[Ben sez]: In our travels through Asia we've sampled a lot of the local beer. All crappy golden lager, all the time. Sometimes bottles, sometimes cans, sometimes fresh from a big tank for fifty cents a liter. Sometimes if it's fresh enough, it's not even that bad.
But you know what's better than fresh beer? Fresh German Beer!
[Nate exclaimz:] BREWED BY GERMANS!!! OMFG!!!!
That's right, we've tracked down another rare delicacy, seemingly unavailable even in the United States. Wandering around the central shopping district of Singapore, we looked across a street as the clouds parted and a ray of sunlight shown down upon a Paulaner Bräuhaus. I think I even heard some angels singing.
It was even 2-for-1 happy hour. That's just wrong.
We sat down, ordered up a couple half liters and basked in the glory of fresh, German beer. I'm not sure what it is but there's something about this stuff that makes life multiple times better. Cheap Asian Golden Lager might get you intoxicated, but it doesn't make you feel this good.
[Nate sez]: I'll tell you what makes it feel so good - getting the hell out of beer purgatory, that's what. I've been in beer purgatory for 6 God-forsaken months. You want to know what's frustrating? - drinking beer in Japan. They have 10 new types of beer every single season - Extra Dry, Super Mild Hoppy, Black Raw, Fresh Raw Draft Dry, and my new personal favorite: Style Free. THEY'RE ALL THE SAME FUCKING BEER! And then you leave Japan for the rest of Asia, where there's less advertising and brands and labels and stuff, but they all serve the same thing: shitty mild golden lager. An Asian beer is as shitty by any other name.
We tried the light Munich first, a refreshing golden lager (a legitimate one, no shitty Asian knockoff here) with that perfect bready finish that we enjoy so much but is hard to balance properly. After our first half-liter we were feeling much better about life (along with an inflated sense of self-esteem) and figured, "Hey, it's happy hour, why not order another?"
Round 2 we went for the Dark Lager. This one lived up to all of our hopes and dreams as well. The fantasies of delicious beer which we had during those long, tropical nights staring at boxes full of Beer Lao, Tiger Beer, and all the other regional crap they pour in SE Asia which actually benefits from being served over ice.
[Nate sez]: I'd describe the dark (or Dunkel if you will) as the perfect combination of vanilla, banana, and pumpernickel. It was carbonated so perfectly that the CO2 bubbles made the texture of the beer, in combination with the slightly heavier body, creamy. To put it lightly, it was so good, I almost tried to actually dive into my glass. So I could swim in it. Drinking this beer was like taking your big, first step back into the first world: the wonders of refrigeration and precision engineering allowing the local production of real German Beer.
Singapore is a really bizarre place. Spend a few solid months in mostly lawless, or flexibly (and sometimes downright gymnastic) lawed countries, and when you suddenly can't spit on the street, walk with or against the flow of traffic, or god forbid think too loudly without it being caught on camera, you'll feel really out of place. The quasi-totalitarian, 1984-esque panopticon that is Singapore caused us both major culture shock. I mean, the streets are fucking air conditioned in some parts of Singapore. It's too perfect - like Pleasantville, only in SE Asia with a dizzying array of food, shopping, and ethnicities all living way too harmoniously together. It's too peaceful. It's too clean. I'm labeling it the 0.5th world - Singapore is the future. At least it's a damn tasty one.
[Ben sez]: I prefer to think of it as the zeroth world; it's that far removed from my concept of the first world. We spent our first half-hour in Singapore actually laughing in shock at the clean, shiny, futuristic, efficient, lightly-perfumed, orderly, over-the-fucking-top reality of being slapped in the face with a big plate of Singapore after swimming in bowls of Southeast Asian noodles for the last three months
I know, I know. What the hell did we eat? (mmmgmhmg... curry puffs) Well, seeing as it's Saturday 3am Tokyo time, you'll just have to wait a few days until next Wednesday. When we actually can publish on time.