Beer review: Cheng Gong Beer – Litschi Flavour 成功啤酒-荔枝口味

Beer reviews are not my usual topic on this blog. Additionally, I am more a beer gourmand rather than a beer connoisseur. However, I thought it might be interesting to hear my opinion about this special beer. The so-called Cheng Gong Beer is only available in Tainan and sold at these tourist spots: Anping Ancient Castle, Chikan Tower, Yanping County King’s Ancestral Hall, Anping Tree House, Yizai Jincheng, Patriotic Women’s Hall, 1661 Taiwan Shipyard, Sany House (安平古堡、赤崁樓、延平郡王祠、安平樹屋、億載金城、愛國婦人會館、1661臺灣船園區、三一宅藝空間). It is a special edition beer brewed by the Shanhua Brewery, which belongs to the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Company (TTL). The brewery is also known by its old name Chenggong Brewery, which means Success Brewery. The name of the beer is therefore a reference to the old name of the brewery. The idea behind the beer is to promote history and culture of Tainan. Besides the litchi flavor there is also a lager beer, as well as other products themed to Chenggong such as potato chips. More information about the beer can be found here. And a little bit about the background here.

The Taiwan Beer brewery has a tradition of brewing fruit flavored beers. Beers flavored with grape, mango, orange, and pineapple are sold successfully in Taiwan. Having a litchi flavored beer is not very unusual in Taiwan, but might be very unusual for someone from abroad. Especially when you are from Germany and treat the Reinheitsgebot (purity law) as the holy grail.

The Chenggong litchi flavored beer cost 35 NT$ and has an alcohol concentration of 2.8%. The beer has a very light yellow color. It produces basically no foam. There is some foam after pouring, but it disappears quickly. This is common for Taiwan beer but also for many other Asian beers. The carbon dioxide bubbles are larger than in regular beer, giving the litchi beer a fizzy taste. The litchi taste is dominant and the beer taste is less pronounced. Litchi is not too sweet, so it doesn’t taste like juice. Both, litchi and beer, make an interesting and good tasting combination. I think this fruit beer is a good refreshing drink during a hot summer day. Especially with the relatively low alcohol content of 2.8% it is like a Radler. However, you must like the taste of litchi and should have a liking for fruit beers. If you don’t like fruit beers or litchi, then this beer is not for you.

Would I drink it again? During a hot summer day in Tainan and as refreshment, yes, I would drink it again. But I am not a fan of fruit beers, as they are usually too sweet for me. The litchi beer is an exception.

Would I recommend it to my friends? Probably not. Or only to the ones, which are open minded and interested in doing some beer experiments.

I haven’t tried the lager version of Chenggong beer. So I cannot say how this compares to the other beers from Taiwan Beer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *