Foster's Special Bitter
Foster's Group Limited

Foster's Special BitterFoster's Special Bitter
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Bitter - English
Ranked #292
Ranked #50,332
2.85 | pDev: 20%
Foster's Group Limited
Foster's Special BitterFoster's Special Bitter
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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 238 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I think this might have been one of the first 750ml size beers I ever had. Pours a feint yellow and mild amber kind of beer with half way decent clarity and a thin 1/5" white head that disappears faster than personal responsibility among failure types. The aroma is metallic to say the least. Like, very metallic, we're talking early Metallica up to the And Justice For All . . . album. Not much beyond that.

The taste has a metallic bitterness, but isn't really what you come to think of when thinking ESB or English Bitter. It doesn't seem to derive from the hopping. Other than that, it is essentially slightly watery and thin. Its like, without the metallic aspect, this could be a cream ale for all I can tell. The color made me think this might have more of a malt body.

I dunno, there just doesn't seem to be much going on with this beer. What is there is relatively bland, and when it goes beyond bland, it isn't a desirable flavor (metallic bitterness).

Sep 19, 2018
Photo of OzmanBey
OzmanBey from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not sure but everyone gets this at least ounce in their life and it is a good starter beer into the bitter world but ounce you have a few top quality beers you quickly move on. Not bad but not great either.

Oct 15, 2017
Photo of NavyVet1959
NavyVet1959 from Texas

2.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Definitely better than regular Fosters, but not what I would call a "great" beer. Still, it's a quite a bit better than any of the American mass market beers (e.g. Bud, Miller, Coors, etc). But then again, even regular Fosters is better than *them*. I think that the version we get is make in Fort Worth these days, so technically, I guess it's an American beer with Aussie influence. I'll still buy it in a pinch, so I guess that says *something*.

Apr 30, 2016
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

2.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not the bronze or brown color of some, neither is this beer extremely pale; it's pretty much an even copper, clear and fairly bright. The head is a bit more than expected, a bubbly off-white foam that might top at half a finger. Retention is above average, and the little bit of lace left clinging may just be as well.
The aroma, as expected, is pretty light and altogether unexceptional. Tangy fruit esters, grainy dryness and mineral make up the nose, while the flavor is marred by something not quite vegetal and the mineral aspect taken to metallic proportions. It seems like someone made an effort with hops, though it went wrong and only made it a little sulphuric.
IT's a little slick and dry at the same time, though it evens out and goes to a cleaner semi-dry in a light but almost medium body. It goes into a quick finish.

Mar 03, 2015
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM from California

2.54/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Dec 22, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire from Florida

2.03/5  rDev -28.8%
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.

Aug 17, 2011
Photo of NStLincoln
NStLincoln from Nebraska

3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

May 08, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

2.53/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Apr 16, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99 from Illinois

2.6/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Dec 13, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy from California

3.66/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4oz can, Sam Adams glass, I was lax in checking this can's date, and therefore it looks like it was made in '05.

I was not shocked, but was surprised to see that this is just another American Adjunct Lager and not actually an ale at all. It is more of an amber, marzen, or Oktoberfest in color. The head was more ale than lager-like, with better retention that usual along with some nice lace and more depth of color that flat white.

The nose is lager-like. This is clean, with saltine, pils malt, and green leafy hop.

This is definitely more full flavored than any other macro lager I can recall. A tiny bit of caramel mixes with dry pils malt and leafy hop with a small bit of noble spice for a beer that is good for an adjunct lager.

The mouthfeel is average in its fizz and lighter heft, but isn't that what lighter lagers are supposed to be?

If I could find in every grocery store, I'd but this for parties and easy summer drinking sometimes.

Jun 11, 2010
Photo of hmk22
hmk22 from New York

2.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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 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.

Sep 26, 2009
Photo of caddybuyer
caddybuyer from New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev +15.1%
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" 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 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.

Jun 10, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid from Maryland

3.38/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Apr 16, 2009
Photo of prodgerm
prodgerm from Pennsylvania

3.29/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light yellow with a head that fades. Good hop smell and hint of malt. You buy this beer for the refreshing strong hop taste. Think of it as a poor-man's IPA. Has a light body mouth feel and a good thirst quencher - another of my "Lawn mowing" beers. Not easy to find in Central PA. Since a good light lager is hard to home Brew this is one of the few adjunct beers I drink.

Mar 01, 2009
Photo of ommegoose
ommegoose from Illinois

2.1/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Spikester
Spikester from Oregon

2.92/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 24 ounce "oil can". Label says brewed in Ft. Worth, Texas or Athens, Georgia. Also states "Ale with caramel color added."
Pours amber with a one finger white head. Some lacings too.
Smell is slightly corny, some malts. Taste is similar to one of the better macro malt liquors with some added bitterness (hops?)
Mouthfeel was alright, a bit too much carbonation. For an American adjunct lager it is better than average.

Jan 24, 2009
Photo of generallee
generallee from Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a big 25.4oz or 750ml "Oil Can" into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: It has a very clear and bright golden color with a tall foamy head. The head slowly fades down to a very thin layer that just hangs on until the last sip and makes only some spotty and slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is semi-sweet and grainy with a slightly floral hops in the background.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a somewhat sweet with husky and grainy alcoholic malt and very mild hops that add more bitterness than flavor. Its finish is quick and grainy The texture is slightly thick and smooth with average carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: Overall it was very simple and loaded with cheap adjunct flavor.

Dec 17, 2008
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JoeyBeerBelly from New York

2.56/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Nov 25, 2008
Photo of RedChrome
RedChrome from Connecticut

2.98/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Nov 08, 2008
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

3.55/5  rDev +24.6%
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.

Nov 08, 2008
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

2.18/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

Sep 28, 2008
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Haybeerman from Colorado

2.85/5  rDev 0%
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.

Aug 26, 2008
Photo of changeup45
changeup45 from Florida

3.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a case where I think the overall appearance of the beer made it a little more enjoyable to drink. A nice copper color and with the jumbo can, pouring a very thick head. I had to wait a little while for it to settle down. Much smoother and better than I had expected. Not really all that bitter, but there is a bitter, malty mix that's pretty good, just not that overpowering.

Aug 24, 2008
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Wetpaperbag from Washington

2.63/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Aug 07, 2008
Photo of youngleo
youngleo from Michigan

2.81/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured to a good head that lasted for the whole glass. (16 oz.) Also had some decent lacing. Was brownish gold in color. Head was slightly off white. Smelled of corn, a hint of alcohol, and a little skunky. Had a bitter aftertaste that lasted a little while. I had two of the oil cans, one was drank from the can, the other one poured in the glass. I have to admit, releasing the carbontation in the glass actually helped bring out some flavor. Felt ok in the mouth. Carbonation was about right. Felt on the light side in the mouth. I think this would be a ok beer to have on occasion, but certainly not a session beer. Im not a fan of the big mouth cans. Seems like the cans are always dripping when pouring in the glass.

Aug 02, 2008
Foster's Special Bitter from Foster's Group Limited
Beer rating: 67 out of 100 with 238 ratings