Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Windhoek Lager - Namibia Breweries Limited

Not Rated.
Windhoek LagerWindhoek Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

49 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 49
Hads: 84
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 18.91%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Namibia Breweries Limited visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-16-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Windhoek Lager Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 49 | Hads: 84
Photo of AEK
4.25/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown bottle poured into a Stella Artois flute style glass.

A. Straw coloured ale with a foamy white head, head formation during the pour was well controlled.

S. Juicy malt. A hint of melon. A little citrus fruit, nice floral bouquet, peppery spice and some ginger too.

T. Not a great deal in the mouth, maybe a touch of lemon. Surprisingly smooth.

M. Medium.

D. Quite a nice lager. Much better than I was expecting and a lot less carbonated than I imagined and other pale lagers I have tried. A very nice drink - especially as it was reduced to only 50p a bottle in Morrison's.

 589 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

South West Breweries was formed in 1920 when four breweries joined together. Namibia was a German colony and they therefore produced German style lagers. In 1990 Namibia gained its independence and the group was re-named Namibia Breweries. Windhoek was the name of one of the original four breweries; and there are three other beers in the Windhoek line.

A crystal clear golden body is topped by a frothy head of bright white foam. The retention is fair, and the head leaves some nice spots and splashes of lace as it slowly drops to a thin surface covering after the first few sips. The aroma offers a bright combination of grainy, bread-like malt and delicate grassy hops. The body is medium and it's crisp in the mouth with a very fine, median level carbonation. The flavor reflects what the nose suggests with the grassy and herbal hops getting a little more play. It's firmly bitter and finishes dry with a quick note of malt, and then lingering hops in the finish. A refreshing, dry German-style pilsner!

 1,013 characters

Photo of SSBrennan
3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tasting glass the beer produced a sizable white head which fell fairly quickly with a fair amount of lacing. The color is a sort of dark gold, slightly darked than most pale lagers which is promising and carbonation is maintained.

Smells noticeably of grain but not of corn, fairly non-distinct but about what lager should smell like.

The taste is of malt with an initially mild hop flavor which builds at the finish. The taste is very light but not watery, dominated by malts and hops with little detectable alcohol.

The mouthfeel is heavily carbonated and clean.

The beer is easy drinking and refreshing, particularly on a hot day. The absence of corn improves the prospect of having a few without too much ill-effect. It is, along with Hansa, my go to beer in South Africa and probably my favorite in the EPL style so far.

 851 characters

Photo of Jason
3.79/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz green bottle with a best before date on the back label.

Appearance: Clear yellowish straw colour, quick crackling foam leaves some lace on the glass. The retention lacks a bit.

Smell: Grassy of pale grain and fresh hops. Very clean to the nose as a lager should be.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Light malt sweetness, fresh graininess and a clean bitter semi-assertive hop presence. Clean and crisp with a light lingering hop and grain flavour.

Notes: A straight up clean lager, the crispness makes it very drinkable with a stable grain and hop balance.

 562 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color, average white head, slims down fast.
Aroma: typical lager smell, slightly corny, but drying up with a quickness, and reminding me more of a pilsner.
Neat little hop appearance at first, lightly drizzling the senses, tasty malt character, just-right balance, even-tempered finish, with hops handily maintaining a presence all the way through.
I like this lager more and more as I finished it, and appreciated the citric/lemony flavor that develops in the middle and rides out through the end.
A very ordinary lager, one that slakes thirst and slides down the throat without trouble, just like it's supposed to.

 633 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The best of the macro lager lineup available in south africa. Pours yellow and fizzy as one would expect, but unlike many other SA offerings, the nose is clean, and smells a bit of bock. A good crisp clean flavor, but not a whole lot of it. Defenitely the best of the macro lagers I have had in SA, or maybe at all. A good lawnmower brew.

 338 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass, no freshness date to be seen. Green bottle :(

A: Pours a deep straw yellow with a one inch pure white head that fades quickly to a cap with a strong carbonation

S: Light and crisp grassyness with a hint of nut and lemon zest, really though the beer relies much more on this faint grassyness and bits of sweet corn but not as overt a corny aroma as american macro lagers.

T/MF: Light apple and grainy lemony grassyness, not bad, not bad at all. Strong carbonation and active mouthfeel, pretty damn refreshing with a slight hop bitterness tickling the tongue.

D: Pretty decent if it were not for the appearance and smell this would be a pretty damn solid and nicely sessionable beer, as it stands though it is still highly drinkable and enjoyable, don't know it till you try it.

 822 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.57/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was far better than I was expecting. Came in a 340 ml long neck green bottle, the best before date stamped on the back label but wholly illegible all the same. The back label also claims it's 4% abv, but the little white import sticker next to it says it's 5%.

A clear pale yellow colour in appearance, a flash of fizzy head before utterly disappearing for good. Grains, some sweet cornbread malt and light hops on the nose. The flavour starts out with sweet corn, but quickly becomes dry and crisp from the grains in the middle, which carries to the finish where the hops balance it out. Now that's a decent lager! Far better than a N. American macro variety any day, and far more drinkable. Medium body on the mouthfeel, not a watery swiller, and a dry finish. This would be a fine way to satiate yourself with on a hot day.

 834 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 340ml (11.5 fl.oz) green glass bottle which has a dark metallic green obverse oval shaped label with the words ‘Windhoek Lager’ on it. Looks completely different to that pictured. The bottle I have has a very ‘Carlsberg Lager’ look about it, which I’m sure is intentional. Brewed in accordance with the Rheinheitsgebot which is a throwback “tu ven zee jeermans” ran what is now independent Namibia. Color coordinated crown cap, full length neck label. The back label lists this one as 4% ABV, and actually had a hidden Best Before Date of 12/2003, so I picked this one up for only $0.25 with a little cheeky bartering.

Appearance: Not that bad, light golden body that is perfectly clear and only broken with the odd lonely streamer. The head is white, frothy and very lager like. Solid finely dissolved carbonation, good head retention and nice creamy lacing, which is surprising considering this is past its supposed sell by date. Looks good.

Nose: Grainy pilsner malts with some hops. Fresh smelling aromas on this one crisp and clean with little to nothing to complain about here.

Taste: Light feel, pilsner malts, mildly hoppy feel with a very clean crisp lager finish. Nothing great but there again nothing less than I would have expected from any Lager. It does however benefit from a fresh clean feel and none of the usual annoying sticky cloying corn tastes, in that sense its Teutonic pedigree is self evident. Smooth lines.

Mouthfeel: Grainy feel with some delicate hop presence. Average body, the carbonation assists the light feel here.

Drinkability: Easily partaken, nothing outstanding, but nothing to worry about, a real middle of the road drinker that benefits from the crisp clean lines that it exhibits.

Overall: Considering that this is 12 months past its Best Before Date, it is not that bad. Still, I’m not sure I would pay the going rate for it. Above average.

 1,923 characters

Photo of arlo19
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a "Beers of the World" gift pack..
Best by Feb 2009 (today is Feb 2 2009)

Nothing too great here...
A very light lager. I got barely any smell from my pour. The flavor is crisp and pretty good. Quite drinkable, although I don't plan on buying.

 256 characters

Photo of jackndan
3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Windhoek Lager, from Namibia: This golden lager is made by “Master German Brewers” using barley hops and water. Actually a great looking beer, with a dense white long lasting head, with thick lace all the way down to the bottom. Very pronounced aroma of malted barley/fresh baked bread. The taste was a little bit of a let down. It had a strong malt flavor, but was missing a little hops balance. Clean and crisp aftertaste. Not bad, I’d get it again.

 475 characters

Photo of BeerandBlues2
3.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled. Pours pale yellow with a small frothy white head. Aroma is sweet malt, white bread with fruit hop notes on the nose. Smooth malty initial flavor with a yeasty, sweet hop finish. Some spotty lacing. Very drinkable session beer. Light and silky palate, ends slightly dry.

 278 characters

Photo of hunteraw
3.42/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: well, the bottles I got looked a lot different from the one in the picture here, I wonder if it's different in Namibia than in South Africa where I was drinking it. Pours a yellowish tinted straw, big head, little lacing - very macro looking.

Smell: no corn, thank goodness! an improvement over Castle already. Label says it respects the German purity laws - makes sense, Namibia being a former German colony. Clean lager scent, hint of hops and malt.

Taste: very typical for the style: malt, some light bitterness, but pretty mellow. Mouthfeel is light, and the finish is a touch harsh. Carbonation is fine.

Drinkability: This is a good standby in Southern Africa if the only other choices are Castle, Black Label and light beers. It's solid for its style, very little objectionable. Goes down good!

 821 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straw coloured body and big foamy white head a good looking beer for a lager.

Barley is the predominant aroma slight hints of hops.

Slightly sugary start then straight onto grain then quite a hoppy after taste.

Easy flowing mouthfeel heavy on the carbonation but such is the style.

Up there with Budvar and Staropramen as a robust flavoursome lager with an unexpected flavoursome kick.

 389 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

340ml bottle, hilton-sandton minibar in johannesburg

best by december 2008

appearance: macro golden lager - nothing more, nothing less

smell: pale malts, skunky lager tones, very mild hop profile

taste: a pretty common lager in south africa - not offensive but not memorable...pale malts, grassy, light and bland

mouthfeel: light

drinkability : fine

 355 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.34/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a giant, foamy, frothy, fluffy, white head and lots of lace. Color is a clear yellow and some tiny bubble trails. Aroma is beer and a hint of hop. Flavor is mostly sweet with some floral notes and a little bitterness. Body is a little watery and carbonation is good. Finish is like flavor and short. Not bad beer.

 324 characters

Photo of cypressbob
3.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a medium yellow body. White fluffy head with fairly good retention

Smell, quite fresh on the nose, some hints of freshly cut grass, fresh hops, some grain also

Taste, quite fresh, crisp and dry. Some lingering hop profile on the finish

Not bad, a clean and refreshing lager

 309 characters

Photo of seydou
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably my favorite African lager. Was lucky to find this on tap -- somewhat of a rarity in Johannesburg.

Standard across the board in terms of color, smell, appearance. Just a bit of a cleaner, less offensive taste than many of the African lagers. Also, as a session beer, seems much easier to drink several of when compared to the heavy west African lagers or overly-carbonated Castle.

 389 characters

Photo of fullsweep
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 mL green bottle poured into a glass tumbler.

A: Deep amber/yellow, bubbly head that dissipates quickly and leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Grassy/grainy with hints of bitterness and sweetness in the nose.

T: Much more enjoyable than many European pale lagers (e.g. Grolsch, Peroni, etc.) but still not a lot going on. What it has over these beers is a milder bitterness and less metallic flavour.

M: fairly typical of this style--carbonated, fizzy bite but not too overpowering.

O: I'd choose this over some other Euro pale lagers.

 536 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear golden straw colour, not much head and no lacing.

S - Mild grassy hops and some salty grains. Clean.

T - Surprisingly good. Lightly sweet with some hop presence. Grain and cut grass.

M - Clean and crisp, moderate to high carbonation, light body.

O - A very drinkable lager, a huge improvement on most macros.

 323 characters

Photo of ADR
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The first shrink-wrapped six pack of bottles I've seen...best before 12/2003...

Clear (chill-hazed) very pale straw color (almost greenish), soft 1/4 inch head on a hard pour and with good retention -- clings in some decent laces. Slight nutty malty nose, a scant amount of lemon grass. Malt begins the impression, again a slightly nutty pale caramel accompanies a skeletal body. finishes with a decently matched cedar-like hop. Not a bad beer at all, good balance, no trace of light-struck skunkiness, and only a slight bit of too much carbonation. Thanks to Thomas Liquors for a six pack that probably wasn't going to make it to the shelves.

 646 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Windhoek has a sunny golden-yellow complexion but its clarity is far from perfect; a faint haziness adheres to the beer like the filmy white skins between the layers of an onion. Despite its bubbles best efforts, all of the head that formed off the pour withers away to mere lace.

My first impression of Windhoek is that it must have been modeled after Heineken; the green glass is more than a mere marketing similarity, it makes for the same trademark skunkiness too. As I become more acquainted with it, however, notes of actual malt and an absence of adjunct reveal that this is far from a carbon copy - it's considerably nicer.

Namibia was formerly a German colony and, going by taste, seems to have adopted both their brewing style and proficiencies. This is a considerably crisp and quenching lager (especially for a light-stricken and stale dated sample). It drinks much like Germany's large-scale pilsners: clean, simple and light-bodied, minimally hopped, with a pale and pure maltiness.

And, neglecting the odd impression of corn syrup, is notably free of adjunct. The beer has an almost mineral water-like mouthfeel that feels as though it scrubs the palate to a sparkle each time it passes over the tongue. The maltiness is delicately sweet and does not linger at all. While certainly better cold, this lager has no unpleasantries to hide.

When we talk about beer few will ever even think to mention an African nation, but I truthfully thought Windhoek a better lager than a lot of European national brands - and that includes some of the world's brewing powerhouses. Namibia's beer, on the whole, may be nowhere near as good as that of, say, Holland or Denmark, but at least their main export isn't as bad.

 1,727 characters

Photo of instrumentality
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After several visits to my local African restaurant, I decided to be a good BA and at least try their regional beers. The most popular (and most expensive) was Tusker Lager from Kenya. Unfortunately, they were out of this one, so my remaining options were Castle Lager (South Africa) and Windhoek Lager (Namibia). On the recommendation of the waitress, I went with the latter.

I expected something along the lines of BMC. What I encountered was, while not a fantastic beer, considerably more enjoyable.

The bottle was stamped with a "Best Before" date of August 2006. Just made it, I guess.

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, this was your typical "fizzy yellow beer," full of happily ascending bubbles crashing into a foamy white head that stuck around for much of the journey into my belly.

The odor was relatively typical of a generic lager, malty and a bit doughy/biscuity.

The taste, too, was characterized by heavy malt (but not malt liquor heavy like some other imports), slightly tart, with a slight hoppy bitterness.

The mouthfeel was a bit fizzy, but the alcohol was almost unnoticeable and the aftertaste was gentle and malty.

Given that I can barely stand to drink BMC (never could, even when I was living on the cheap), I have to give this one some kudos for drinkability. The hops and other flavors are strong enough to give it a crisp bite to it (rather than just tasting like stale water), and the effect is a very refreshing and easy-to-drink beverage. I deliberately let it warm a bit just to test it, and it still wasn't half bad, but this is one I would recommend drinking cold.

 1,618 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.23/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

"Best by April 2010"

Downed a couple of cans of this in the Johannesburg airport September 2009. Pours a very pale grain color, almost whitish with little head. Smell is not very good - musty cereal grains similar to certain cheap BMC products. After a experiencing a poor aroma, I was surprised to find this as flavorful as it was. Ample lightly-toasted grain flavors with a little bitterness. Very biscuity. Mouthfeel was light-bodied and heavy on the carbonation with a sharp, dry finish.

Refreshing enough!

 535 characters

Photo of moulefrite
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Typical pale gold color and minimal head. The nose is that of grain, and husk. As the beer warms it picks up an odd aroma redolent of fried bologna. In the mouth the beer is all grain with some malt flavors adding a simple sweetness. I can't find much in the way of hopiness, but I will say the beer is easy to drink and doesn't have any nagging characteristics that offend the palate. I'd drink it at a ball-park in Namibia any old day....with a Hebrew National Hot Dog "works"!

 479 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Windhoek Lager from Namibia Breweries Limited
74 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.