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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Carlsberg Lager

Carlsberg Lager 
Posted: 11 March 2015  Beer Republic 5.5 
Carlsberg Lager from Malaysia Back in the 1990's, Carlsberg teamed up with the brewery behind Chang to manufacture its beer locally and distribute it.  Now they're back to claim the Thai market.  This brewed-under-license version is nothing special.  
Avg price/liter: USD 3.27   ABV %: 5.0  Type: lager   Malaysian beer 

Back in the 1990's, Carlsberg teamed up with the brewery behind Chang to manufacture its beer locally and distribute it. That deal was fraught with problems and a joint venture went south.  In 2005, Carlsberg paid USD 120m to Chang to settle the dispute and then quietly faded out of the Thai market.  No one missed it.  Chang copied the Carlsberg label design for their own Chang Classic, and everyone was happy.   

Well, except Carlsberg. They wanted a piece of the Thai market they felt they deserved and now they're back to claim it.  The beer is brewed in Malaysia and imported into Thailand with the lower ASEAN duty standard.  Boon Rawd, makers of Singha and arch rival to Carlsberg's former Thai partner, distributes it.  Some kind of big ticket swap was arranged, with Singha gaining access to Carlsberg's other factories.         

I used to like Carlsberg -- when I first tried it in Denmark in the 80's. I might still like it in Europe, though in today's era of better craft brews, I doubt I'd be reaching for one of these even in Copenhagen.  The brewed-under-license version is nothing special, and indeed, most of the time you're better off drinking a more premium local Thai beer than paying the excess for this.         

If this second Southeast Asian version of Carlsberg bites the dust as well, no one will be holding a memorial service.         

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11 March 2015
Voltaire Brown's Don't Travel Europe

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