It’s not often that you get to jump in a time machine and do a beer review but that’s just how it feels to be sharing the good word on a new brew on the shelves.
I have to admit to doing a double take that Daffy Duck would be proud of when I first saw the advertisement for a new beer made exclusively for the Coles Liquor group. It wasn’t anything to do with titties or anything – it was the price. $25.99 for a slab. A slab of 24, not a shifty twelve or eighteen like the trendy brews are want to do nowadays. So I looked again. Stubbies, as well. And 375ml – the real deal! So I looked at the price again. Still $25.99. So then I got up and checked the calendar. Definitely 2007. Checked the price again. Still $25.99.
There is a God. I did a quick bit of maths - and Dr. Lager will tell you that is not always a good thing – and, having discovered that I can’t buy special recyclable P.E.T. bottles for that, I trotted off down to the bottle-oh with a bit of a skip in the step. The skip was tempered with just a little bit of trepidation. Could a beer brewed locally be this cheap and drinkable? Was it even brewed locally?
There is a God. And he drinks beer. Not only is the beer well packaged - simple and straightforward without making a point of not spending more than needed on the shrink wrap, the graphics and the labelling – but it is made by none other than Mr James Boag & Sons. Well, by Senor San Miguel and his multinational Thailand Brewing Concern. This fact was confirmed by the shop attendant and by the unmistakable Boag’s bottle stamp. Having emptied, washed and refilled over a thousand of them since November I feel qualified to judge.
There is a God. And he drinks Australian beer. Not only is this stuff made in Australia – I am guessing it is not cheaper to ship it from one of their breweries in Thailand or wherever – but the deal gets better. They have it on special at 2 slabs for $50. I’m saving a couple of harry’s by buying in bulk. Not really, I haven’t tasted this yet so I go for the one slab option figuring that we can always go back if it doesn’t kill me. And when I buy it, I get a stubby holder thrown in!
There is a God. And he drinks Beer Bloke’s Australian Beer!!! This is not a bad drop. In fact, it’s a bit better than not bad. It’s quite good. It’s not great but it’s better than bad and quite a great deal better than shithouse. And even better still than Southwark.
The malt is subdued but not sooky, the aroma is natural but not too heavy and the bitterness is neat without being forceful. But who gives a fat rat’s clacker! It’s cheap! It’s drinkable! It’s beer like we paid for ten years ago! Well, maybe not that far back, but you see what I mean.
I don’t know that the price point will stay with us for too long – we can only hope. The dam wall has been breached and maybe other brewers will release a lower priced everyday beer as well; even if only for a limited time. The premium beer market has grown steadily – at the minute it sits at just above 10% of the overall beer sales- so it’s not as if we don’t deserve a break. We are all doing our bit for the brewing industry and it feels nice to get something back.
So there it is. A beer that goes down the beer hatch very nicely, is local and provides an easy to remove label for recycling the empties. I’m off to have another now to celebrate.
P.S. For those who know me by now, yes, I know I won’t use the stubby holder because I always drink my beer from a glass, but it was still worth mentioning.