Victoria Bitter

Company info:
Carlton & United Breweries
Southbank, VIC


Can size sampled: 375 mL

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Ring-pull

Cost: $TBC

Label info: ‘Heritage Series – Classic 1958 can design – Today’s Best Cold Beer

As soon as we realised that metal chills faster than glass we started selling VB in it. In fact, in 1958 we were the first Australian brewery to sell beer in a can. Back then our cans were 13 1/3 fluid ounces of pure steel, meaning you didn’t get far without a church key and a bit of muscle’

What the label really means: Good stuff. I’m all for beer labels giving a bit of a history lesson on their brew, or their company. I really do appreciate being armed with the alleged knowledge that VB was the first Australian beer sold in a can.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Ok so this week I’ve specifically gone for VB in a can, and not the bottles that I normally seek. Does this change anything? No, I don’t think so. The brew is still being put under the same level of scrutiny that I review all beers with. What drew me to this can was the awesome 1958 design. I love it. It makes me think of boiling Summers, watching cricket on a rickety old black and white television. It makes me think of sprinklers on lawns, and crickets in trees. It just has a certain degree of strength, of nostalgia, of warmth. I probably would have breezed straight past VB, and still not reviewed it, were it not for this heritage series can. I love it.

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA: Quite pleasant….it’s citrussy subtle with a lingering wheat musk.

Taste: GLASS – I, like any Australian drinker, has tasted VB on many occasions. But, I’ve never stopped to smell the roses and to see what this beer is all about. My initial comment upon tasting is that it hits with an initial citrus, hoppy hit. It’s actually quite pleasant – and it almost pains me to say this because I’m supposed to hate this beer aren’t I? Isn’t this supposed to be the epitome of evil in Aussie beer? What the hell is happening to me? 
It’s a tad dry, not overly bitter, and rather drinkable. VB’s main issue is that there is no lingering mouth flavour that sticks with you. It seems to dissipate all too quickly. Look, I’ll defend my review by saying it’s an inoffensive lager that is easy to drink, but oh so generic. It’s not going to win any unique taste awards any time soon but it’ll do the job if you’re after a throw-back beer.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: Can – There’s a bit more of a hoppy punch that takes hold when drinking this from the can, wiping out the citrus tones. I’m drinking this from the can and I am instantly transported to outdoor music festivals, sporting events, and concerts that I’ve attended in the past and VB has been the beer of choice for the venue. It’s taking me on a magical head-journey and I’m enjoying the ride. However, I also note that it becomes a bit drier when drinking from the can, and ever so slightly not as enjoyable.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this along side Bob Dylan’s ‘It Aint me Babe

Accompanying food: Chicken. I’m thinking chicken satay skewers.

Best season to appreciate: A good Summer brew to watch the cricket with.

All-nighter beer? It’s so dry that I wouldn’t like to drink this all night. But…I could if I had no other choice.

NEXT WEEK: Endeavour Amber Ale (2010 Reserve)

  1. […] REASONS TO HAVE A BEER TONIGHTHome Brewing at Mash.Sparge.BoilA Good Ol’ Fashioned Beer Tasting124. Victoria Bitter […]


  2. BargeDave says:

    I’ve not seen those cans. My re-sampling of VB was down the local this week, bottle nowhere in sight. It’s drinkable at the right temperature and in the right environment. It’s rubbish if it’s too warm or you’re too sober and at a shite party. I can’t go near the stuff without thinking about John Mellion (spelling?) being computer enhanced to sound like Bill Hunter and that’s a great way to start a beer. As for the song, while I’d never want to suggest anyone not listen to Dylan, what about the Crowdie’s ‘It’s Only Natural’, which commences with Hessie’s statement “The best cold beer is…Vic”. Vale Hessie.


    • Radio Snivins says:

      Yes, vale Hessie.

      I see you your ‘It’s Only Natural’ intro, Bargé, and raise you one ‘Sister Madly’ outro – ‘That’s sorta how we did it. Yer.’


  3. Mason Hell-Cat says:

    haha – always appreciate your contributions Snivelly.
    Particularly like your video this week…I hang out for another one every damn week!

    P.S. For those interested, my review of Endeavour’s 2010 Reserve Amber Ale will be out tomorrow (9/11/2011). Got caught up watching ep 4 of ‘The Walking Dead’ tonight. Damn that fine, fine show to hell!


  4. Radio Snivins says:

    Another fine review, ‘Kazoo, and informative. I had no idea they were ‘Heritage Series’ cans. I thought Murphett’s were tryin’ to sell old stock, so I gave ’em the swerve. I feel a tad foolish now.

    It’s dangnably fortuitous that you chose Vic Bitter this week, dangnably fortuitous. On Cup Day, Fosters hurled Victoria Pale Lager onto the market. I’ve tried it. It looks ‘n’ guzzles like diluted VB – it’s a piss in the eye for taste, I’ll tell ya. I even diluted a Vic with soda water for cross comparison purposes. They were identical. I’d love to see them on Maury Povich. If they’re not father ‘n’ son then I’ll eat my stubbie holder, and I’m neoprene intolerant.

    That said, I could never falmouth Victoria Bitter. Veebers launched my whiffling career, and made me the foozenaut I am today. I could never falmouth the stuff. I won’t.


    • Radio Snivins says:

      Incidentally, I was yakking to a Grand Poohbah level beer poontz at an Old Booftonians function on Saturday night – my alma mater – and the subject turned to beer genders.

      ‘Traditionally, a beer’s gender is determined by its first name.’ He said. ‘For example: Victoria Bitter is female. Stella Artrois is also female. Whereas Carlton Cold, yuk water that it is, is male.’

      I was about to agree with his Carlton Cold assertion, when I remembered I was wearing one in my kerchief pocket. I mused aloud instead. ‘Fascinating.’ I mused. ‘And it makes perfect sense. But, tell me, what gender would something like Reschs Real Bitter be?’

      ‘Reschs is a eunuch.’ He quipped, and we chortled through the remainder of the Drambuie course.


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