Kingfisher Lager

Kingfisher, India
< 5% ABV
draft and bottle

Kingfisher is both an Indian airline and an Indian beer. Imagine flying Budweiser Airlines. Instills confidence, doesn’t it?

Let me paint the scene….

I enter a posh hotel in Chennai at 11pm, 20 minutes before last call, with a gaggle of expats. We rush to the coffee shop in the hotel, which has just put out a full food buffet for the clubbers who will stagger out of the hotel dance club when it closes at 11:30pm. We order several pitchers of Kingfisher and pay dearly for it. I try to discretely snaps some shots of the beer with a girl’s Blackberry.

The next morning, after a breakfast of idly and dosa, I hop on a flight to Goa, via Bangalore. The carrier is non other than Kingfisher. In true 1960’s style, beverage AND food are served on both 45 minutes legs of my flight. The first meal is a horrific curry-flavored bun filled with a mayonnaise-based salad with carrots, pickles, and corn. I eat it anyways. I am a generally hungry person.

On the second leg, even my insatiable hunger cannot help me digest the meal before me. I don’t know what the gloppy sauce is. I do not find out.

I arrive in Goa, and go to my hotel, about 8 km outside the capital city of Panjim aka Panaji. It takes me a couple days to figure out how to get into town and have a beer. This time, in a much less fancy hotel, the beer I have is once again Kingfisher.

Apparently there are different denominations of Kingfisher beer. I was told “blue” is the best, but I don’t think I tried that one. The Kingfisher label seems only to mean that it’s owned by the Kingfisher corporation (the same one that runs the airline). There is little consistency between brewery locations, and beer does not seem to cross state lines. The two renditions of Kingfisher I had (one in Chennai, one in Goa), were similar only in that they were bad. Both were overly grainy and gross. The first was light, wheaty, and citrus-y, while the second was more like cold cooked-barley flavored piss water. That latter bottle, the one from Goa, lists the alcohol content as “less than 5% ABV” instead of an exact number.


~ by nininja on August 26, 2010.

3 Responses to “Kingfisher Lager”

  1. Somehow the gooey food looks more appealing than the hotdog water being poured from the pitcher. Do they model their beer style on American macros? That’s supposed to be the template in SE Asia.

  2. Ach, this reminds me. That 6 of Halida is gone. Mitch enjoyed it on several occasions. The proprietor of the only place in the US we’ve ever seen it had no idea what I was talking about when I went back for more. Might be a while before you get to try it. Tôi xin lỗi.

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