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Beer of the Week: Red Stripe

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    Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that's a little bit different and well worth seeking out.       Red Stripe Lager I've been drinking Red Stripe for so long now that I forget not everybody knows — and loves — this Jamaican brew as much as I do. But I found myself recommending it to someone who'd never tried it, so I decided to spread the gospel a little further in case there are more of you who haven't given it a try. This is a beer well suited to San Antonio, because it was meant for people who like to party and want something oh-so-easy to drink. I think the makers of this brew go out of their way to make something enjoyable and as smooth as possible without being watered down for mass consumption. In other words, there's more to Red Stripe than you'll find in many American beers. Pour it into a tall stein and you will get a decent layer of foam on top of a golden brew. The head dies down, but not too quickly. The nose is faint and pleasant, no funky yeast aromas. Just a light, sea breeze call of sweetness and a faint, floral note of hops. The hops carry over into the flavor, but not in a bitter way. They just sort of slide into a malty presence that tingles your taste buds. And the mellow flavors continue from front to back of the mouth. In short, it's beer -- really good beer. The kind you can drink a six-pack of on a hot afternoon when you don't have to go anywhere. Or the kind you stock for a party when you know you'll have some finicky drinkers on hand. It's the kind of beer who sip while watching a soccer game on one of the TVs at Lion and Rose. Kick back with a basket of Bloke's Mushrooms, beer-battered buttoncaps with ranch dressing, or share an order of the deep-fried Onion Petals. Lager goes great with just about everything, so have your fill of the rest of the menu, from the South Bank Spinach Salad to the Portsmouth Po'Boy filled with fried clam strips to the Vegetarian Pita with hummus. And let the party begin. Happy New Year and may your beer choices prosper in 2012.
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