If you like the taste of European
beer but don’t like the idea of a globetrotting
brew, you should have no
hesitation about purchasing a beer
brewed locally under licence. Of the
seven beers we compared, there
was no unanimously preferred brew,
with local brands on par with their
Of the local brews, NSW-produced
Grolsch achieved the highest score.
Six experts preferred the local brew’s
lively full flavour over the import, which
they said was “stale” and “hard to love”.
The Carlsberg and Kronenbourg
1664 local brews also scored better
than their imported siblings, although
in the case of Carlsberg only just.
Panellists commended the local
Carlsberg for its solid characteristics
and good drinkability, while Australian
Kronenbourg was commended for
its balanced flavours and ability
to display the qualities typical
of a European lager.
Lion’s Heineken scored just ahead
of the Dutch version, and there was an
overall consensus that the two were
the closest match of the day.
The real deal
If you think lasagne tastes best in Italy
and chocolate best in Belgium, you’re
no doubt an advocate for authenticity.
So what did our experts think of the
authentic brews of these two countries?
In our test, five of our seven experts
preferred the imported Peroni Nastro,
despite it being closer to its best-before
date than its local counterpart.
AB-InBev’s Stella Artois and Lion’s
Beck’s both split the panel, so if you
want to bring a bit of Belgium to your
backyard or beer hall spirit to your BBQ,
let your tastebuds be your guide.
The parallel debate
Our experts also sampled two
bottles of Corona, with best-before
dates within two weeks of each other,
brewed by AB-InBev in Mexico. The only
difference: one arrived on our shores
courtesy of the official importer via the
traditional route, while the other was
parallel imported via non-traditional
In this case, five out of seven experts
preferred the traditionally imported
product, although experts said they
were overall a
pair and that
competitive prices and fresh
characteristics if handled correctly.
Please note: Local refers to locally brewed versions of the depicted beer; Imported refers to imported versions of the depicted beer; The number in brackets refers to the amount of judges who preferred that beer. Please see the results table for more details.
Meet our experts
National Merchandise Manager, ALH Group/Woolworths
Director, Young Henrys Brewing Company
Brewer, Murray's Craft Brewing Co.
Head Brewer, The Australian Brewery
Restaurant and Events Manager, 4 Pines Brewing Company
| Matt Donelan
Owner, St Peters Brewery
Publisher and Managing Director, Beer & Brewer Magazine