Tag Archives: Dortmunder Export

172. Sapporo Yebisu

This was a surprise. After nearly nine years of pursuing this ridiculous project, I had never, ever seen this beer. I’d scoured the Asian markets of Chinatown and beyond to no avail. And then you move to a nondescript provincial town, and there it is. In a Chinese supermarket vertically below my own sofa.

And of course, after a nine year wait, two come along at once.

Sapporo Yebisu

Sapporo Yebisu is listed in The Book as a Dortmunder Export, which is apparently a German style, although this particular example is from Japan, and the only previous one we’ve come across was Švyturys Ekstra from Lithuania. The one in the gold can—weighing in at 5.0% ABV—is what I believe to be the beer included in The Book.

It’s basically just…OK. It’s a can of lager. It wouldn’t be worth the £6.65 I paid for it if I didn’t have a stupid project on the go. But in defence of Starry Mart, they import it themselves and you’ll struggle to find it elsewhere, unless you fancy a round-trip to Tokyo. I really do, but then I also want a solid gold toilet, and it’s just not on the cards now, is it.

There is little to say about this beer. You know what lager tastes like. This one isn’t the worst I’ve had, which is damning with faint praise. Apparently the brewery take pride in the fact that this is made with all malt in the mash, eschewing adjuncts like rice. Which is, again, a fairly low bar to set.

I’ll try the blue one a bit later. I think it’s an ale, but I fully expect it to taste like another £6.65 I’ll never have back.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Sapporo, Tokyo, Japan
Style: Dortmunder Export
Strength: 5.0% ABV
Found at: Starry Mart, Colchester, Essex
Serving: Can, 350ml

92. Švyturys Ekstra

This particular beer achieves several firsts for Threehundredbeers. For a start, it’s the first beer to be tackled from the Dortmunder Export chapter of The Book, and it’s also certainly the first Lithuanian beer I’ve ever tried.

Finally, this is the first bottle from an interesting case of beers ordered from Beers of Europe. We’ll be seeing a few more from that batch before long, and there are a couple of intriguing ones in there, so do stay tuned.

Let’s start with Švyturys Ekstra, a rather handsomely presented Lithuanian lager.

Švyturys Ekstra - lid

Dortmunder Export-style lagers originated in Germany, and tend to be made with darker malts than, say, Pilsners, while being slightly higher in alcohol. Not all of the sugar is fermented off, potentially making for a slightly sweeter-tasting end result.

Švyturys Ekstra seems, then, to be surprisingly pale in colour, being a very light straw colour with a frothy but quite thin white head. It tastes like a fairly standard lager, though it’s slightly fuller-bodied and smoother than expected. There is a sweetness there, but it’s thankfully more of a malty than a sugary one.

Švyturys Ekstra

I chilled this one, but as it warms a lot more flavour comes out, including some citrus notes, and a surprisingly big, bitter hoppy finish.

This isn’t a bad beer by any means, and it’s kind of refreshing and easy-drinking, but it’s not an easy one to get excited about. If you like lager you’ll certainly like it a lot, and if you don’t, then Švyturys Ekstra probably won’t change your mind.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: UAB „Švyturys – Utenos alus“, Klaipėda, Lithuania
Style: Dortmunder Export
Strength: 5.2% ABV
Found at: Beers of Europe
Serving: 500ml bottle