I’ve had the beer before and never thougt much of it but a hell of a lot of people voted for it so it cant be all that bad right? Many would argue against this. The carry on around the comp centred around a) was it an awesome beer? and b) did they somehow use social media to rort the system? I’d say no to both.
The beer is more of a gateway beer (i.e. one that your VB swilling mates with like and could transition them to better beers) and not at all something that the beer geeks will get into. It is not a bad beer though, there is nothing wrong with it it just doesn’t go wow, that was fucking amazing. As for the “unfair use of social media” this contest is like the logies, a popularity poll. Blue Heelers was not a good show, not Lisa Mcune a good actor but all the old Nana’s who buy TV week voted. That’s the rules, I might not agree with them, but that’s the way it goes. All the carry on was bullshit.
I personally had some issues with some of the big brewers putting in their craft beer(i.e. Fat Yak) but they make it within the rules so its fair game. It needs to be noted that the best been in Australia is voted on at the Australian International Beer Awards. This is a judged contest with blind tastings and not a popularity contest. Personally I put more heed to the results of this contest as a guide to whats good. But that’s just me.
Now to the beer. I got the wrong one. I got the Vale Dry rather than the Vale Ale. Vale Dry finished at number 9 in the hottest 100.
What I can say about the Vale Dry, an unfiltered dry lager, is that it is a very clean beer with no real faults but not a whole lot going on in the flavour department. It also went well with the spicy Thai food at Yim Yam. On top of this apparently it has really nice labels and bottles (not a big draw card for me). But that’s what you get in a light lager, nice soft finishing beer with subtle hops and malt. I perhaps need to add that I’d had a pint of my saison before it, and had a 7 month old IPA after it. These are beers with somewhat more character so may have influenced my thoughts. But still Vale Dry has little going on. The IPA on the other hand, wow. This beer is well past its prime for the hop burst, being the last bottle of the beer that got 1st place in the Vicbrew IPA category for 2010, the Union Jack clone. What it has now (or had) was an aged hop and yeast character that reminded me of some of the US Barley Wines I’ve had, Live Rogue Old Crustacean. Really interesting and awesome. I think I need to brew a US barley wine and let it sit for a year of 2. Will not be trying to clone Vale Dry though, doesn’t float my boat and I’m not set up to brew lagers.
I will get and try the Vale Ale though.