8. Bighead

Posted: May 20, 2009 in Australian ales
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bighead - bottleBighead
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Co.

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.2%
Standard drinks: 1.1

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:
The label contains no waffling marketing talk. Instead, it proudly purports to be ‘Australia’s first no carb beer’

What the label really means:
There’s a lot of talk among weekend beer drinkers (I use this term loosely as if to elevate myself into the status of full-time drunkard) searching for low-carb beers. For them, the appeal of ‘Australia’s first no carb beer’ would seem very attractive. To me, it’s neither here nor there especially since many of the low-carb beers I have tried have not been anything too special. 

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is monochromatic, using only black, white, and silver (sorry, trichromatic), and displays a cartoon image of a humanoid with an extremely large head, and bulbous foetal eyes. You could be forgiven for thinking this is a drawing of an underdeveloped baby except for the fact it has stubble on it’s chin. The word ‘Bighead’ is emblazoned across it’s cranium.

I am in two minds about this label. As you would know, fellow connoisseur, I am drawn more to tough or traditional evoking labels. This to me, depicts neither. It’s edging on silly, but I think there is a certain charm to that and it hasn’t gone overboard, dulling the effect via the trichromatic  design. I think that because it’s not taking itself too seriously, as well as looking like some effort has gone into the design, I can still appreciate the label.

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA: There is really not much at all to report on the aroma. All I can smell is water and I am sadly, setting myself up for disappointment. 


Taste: GLASS – The aroma sure lead me astray – this is one great tasting beer. It’s got a very mild taste (I kind of suspected this would be the case as I am yet to taste a real full-bodied low-carb beer) with a nicely designed bitter after-taste. I enjoyed this beer’s mild taste and I can see it easily being an all-nighter beer.

I see no real evidence that this is a particularly ‘big head’ beer, and found the head quite sufficient. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Definitely not as good. It seems to lose the full effect and become even more mild. Also, I noticed the carbonation seemed to be stronger when drinking from the bottle – bizarre.

Bighead - glass

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

A word from the wife: ‘Mmmm…that’s nyummy…I could go that all night’.

She gave it a taste rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: For some reason, I am thinking of some good old fashioned fried goods like fish and chips. Perhaps the lack of carbs in this beer is making my body yearn for some.

Best season to appreciate: I would suggest this primarily as a summer seasoned beer…but the more I drank of this, I realised how well it goes back and think it would work all year round.

Time taken to finish bottle: 4.5 minutes. Went back way too easily (that’s a good thing).

All-nighter beer? Totally. It goes back super well, and I know I said I’m not one to be concerned for the lack of carbs, it can only be a good thing at the end of the night.

NEXT WEEK:  Knappstein Reserve Lager

  1. BargeDave says:

    Found this one today at Dan Murphy’s. Quite drinkable, and easily the best Queensland beer I’ve ever had. I’ve tried a bunch of low-carb beers in recent months, and have moved from Platinum Blonde to Cascade Green to this as being my preferred brands. Thanks for pointing this one out Mason, I’ll be drinking much of this over coming months.


  2. Andy says:

    Mason, interesting point you raise re the dearth of decent low carb beers. But, have you sampled Cascade Green yet? It’s low carb and tastes rather splendid.

    Somewhat disappointingly, it isn’t actually green in colour though. The ‘green’ instead refers to its environmentally sustainable tree-huggable qualities. Howdathunkit?


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      No I haven’t tried that one Andy! If you say it’s good, I’ll give it a try.
      Will keep my eyes out for it.


    • BargeDave says:

      Andy, thanks for the tip. I’ve recently tried a bunch of low-carb beers looking for a good one and on your recommendation I tried the Cascade Green last night (I hadn’t been aware it was a low carb beer until I read your comment – I thought it was just a tree-huggy marketing exercise). You’re absolutely right – it’s very drinkable. You’re also right that it would be even more fun if it was actually green. Cheers!


  3. BargeDave says:

    Never even seen this beer in SA. What I would query is how a ‘no carb’ beer contains alcohol – which is (by definition) a carbohydrate.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Don’t ask me, I just drink the stuff.
      According to the Burleigh Brewing company’s website, distribution looks to extend from Queensland to Coffs Harbour.


      • BargeDave says:

        I suspect the answer is that by ‘carbohydrate’ they in fact are trying to say ‘sugar’. ‘Sugar’ is one of those words which confuses consumers. There are heaps of different sugars but ‘sugar-free’ tends to refer purely to added sucrose/fructose/glucose, not carbohydrates in general. Similarly, ‘alcohol’ is a whole class of compounds, but when we refer to ‘alcohol’ we actually usually mean ethanol (which is the alcohol in brewed beverages). Because ethanol molecules contain hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms, ethanol is a carbohydrate. But it’s not a sugar. Aaah, there’s nothing like a science degree to turn someone into a smartarse. Similarly, ‘organic’ means ‘contains carbon’. Thus napalm, for example, is an organic substance. As is all plant and meat. But this is not what advertisers of organic products want you to understand when they promote stuff as organic. Yummm, napalm.


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Thanks for the insight BargeDave. I’m not sure my brain can cope with all that science talk and help me understand it but it’s interesting none the less.


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