It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

Brewery and Country of Origin: Uniao Cervejeira SA (Unicer) of Rua da Lionesa 446 C6/C8 4465-671, Balio, Portugal

Date Reviewed: 7-30-12

Before we get into the grossly overcasting mediocrity of this beer, we first want to discuss that famous phrase from the Superman comics which always preceeded his trademark heroic entrance into frame, just before it's too late. Aside from the fact that a bird looks nothing like a plane, and a plane looks nothing like a flying man with a cape, people usually don't get excited when they see a bird or a plane... unless its a Bald Eagle or an F-22. Either way, the idea that people would respond to seeing an everyday object in such exclamation is absurd. Of course, Superman was another story. But that simply means that every single time a bird or a plane flew over anyone's head, the entire town would start shouting and pointing at it, which would have been annoying. And that seems to be the problem we have here. Portugese brewery Unicer has named pretty much all of their line up "Super," and we think that's a bit overly ambitious. Not one aspect of this beer makes it super, and for that, Unicer should be tagged for over-hyping their product line. There are many other reasons why we're going to be obvious about our sub par opinion when it comes to this beer, and trust me, they're probably more important than its name.
Date Sampled: 7-20-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, USA
Beer Style: Adjunct Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 5.60%
Serving Type: 330 ml Bottle, 16 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 2.27


This is a very pale colored brew with a slight yellowish/gold appearance. Very clear and filtered, this is a shiny beer with a moderate high amount of carbonation. A slightly choppy pour gives this beer a quickly dissipating thin foam head. There is no lacing that occurs.


This beer features a lighter aroma overall, but with some highlights among a generally grainy character with a fairly prominent malty side. There are also some very faint hoppy smells mixed in as well, but these come and go based on the alignment of the planets.


The Super Bock is a light bodied beer with a very low viscosity, making it very easy to drink and repeat. A subtle lingering finish with a higher level of carbonation (compared to most) gives this beer a refreshing, almost cleansing presence. This is slightly choppy.


A very grainy overall flavor is what you should expect with this beer. There are some malty notes (though nothing too sweet or roasty) present, and towards the finish, a very slight hoppy aspect begins to come out, especially at the very end. A somewhat lingering bitter aftertaste occurs with each sip.

Our Take

We would definitely recommend this beer if you were to find yourself in Portugal for any reason, and came across a bar which sold Super Bock on tap. Unfortunately, that is essentially the only reasonable time we'd ever recommend this beer. Nothing too special, and nothing worth spending your money on. This then, is a big fish in a little puddle. In the international realm, Super Bock has won numerous awards, is sold in 21 countries, consumed in 90% of all restaurants and markets in Portugal, and is the only beer to receive 26 consecutive Monde Selection de la Qualite Gold Medal awards. But none of this really matters. Because honestly, this is a popular beer in a market where beer isn't popular. Being 33rd in the world for consumption per capita (and dropping), Portugal is more about the Iberian wine rather than the beer which could trace its roots back to the Romans and Lusitania. Of course, the Romans don't control Iberia anymore (the Italians can't even control themselves nowadays), and a more favorable wine climate has shifted focus away from brewing. Still no matter how you take it, Super Bock, albeit a lackluster example, is a poster child that shows the rest of the world that Portugal still has interest in producing quality beer. They just need to figure out how to try harder next time.