1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cristal - Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

Not Rated.
CristalCristal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
66
poor

134 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 2.76
pDev: 21.38%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston visit their website
Peru

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cristal Alström Bros
Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjd112
1.88/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I poured this into my Flying Fish pint glass. The appearance is basically a transparent piss yellow. In fact, I could probably read the label on a deoderant stick that was behind this beer. Head is fizzy, leaves no lacing, and the smell is skunk. The taste as well as the mouthfeel are like a club soda with some cereal grains in there. Unthinkable, undrinkable.

tjd112, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of colts9016
1.15/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured this beer into a pint glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A white one finger head that has no retention to it. The body of the beer is a light pale straw color. The clarity of the beer is clear and brilliant. There some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: A light grainy aroma with rice, there is a kinda of a meaty aroma, phenols, and floral bouquet.

Taste: The beer is grainy, has a very funky off flavor like cooked sausage, and phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is carbonated. The body of the beer is light and the finish light. This beer has been light struck and then some. This just doesn't taste right. A drain pour.

colts9016, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
2.95/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark yellow with a thin pure white head.

Light nose of white bread yeast and balanced nose of cooked stone fruit with a hint of sugar.

Mouthfeel is thin and without real character.

Flavors are single dimensional light yeast, light hops. Very simple but clean. Flavors, while simple are pleasant, although very short. There is nothing complex about this one.

Short light grapefruit finish. A pleasant lighter beer.

GRG1313, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Amalak
2/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had a bottle and it was a light, clear gold--American Macro style. Slightly bubbly with a head that dissipated quickly and no lace. 1/2 bitter, 1/2 sour scent to it.

Not surprising, it's quite bad. Too sour. Kind of like a very bad pilsner taste because most American lagers taste better.

Amalak, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.53/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Crystal clear golden-yellow body with no head.

S- Lots of corn smell going on. Other grainy and metallic tones also noticed

T- Tastes like corn and metal. Not bad but not good

M- Clean watery feeling and excellent carbonation

D- Beautiful carbonation and light feeling make for easy drinking

EnojysAnyBeer, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
1.58/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 12/12/2005 (12oz bottle from 24 variety pack):

Pours a big foamy head which diminishes quickly. Body is pale yellow-clear in color. There is an aroma of malts. Fizzy tasting, clean, almost balanced, but slightly acidic. Can't detect an aftertaste.

jujubeast6000, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of Beernoisseur
1.98/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have never encountered a lighter beer. In every respect. It Poured with a paper thin head, it had the color and substance of your pee after about a two hour drinking binge (almost clear). If you could make a beer out of a single spoonful of cornflakes, this would be the result. There was OK carbonation and mouthfeel. that modest attribute was the highpoint of this exbeerience.

Beernoisseur, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of roblowther
2.05/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well...It is, as you might expect....a beer from a country where they don't grow hops. But let's not prejudge. It is ultra-ale, almost Coors Light-esque. It smells of....nothing. Slight smoke. No, cigar butts. Wow. That's just not good. The taste is slight malt, a bit of caramel. VERY mild. The mouthfeel has decent body, OK carbonation. You could probably drink a lot, if you weren't paying attention. Basically, if you're in Peru, pay the extra soles for Cusquena.

roblowther, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of koopa
2.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice crisp clear appearance but under carbonated which shows through in the lack of head retention and lacing.

Smell: Clean nose with smells of a light flowery hop, grain, and adjunct material.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Not much malt to it, good light bodied lager crisp aspect. The beer is under carbonated in my opinion.

koopa, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
2.85/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single, twelve ounce bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in West Orange...
Pours a clear, lucid, see-through, golden hue with hardly any head and very minor lacing...
Faint, nondescript, pale aroma with an equally unassertive, uninviting taste... Bland would be the best way to describe this Peruvian beer, with a watered-down, loose mouthfeel and average drinkability only due to the lack of cloying flavors and modest ABV...
Nothing special...

dsa7783, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of matty
3.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow colored beer with light and rapid fading head.Taste is watery and a little sweet.I would almost classify this as a light lager.Smooth drinkable and fresh.The perfect beer for a family outing or BBQ.I enjoyed it and will buy again shortly!!

matty, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of dnichols
2.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a 12 ounce twist top into a pint glass.

A: It poured a pale stray golden body with a bone white half finger head composed of small bubbles. A steady stream of small bubbles rose from the bottom of the glass. The head receded to a slight cover and supported a modest lacing.

S: It had a lager aroma of light grains and malts with just a touch of sweetness.

T: On its own it is very bland with just hints of flavors that fail to linger or make much of an impression. There was a touch of sweet malt and a whiff of hops but so recessive it was hardly there. I did drink it with a stiff and spicy bowl of Bombay potatoes making the beer a nice complement...somewhat like cool water.

M: It was light bodied as water with decent carbonation and hardly any aftertaste. Smooth and refreshing.

D: I'd rank this as a suitable beer for eating with spicy Mexican food or on an evening following a long day working the fields.

dnichols, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of stcules
1.53/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A very pale yellow color. Big bubbles, in carbonation, and even in the scarce foam.
The smell is, well, unpleasant. Very. Shoddy malt, corn, just a hint of hop, if you try to find it very hard.
Even something chemical.
Well, awful. Almost undrinkable.

stcules, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of mltobin
2.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a glass.

It pours a light clear yellow, tiny white head on this beer that hails from Peru.

Smell is skunky sweet, not very pleasant.

The taste is some grain, small presence of hops, little character to it and is not particularly enjoyable.

MF is bland and lifeless, works to was down food, but not much else.

I will not order this again if I have some other option on the menu.

mltobin, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of plaid75
3.13/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light cereal and adjunct malt with a smattering of flowery hops.

The taste consisted of a light cooked corn sweetness, a light doughiness and some subtle hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the thin side with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall an average Latin American macro lager.

plaid75, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
2.05/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cristal, a Peruvian lager, pours a big white head over a pale yellow brew.
Carbonation is steady, and the nose is a tiny whiff of barley malt. The flavor
is is a teensy bit of barley, a teensy bit of corn, with a barely noticable hop
finish. There's this really subdued cornflake aftertaste too. Nothin' special
here.

shadow1961, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
2.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saw this sitting in the world beer shelf and had not seen it before so I decided to give it a try. Nice foil covered twist off cap on the top.

A - Poured a very clear, extremely pale golden, hay colored yellow. One of the palest beers I have ever seen. Big white frothy gead formed on the top and actually hhad some damn fine staying power. Tons and I mean Tons of carbonation bubbles were rippling up from the bottonm of the glass.

S - Typical light lager smell, very light grain and malt smell, maybe a hint of yeast, but very light.

T - Very bland and muted. Did not even have that typical light grain flavor that a light lager has. Only a someht muted grain taste, anda weird moldy bread like back to it. A rather odd taste, it almost had like a seltzer water flavor to it, very very bland.

M - Feel was not too terribly bad. Had pretty decent carbonation feel on the tongue and was smooth, Not very crisp though as it had a kind of oily feeling when drinking.

D - Its definatly a sessionable macro like lager, however the taste really doesnt do it for me so I wouldn't really want to drink alot of them, even though I probably could.


Overall very forgettable. Not sure I would really order or ever really try this one again. I am sure there are better beers out there that would better justify the country, this one is just simply blah.

mikesgroove, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
3.13/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very light in color, more yellow than gold, with a light white head that forms a collar around the liquid. Smell is very, very slight, even for the style -- just a tiny hint of hops and a touch of cerealish sweetness from the malts. Close to water, though. On the palate, minor, but surprisingly firm, bitterness crops up first, followed by a downshift into metallic mid-palate and slightly acrid, dry finish. Pretty decent palate for a macro. Mouthfeel is typical -- light in body, low in hop oils, and medium carbonation. Overall, this is a decent macro. I was impressed with the palate given the nose. Not half bad.

geexploitation, May 20, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.25/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle with Best Before date of 04/Sep/2007.

Very clear, pale yellow appearance with full white head that lasted a fairly long time leaving a fine lace behind. Quit bubbly.

Clean sweet grainy smell, maybe a little hoppy.

Nice clean taste but with a bit of flavor to it. Not light a typical light Macro brew.

Very carbonated and light in the mouth.

Fairly good beer. Another nice refreshing beer for the hot Florida summers.

dstc, May 08, 2007
Photo of Foxman
2.35/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours an absolutely clear and rather carbonated pale, pale, pale straw yellow. A finger of tight white head settles soon to a spring-fed froth quilt. Scarce runes of lacing mystify the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, a mild sweetness wafts about from Adjunct City, with Mayor Birdseye delivering boiled frozen corn. A pepper-fed skunk was apparently run over as well.

Upon tasting, there's actually the briefest flash of sweet malt that shape-shifts into a muddled hash of corn and rice. The hops are metallic, skunky, and barely bitter. The finish is a quick leap from crisp to pretty much nothing. The key here is the incredible speed with which the flavor appears and then disintegrates.

Very light bodied, the carbonation makes it feel like fizzy mineral water.

Maybe beer like this is why the Incas fell from grace. I didn't pour it down the drain-that's the best I can say. It drinks like water minus the blissful lack of flavor, or what passes for flavor in this case. In deed, in this case, no flavor would beat this flavor. Sure, I'd be willing to travel to Peru, but if I ever do, I think I'll drink the wine.

Foxman, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
1.93/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Trying to make my way through a "Beers of the World" sample pack I received from my mom-in-law. This is number 3 out of 8 and by far the worst one yet.

Pours a clear, very pale golden yellow with a big white head. Wait a minute...where did the head go? I know I saw one. Oh well.

The aroma is of a skunky sweet pils. There is a slight hop scent coming through when that damn skunk keeps his tail down.

The taste...well...this one is a drain pour. I made it half way through the glass, but I can't take anymore. Not much of a flavor besides sweet skunky rotten hops. Yeah, it's that good.

Thin body with decent carbonation. Probably the best part of the beer is the mouthfeel. I can't finish this one and would never get another one even if I was in Peru.

Imstillthegman, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
2.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was a slight step above some of the latin American Imports or cheaper US Macro brews, but not much. Poured to a pale golden yellow, with snow white head that dissipated quickly to little lacing. Aroma was slightly hoppy, as was the flavor, but not much else there. I actually enjoyed the mouthfeel, which was tingly and the finish was fairly long and somewhat pleasant.

Okay from an area not known for beer, but doubt that I’ll have many more.

kimcgolf, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of EagleTalon
2.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a thin white head. Pale yellow-gold color with a slight haze. Aroma is sweet , grainy and hoppy, similar to a Heineken. Flavor is grainy-sweet continental pils flavor with balancing bitterness. Finishes dry and hoppy. Not a terrible beer but not anything I would buy again.

EagleTalon, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of dfried
2.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow, foamy white head. Sweet pils aroma, skunky hops, like a Heineken. The taste was again sweet, grainy. Skunky hops again, like Heiny but sweeter. A lot of carbonation, light body.

Verdict: I got this for novelty sake while eating at a Peruvian resaurant, and that is about the only time I would again. More noticeable hops than some macros made it a bit more tolerable, but it is what it is, a macro lager.

dfried, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of maddogruss
2.7/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. The beer poured a light gold color with a half-inch white head that receded after a couple minutes. A ring a head maintains throughout the beer with decent lacing. It smelled very much like a macro lager although slightly maltier. It tasted very bitter; similiar to a mix between a pilsner and budweiser. A pretty thick mouthfeel; I was expecting it to be as thick as a light beer. Pretty drinkable if you are looking for a thick macro but keep in mind that it has a bitter taste. I could not see myself drinking this beer for long periods of time.

maddogruss, Dec 28, 2006
Cristal from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
66 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.