“One of the purest beers we can make,” the back label copy on this lager states, going on to explain that this is additive- and preservative-free, with the malted barley, hops, water and yeast all hailing from New Zealand. Which, geographical constraints aside, is a claim a whole lot of German beers and more than a few lagers brewed elsewhere can also make. But let’s see what Steinlager Pure tastes like.
Light to medium gold in colour, Pure has a gently sweet nose that brings to mind the scent of a grain field in mid-summer, with undertones of alfalfa and just a whisper of citrusy, gooseberry-ish hop. On the palate, this beer starts with a faintly sugary sweetness before developing, well, not really that much of anything, to be honest. I swirl it around my mouth repeatedly and am rewarded with only a creamy texture and off-dry palate, with a hint of citrus peel moderating softly sweet cereal notes. A swallow and, just like that, it’s pretty much gone, with only a dryish, grainy flavour remaining.
Pure it may be, but Steinlager Pure is also rather short on taste. Served at the icy temperature most Australasians seem to prefer, I doubt there would be much flavour left at all.