Lhasa Beer | Tibet Lhasa Brewery Co.

50 Reviews
Lhasa BeerLhasa Beer

Brewed by:
Tibet Lhasa Brewery Co.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed w/ barley native to the Tibetan plateau and Saaz hops. http://www.lhasabeerusa.com

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-05-2009

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 78
Photo of dchobbs
4.23/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bought at Spec's in NW Houston. Poured into pint glass. First off...beer was almost 23 months old, so it had some pretty odd things going on.

A - very very cloudy. Despite the long age, head rentention and appearance were creamy color and acceptable for a lager.

S - intriguing is a good way to put it. The malt had a very earthy smell of wild cereals and bamboo. Yes bamboo. Yeast was very mild, as was hops.

T - for a lager, I thought it was great. Surprisingly, not skunky, though if you hold an empty bottle in your hand it has the weight of 2 Miller Lite/Bud Light bottles. First impression is of wild vegetation from the hops (feint), cereal from the malt, and a yeast that provides slight spice/character through an entire sip. Actually, really really great for a lager.

M - very dry, good carbonation, but a bit light for a European-style lager.

O - Very drinkable, very interesting, very fun. For the $3.99 I paid for a six pack, this was an excellent beer...at $7.99 or 8.99 I might have been more critical.

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Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden colored beer with a good sized white head.

Noble hops and very herbal, this has a strong hop load for a regular lager, much more like a pilsner. Strong Saaz scent lots of grass and hat with a streak of saffron in it. Spicy to the nose this is a much better beer that I was expecting.

Starts out spicy and grassy on the tongue with a stout bitterness to it. Strong Saaz flavor herbal and grassy with a sharp bitter bite. Mostly this is dry but there is a bit of pilsner malt detectable.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very good drinkability and a lot better than I expected. This is in the wrong classification, this is a pilsner.

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Photo of LOM718
4.22/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a slight white head - almost a wheat-like appearance

Smells of honey and fresh grains

Mostly malt flavors, honey, light crisp fruit

Light, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel

Definitely a beer I could sit and drink

I was very surprised by the flavors of this beer. I was not expecting much, but was met with a lot of flavor (the honey notes really hit me). I like it and think it makes a great sipper or session beer!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #32 (Sep 2009):

"Imported from the Roof of the World"--there is a lot of truth in their marketing, as this beer is brewed at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level.

Sweet malt aroma has a shortbread-like quality, and the hops throw a bit of spice into the nose. Very clean and grassy, the 30-percent use of huskless Tibetan barley gives it a unique grainy flavor with earthy complexities. Relatively dry throughout. Light on the hops, it would have been extra nice to see a bit more spicing and bitterness from the Saaz, but everything is still in balance. Not much in the aftertaste ... clean, clean and clean.

Asian Lagers tend to get a bad rap as they usually come from a similar mold, but Lhasa is a huge exception, as it brings back some excitement to the world of lagers.

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Photo of titusgroan
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this one is growing on me - first time i had it i was not a fan but something about it keeps pulling me back. First off the bottle it comes is in super thick and heavy - great to keep around if you homebrew. for this review i poured this been in a 16oz glass. poured a cloudy yellow with lots of head and a very bubbly body. the foam settled pretty quickly but the carbonation kept jumping. a deep honey smell jump out of the glass. honey light malt and light spicy hops from first swig... goes down slightly sweet and flavor sticks around. delicious.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.13/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very colorful and interesting label give this beer a good presentation. Pours a light yellow color with a thick cap of white foam. Retention is quite nice and leaves some good lacing on the glass.

Nose is light and grainy with a bit of a floral hop aroma. Very clean, fresh smelling beer...certainly no flaws detectable in the smell.

What's this? Some hops in my pale lager? Surprisingly good, quasi-pilnerish. Malts are oh so light and airy they are almost non-existent, could use a bit of a bump in body. Extremely refreshing and clean beer with a nice hop presence. Pretty damn tasty, easily the best Euro pale lager I have had to date.

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Photo of Offa
3.87/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good, solid, pale lager with a decent amount of character, slightly different from the norm.

Straw yellow, it has a small white head soon thinning to a ring.

Aroma is grain, hints of mineral, yeasty bread dough, herbs (with a hint of good Czech/German character), and some veggie.

Taste is dryish with light leafy-spicy-lemony hop bitterness that just dominates form start to finish. It is lightly sweet yeasty dough and grain underneath. Compared to other standard pale lagers, it is dryer, more yeasty, and has a more spicy-lemony hop character. Fell is pretty good, drinkability high.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

A: Bright pale yellow body topped with huge fluffy white pillows of head that have fantastic staying power and leave behind thick lacing and rocky cover.

S: Grassy, sweet, and spicy. Not your typical Euro Pale Lager... this one has a backbone.

T: Lightly sweet with hints of spicy hops up front, and a fading spice character throughout lingering until the next drink. Again, clearly a step above the typical mass produced versions of the style. Really clean flavor, but could use a tad more hopping.

M: Light body and heavy carbonation. Typical crisp finish.

O: Really very good in its own right, and even better considering the style. Easy drinking, but has a flavor... more than can be said for many from this style.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.82/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is toasty grainy malty with bright herbal, floral hops. Smells good.

Pours clear pale gold with mild head. Looks pretty good.

Fairly clean lager taste with good bit of Noble hops providing an herbal pungent tartness, bitterness, and dryness. Toasty malt. Very mild sweetness. Soft suggestions of fruit and alcohol. Soft metallic offtaste. Tastes good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

A good solid lager.

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Photo of elniko
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up single at Kegs and Barrels. Poured from bottle to pint glass. Bottle marked with 2009 date.

A: Standard pale lager coloring, head minimal but nice lacing apparent. Carbonation relatively low. Average looking lager.

S: Sweet grainy notes with a little spiciness from the hops apparent as well. Solid.

T & M: Wow, I am pretty surprised by this brew. Has some definite pilsener qualities. The Saaz hop profile is fairly apparent. Finish has some sweet qualities, very nicely balanced. Pretty full bodied for a lager as well.

D: This is a really good lager, I'm very impressed and will seeking out again.

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Photo of GMB
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bottle of Lhasa Beer announces that it has been imported from the roof of the world.

The beer's body is light golden amber and slightly hazy. The pour fails to produce a head. So does a rigorous swirl at the half-way point. The very slight haziness probably indicates the presence of yeast residue.

The faint nose offers few clues as to the beer's flavor profile. The bottle lists Tibetan barley, Saaz hops, yeast, and "pure Himalayan spring water" as the beer's ingredients. On the basis of this and the beer's appearance, one can expect a mild, spicy flavor from the hops, a crispness from the water, and some complex undertones from the yeast.

The first sip delivers all this and more. The light, sweet malt nicely carries the mild spiciness of the Saaz hops. The yeast contributes flavors of green apple and perhaps a hint of lemon, which beautifully complement the sweet malt and provide a unique and absorbing counterpoint to the mildly peppery hops.

The least appealing aspect of the beer is its feel in the mouth. For the third time, vigorous movement fails to produce any foam to speak of. Alas!

Lhasa Beer does what all good pale lagers and pilsners do: it manages to be both crisp and complex. It perfectly balances sweet, aromatic, and sour flavors, and in doing so distinguishes itself from other beers of its kind. Delicious.

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Photo of phillipzayas
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very, very light appearance. Extremely clear. Not very good head retention at all.

S - Very nice. Sweet. Kind of reminded me of a Pilner Urquell a little bit. Maybe actually more of a King Fisher style aroma. I like it a lot. Very different than most beers of this style.

T - AHHhhh. Great. Sweet. Flavor primarily derived from the malts. Picked up some spicyness from the hops, but not a lot. Almost started to taste very cider-ish towards the end as the flavor stayed on the tongue longer.

M - Nice carbonation levels. Crisp feel on the tongue. Not a dry beer. VERY LOW BODY, which is kind of a negative for this beer.

This beer reminds me of something that you could enjoy quite well on a hot summer day while riding a lawnmower. Or you can bring it out on a fishing trip or something like that. Good for a BBQ. Probably would pair quite well with spicey foods

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chickencoop for this bottle
Appearance is clear pale yellow with an off white head that falls to a skim. The smell is of nice delicate sweet malt with a light hop bitterness noticeable. Also a slight fruitiness. The taste pretty much follows the smell. The fruitiness is a little more pronounced. Dry slightly bitter aftertaste. Pretty tasty.
Mouthfeel is quite nice. Body is on the heavy side of light with a slight oily feel. Active carbonation - pretty smooth.
Overall I was pretty happy with this lager. Very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark golden/yellow with a medium head that fades in a couple minutes.

S: The smell is very grassy and earthy. There is also a hint of smokiness to it.

T: The taste is also earthy. It leaves a strong buttery taste as well.

M: Due to the buttery taste of the finish, it feels somewhat thick. It is medium carbonated with a moderate tingly feeling.

D: This was a fine beer with a unique taste. It is a great asian lager.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A fizzy pour with a finger and half of head on a hazy, light straw colored body.
The aroma is nice. Honey and floral for the most part.
The taste is grainy with mild bitterness and a touch of honey sweetness.
A soft texture with moderate carbonation and medium body.
It's a euro pale lager unlike any I've had. Quite aromatic and good flavor.

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Photo of popery
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting Lhasa to be your average crappy lager, but it's actually pretty good. It seems like an entirely decent pilsner. It pours your standard very pale yellow, but it has a nice rocky, white head that leaves some lacing. The aroma is rather hoppy - all Saaz grassy bite - with some light yeast and pale malt aromas. There's a very mild vegetal note, but nothing too bad. Happily, the flavor is quite dry and ends with some good grass hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, light and well-carbonated. There's even a bit of hop oiliness. A very refreshing beer and a big step up from most popular pale lagers.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pale golden/straw yellow with good carbonation and a finger of fluffy white head.

S- Nose is pretty simple, a bready, light pale malt aroma with some hops that suggest just a little bit of citrus and spice.

T- The malts are pretty great here, there's some bready/biscuity that gives it a nice texture, also lots of grain. Hops are pretty subdued and are mostly grassy with a bit of citrus.

M- Light to medium bodied, good carbonation, clean and dry finish.

O- A well rounded, highly highly drinkable pale lager. This isn't my favorite style of beer, but for a pale lager it's actually pretty damn good, I would definitely choose this over any of the domestic macro pale lagers any day. This brew is definitely worth a try if you're looking for a simple, easy drinking beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, that label on the bottle looks more from the folks of Confucious than the Dalai Lama. Also, they drink beer in Lhasa? Here we go with a 12 ounce bottle. On to the beer:

Pours golden straw in color, it looks pale gold in the glass. The head on top is semi-soapy, showing solid retention and a little lacing. Inoffensive and somewhat clean in the nose. There is a little sweet barley to small, also some grassy and floral notes. So far, it's much better than expected.

I haven't grimmaced once since taking a few sips of this Tibetian beer. The flavor is fine, and without any of those off-flavors too common in mass-produced lager. There's a kiss of honey and a little malt sweetness. Leafy hop is present in the backdrop, and it continues to show up into the aftertaste. Slightly crisp in the mouth, otherwise it's easy in the mouth. All this is a prelude to a beer that is easy to drink on.

Show of hands: who though Tibetians could brew good lager? A pleasant surprise from Tibet, let alone the Far East. However, one may be dissapointed to know that, despite being brewed at 11,400 feet, Lhasa Beer isn't the highest brewed beer in the world, you'll need to find a Paceña for that claim.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.64/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, great label,

A: Pours pale gold, with a soft white head, some lace.

S: Nice hoppy Saaz and pale malt, hint of broccoli.

T: Good malt flavour as a base. The hops are pils like in style and strength. Spicy Saaz with notes of peas and salad greens is the best I can put it, but this is not a bad vegetable flavour. Gets real green at times. Nice to have a Euro pale with this level of complexity.

M: Smooth, with crisp carbonation. Light-bodied, pretty long aftertaste, especially for the style with the taste of hops lingering.

D: Seeing a beer from Tibet was cool, and I had to pick it up for that reason. One of most interesting "continental" pale lagers I've had and worth it for that reason. Not completely delicious, but a beer to think about.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium golden in color, with a modest white head, which retains fairly well. The lacing is, surprisingly, Belgian-like. The carbonation is slight.

Aroma: Moderate noble hop presence, with some bread or cracker malt, almost like an understated Pilsener.

Taste: A pleasant and fairly robust noble hop presence pens the taste, again somewhat like a Pilsener. Moderately toasted malt throughout, like biscuit, or a lightly toasted bread. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness, which manages to linger on.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, just a touch thin.

Drinkability/notes: A surprisingly decent example. I began with modest expectations of this beer, but those expectation were greatly exceeded. Certainly woth a try.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a moderate head that sticks around as a thick ring. Smells relatively clean, with no adjuncts, and a light, slightly grainy sweetness. The taste isn't bad at all, with a grainy core, some floral hops that have enough bitterness to eclipse any sweetness, and a relatively long finish. Slightly chewy, but ultimately a fairly satisfying beer. The fact that it's all malt makes all of the difference.

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Photo of towersfall
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale yellow that had a quickly dissipating snow white head. Very well carbonated. Surprisingly leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell - Caught a slightly hoppy mostly malty lager smell. Nothing impressive.

Taste - The slight hop smell reflects in the tasting of this beer. Crisp and light, it refreshes you in a way that is ideal for a summer time party. I actually feel it's a little too light and needs more of a heavy feel to balance the beer out.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with a dry finish.

Drinkability - I could knock these back all day! It's not a phenomenal beer. Nothing groundbreaking, but it's a solid beer for when you just wanna gather up your friends and drink.

Overall while I was not too impressed with this beer, I will most certainly visit it again when I just want a beer. Nothing crazy and filled with tons of different flavors, just a beer.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with a modest head and light lacing in a pint glass.

Light hop aroma with spices and equal part sweet malt.

Clean and crisp as expected. Hops are a bit sharp as is the sweetness. This beer oddly had no finish.

No discernible alcohol. Light carbonation and a medium body.

Lhasa is a fine, light flavored beer to be consumed with food, but adds little to the overall experience. Given this style, Lhasa is clearly on the higher end of my experiences. I enjoyed it with friends on a relaxing afternoon.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow-gold pale lager color. Raw honey, grain, and corn aroma. The taste actually has an indication of beer ingredients. Shockingly enough. More corn taste but the hops are detectable and a light malt sweetness. Not much else. It's beer. I like it more than some, but less than others.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Monterey. Said it won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Championships.

Light appearance, yellow, great carbonation, head the developed wasn't much, but was long lasting. Aroma was inconsequential.

Had a good amount of taste for style, almost pepperish spice, like from Saaz or Munich hops. Maybe both. Really a flavorful lager. Just the right amount of sweetness. Would totally recommend one of these for your girlfriend if she's cute.

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Lhasa Beer from Tibet Lhasa Brewery Co.
3.34 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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