Trying out Stella Artois (Canada) vs Stella Artois (Belgium)

Canada brew on the left, Belgian brew on the right

EDITOR'S NOTES: I HONESTLY THOUGHT I LOST ALL MY STELLA ARTOIS PHOTOS TO A WASHING MACHINE SO THIS REVIEW SHOULD'VE BEEN POSTED BACK IN 2020 INSTEAD OF MAR 2021, BUT I'M PROUD TO RELEASE IT NOW! I WAS PLANNING ON DELETING IT COMPLETELY! I'M GIDDY, FOLKS!

Originally written back in October, 2020: In the middle of fall. One of my favourite friends in the world was moving from Manitoba to Europe. Stella Artois was one of his favourite beers and of course it just had to be a Labatt beer, or AB InBev in Europe. I didn't mind Stella Artois but I never liked it. Heineken, Beck's and every other green bottled beer was better, but since this guy who loved my writing was moving to Europe, I should review something that he will have access to. Well... Like many AB InBev beers in the past, one of his go-to beers, Stella Artois was now going to be brewed in Canada of all places instead of Belgium where it should be brewed each and every time. I'm reviewing two bottles of Stella Artois tonight, one is from Brussels in Belgium, the other being at Labatt's prairie brewery in Edmonton, Alberta.  


STELLA ARTOIS - BREWED IN CANADA

Appearance: Deep honey straw body with an incredibly light amount of carbonation, way too light.. I expected there to be many lines of bubbles popping up. The head is incredibly faint when I took the photo and ends up with maybe a couple dozen bubbles on top (in the middle). There's a bit of floaty bits throughout the body of the beer, something I would't expect from a beer like Stella, so it's not 100% but pretty close otherwise.

Aroma: Certainly has that typical skunkiness you expect in any beer served in a green bottle. It's sweet, a bit bitter, honey, apple juice and straw.

Taste: Apple, straw, honey. Grassy hops with a slight bitterness to it, incredibly watery for mouthfeel yet leaves behind a bit of a dry feel to it. There's a lot of straw in it and a very bitter aftertaste at the end.

Overall Thoughts: For the flavour, it's quite a bit more bitter than I'd expect from Stella. It has a lot straw notes as well as a bit of honey and apple. The bitter aftertaste is a bit off-putting, very strong for a lager, especially when you're wanting more of a smooth and crisp taste/aftertaste to it.



STELLA ARTOIS - BREWED IN BELGIUM

Appearance: Golden straw body with a light amount of carbonation in the body. The head has a light amount of white head on top but it seems to be retained for a good amount of time after pour, covering pretty much the entire top, rather than just a few bubbles in the middle.

Aroma: Sweet with notes of malt, a hint of honey, slightly skunky but not aggressive at all. Crisp, light, a bit cereal-forward but pretty much a typical import lager.

Taste: Sweet lager that's easy to drink - it's got a bit of honey-like sweetness to it, light grain profile, a moderate amount of straw, slightly toasted grain, crisp, easy to drink. Not really getting much of a skunk presence to it, maybe a hint, but that's about it. Mouthfeel is a bit watery with a slight carbonation, while the aftertaste is toasted barley and a hint of bitterness from the hops.

Overall Thoughts: Inoffensive lager that's definitely a couple steps above its sister Budweiser/Bud Light. Crisp, easy to drink, sweet. Minimal skunkiness but it is there for those who need that in their life. Pretty reminiscent to what I remember from the beer when I used to drink it in the mid 2000s when I wanted an alternative to Heineken.  

WHO WINS THE BLIND TASTING? THE BELGIAN BREW!
The price on the Canadian brewed Stella just isn't worth the move. Will I buy this beer ever again? No. I will never buy it again, even if it comes with a free glass and nine step pouring kit.





Late Edit: Corona is now being brewed at Canada at Labatt's facilities as well. If there's any desire for a comparison review, leave a comment below and I'll try to do one, but I probably won't.

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