Lion Red: The History and Revival of New Zealand’s Iconic Lager

Since its inception in 1907, Lion Red has been a beloved in New Zealand, capturing the hearts and palates of beer enthusiasts throughout the country. Brewed by Lion Breweries, a part of the Lion Nathan group, Lion Red is a full-bodied flavored beer that offers a perfect balance of hop bitterness and malty goodness.

One of the first things that catches your eye about Lion Red is its vibrant red label, which is fitting for a beer that has become synonymous with its bold and distinctive flavor. Pouring a beautiful amber-tinted golden color, Lion Red entices you with its inviting appearance.

Upon taking a whiff, you are greeted with a delightful malty aroma that immediately piques your interest. It is followed by a soft fermented estery sweetness, which adds a touch of complexity to the overall experience.

Now, let's talk about the taste. Lion Red can be best described as a -style beer with a little something extra. While it still falls into the realm of an adjunct lager, it boasts a slightly bigger bready and fruity malt backbone compared to its counterparts. This gives Lion Red a unique character and sets it apart from the crowd.

But what many fans of Lion Red might not know is the intriguing story behind the beer. Lion Red was once the biggest seller in the SAB group during the '70s and early '80s, solidifying its place as a true Kiwi favorite. However, as the '90s rolled around, its popularity began to wane, especially when compared to Castle sales. Eventually, Lion Red was taken off the shelves in 2000, leaving many loyal fans longing for its return.

Despite its temporary absence, Lion Red has managed to maintain its status as a beloved classic among beer enthusiasts. Its rich history and distinctive flavor have endeared it to the hearts of many, making it a beer that holds a special place in the memories of those who have enjoyed it throughout the years.

With an content of 4.0%, Lion Red is a beer that can be enjoyed on various occasions. Whether you're kicking back with friends, enjoying a barbecue, or simply savoring a cold one after a long day, Lion Red is a reliable choice that never fails to satisfy.

Lion Red is more than just a beer. It is a symbol of New Zealand's heritage and a testament to the enduring love affair between Kiwis and their favorite brews. With its full-bodied malt flavor, balanced hop bitterness, and a touch of sweetness, Lion Red offers a taste that is both familiar and distinctive. So, the next time you're looking for a classic New Zealand lager to accompany your good times, be sure to reach for a Lion Red and experience the magic for yourself.

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What Does Lion Red Taste Like?

I remember the first time I tried Lion Red. I was at a local pub with some friends, and I decided to give it a go. As I looked at the red label on the bottle, I couldn't help but wonder what this beer would taste like. Would it live up to its vibrant appearance?

As I poured the beer into a glass, I noticed its golden, amber hue. It had a certain richness to it that immediately caught my attention. The color alone made me feel intrigued and excited to take my first sip.

Bringing the glass to my nose, I took in the aroma of Lion Red. It was a rather mild scent, with a hint of malt sweetness and a faint touch of spicy . The aroma wasn't overpowering, but it gave me a glimpse of what was to come.

Taking that first sip, I was met with a familiar taste. Lion Red reminded me of a classic adjunct lager, but with a slight twist. The malt backbone had a bready and fruity character that added a touch of complexity to the beer. It wasn't overly sweet, but it had enough flavor to keep me interested.

I continued to savor each sip, letting the flavors dance on my palate. The beer had a smooth and crisp mouthfeel, which made it easy to drink. It wasn't too heavy or too light, but just right for a casual evening at the pub.

As I finished my glass of Lion Red, I couldn't help but appreciate its simplicity. It wasn't a groundbreaking or revolutionary beer, but it delivered on its promise. It was a straightforward and enjoyable brew that I would gladly have again.

Lion Red is a beer that lives up to its name. Its red label hints at the amber-tinted, golden pour that awaits you. The aroma offers a subtle blend of malt sweetness and spicy hops. The taste is reminiscent of a classic adjunct lager, with a slightly bigger bready and fruity malt backbone. It's a beer that doesn't try to be overly complex or fancy, but rather delivers a straightforward and enjoyable drinking experience. So, if you're looking for a casual brew to enjoy at the pub or at home, Lion Red might just be the one for you.

What Percent Alcohol Is Lion Red?

Lion Red is a New Zealand lager-style beer brewed by Lion Breweries, which is part of the Lion Nathan group. I recently had the opportunity to try Lion Red, and I must say, it was quite enjoyable. The beer has a smooth and crisp taste, making it perfect for a refreshing drink.

Now, let's get to the question at hand – what percent alcohol is Lion Red? Lion Red has an alcohol content of 4.0%. This means that for every 100 milliliters of Lion Red beer, there is 4 milliliters of alcohol. It is worth noting that this alcohol content falls within the range of a standard lager-style beer.

The 4.0% alcohol content of Lion Red strikes a good balance between a light and moderate strength beer. It is not too strong, allowing you to enjoy a couple of beers without feeling too intoxicated. However, it still provides a decent kick and flavor that beer enthusiasts appreciate.

I remember enjoying a Lion Red on a warm summer evening. The low alcohol content made it a great choice for a casual drink without getting too buzzed. The beer's smooth texture and mild bitterness complemented the relaxed atmosphere perfectly.

Lion Red is a popular choice among beer drinkers in New Zealand. Its moderate alcohol content makes it suitable for social gatherings, barbecues, or simply enjoying a beer after a long day. It's a beer that can be enjoyed by both seasoned beer enthusiasts and those who prefer a lighter .

Lion Red is a New Zealand lager-style beer with an alcohol content of 4.0%. It offers a smooth and crisp taste, making it a great choice for casual drinking. Whether you're enjoying it at a social gathering or simply unwinding after a long day, Lion Red provides a refreshing and flavorful experience. So, if you're looking to try a quality New Zealand beer, give Lion Red a shot!


Lion Red is a well-established New Zealand beer that has been brewed since 1907. Known for its full-bodied malt flavor and balanced hop bitterness, Lion Red offers a unique drinking experience. The beer has a malty aroma with hints of soft fermented estery sweetness.

The name Lion Red is derived from the distinctive red label that adorns the bottle. Its amber-tinted golden pour adds to its visual appeal. While the aroma may be relatively subtle, featuring a generic malt sweetness and faint spicy hops, the taste is where Lion Red truly shines.

With a slightly larger bready and fruity malt backbone than your average adjunct lager, Lion Red offers a more robust and flavorful drinking experience. It manages to strike a perfect balance between the traditional lager-style beer and an enhanced malt profile.

However, it is worth noting that Lion Red's popularity has seen some fluctuations over the years. Once the top-selling beer in the SAB group during the 70s and 80s, its appeal began to decline in the 90s compared to Castle sales. This led to its removal from shelves in 2000.

Despite this, Lion Red remains a beloved and iconic beer in New Zealand, with its loyal fan base appreciating its unique flavor profile and long-standing history. Whether enjoyed at a bar, a backyard barbecue, or a social gathering, Lion Red continues to be a staple choice for beer enthusiasts looking for a distinct New Zealand lager experience.

Lion Red is a testament to New Zealand's brewing heritage and a testament to the art of creating a well-balanced and flavorful beer. With its rich history and dedicated following, Lion Red is sure to continue making its mark in the New Zealand beer scene.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.