Category Archives: beer wars

Boo to being crook

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I seem to be coming down with some kind of flu or cold. Basically feeling crappy, sore throat etc. This leaves me with compromised taste buds and therefore the new beers from NZ and Japan will be staying in my fridge unopened and untasted. Bugger.

Boo to being crook. There should be a law against anything that prevents the sampling of what could be excellent beers. Oh well they will still be there when I can taste things again, but for now I think it some kind of chili infused soup may be on the menu tonight.

Have a beer for me.

Cheers D

Cooking Lager Tribute

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I have some awesome beers in my fridge right now, some Mikeller, Cantione, Duvel, Orval just to name a few but I’ve been reading (and enjoying) a blog called Cooking Lager for some time now. Its all about Cooky, an English guy and his love of what he calls cooking lager. I’m not sure exactly what the definition of cooking lager is but beers like Fosters are in there and places like Aldi are choice purchasing locations. As best I can tell its cheep quaffable beer. Beer Uni students and tight arses like. He also writes about the UK beer scene, legislation and some stuff that seems to matter. I really don’t get a lot of it (the serious stuff that is) but still like the blog.

Anyway I was in my local IGA tonight and ventured into the bottle shop section. They had a bunch of cheap looking beer which formed the inspiration of my Cooking Lager Tribute. I selected 4 cans of beer, the 2 cheapest domestic and the 2 cheapest imported (full strength of course – got to draw the line somewhere). I chose cans as they keep beer fresher longer, and are generally a better package for beer. This has left me with the following beers;

Tooheys Red $1.99 Australia 375ml
ICE beer $1.99 Australia 375ml
Gosser Beer $3.99 Austria’s Finest Beer 500ml
Furstenbrau Beer $3.99 Greek (I think) 500ml
A bottle of chilli sauce from Belize (I was having tacos for dinner)

These reviews are for you Cooky, or perhaps more appropriately in tribute to you.
I started with the Gosser as it has the words “Gut Besser” on the can. I have no idea what this means. The beer is pale and yellow, not too fizzy, tastes like a generic European lager. I’m getting no hops and stuff all malt. Still I could drink it from a plastic cup at the footy.

Next was the Furstenbrau. I thought by the look of the can it was German. Wrong I guess. As best I can tell its Greek, a country not known for their brewing heritage. Upon pouring I’d say this is paler than the Gosser. It tastes of even less too. This beer has nothing going on. On the can it says ‘Quality Product”. What the fuck were they thinking. In favour of this beer is that it has a high wetness factor. And its very clear. On the can it also says ‘best before end” I’m going to assume that means that the last mouthful will taste bad. I doubt I’ll finish this beer. Perhaps this beer would be best used instead of water for boiling hotdogs in. The can is attractive though.

The Aussie Beers are old friends from my uni days.
ICE beer which I’m guessing is the old Hahn Ice. I think there was some story about it being ice brewed or something. I remember drinking this at the end of exams with my mate Crackas listening to Roxet and watching Flash Gordon. Ah the good old days. I think the ice brew thing got us in to that beer, it also may have been slightly higher alcohol. I don’t know that this is the same beer. OK on pouring this beer is clearer than the others. I can pretty much watch TV through it. It has a bit of a nose on it, not sure what it is (but it has a scent which puts in front of the Greek offering) and upon tasting it has more of an Australian lager taste to it. I put this down to less DMS, this is basically that canned corn taste that a lot of euro lagers have. Its still not much of a beer though. 3 cans in this is kind of a bad idea. What have you don’t to me Cooky?

Tooheys Red. I remember this beer being $20 for 30 cans. How could you beat this? Awesome. I also remember thinking that drinking this beer from a glass somehow made it taste better. It was always an economic decision rather than a go to beer. Has a bit of colour and a stronger nose that the others. This also has a bit more flavour. But not much. This would be my pick of the domestic cooking lager. I remember the add for this beer having something about a German back packer asking for 9 of them. Bugger that I say. This beer may be say 4 IBU with the Ice beer being 2IBU.

I’d really forgotten how bad these beers were, or perhaps wasn’t aware how far my beer tastes have gone. From today’s Cooking Lager Tribute I have learnt that if nothing else. And not to buy the cheapest beer at the supermarket if I want to enjoy a beer. These are not bad beers, they are faultless, and consistent. They don’t make me smile though so although I will enjoy a cheap mass produced lager at family gatherings and sporting events I don’t think I’ll be going back to them. Cooky I’ll hand this space back to you, time for me to have a home brew, a brown ale I think.

Cheers D

What new beers have I been trying?

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 12:  Stuart Bro...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So what have I been drinking? Well over the weekend lots of different beers that are worth mentioning as much the good the bad and the ugly. Na make that the good the bad and the so so. Not that I really do new years resolutions but on my list of stuff for 2011 entry 3 is Interesting Beers. The following is my first crack at that list.

Friday night saw me at Biero with the boys. It was my first week back in the office after a couple of weeks off so I needed a beer of two. Or 10. Anyway Jamie, Jas and Jugga joined me. Apologies for calling them soft in the past. Those of you who proved them selves soft by not showing up know who you are.

Anyway there were 10 beers on the blackboard, Jugga tried them all top to bottom (not sure if he had the cider??) but did it by drinking pots. It was Friday I needed Pints. So what do I remember trying?

• 3 Ravens 55 Pale Ale. Good beer, can be a bit up and down on occasions (perhaps when it sells slowly and sits in the keg too long) but all and all is a nice citrusy US pale ale.

• Holgate White Ale. A wit beer, nice yeast character, not too spicy or zesty, great for a warm evening.

• The new Mountain beer – Summer Ale I think?? Nice pale ale, not 100% certain but if I had too guess I’d say it had a fair component of the grist bill made up by wheat and a fair whack off dry hopping. Of course I could be completely wrong. Nice beer though, again good for the warm evening.

• A pumpkin beer. Really don’t remember where this one was from but it smelled like raisin toast. Generally pumpkin beers are based on US pumpkin pies and have a bunch of spices in them, nutmeg, cinnamon etc. hence the raisin toast thing. I haven’t had too many of them but it seems that the pumpkin doesn’t add a whole lot of flavour. I also think pumpkin beers are more of a winter/autumn suited beer so not right for a warm Melbourne evening. I only had a pot of this beer, but not to bad. May not be able to drink a pint of this beer in summer though.

I think I also had a 3 Ravens dark and some Wienstephan. Also doubled up on a couple of beers. The only one I didn’t try was the Hoprocker Alpha Queen on tap, they ran out just as I ordered. I like the beer in the bottle but this was the first time I’ve seen it on tap.

I had some Hungry Jacks on the way home and had to sort out the dodgy staff who were trying to serve up cold chips and warm coke to people. Outraged by the bad chips and luke warm coke I had a chat to management and in no time at all everyone in the shop waiting for their burgers got fresh chips and drinks. Only a little win but made me feel good, nice to fit that one last good deed in for the week. And get fresh chips.

Saturday went for a drive round past Black Rock. I’ve been in Melbourne for 6 years and never been round there. Anyway it was a nice day for lying on the beach and getting a touch of sun (some got more than others). On the way home it was extremely convenient to drop into True South Brewery for a beer or two and something to eat.
Firstly the place and the brewery are awesome, they have dropped a bundle of cash on the joint. Beautiful shiny new brew house right on the beach, lovely bar right on the beach, and fantastic food (we had fat chips and scallops on the shell which I highly recommend).

Now to the beer. I’ve had their pale ale over the past months at Yarra Lounge. It has been getting less hoppy which I’m not a fan of, but to be fair I though it was more an IPA than a pale ale. It has progressively gotten less aggressive. Probably sell more beer that way but I think it’s a bad idea. Jacqui had the New World Pilsner, bright and crisp, all good but not a stand out. I like their beers but am not saying wow about them. Now on to the beer that I thought might do that – The Mint Ninja. That has to be an awesome beer right? What a name. Only one problem, no mint flavour. This beer has been talked up in the papers a bit so perhaps I was expecting more but I expected a mint flavour. Order a liquorice cheese cake you expect it to taste like liquorice right? Wont say I didn’t enjoy the beer but don’t go out of your way for it, especially if you are expecting breath freshing minty goodness. Or ninja flavour. I don’t know what ninja tastes like but after visiting a ninja village in Japan last year I believe that it would taste artificial.

Now to the last new beer, a Bead and Brau Red Ale. I don’t know much about these guys, from South Australia somewhere, but I do like this beer. A nice malty Red Ale (Irish Red??) in the ball park of a Mountain Goat Hightail Ale but I think perhaps better. If you can find this beer give it a go.
Well that’s it for the new beers in the past week or so. I also drank a bit of homebrew, having one right now actually. That’s about it for now. Go drink some new beer people, even if you don’t know what it is, or where it is or anything about it, just as long as it’s not from a big brewery. Or its low carb. Don’t drink that shit, its not good for you, you won’t loose weight by drinking it and it tastes like shit. If you really cant drink a normal beer have a shandy or a portegas. My Nana always has a portegas at Christmas, and here’s the recipe – 1/3 stout (home brewed if you have it) 2/3 lemonade.

That will do for now. I have tried to avoid spelling mistakes and typo’s in this blog entry but no doubt I have fucked that up. Let me know if you find one.

Oh and hamtopia should be over by now otherwise you might be in line for some serious food poisoning.

Cheers D

Beach entry 7/1 – Beer Wars – Stone & Wood Draught Ale V’s Prickly Moses Otway Ale.

Tina TurnerCover of Tina Turner

I penned this one down at the beach last week, wish I was still there.

I’m down at Lorne right now and as the wind picked up a little to much to make reading on the beach all that awesome I decided to head back to the caravan for a beer and decided why not put this beer to use and create beer wars – kinda like thunder dome but without Mel G and Tina T, or the pig shit and dodgey cars, 2 go in 1 comes out.

I already had some Stone & Wool in the esky so I grabbed some Prickly Moses Otway Ale from the supermarket. This is the most local beer as far as I know, and in line with the book I’m reading, “the omnivores dilemma” I thought I’d keep the beer miles down, or something like that. The book is actually quite good but pretty fucking depressing, apparently corn is an American Evil, or something like that. As for the Otway beer I have also had a beer or 2 (ok more) with Hendo, a new brewer there. Good man with his head screwed on right in relation to beer.

Now to the beers. Firstly I need to declare that Stone & Wood Draught Ale (apparently to be renamed Pacific Ale) is a favourite of mine for this summer. It is light, dry and easy drinking yet has a wonderful fruity finish that is all about passionfruit. It reminds me of a pavalova with passion fruit. This is an excellent summer beer, all about fruity floral hops that could lead you to call this a sweet beer. Its not, fruity is not sweet!

Now on to the Prickly Moses Otway Ale. I figured it was the best comparison but in hindsight the summer ale may have been a better choice. I’ve had both before and was never really overwhelmed by the summer ale. It just didn’t give me anything to go wow over. The 6 pack holder almost let me down before I even got it to the till, not the fault of the brewer but almost disaster (I hate spilling beer) and one of the stubbies has no label (Hendo???) No stress here as I am needing some clean bottles for some beer for my sisters wedding in April. But enough of the presentation, on to the beer. This beer is not at all a thing to compare to the Stone & Wood, it is more of an English pale, dominated by a firm bitterness and strong crystal/caramel notes from the malt. The malt bill definitely sits front and foremost for me on this beer. I think this beer would better suit the cooler months.

So that is about how I split them, Stone & Wood Draught Ale is my preference but it is summer. Same trial same place in June, I think the Prickly Moses Otway Ale would hit the spot a little better.

But that’s it for beer wars 1. Stone and Wood Draught Ale wins. Hendo thanks for the bottle with no lable, saved me peeling that one off.

Cheers D

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