Beerlao Lager | Lao Brewery Co.

119 Reviews
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Beerlao LagerBeerlao Lager

Brewed by:
Lao Brewery Co.

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Beerlao is brewed from the best local rice and overseas high quality malt giving it a unique taste. Beerlao was launched in 1973 and has become the best selling and leading brand in Laos. It was also awarded gold medals by various international competitions. Beerlao is one of the most successful exports and is currently available in 13 countries worldwide.

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-01-2003

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 239
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

5% ABV per the label.

Pours a hazy yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet malt, grain, and corn flake aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, grain, grass, fruit, and metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is drinkable for what it is, but the aromas are pretty much like any other mass market lager out there.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of metter98
2.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear light straw yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose.
T: The overall taste has a slight bit of sweetness with flavors of corn and rice as well as a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied (but not watery) and somewhat clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather drinkable but nothing really stands out about the taste that would want to make me want to try this again.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml stubby-esque bottle, a nice single grab from Zyn in Cowtown.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden straw colour, with two fingers of puffy, billowy, and somewhat creamy eggshell white head, which recedes rather slowly, doing a pretty good meringue pie topping impression in the meantime, leaving a few random swaths of chunky lace around the glass.

It smells of sweet bready malt, rice pudding, a bit of mild spicy citrus, a touch of metallic flintiness, and soft grassy, floral hops. The taste is quite consistent with the aroma, with a soft bread-dough like malt character, a steady rice patty grainy sweetness, all accented by some increasingly weedy, grassy hops. I also get a sugary medicinal twinge - subtle, but it is indeed there.

The carbonation is fairly sedate, barely a frothy tic manifesting as such, the body a tremulous medium weight, and generally smooth, and damned-near creamy, if only in an airy sense, but still, WTF? It finishes still semi-sweet and bready, rice and grain alike, with an understated, nondescript dryness, that apparently does its job well enough, in the grand scheme of things.

Well, for a lager from one of the tropical countries, one doesn't expect much more than a pale watery thirst quencher, whose headiest attribute is its lack of distance from the nearest fridge. This offering, on the other hand, is stamped from a slightly different press - it possesses a decent malt component, balanced by an adequate, if not overly evident, dryness. I could easily have another of this, given the right conditions.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

11.6 oz brown bottle purchased at a Tops supermarket in Thailand.

Light and malty but always pleasant - never too sweet. Balanced and enjoyable, with a refreshing taste.

Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, slightly overcarbonated.



640ml bottle @ LaoLao Garden in Luang Prabang.

Ludicrously drinkable, but it has sufficient body and a pleasant fresh pale malt taste. I find no overt rice notes, which is probably testament to the beer's quality; it has none if the thinness and cheap sweet flavour found in many rice lagers.

It does lean a bit too heavy on the malt sweetness, but it's forgivable and doesn't affect drinkability too much.

Easily preferable to every Thai beer currently produced as well as most Vietnamese lagers. Beerlao is a highly drinkable faultless Southeast Asian rice lager with more body and balance than most. My beer of choice when in the region, though relatively uncommon in smaller Thai and Vietnamese towns. That said, it still can't compete with good international (read: Western) expressions of the style.


07.04.16 further reflections from another bottle in Laos (though this is also available in 330ish ml cans).

A hint of perfumey jasmine helps set this apart. There's a blip of graininess in the third act, which shifts the beer out of its malt sweetness nicely.

Its softness on the palate is a key strength, and a nice change from the sharply overcarbonated texture usually observed in regional brews. Light to medium-bodied, yet nevertheless refreshing.

No diacetyl, metallic flavour, or other faults.


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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beerlao Lager pours a mostly clear deep-gold body beneath a finger-thick head of frothy bright white foam. The head retention is good and it leaves rings of craggy lace about the glass with each sip. It's got a great appearance, particularly given the style, but that's all it really has to offer.

In the aroma it displays a husky graininess that implies it was sparged at too high a temperature, and that some astringency will be found in the flavor.

That turns out to be the case, and it displays a sharp, somewhat acidic and harshly bitter generic "beer" flavor. The malt is present, and a bit husky as anticipated, and it's just barely sweet. Hops hardly appear across the palate, although there are some grassy notes in the rather unpleasant and lingering acidic, bitter, and astringent finish.

Badly flawed. To be avoided.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.31/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale yellow color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light malts, some adjuncts and little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with some honey and light malt sweetness, followed by some breadiness from the thin malt character and lager yeast. The hops presence is very mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not a beer I would drink too much of unless my choices were very limited.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours crystal clear pale golden yellow with a finger tall fizzy white head. The head reduces slightly but there is quite a bit of head retention over the course of the beer (about 50%). There is moderate amounts of visible carbonation. Moderate amounts of lacing are present.

S: There is not a heck of a lot of aroma to this beer but what I do detect is malts, grassy hops, a touch of rice or grain, and just a hint of skunkiness.

T: The flavor is primarily malty (light and bready) with hints of sweetness as if from honey. Some grassy hops are present and there is a nice touch of bitterness in the finish to help balance the sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation - slightly on the thin/watery side, better mouthfeel while it is colder. This beer has a rather crisp finish.

O: I was surprised, I was not expecting the beer to be quite as refreshing as it was due to the average score. I found the beer to be quite refreshing and easy to drink. While I might not run out to get this frequently, I certainly would not turn it down (and I consider myself to be a bit of a beer snob). This would pair nicely with real spicy foods - in fact I wish I had some to go with this beer tonight.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.31/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a smallish, white head.

Smell: Light pale maltiness with a distant, displeasing staleness. Don't you dare do this to me, Beer Lao.

Taste: Light pale malts and rice with a light cereal sweetness. Slight stale quality throughout. Minor hop character and bitterness. And that's really about it till the "Himilayan spring water" watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, a tad watery. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A beer to not only unite an entire nation of peoples but also to supremely represent a country that traces its ancient origins all the way back to the Kingdom of Lan Xang -- Land of a Million Elephants. Man, that's a pretty tall order, but as Laos is a relatively impoverished and oppressed place, I'd say Beer Lao really fits the bill.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellowish gold with a good sized head of cotton white thanks to a high altitude pour. A pretty nice look, all things considered. Its appearance is superior to the two light macro lagers that I tasted during a recent head-to-head smackdown. The cap maintains some firmness as it falls and streaks the glass with vertical rivulets of thin, sudsy froth.

Standard macro lager nose of (more) sweet (than most) grain and perhaps a touch of hops. Beer Lao doesn't smell all that bad and I might even say that it's rather pleasant in a low expectations kind of way. There are no off-aromas of any kind; always a good thing.

'Tutti-frutti' came to mind as I assessed the nose, but I thought I was hallucinating. The beer tastes just like it smells and I'll be damned if it doesn't taste 'tutti-frutti' as well. I'm not sure that I could take much more than one bottle since the candyish flavor would undoubtedly wear pretty thin after a while. It isn't sweet like candy (though it is somewhat sweet, for beer). That description seems pretty unsatisfactory on re-reading, but it'll have to do. And it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.

The flavor doesn't degrade within each mouthful, nor does it change all that much from beer entry to beer exit. As well, it doesn't seems to be worsening with warming (a minor miracle). The mouthfeel is light, but nowhere near watery, and contains an enlivening amount of carbonation.

Beer Lao was something of a surprise. It's definitely different from anything that I've had before and is pretty okay, though offbeat. I'll order it in a heartbeat if I ever find myself in a Laotian restaurant. Strangely enough, I was recently given directions to the favorite Laotian restaurant of a Laotian acquaintance of mine. Perhaps I'll pop in some evening and see if Beer Lao is on the menu.

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Photo of smcolw
2.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Gold color and clear. Little head and no lace.

Grainy corn macro aroma. Some stew to the nose.

Lots of corn to the taste. I give some credit for the presence of hops thin body and elevated carbonation.

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Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another of the massive delivery courtesy of local beer trader, Tone77, who seems to keep me plied with bottles from every inch of the globe.

I decided to just dive right in with my pour and get the party started. I got two-plus foamy fingers of bone-white head and it looked like Fluf atop the beer. Color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity and I knew that I was not going to be winning any points in Greg Koch's eyes by drinking it, but I am not in the business of trying to impress others. Nose had that sweetish lager-like characteristic that I find hard to define, but easy to recognize. I also did not recognize any adjunct smells, so things were definitely looking up. Mouthfeel was medium and I was getting the honey-like sweetness of pure unadulterated lager on my tongue. Winning! Man, I CANnot tell you how many bad AALs I have put up with in pursuit of The CANQuest (TM), but it has been enough to make me appreciate a simple lager, free of adjuncts. Mmmmm. Finish was semi-dry and it begged for a pretzel to go with it and by coincidence, I had a bag of Hammond's Pretzels on-hand for just such an occasion (like any time that I am drinking beer). Don't bother to seek this out, but do be aware that better lagers exist than the BMC AAL type of lager.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Solidfunk, Thanks again!
Slightly cloudy golden color with a small bubbly white head that dissipates quickly. Skunky from the get go, light sweet bready pilsner hints of earth. Sweet corn light non descript fruit. Not horrible, but really all over the place taste wise.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.74/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

My first Laotian lager, hurrah!

A profile of a big cat is featured on the cap, and in miniature on the label. 11.125 ounces, rather odd..Brewed & bottled by Lao Brewry Co, Ltd., Vientiane Lao, P.D.R...but let's forget about the bottle and pour out the contents.

Very pale and pure yellow appearance, with a crisp, swiftly departing snow-white head above.

Aroma....smelly, stinky, skunky..not good, spoiled vegetables and bad water...phooey, me no like.

Taste: harsh initial appearance in the mouth, sharp and citric, big carbonation, but not redeemed by flavor, or mouthfeel, or anything at all.
It's wet, and it's alcoholic, and it contains a grain or two more flavor than Bud Light...,
... but, honestly, this falls squarely into the must avoid category.
Unless you're a cuckoo bird like me, who just HAS TO TRY IT!
You build your own heaven or hell...guess which one this is...?

post script...halfway in, it's not so bad...maybe I warmed up to it?

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Photo of stevoj
1.84/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

As expected, a weak pale lager. Aroma is off, smells like wet cardboard. Taste is slightly better, whitebond paper. Looks decent in the glass, but leaves a lot to be desired....

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a pale yellow amber. Thin film on top with a ring around the glass leaving a bit off slippery lacing. Faint aroma of biscuit malt and wheat. Taste is mild, but pleasant sweet bready malt with a somewhat dry crackery finish with a slight hop kick. Not much here, but overall well balanced and refreshing to drink. I'd definitely consider this again as a beer with dinner.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle at Wave Thai in Queens with my street noddles dish. It wasn't anything special, but it was a nice, well-made lager completely capable of washing down spicy food. Frankly, I'd take this over most Euro lagers. This actually tasted faintly like a Dortmunder Export with soft bready malts and a little bit of body to it. It's certainly the best Asian lager I've had at a Thai place.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle drank at SEA Restaurant in Rochester, NY.

I drank this one out of the bottle, but I'm fairly sure this one is light, pale yellow, and fizzy.

Smells a bit metallic and corny. Doesn't smell like a whole lot else. I doesn't smell offensive per se, kinda just smells bland like any other mass market lager.

This has an interesting bitterness that's likely from the rice, and a bit of something metallic, with some corny and grassy flavors as well. It's pretty watery and bland, but at least it's not offensive. There's almost nothing to it, though.

This is light bodied, with a crisp, carbonated mouthfeel. The carbonation level is pretty high. I guess it's sorta refreshing, it's kinda like drinking beer-ish water.

Not horrible, but not unlike any other shitty international light lager.

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Photo of tone77
3.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is sweet, some malts. Taste is crisp, malts and grains, not bad but kind of mild. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is easy drinking but nothing special.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.41/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

I was lucky enough to indulge in part of a 500 ml can. Beerlao's best characteristic is that it's relatively inoffensive. However, Beerlao doesn't have much flavor to begin with. It's clean and gets you a buzz, which I suspect is better than drinking directly from the local water supply in Vientaine.

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Photo of flagmantho
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 330mL bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: pale straw hue with a touch of haze, which I'm not used to in beers of this style. Tons of apparent effervescence in the body. Head is three fingers of pillowy white foam. Not too bad, but a bit pale and non-clear for me.

Smell: mostly inoffensive aroma of raw grain. Luckily, there are none of the unpleasant off aromas I usually associate with this kind of graininess; still, it's not my favorite aroma of all time.

Taste: light, malty/grainy flavor. There's actually some noticeable malt flavor here; not too bad, though there is then a sour touch at the end which isn't too great. Hops are very mild and contribute to a low but pleasing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: pretty light body, bordering on watery, but the carbonation is quite high which I tend to like. Call it average.

Drinkability: boy, this has been one middle-of-the-road beer. It's drinkable in a pinch, but it isn't outstanding in any particular area (for better or for worse).

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.52/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 330ml bottle of 5.0% ABV Beerlao Lager. Best before 1st April 09, drank 17th March 09. Poured into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru stemmed tulip shaped glass.

I have drank many beers in my quest to find the worst lager in the world and I have now found this beer from Laos, how did it compare with some of the worlds worst, read on.

Typical lager/pilsner look, golden, bright and clear. Like so many others the head started off large and snow white in colour, only to fade very swiftly to a collar and wispy covering.

No aroma at all, gets my standard no-smelling lager score of 3. There could be a hint of some cereal, but don't ask me which one.

the taste suprised me, one of the best 'rice lagers' for flavour I think I've had. There is an unusual richness to the beer, for a lager anyway. It would hold up against a lot of the German Pilsners I've tasted over the years and is head and shoulders above most Oriental ones.

Not bad at all, one of the joys of drinking round the world (as I am trying to do) is finding little gems like this in the most unlikely places.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.4/5  rDev -53%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a four finger white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Crystal clear pale amber color. Very light carbonation and light bodied. Skunky nose. Starts almost sweet, corny just as bad as Macau beer, hops at the finish. Far eastern countries have trouble making good beer. Bought this only to add a new country to my collection. $1.50 for a 330ml bottle from Liquid Solutions Tigard, Or.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.03/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a lemon-gold with a brilliant clarity and a foamy 2 finger head that was bone white. The head lapsed to a patchy covering but only after a fair amount of time. The lacing was weak, failing to cling to the glass sides while a steady shower of carbonation rises upwards.

S: The nose was fresh corn right from the stalk complete with the green stalky leafs. Unfortunately there wasn't much else to go on here. The initial impression upon first opening delivered a strong skunky dms aroma, but thankfully this did not come through while in the glass. Overall for a pale lager was average, and non-offending.

T: The flavor opens with sweet buttery corn and cereal grains with a soft green herbal hopping. The flavor soon turns to a green melon fruitiness and light spicy hopping. The finish finds a buttery corn malting with a fresh herbal hop fade. Overall the flavor was fair, a bit buttery sweet but no worse then many other examples per style.

M: light, and slick on the tongue with a soft carbonation.

D: Average drinkability and average enjoyability. Better then anticipated, no qualms about finishing, but unlikely this would ever draw me in again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.08/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried in Phnom Penh, at a very nice restaurant near the river.

Golden orange body, with a fluffy white head which collapses into a sticky ring around the edges. Minimal carbonation. Excellent lacing.

Good lager hoppy nose, with a touch of treacle sweetness.

Taste is sweeter than expected, but not overdone. Hints of hop bitterness, but not very prominent at all. Finishes grainy and dry, like overcooked, crusty bread. It's surprisingly drinkable though. Mouthfeel is light, but with a little rambunctiousness.

It's not overly different, but it's done quite well. It is, however, different enough from the generic swill in Cambodia to make a nice change...

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a short strange)
A- This beer has a straw yellow crystal clear body with a snow white moussey head that last a bit and is supported by a sea of micro-bubbles that swirl around.
S- The light sulfury note has hints of green as the beer warms but that is it.
T- The soft dry lemon hint fades to a green note in the finish. There is a tap water flavor that comes though as the beer warms and a soft perfume soap note that grows aswell.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight little fizz.
D- This beer isn't offensive in flavor or aroma it is just bland.

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Beerlao Lager from Lao Brewery Co.
2.98 out of 5 based on 239 ratings.
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