the others too … specially the winners and runners up ! Awesome fun review ! Thanks

  5. Wow Tanu! Very impressive indeed! The attention to detail is fabulous as is the capture of the process in the article above!!

  6. Gaurav Mehendale says

    My favorite beer won the best lager beer.. yesss..
    Although you should have added Corona in list. It is also one of the commonly available lager beer.

  7. Akash Hirebet says

    Hi,
    On what basis was. High or low rating given by the reviewer? What guideline was followed?

    Thanks

    • Hi Akash, thanks for the comment.

      There was a panel of beer lovers, and experts who blind tasted and reviewed commonly available beers.