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Foster's Special Bitter - Foster's Group Limited

Foster's Special BitterFoster's Special Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 2.87
pDev: 19.86%

Brewed by:
Foster's Group Limited visit their website

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UnionMade on 07-10-2001)
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 143 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FosterJM


2.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1002nd Review on BA
Can to Pint

No dating.

Not sure how my wife got this can and then ended up in my hand. Oh well. This thing could be old as shit. If that one dude can do Bud Light from the ocean I can do this, but here goes.

**So yeah, only 1/2 a glass from 1/2 a can. I couldnt do it**

App- Looks a bit like a mix of an ESB mixed with a DIPA but had a huge three finger long lasting head that leaves a ton of cling and stick.

Smell- Smells a lot like Taffy thats been melted and pulled and a bit like Malt of meal. Not in a bad way just the way it turned out. Oh well.

Taste- Its like a bad caramel apple mixed with a bit of astringent soapy water. I don't think my wife knew anything about this can before giving it to me other than Foster is our last name. Just way past it's prime with a pastey like rice taste to it.

Mouth- A light body and full carbed rice/soap/paper machet bomb.

Drink- Not again. I appreciate the wife's effort to give me a can of a namesake beer but man this was bad.

Serving type: can

12-22-2011 04:13:22 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ktrillionaire


2.03/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Overall, this incarnation of Foster's is pretty bad. The brew pours a bright golden hue and is capped with a short-lived fizzy head. Both the smell and flavor are astringent, grainy, alcoholic and fairly strong on metallic flavors. The feel is about on-par for an AAL, but this is supposed to be a bitter, so I'd expect a bit more tooth. I would not want another one of these.

Serving type: can

08-17-2011 00:43:19 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of NStLincoln


3.08/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very light amber color. The fact that Fosters admits to adding caramel color worries me.

Smells faintly of rice and corn. It's got some hops that are about a quarter mile away. Tiny bit of funkiness.

Tastes faintly of sweet bread and bitter but characterless hops .

Keep it cold and drink it on a summer day. Better than many of lager options at the same price point.

Serving type: can

05-08-2011 17:37:22 | More by NStLincoln
Photo of Wasatch


2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean/clear pale yellow color, nice carbonation, very nice white one-finger fizzy/foamy head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is sweet, malty, with some grain notes. The taste is sweet, kinda malty, grainy/ricy. Medium Body, with a not bad bitter finish. Not a bad brew, alot better than most American macros.

Serving type: can

04-16-2011 00:18:12 | More by Wasatch
Photo of BeerLover99


2.6/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: light yellow with hint of gold. big head that fades away.

S: very grainy with mild hops.

T: adjuct style in different can, tad more bitterness, but still very weak

M: watery, light body, leaves you thirsty, too much carbonation, not good aftertaste.

D: I think you get what you pay for and most Aussies I know, avoid this one. Don't bother.

Serving type: can

12-13-2010 23:41:32 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of hmk22

New York

2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had the "oil can" serving others have noted. This seems to be popular as a "jump start" large-serving beer -- they sell a lot of it at $2.50 at my commuter rail station for the ride home.

Nothing to outright hate about this so much as that there's not much to like...it seems to be trying to tread on its Aussie name/roots (it's brewed in TX now) to attract buyers with the promise of a refined brew, but it's really a caramel-color-added (admitted on the label) high ABV item.

First taste and aroma have a rotgut, alcohol-enhanced edge, and -- owing to the added color --the mouthfeel doesn't jibe with the appearance, so the whole thing just ends up feeling like a budget get-me-drunk-quick quaff. Heaven knows we've all been there, but I think we can all aspire to our better selves.

Serving type: can

09-26-2009 01:42:55 | More by hmk22
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok, this is my "go to" "work on the car" "lawnmower beer"....it goes down smooth, and does the job better than most when thirst is the primary concern...

A: Pale amber....ample head that fades fast with minimal lacing depending on temperature.

S: Little going on here...mild fruits and grains..a "clean beer" ajunct lager smell...

T: Best served very cold...this beer quenches thirst like no other....an oil can at 37 degrees with 90 degree outside temp is the most refreshing thing in the world. A thirst quencher, not a beer geek satisfyer...but a most satisfying one at that.

M: Not overly carbonated...drink it from the can...that it what it is is for.

D: Very drinkable but tiring after a few.

Serving type: can

06-10-2009 05:07:20 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.35/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Out of a big green oil can this beer was a perfectly clear amber color with good rising carbonation. The head was off-white, two-fingers, displayed average retention and the lacing quite good in broken fishnets. The aroma was semi-sweet, macro-malt and corn mash/grains. The flavors were more bitter than the aroma but ended a little more sweet with pale malt. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium/light and the carbonation medium/high.

Serving type: can

04-16-2009 01:12:33 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of ommegoose


2.1/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Foster's Special Bitter

Apparently 5.5% now, and brewed in the US in Fort Worth, TX and Athens, GA

Frustrating and messy pour out of the 750 ml jumbo can. Pours out a bright and clear copper color. Carmel color was added, according to the can. Due to the clumsy can, I had to pour fast, so a large head resulted. It didn't last for too long, but it did leave some lacing behind. Several visible carbonation streams.

This smells pretty rank. Like how low quality lagers smell, but more potent. It has a very musty, stale aroma of grain husks. Sour apple hints are about the best thing I can find. I will leave open the possibility that some things smell worse, so I will spare this the lowest rating.

The taste is not as spirit crushing, but I didn't find much enjoyment here. Metallic flavors sully the whole thing. There's the same musty grain quality in the malt as in the aroma. Very mild toasty flavors, but mostly butter (diacetyl). The hop profile seems about right for a bitter. It's got a little piney kick, and herbal notes. The finish is not all that bad, with a medium level of dryness and bitterness. If the metallic flavors and nasty grains were not so rough, this could have been a decent effort.

Slick, and on the light side. Low carbonation. No problems here.

Drinkability scores low for me, since I physically had a hard time pouring and drinking this beer. I'm sure I lost a couple ounces while pouring over the sink. And as stated above, there's little to like about it. The aftertaste was actually okay enough for me to get through the whole thing. I will be avoiding this one from now on. If I wanted a cheap and easy to find bitter, I'd get a Goose Island Honkers Ale. For those with no other choices for a bitter, this is may be worth a try.

Serving type: can

02-14-2009 00:53:36 | More by ommegoose
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

2.55/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz 'oil' can

L - nice clear amber color with a tall tan head that has staying power and leaves lots of lace.

S - sour mash/malt aroma

T - nothing special, sour/bitter malt taste

F - very light body, thin, watery mouthfeel

D - drinkability is low.

Serving type: can

11-25-2008 19:21:27 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of RedChrome


2.98/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored body in the glass. A off white inch high foamy head faded after about three minutes. Only a few carbonation bubbles occasionally rising to the top. Sticky lace patches.

Off balance plastic and malt with only a faintly noticeable presence of hops in the end of the nose full. Malt is very heavy on the gritty side, and has a husk note.

Flavor is bitter without any real hops presence. Malt is also a bit off balance. The flavors blend decently, but have a plastic flavor to them. Slightly overpowering yeast flavors.

A very watery beer on the surfaces. Carbonation is a bit overwhelming on the tongue.

Just average. Pair it with some hot dogs on a warm day. Nothing special, but it is an option in a style I like. I'd pass for some others out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 07:55:16 | More by RedChrome
Photo of Offa


3.55/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I actually rather like this and find it a lot better than the horribly sub-par Foster's lager.

Light copper, this has a very large, lasting off-white head and leaves some weak, sudsy lacing.

The aroma is light but definite malty grain, apple cider, and pine.

The taste is smooth, basic, but good "beer" taste, a little like a cross between an English ale and an American macro lager, light caramelly , faintly toasty, grain, hint of leafiness and grassiness. It has a solid grain aftertaste. Simple, mild, it has light sweetness and mild bitterness, but both are constant. It is a little watery. It's pleasant and rather drinkable, but nothing great.

Serving type: can

11-08-2008 07:13:30 | More by Offa
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a nice deep sunset orange with slight marzen highlights with an equally impressive soft, creamy light beige head that left a sticky, spongy splotchy lacing around the rim of the glass. Visible carbonation was light.

S: a moderate fresh flowery hop showing with dried orange skins and a light dry toasted malting.

T: For flavor there was a sour malting that hits up upfront with some stingy sourness, and wet hop leafs. Sour oranges, with a wishy-washy flavor and a horrible sour malt lacing with some bathroom cleaner and band-aid hints. Sour apple cider, sour fruit (melons, cantelope) with a noticeable acidity. After a promising appearance and fairly decent nose this sorely disappointed and was just bad overall flavor wise.

M: wishy-washy with a light carbonation and acidity with a sourness and medicinal lacing on the tongue. This is one beer you truly don't want resting on your tongue any longer then it has to.

D: Drinkability was pretty damn bad. Sour malting. nothing I would consider every again even on a dare.

Serving type: can

09-28-2008 13:21:51 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Haybeerman


2.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear, pale copper. Poured a thin, wispy white head that dissipated as it formed. Minimal lacing.

S: Light wet grain aroma. Gave way to musty spic aroma.

T: Light grains, slight caramel sweetness. Mild peppery hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable, but aftertaste began to wear on me.

Serving type: can

08-26-2008 22:36:02 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of Wetpaperbag


2.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark copper color with a very thick head. Which is surprising considering there is no activity in the glass itself.

S- There is a slight sweet fruit smell that is very faint. Then the adjuncts start to take over.

T- The very slight fruit flavor is there, but then it is just a watered down malt taste with the adjuncts.

M- Feels like beer in your mouth.

D- Easy to drink like what beer should.

Serving type: can

08-07-2008 06:25:43 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of kinger


2.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've always had a soft spot for beers that come in an "oil can", and Fosters is well known for this. I've had the Special Bitter a couple times in the past so I picked one up the other day for old times sake. Pours a dark copper color with a pencil thin head and average lacing. The aroma is slightly better than your average american macro-lager due to the bitter hops. Very thin mouthfeel followed by a rather simple disappointing flavor. The bitter hops give this beer a decent finish but there is no other flavor to this beer. Not a mistake to have one of these once in a while, but don't get too excited about it.

Serving type: can

07-30-2008 19:13:46 | More by kinger
Photo of giblet


3.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured very nice into the glass with about two inches of head. this settled to about one and a half inch and stayed. good carbonation. smells of grain and bread. decent taste with dry finish. must be some hint of hop there. lace is out of this world. decent and better than i expected.

suckem up and movem out.


Serving type: can

07-27-2008 21:35:56 | More by giblet
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz oil can into a shaker pint. My can says 5.5% ABV.

A - Pours out a clear golden amber with about a finger of off white head. Looks pretty nice.
A few rings of lace on the glass as well.

S - Really nothing at all on the nose.

T - Really an interesting mix here as first. Has some caramel malt flavor which gives way to a grainy flavor that almost reminds me of Foster's lager. It would be a nice mix, but there is a funky aftertaste that I can't place that is pretty foul.

M - Nice smooth feel, medium carbonation.

D - The aftertaste really kills what would otherwise be a decent brew.

Serving type: can

07-09-2008 02:29:03 | More by EStreet20
Photo of hooligan


2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours from a hunter green and gold Foster's "oil can" to a copper clear with a thick sudsy foam that "muffin tins" over the top of my Duvel tulip glass. Head dissipates quickly to a thick, clingy soapy residue. The color and "cotton candy" head remind me of Moosehead for some reason.

Nobel hops and coppery overtones in the nose, clean "catty" odor reminding me this is a Foster's beer, even if it's in a pretty green can and says "ale" on it.

Big fruity character upfront in the nose followed by a potent noble hop and stringent afterbite. Very clean leaving some slight bubblegummy yeast at the very end.

I won't say it's the best bitters, but it can sure wash down a pretzel or two. This use of the characteristic hops used in their lager was pleasant, but I can't say I like them much in an ale. However, I was very surprised at this offering from Foster's... a beer I normally associate with "hey, it's got two things going for it, it's beer, and it's big!".

This one is beer, big, and fairly good to drink with some friends. It's a good "Foster's" twist on the classic English bitter.

Serving type: can

07-05-2008 02:36:06 | More by hooligan
Photo of woodychandler


3.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foster's in a green CAN!?! Zounds!

My vigorous pour created a finger's worth of eggshell-white head with good retention. The color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was faintly bitter. The mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a light bitterness on the tongue. The finish was also mildly bitter, but nothing particularly special. Definitely NOT their lager, but not all that compelling, either. For the cost, it was definitely a bargain.

Serving type: can

07-05-2008 00:51:10 | More by woodychandler
Photo of DoubleJ


3.4/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If there was actual oil inside this 25.4 ounce oil can, it would be worth about 64 cents on the market. But since it's Foster's Bitter, its price is set at $1.99. On to the beer:

Clearish caramel color; on top sits a patchy head that leaves traces of lacing on the glass as it's consumed. There's a little diacteyl in the aroma, and not much else. The taste starts off with a boom of esters. The balance in this brew is good, and there are no off-flavors to be found. Somewhat buttery in feel and taste. There's a mild hop bitterness in the back of the palate, and it goes away quickly.

It may not really be Australian (mine was brewed in the US), but it's inexpensive, effective, and did a good job washing down a filet mignon dinner. Just don't chill the hell out of it.

Serving type: can

06-23-2008 02:47:47 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of gearkraft


2.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: A standard golden color with slight amber character. Average carbonation with light head.

S: A slight watery hint of grains that smells 'aged'. Nothing grand here.

T: I was a little disappointed really. A smooth and large bite of carbonation that hits with malts and falls to a copper-caramel taste. When the can said special bitter, I really wanted bitter: none here.

M: As far as mouthfeel goes, its slightly refreshing with a fast finish.

D: Well, the drinkability isnt high for me because it doesnt taste like anything fantastic or out of the ordinary. It makes me laugh because it says "Special Bitter" on the can, yet there is nothing special nor bitter about this beer. On the other hand, Im used to drinking dark and ultra bitter beers, but to the average american macro lager drinker, this might be bitter... Im not sure.

Clifsnotes: Not bitter, just boring and OK.

Serving type: can

06-20-2008 00:43:44 | More by gearkraft
Photo of armock

New York

2.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a light amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - It has a grainy malt scent similar to cheap American macros

T - The malt flavors come out good and a little sweet has a slight bitter hop finish

M - This is a medium bodied beer with a slightly higher level of carbonation to it

D - I'm a little bit on the fence about this beer its not a bad beer but it just doesn't live up to the other beers I've had from the same style

Serving type: can

06-16-2008 01:34:51 | More by armock
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml can into nonic pint glass. (In installments, of course.)

A - Clear amber with a huge 4 finger or more head. Took a while for it to settle into a chunky white cap, and eventually a decent thick film. Lots of lacing, more than most beers.

S - Slight caramel malt comes through with a weird metallic hop presence. General overtone of feet and smelly shoes.

T - A faint but noticable malt profile with slight sweetness, mostly akin to American macros. Hop bitterness comes in mid-palate with a citrus kick but finishes fairly clean with a bit of cereal and grain husk.

M - Thin but not watery and some moderate to high carbonation. The lack of carbonation makes this a strange beer texturally. The thinness coupled with the smidge of flavor really demands some carbonation to keep this brew interesting.

D - I wouldn't mind having a few of these over an evening. Not as bad as macro or light lager, perhaps in the upper ranks of the low end.

Serving type: can

06-06-2008 05:40:06 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of mynie


3.75/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My can lists the ABV at 5.5%.

Pours like an ESB--translucent offamber with a nice white head that doesn't stick around all that long but settles into a little white cap.

Smells of bland but decent English caramel malt against little bitter, mostly spicy European hops.

Tastes like very light fruit esters up front, moving quickly into spicy, lightly bitter euro hops. These give way to a more bitter hop node and then some adjuncty tasting grain the back. Not bad at all.

Serving type: can

05-03-2008 20:55:45 | More by mynie
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Foster's Special Bitter from Foster's Group Limited
68 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.