beer blogging in tehran – beer notes #31

Istak Malt Iran 0%
Delster Pomegranate Iran 0%
Star Lemon Iran 0%

I came up with the title of this post before I had accumulated any ideas for content – this may become apparent as you read on. For those of you who need some guidance on the Dodd “cryptic reference”*, it’s a nod to the well-known memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Quite a lot of things happen “in Tehran” so I’m starting to think that not even the title was really worth it.

If reviewıng is really about cataloguing dıfference, I’ve not a lot to go on. My only point of reference is from 2002 when I accidentally spent the equivalent of an hour’s wages at Swanny Cellars – 4 euros – on a “malt” Grolsch in Rotterdam. What a horrific realisation that was.

The bottle looks like a real bottle of beer, leading to all sorts of confusion. It’s a bit disconcerting to see a 10-year-old kid wander by with a stubby in his fist.

Iranians love this stuff – it’s easily the most commonly available drink, even beating Coke which has somehow muscled its way into the Iranian market. Neither of us really like sweet soft drinks but we found ourselves drinking quite a bit of it. Our favourite flavour is lemon, with pomegranate a close second. Neither taste anything like beer though – in fact, I wonder why they persevere with the “beer” thing at all. “Malt” is the base flavour and it’s not that bad – although like Iran more broadly, my positive reaction is most likely influenced by the sheer awfulness of Indian beer. But it’s not that bad. Really. If you are in Iran and can’t get anything else to drink. Which you probably won’t be able to.

* Also called “just shit references” by quite a few.

P.S. We enter Syria tomorrow so blogging will again be on hiatus. We should have really got up to date here in Turkey but dark ale and mezze have proved too much of a distraction.


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