Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hite's Prime Max: Queen of Beers?

Prime Max
The Hite of Desire!
(Image from Psychedelic Kimchi)

As I may have mentioned, I exercise regularly, about five times per week. I used to run a lot, but that constant pounding of the pavement over the years was hard on my knees. These days, I get my exercise mostly at home. I do still run a little, though not very far -- no more than to the 25th floor of my apartment building, which is 23 floors up from my level.

After returning from those grand heights, I do 50 pushups, ride my stationary bicycle for 10 minutes, then 50 more pushups, then 10 more minutes cycling, then 50 pushups, then 10 minutes cycling, and finally 50 more pushups.

After that, I drink a beer. Or two.

Lately, I've been drinking a beer offered by the Korean brewery Hite. It's called Prime Max. I switched to this from Budweiser because I found (or possibly imagined) that it tasted better. That's not saying very much, I admit, but I was drinking Bud because it was easily available nearby and did the job of quenching my thirst after exercise. It also leaves me with a slight buzz, especially after two (or three), but I'm willing to put up with that. Well, Max is even more easily available, and it's cheaper (which my wife finds relevant for some reason), so I've switched.

But as I've gotten to wondering . . . a number of questions have occurred to me. Have I made the right decision? Is Max truly better than Bud? Which one deserves my commitment? If I'm going to have a long-term relationship with one of them, I want to make the right choice. Finally, will these questions be taken out of context?

For reassurances, I turned to John Wells, of Ebeer fame, who replied:
The only beer that I know of, off the top of my head, that rates worse than Bud (1) is Bud Light (0). The computer here at work won't let me into the RateBeer site, so I'll check it when I get home.
While we're waiting to hear if Max will push Bud down into the negative numbers, I've decided to check out what Western beer drinkers in this part of the world think about Max.

Almost exactly two years ago, Psychedelic Kimchi wrote these immortal words:
So how is Prime Max? Besides sounding like an Image comic released in the early-nineties, pencilled by Rob Liefeld and inked by Danny Miki, it's the best So-Ko [South Korean] beer I've ever tasted, though that's akin to stating that sex with a panda is preferable to sex with a grizzly bear: both are wrong, though the the former feels a little righter.
Okay, that's a positive review of Max, but let's check out the Weekly Blog of All Beer in Asia, which has a more recent review titled "Prime Max -- The bastard cousin of Hite":
I have never been to South Korea and if the beer is anything to go by I never intend to.

Prime Max is another brew from the Hite Brewery in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul who amazingly enough manage to have a majority share of the domestic beer market.

I can only imagine how appaling the competitor's beer must be!

Prime Max is meant to be a more premium beer than Hite and charges a slightly higher price while claiming to have a more complex flavour.

I couldn't notice much difference.

Neither beer is very nice, even when properly chilled.

When both beers start to warm up they taste pretty bad.

The slogan is the real clincher proclaiming loudly that the brew is a "delicious idea".

A nice idea more like....
Okaaaay . . . BeerAsia states that Max is "a nice idea." I'll take that as a positive review and tentatively conclude that Max deserves my lifelong commitment.

Unless John Wells thinks otherwise...

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At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, neither should have your allegiance. Drinking beer after a workout is a very bad idea, because it will actually serve to dehydrate you rather than hydrate you. Stick to water. Just looking out for your health, my friend.

(One of these days I'll have to get around to Prime Max in my Korean Beer Review...)

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You mean, I'll actually be thirsty for more beer? The news just keeps getting better!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Max a good beer? Since phrenology is not an option, it comes down to the namesake, at least technically (don't worry, I looked it up). Was it some broad named Maxine? Or perhaps Max Weber - now *that* would be a good beer. Rectification of names, very important. And the cost.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Rectification of Names? After several beers, that's difficult . . . too much mental confusion.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:56 AM, Blogger Charles said...

"You mean, I'll actually be thirsty for more beer? The news just keeps getting better!"

Hand, meet forehead. Forehead, hand.

Oh, and by the way... Budweiser? What the heck, dude? Seriously.

I actually have a can of Budweiser in the fridge that someone brought over once. I can pretty much guarantee that it will never be consumed by anyone in this household, so if you want to drop by sometime and take it off my hands, you're more than welcome--although you're not as close as you used to be. :(

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I'd always heard that beer makes you smart because it made Bud wiser, so I decided to go directly to the source of that intelligence enhancement.

I feel tons smarter already. Or should I convert that to the metric system, now that I'm so much brighter?

Jeffery Hodges

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