Frequently Asked Questions

What is this blog about?

Someone once said ‘Bring me your wounded and I’ll make them well. Bring me your thirsty and I’ll feed them a beer’ – or something like that. This site is intended to feed the curious, enlighten the darkened, and open up the world of beer. I’ll provide indepth reviews of beers you may not have heard of, beers you’ve been too afraid to try, and probably some of your favourites. You might agree with everything I say, or you might think I am totally missing something that you appreciate. Either way, don’t be afraid to let me know.

While yes, there may be other beer review websites, mine is different. I’ll tell it how it is, in words anyone can understand, and you might just have a bit of fun reading it.

How will beers be critiqued?

The important thing to keep in mind when reading these reviews (and indeed adding your own) is that beer is not just a drink. It is an experience. The overall experience needs to be reviewed and not just the throwing back of a liquid.

With that in mind, I will use the following to critique/review beers:

  • Aroma – this is a crucial element to any good beer. A bad aroma can instantly ruin the experience, a pleasant aroma can instantly add some serious street cred
  • Taste – this will be assessed according to drinking from the bottle, and from the glass. I’m not a beer snob by any means and certainly do not subscribe to the fact that beer needs to be drunk from a glass. I have, however noticed that drinking from the glass can produce a different taste – sometimes better, sometimes worse
  • A word from the wife – Being open to most beer styles, my wife will give a brief review from her side of the fence
  • Accompanying food – this is a nice to know assessment based on my own food tastes. Listen to this advice if you need it, ignore it if you don’t
  • All-nighter beer? – I’ll give a yes/no rating on whether each beer in my opinion could be an all-nighter
  • Time taken to finish bottle – The time I give for this item will be a good indicator as to how much I enjoyed the beer. If I say 20 minutes for one 375mL bottle, you can be assured it was a real mission to finish – and yes, I finish every beer I start
  • Label review – A well designed label can really sell a beer to me. If it has something tough on it like guns or missiles, robots, or a dead guy holding a knife, it will earn great points. If it has something like flowers and fairies on it (yes there is a beer I know of that had exactly this) it will fail in the label arena. While a label doesn’t affect the taste it’s important to know if it’s cool or lame

I’ll add other information as my reviews progress – feel free to suggest others that I can add. 

What other information will be provided for each beer?

I will include the following information for all reviewed beers:

  • Beer style – Ale or lager
  •  Brand name
  • Alcohol percentage and # of standard drinks
  • Cap type – Twist or You’ll need an opener
  • Volume
  • What the label says – Sometimes the label can make you believe a whole range of rubbish such as ‘it has aromas of freshly cut grass while the taste will make you think of ferry floss on a ferris wheel’. I’ll list what the label says but I’ll tell you how it really is
  • What the label really means: Cutting through all the marketing mumbo jumbo, I’ll tell you what they really mean

Can I suggest other beers for Mason to review?

Absolutely! There is no way in hell that I will ever know of every beer available on the local and international market – and that’s where you guys come in. Tell me your favourite beer, tell me your worst, or just tell me the name of one you’d like to hear my thoughts on. If I can find it, I will drink it, and I will review it. If I can’t find it, but you know where I can get it, you just may find that I remove a small piece of your spleen while you sleep and then move to Nicaragua.

What beers does Mason enjoy?

The list of beers I love is so massive I would have to download the entire contents of Google, print them out on to A4 paper, laminate half of the pages, and then use a highlighter to find hidden messages pertaining to Michael Jackson’s facial reconstruction surgery while taking a big ol swig of a great tasting pale ale.

I often tend to gravitate towards ales under my own direction but that doesn’t limit my choice by any means.

I will, give a special cheers to my current top of the barrel favourites Little Creatures Pale Ale, Boags ‘Strong Arm’, Coopers Pale Ale, and Rogue’s ‘Dead Guy Ale’. But that’s just this week!

I just can’t get enough of the Mason Hell-Cat Beer Blog. When will this site branch out into other media?

Well! Did you know we are now on Facebook? Type in ‘Mason Hell-Cat’s Beer Blog’ and join our group. You’ll have exclusive access to behind the scenes photos, tips, and discussion boards. Stay tuned for our Youtube channel, or otherwise search for masonhellcat for some of my previous stupidity.

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Comments
  1. Brett says:

    Buddy you did OB a while back. Korean beers seem to be getting a bit more popular around Sydney recently. Local bottlos stock “Cass” and “Hite”. I find them all equally watery (taste like Blonde to me) but would like to get your take on them – so perhaps if you want a suggestion they can be added to your list? The Hite company also make something called “Max” that’s sold in Redfern by the case. See if you can even tell the difference in taste between these. If you PM me your address I can send them up your way. I’ve drunk them often out at Korean BBQ – but I can’t tell the diff by taste alone. I should say, I generally add a shot of soju to a glass to make their “somek” (basically a boilermaker).

    Like

  2. nicksyme says:

    Hey mate, hoping you can have a look at this and let me know what you think. How to get more hits, any ideas?? http://stoutappreciation.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Great blog nicksyme! I really admire your passion for the dark liquid.
      Keep up the great work, and plug your reviews on Facebook and Twitter – it’s guaranteed to boost your hits. (Oh, and use tags at the end of each post rather than just site tags).

      Cheers, and thanks for stopping in!
      Mason.

      Like

      • stoutfather says:

        Thankyou Mason. I have a Hell of a passion for stouts, excuse the pun… I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading many many more of yours!

        Regards

        The Stoutfather

        Like

  3. Rich says:

    G’Day Mason! I have been considering my own beer blog for quite some time and, having just happened upon yours, have decided that I’ll give it a red-hot go. Just hope that no-one thinks I’m plagiarising yours, as my ideas for blog format appear to be very similar to your own! Great minds, I suppose…

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Go for it Rich. As I’ve always said, the whole reason I started this beer blog was for me to keep a diary or record of the beers I’ve tasted. I often refer back to it before buying cases of beer. Once you’re up and running, be sure to post a link so that I, and readers of this blog, can check it out. Good luck.

      Like

  4. PeachesB says:

    Hi Mase,
    Love the blog! I want to put together a ‘beers of the world’ package as a xmas present for my old man just wondering if you could recommend some? I’m looking at getting him about 24 bottles. I’m not concerned about price as long as they are good quality, also they don’t necessarily need to be international beers either as he has expressed interest in trying some botique Australians beers. He has no preference for style of beer either.
    Cheers, PeachesB.

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Peaches – glad to have you on board!
      What a good question you pose. Tough and thought provoking all in one.
      I am really going to have to sit down and have a think about this one…. give me a couple of days to have a think and I’ll get back to you.

      If any of my readers would like to suggest brews to be included, note them down!

      Cheers,
      Mason Hell-Cat.

      Like

    • Tracey Hareb says:

      Hi I work for a German Belgium and Czech Republic beer co I beleive we have some of the best beers in the world

      Like

  5. Andrea says:

    Mason,

    I am a huge fan of the #9 just to let you know it is not peach but Apricot that the beer is flavored with.

    Like

  6. Drams man says:

    Hi Mason.
    Found your blog by accident whilst trying to find a Scottish brewery I tasted at our local beer fest so I could stock it in my shop.
    Great work indeed; love the format and the informal info.
    Don’t know the logistics of sending out beer to Oz, but let me know if I can ever be of any use.

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      G’day Drams! Welcome to the blog. Glad you like it, and hopefully you’ll stick around to comment on some of the brews.

      I would gladly accept your help in the worldly exploration of beer. I’m particularly keen to try a Scottish brew!

      Like

  7. Marc says:

    Hey mate,
    While in Tiujana Mexico, i ordered a corona and the bartender said that this beer was the ‘foster’s’ equivalent of the Mexican beer, he said for real Mexican quality beer that I try Tecate, most of the locals were on it so I figured what the hell. after trying it, i was hooked and he was right, Corona doesn’t carry the same taste. My question is what are your thoughts on Tecate and do you know if they stock the stuff in oz?

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Marc,

      Welcome to the lair of the Hell-Cat.

      Interesting about the Corona comment – I’d actually heard similar sentiments before. I’m not a big fan of Corona (I’ll drink it if I feel like having a full strength shandy), and mostly what annoys me is the clear bottle. [For those that didn’t know, sunlight can destroy the taste of beer, killing off yeast, and hence the reason Corona is often served with lime (it gives it taste)].

      I haven’t heard of Tecate so I’m glad you’ve pointed it out to me. I’ve looked it up and see that it comes in a brown glassed bottle, so it already gets one tick of approval from me. I will definitely seek this out.

      Cheers,
      Mason.

      Like

      • BargeDave says:

        Mase, I’m being a pedantic bastard again, but sunlight affects the acids which are extracted from hops, not the yeast in beer. Lagers like Corona contain no yeast in the bottled form. Generally, clear bottles can be bad for beer but apparently due to a chemical additive this isn’t as severe as it used to be.

        Like

      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Yeah what he said!

        Like

      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Further to all this, I tried Tecate not long ago. Agree it is far superior to Corona. Great beer.

        Like

  8. Aaron says:

    Greetings from Louisiana! I am a college student at LSU and have stumbled upon your blog and truly love reading it. I was wondering if you have any suggestions on good all-night college beers, and by college beers I mean ones my friends are too scared to drink. Thanks! and Cheers!

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      G’day Aaron – welcome aboard this shoddy attempt at a beer blog.

      Interesting question!

      If I understand you correctly, you’re after beers that you can take to a college party, store in a common area (such as a bathtub with ice in it – always my favourite place at any house party) and simply because they are unknown, or foreign, your friends won’t drink them (ensuring more for you)?
      Secondly, I guess I may need to assume you only have access to US beers?

      Let me know if I am on the right track with my understanding!
      Cheers,
      Mason.

      Like

  9. Suze says:

    Hi Mason,

    Great beer review site you have here. I would like to see you review some girly beers. I am looking for a beer that won’t leave me bloated with a lighter more delicate flavour. can you reccomend any?

    Like

    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Suze, thanks for stopping by.
      I would suggest a low-carbs beer such as Pure Blonde, or beers of that ilk, would have the qualities you are after. I’ll have a bit of a scout around and see what low-carb beers are on the market, give a couple a try and report back in the weeks to come.

      As an aside note, the section in all my reviews entitled ‘A word from the wife…’ is intended to give a female’s perspective on all beers tasted. Hopefully you find this useful.

      Cheers,
      Mason.

      Like

      • BargeDave says:

        I’ve recently tried a number of the low-carb beers (damn beer gut) and reckon the Platinum Blonde is the best of the lot. Seems to have the closest to a decent European lager flavour out of all the low-carb efforts I’ve tried. I was disappointed with the Hahn SuperDry – Hahn beers are usually very good but this tasted very lame indeed.

        Like

      • Pia says:

        What about the new White Stag? That’s low carb & I tried it for the first time last week and I really liked it … possibly more than Pure Blonde …

        Like

      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        I haven’t actually tried White Stag, Pia. I’ll give it a go.

        Like

  10. luke says:

    Very impressed.
    Keep it comin’

    Like

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