My recent trip to Philadelphia provided the opportunity to try many things that aren’t available in Ann Arbor. One such product is a Peruvian import: Cusqueña. Cusquena is produced by the Backus & Johnston Brewery, acquired in 2002 by Grupo Empresarial Bavaria, an international subsidiary of SABMiller.
The Backus website (¡Aviso! en Español) gives insight into the beer itself. I’ll translate for you:
Cusqueña offers pure and internationally recognized fine flavor that makes us proud of the quality of Peruvian products, to be made with 100% pure barley and Saaz hops, the finest in the world.
Their UK website gives a little more detail, including the fact that they use melt water from 18,000 feet high in the Andes, a marketing tip SABMiller must have learned from their pals at Coors.
For a bit more on Cusqueña, check out this blog post I found. It comes with ads!
From a visual standpoint, this might as well be a standard American light lager in an impostor’s bottle. The body is not opaque or cloudy at all, the color is light, and the head is barely off-white, dissipating steadily.
The aroma is practically non-existent, with the standard bland smell you’d expect from an American light lager. The flavor is somewhat standard for a lager – except the beer is overly sweet, almost to a point of being sickening. I thought that was interesting, considering the beer boasts about using only barley (see above), and not flavorless adjuncts like corn and rice that you’d find in mass-produced American beers.
Overall… I’m glad I tried this, because it’s something new, I love to expand horizons, and I got to learn a little bit posting about it – but it’s not something that I think I need to have again.