1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Castle Lager - South African Breweries plc

Not Rated.
Castle LagerCastle Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 2.48
pDev: 23.79%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
South African Breweries plc visit their website
South Africa

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 93 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fisherman34
2.58/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Canned sample. Straw gold in colour with high carbonation. Aromas are of sweet pale malt, and a little bit of herbal German noble hop. The flavors are of very lightly toasted grains, minerals, Golden Deliscious applem and a bit of cherry pit. Watery body. Overall, it tastes like a low end European macro pils, but at least it finishes fairly clean and didn’t taste like corn.

Photo of funkengruven
3.5/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a very pale yellow with a half inch head that sits nicely on top. Smell is slightly metallic, a little corny, but not awful. This stuff is slightly sweet, a little corny, a slight hint of barley malt. The combination is not disgusting at all like some other adjunct macro brews, This one is actually not too bad. Fairly smooth and pretty easy to drink too.

This is not a compex brew, it doesn't pretend to be, and it doesn't have to be. It's actually pretty good for what it is.

Photo of ernie
2.66/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright yellow color with orange spark. Medium carbonation, big white head.

Aroma sweetish, like from a fresh-opened can with corn kernels.

Srart creamy, malty, uninspiring. Body medium, rounded, a bit oily, with lots of malt and abovementioned kernels and just a hint of hops. Finish grainy, sweetish. Almost no aftertaste.

Castle used to be a very acceptable and drinkable beer in the beginning of 90s. Not anymore. That's how far the mighty have fallen...

Photo of hunteraw
2.13/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Spent the last three weeks in South Africa and had quite a few of these - the most widely distributed beer in SA by far.

Pours with a big head, a wet straw (almost orange tinted) color, some lacing... Cans seem extra heavy in South Africa, almost universally - I kept thinking there was some more left in the bottom.

Aroma is of corn (it's listed as the second ingredient on the label), with a bit of alcohol present too...

Taste isn't anything to write home about. Slightly astringent, bitterness is harsh, a mild malt sweetness. I have to say it grew on me, though, the bottle I had the next day wasn't quite as bad.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, which fits for the style, very thin... I don't think it finishes particularly well either.

Drinkability is low! Not the worst beer I had in South Africa, but close. In my experience, it tasted better out of a bottle, but I don't know how universal that might prove. Windhoek is almost as widely available and much better - if you're in South Africa, I'd suggest choosing it over Castle at every opportunity.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a bright, egg shell white that leaves a film on top of the brew. Color is a bright hay mixed with pale yellows. Some small lacing intermingled.

Smell- A little tinny with some light grainy aromas and cut grass thats been laying in the hot sun too long.

Taste- A little tart bitterness mixed with almost nonexistent malt sweetness. Water, dry hops, and crappy malts. Taste the way my high school gym locker smelled.

Mouthfeel- Tart, tangy, alkaline, but it leaves the palate quickly.

Photo of BDTyre
2.66/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh.... Looks okay, but smells foul. Tinny, skunky smell with only trace malt sweetness and hop bite. Corn mash hints. They even list "maize" on the ingredients.

Taste is almost as bad. Corn mash, grass and a little bit of malt. Can taste, and an acid overtone. (Maybe that's just because I'm quite parched).

Okay mouthfeel, decent drinkability.

Photo of Drew966
2.13/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Castle Lager pours a typical macro yellow with a small fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells like adjunct. Tastes like adjunct and maybe a little bit of malt. Not particularly good. Definitely not worth spending more than you would on an American macro.

Photo of CrazyMike
3.32/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't mind this beer at all, the taste is refreshing, smooth and sharp. A bit sweet. Leaves a nice dry aftertaste.

Does not contain the same chemical-like you get with most popular Macro Lagers and overall better taste..

Appearance, meh, yellow. The smell was a bit sweet and hoppy. An overall solid beer, would recommend.

Photo of Viggo
1.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow/gold, big fluffy white head, some decent lacing and retention. Smell is almost non existant. Some sweet maltiness, little bit of citrus and floral, maybe some vanilla. Doesn't really taste like anything. Little bit of malt, some iron flavour but otherwise completely devoid. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Completely tasteless, but as refreshing as water.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.86/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lightly dusted medium gold with a paltry amount of carbonation leading up to a respectable looking off-white head. The cap has some character and sticks around longer than the style average. It doesn't stick to the glass as well as it might, though. This is an average looking beer at best.

The nose is unimpressive. It smells primarily of grain that isn't sun-ripened fresh, nor is it old and musty. It just... is. It also has a pervasive mineralness (hard water?) that is in no way metallic. If the aroma is any guide, Castle Lager will be unappealing on the palate. So far, it's completely devoid of pizzazz.

Unfortunately, this is a worse than the run-of-the-mill macro lager. We've now escaped the realm of lacking in good qualities, to enter the realm of possessing bad qualities. The stale grain flavor that is a major part of many (actual) American macro lagers is in full flower. So much so that I'd have a hard time distinguishing this beer from some of the best sellers from this country.

South African Breweries boasts of using 'sun ripened South African maize'. While that might sound poetic, it doesn't make for good beer. Actually, a little more corny sweetness would help to cut the bland flavor and modest bitterness that is currently boring my taste buds to tears (the better to wash away the watery dreck that I keep flooding them with).

Speaking of watery and lackluster, welcome to the mouthfeel. I've had worse, but not much worse. More bubbles might have given more mouth interest. Then again, they might have simply turned bad beer into fizzy bad beer.

The label contains the words 'the taste that's stood the test of time'. I beg to differ. Castle Lager's taste can't stand up to anything even remotely resembling good beer. It possesses all of the worst characteristics of its style and isn't worth my time, your time or anyone else's time.

Photo of jayc333
2.4/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden yellow with a 3-finger white head. Head vanishes slowly, leaving behind generous lacing. Tiny bubbles rose throughout, and looked very inviting.

Herbal grassy/leafy aroma. Pleasant, ad quite strong.

Dank, metallic taste. Not pleasant at all.

Thin, smooth mouthfeel, with decent carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. Not recommended.

Photo of UncleFlip
2.13/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to a certian un-named beer distributor for slipping me this bottle and many others. He provides beer, the disappears before he's seen. We'll just call him Happy Beer Elf.

HBE left me this bottle, knowing it was a beer I hadn't tried. I'm happy to have had it, but maybe Happy Beer Elf should go back to the stouts he's left me before.

The appearance isn't much darker than water coming out of the bottle. It looks much like a BMC_ nice and cler and light, with a white foamy head, leaving little to no lace behind.

Smell gets low numbers because it doesn;t really have any. There's just a hint of spiciness and a faint glimmer of hops, but nothing else.

The flavour is sort of like a rounder, fuller BMC, with less edge. There's just a SLIGHT spicines on the back of the tongue, but other than that, it's all typical adjunct lager.

Mouthfeel is all tight carbonation up front, then a medium to thin liquid emerging out of it.

I give it average drinakbilty because it would be easy to pound these down on a hot day, but it would be equally as easy to lose interest in it.

I wouldn't be broken up if I never have this one again (that's the way I feel about just about all the African beers I've had)- but I'm happy to have had the experience. Thanks, Happy Beer Elf!

Be well

Photo of Bonhoeffer
2.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eh. Typical. Smell was decent, with some actual grassy hop aroma being evident. First sip matched well with the expectations created by the aroma. But then the thing completely fell apart. Only the first sip had actual flavor. It was like something in there anesthetized my taste buds and the entire rest of the glass was utterly bland and forgettable. And this was my first beer of the evening.

Won't bother with it again.

Photo of Sammy
2.23/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nothing to look at, don't smell it, overly carbonated, some malts, drinkable in place of pop on a hot summer night. When I say metallic, that's its best quality.

Honest, I would not have bought it unless there was no beer left in the house and this was it, and I was stuck and thirsty in South Africa. It was a gift from a South African. Of course he bought it at the LCBO where pale lagers reside. I know South Africa can do better (at least a bit)than this.

Photo of Dogbrick
1.98/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another country, another non-descript Lager. Pale golden color with tiny bubbles and a thin white head that was gone in the blink of an eye. No lacing apparent. Sweet aroma. Light-bodied with vague sweetcorn and malt flavoring. The finish is short with musty hops. Needless to say I won’t bother getting this again.

Photo of Toddv29424
2.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very interesting, and apparently very popular in South Africa. Pours a traditional golden yellow color with a slight smell of hops. The taste is unique, and has a very pungent first taste with no aftertaste. It starts like a deluge of hops and burnt malt then finishes with lots of water. Great for a BBQ or a time socializing with friends, not necessarily for just sipping.

Photo of pootz
1.73/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a pale gold...smallish white cap that dissipates quickly. Lottsa gas in this baby! Nose: well there is none to speak of...light smell of wet paste board like the near-beers. Took a gulp and got a big mouthfull of reeking corn water...that’s all....sink pour for the rest of this ...how do you say "hog faeces" in South African?

Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 10.14.04. Pours gold with a tiny white head that dissipates quickly. Apples and sweet malt dominate the aroma, although it is very bland smelling. Hoppy start with a mellow bread flavor that finishes off this below average brew. Light and fizzy palate, and somewhat spicy yet sort of drinkable.

Photo of Zorro
2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

GAH! I paid $2 for one bottle of this Crap!

Pours a clear urine yellow color with no head.

Smell is a little sour and corny.

Taste is bland corn and a little bit of lemon tartness.

Mouthfeel is THIN.

Drinkable but I can't help thinking I paid 4 times too much for a bottle of Budweiser! Thin mass-produced American beer clone NOT WORTH THE MONEY!

Photo of tatterdash
3.3/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden yellow with a fizzy white head that dissipates rather quickly, but never completely goes away. Smell was faint, a bit of malt, some sweet smell as well. Taste was primarily hops with a nice bitter finish, there was something else in the taste, not sure what as I am not familar with adjuncts as I don't drink them often, maybe it's corn. Mouthfeel was thin but not overly carbonated. Overall not a terrible beer, inexpensive, but I prefer other lagers more.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.04/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This South African macro pours a pale gold color with excellent head retention and large swathes of lace. The aroma is of sweet corn and thin barley malts. The taste is of light malts and some adjunct character. Some flowery hops and a saltiness become evident in the finish. The is a full bodied example of an adjunct lager. Its like a concentrated version of Canadian or Blue, even better than that.

Photo of GClarkage
2.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Consumed in October 2004 in a 12 oz bottle purchased at a beer and wine specialty store in Palo Alto, CA. Poured a yellow gold pee color with the slightest of head and zero lace. Smelled of grain and corn. Tasted like a decent Bud. And even a decent Bud is bad. It was fairly easy to drink. I would drink it over Bud in a minute, but that's not saying a whole lot. I would take a Tusker in a milisecond over Castle. I remember really liking Tusker and want to try it again so I can review it. I think they brewed Castle using the water in the moat....

Photo of stoutman
3/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light hop aroma, no malt. A bit of sweetness and really not that good. Pale dull yellow clear with foamy white head. Watery with med-light carbonation. Starts with a light sweetness and mild acidity finishes with a bit of grain taste and alcohol, light hops, corn. This is an unexciting, standard pale lager with a bit of extra hops.

Photo of canucklehead
2.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is the South African grass mowing beer that has corn adjunct written all over its pale gold face. I can drink this beer is it offered me but why would I pay import prices for a sweet lager that has no character. This is the SA equivelent of Foster's and I would rather have a Canadian than drink this beer.

Photo of Ilacquin
2.2/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a straw yellow, no head to speak of and very little aroma, not very suprising.

Flavor was bland, with nothing in the malt or hop profile to really stand out. Fairly average swill, slightly better than it's "lite" counterpart.

Other than it's high drinkability, there is nothing about this beer that I would recommend.

Castle Lager from South African Breweries plc
61 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.