Aditya Mehta did not write this, I did; my name is Prayag Arora-Desai. Please don’t ask Mehta if he’s drinking again. He isn’t; but he did buy me some expensive-ass beer so I could review it for this blog. Suck on that, you Budweisers. I am honored, flattered, and mildly drunk.
When Mehta said he’d discovered a beer called Viru, I thought he meant Veeru; some cheapskate, small town, pisswater brew with a Dharmendra photograph plastered on the label. But Viru, pronounced the same as Veeru, actually comes all the way from Estonia and is named after Viru Gate, an iconic architectural structure in the city of Tallin. Viru comes in a funky looking bottle designed to resemble the medieval turrets of aforesaid monument, which is probably the only unique thing about this beer. It pours a clear golden yellow, with a fuzzy head that disappears as quickly as it forms. The smell is sour with a subdued tinge of vanilla in there somewhere. Tastewise, it resembles any ordinary American lager, just more yeasty. There is no strong or even consistent maltiness, the hops are too subtle for my liking, and if you let it rest a while it develops a metallic, hard water like taste, presumably due to the fresh Estonian well water that is used in the brew. The thin texture goes down very easily with a crisp, carbonated finish and doesn’t linger for very long after you’re done burping, but isn’t worth paying 250 bucks for. Unless you’re like my mother and would like to turn this awesome looking bottle into a vase, I’d recommend staying away from this and sticking to more common fare.