Monday, July 2, 2007

Beer has its Rewards.

I think that the advertising slogan was ‘Knowledge has its Rewards’ and I can’t really remember which company it belonged to, but it is relevant to the Professor today. That is, the beer, the knowledge and the rewards.

There comes a time in your life when you can sit back, crack a coldie – metaphorically, not a Carlton Cold Coldie- and contemplate the thought that maybe you have achieved something in your life. Not in a smug, open misere kind of way but in a quietly satisfied subdued and laid back kind of way.

The restaurant was paid a visit by a sales rep for a craft brewer of some repute with the intention of getting his product into the fridges of the bar and down the beer holes of our patrons. It is a brand that I know of and have seen in only one bar in town so far, though not available in any of the mainstream bottle shops as yet. I haven’t tasted it yet.

Now, our head chef is not a man given over easily to unsolicited visits by sales people and not one to be easily led to change the menu or take on new products without some serious convincing. So it came as something of a surprise to find that he had not just dismissed the opportunity to get this brew on the shelf but had asked that some product be left for me to test drive, review and assess.

So I feel a great sense of responsibility and anticipation. Not that I’m so vain that I think that the future of the brewery rests on my opinion or that a negative response will put a beer salesman out on the street, but still it’s a warming thought that someone somewhere is awaiting what a humble Beer Bloke thinks of somebody’s’ 330mls of Pale Ale and Pilsner. I guess talking loads of guff about beer at work has had a good karma effect. Now, if the heads of all the other breweries in Australia and around the world catch on to this site, maybe they will send some cases of free stuff for me and the Dr to sample and review glowingly. But if Mr O’Brien is reading, I have already planned a review piece on your gluten free Pale Ale and Lager. They form part of a post titled; “I had never tipped a beer down the sink until I tasted this”.

*A quick post script; in response to Zak from Sydney on a proper and serious beer myth question. You state that your homebrew presents a little ‘malty’ and not as refreshing you’d like. Priming with white sugar won’t have any effect as the quantity per bottle is nothing. Dr Lager and I have used white sugar in every bottling and the taste is not affected. The maltiness may be due to the amount or the type of malt. If you are using dry light malt for a lager, it may be worth using a bit less and upping the level of dextrose to bring the alcohol volume up. Dextrose will ferment out completely and not add extra body. You might also try a liquid malt for a more commercial and less ‘homebrew’ taste. We have found Coopers’ and Brew Cellar liquid malts very good and the bulk stuff we get as a homebrand from the Brew shop is excellent as well. The refreshability factor may only be due to the ‘lagering’ process. We have found that putting the beer away for two to four months produces a noticeable smoothing out of the homebrew-like finish. Good luck.*

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