Flying Horse Royal Lager Beer at Royal Khyber, Our Drink of the Week!
My rule-of-thumb of ordering beer with Asian food: go with the indigenous brand. Thai food? Chang or Singha. At a Japanese izakaya? You can't go wrong with Sapporo, Kirin, or Asahi. Korean? Hite. No question. Indian? You'll mostly be offered three choices: Kingfisher, arguably India's predominant brand, Tai Majal, or Flying Horse.
At Royal Khyber in Costa Mesa, the Indian beer options was narrowed down to just the latter two. Both are actually bottled by the same conglomerate that makes Kingfisher: the United Breweries Group, based out of Bangalore and the equivalent of Anheuser-Busch--if Anheuser-Busch also operated an airline and a fertilizer business on the side.
I chose the Flying Horse to eventually head off the spice-laden curries I was about to consume. It came in a big, sweaty 22-ounce bottle, which, by the way, can also be bought at BevMo for less than they charge here. Royal Khyber poured it into a Taj Mahal glass, but what I noticed right away was how incredibly fizzy and light this brew was, with a head that subsided almost immediately. An Indian friend of mine told me later that he thinks this may be by design: the fizziness allows it to hold on to the cold longer, a thing of value in subtropical climates. But most of all, it's refreshing. There's just a hint of spice and fruit at the top, and it wasn't as hoppy or bitter at the finish. All of this makes the lager down as easy as lemonade than its 4.7% ABV would normally suggest. An yes, it was perfect thing to douse the fires of that searing vindaloo I had for dinner.