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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Anchor Smooth

     
Anchor Smooth 
Posted: 21 April 2015  Beer Republic 6.0 
Anchor Smooth from Mlalaysia Considering it's brewed in an Islamic dominated country where you wouldn't expect beer, Anchor Smooth is a shockingly good surprise. I was lucky enough to sip my Anchor Smooths in a high end hotel club lounge with views overlooking the monumental Petronas Towers. I should think you'd still enjoy your Anchor if you were imbibing it in on a balcony overlooking a Kuala Lumpur sewer.   
Avg price/liter: USD 6.38   ABV %: 4.5  Type: Lager  Malaysia 
       


Malaysia isn't a country which quickly comes to mind if asked which country in Southeast Asia brews the best beer. Nor does Malaysia brew the best beer in Southeast Asia.               

What is surprising is that beer is even a serious industry in Malaysia. 61% of the population is Muslim, and by Malaysian law, these 61% are legally bound not to drink.  Do some of these Muslims drink anyway?  None of them would publicly admit it, but it seems safe to say that in the multicultural society comprising modern Malaysia, shop proprietors may not be able to pick out a Muslim merely by sight. There is no minimum drinking age in Malaysia.  Theoretically, a fourteen year old  Muslim hotshot, hiding his Koran and topi in a backpack, could pick up an ice cold brew.              

Legally, Malaysian brewers can't market to non-Muslims.  Warning to aspiring craft brewers:  Malaysia is probably not the best place for you to setup a new brewery.  Malaysia possesses no indigenous brewers.  The top dogs are Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) and Carlsberg, both European in origin..      

Most of GAB's offerings are multinational liquids (Kilkenny, Guinness) brewed in Malaysia.  Anchor is one of the few indigenous brands and is now found and brewed in some neighboring nations, too.     

Anchor Smooth is a typical pilsner lager.  I had sipped it a few times on prior trips to Malaysia and tried it in Cambodia and was never all that impressed. On a recent trip to Malaysia, I had the opportunity to enjoy it in a proper glass, chilled to the proper temperature and was surprised how refreshing it was.      

This is not a beer meant to garner honors as the best pilsner ever made. Considering it's brewed in an Islamic dominated country where you wouldn't expect beer, much less good beer, Anchor Smooth, chilled with precision, is a shockingly good surprise, better than any of the mainstream beers in neighboring Buddhist Thailand.      

I was lucky enough to sip my Anchor Smooths in a high end hotel club lounge with views overlooking the monumental Petronas Towers. I should think you'd still enjoy your Anchor if you were imbibing it in on a balcony overlooking a Kuala Lumpur sewer -- as long as it's cold enough. Just don't say "Allah Akbar" as you sip it. Not in Malaysia.       

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