Beer Preview: Sapporo Premium

Beer Preview: Sapporo Premium

Another beer that has been sent to me by the brewer for comment.

The folks from Sapporo have sent me a big can of the flagship Sapporo Prelium, and their Light. While I was waiting for a chance to sample the beer, we got news that Sapporo was acquiring Stone Brewing for about $168 million. Sapporo already owns craft pioneer Anchor Brewing, but this deal nets it Stone’s two large scale breweries in San Diego and in Richmond, VA. The plan will be to bring Sapporo’s brands to those plants for stateside brewing.

This beer was sent to me by the brewer’s rep, and in this case, it was made at their Vietnam facility. Other Sapporos brought into the States can be made in Canada at Sleeman, another brewery it owns.

So this is about 4.9% abv. Their website says the current version is all barley malt.

The smell when I pour is a light “beer” smell. I can catch a whiff of German type hops over some malt sweetness. Kicked up a very stiff head that took a while to settle down. Sipping it through more of the foam made it pretty watery, but once I could get a full mouthful, it came through. Nothing extraordinary, just a light beer for all tastes. Malts are kind of sweet, but probably not from adjuncts. In fact, I got some sweetness on my lips after sipping through the whole can. Some noticeable hop bitterness gives it a few more points.

Sapporo Pure

How gauche, using a competitor’s glass for your beer photo. I grabbed the first thing I had.

And this is their light beer for the US market. It’s labeled as having 90 calories and 2.4 grams of carbs. It’s also, apparently brewed and canned in San Diego, CA. Whether they were already using some of Stone’s capacity, or one of the other big San Diego breweries is not readily apparent.

Decent, slightly grainy beer smell under the pop tab. Pours a slightly amber color, with a swiftly dwindling and fizzy head. It may be just a shade darker than the Premium, if I recall. I do get some toasty malts in the glass, but a tang of the “processed” taste from some light beers. But there’s also some decently sharp hop bitterness. And it comes across as a little more filling than expected in a light beer. Not bad for a summer brew.

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