Posts Tagged ‘Lager’

Love Tap - BOTTLELove Tap Double Lager

Company info:
Moon Dog Brewing
Abbotsford, VIC

[www.moondogbrewing.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 5.9%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.95 AU

Label info: “Love Tap, Baby, Love Tap Babeeee! ….something and a something…as big as a whale…huggin’ and a dancin’ and a lovin’ and wearin’ next to nothing…and it’s about to set sail to the love tap”.
‘Pretty sure (almost certain) they weren’t the exact words but we reckon if they were they’d be a bang on way to describe this new world craft lager. It’s got a big schmack of citrusy, tropical hops and a clean, crisp finish. Enjoy!
AND
‘Really ridiculously fun beer’
AND
‘Vitals:
Malt: Pilsner, carared, carapils, Munich; Hops: Galaxy, Motueka, Tettenang; Yeast: Lager’

What the label really means: What I love about this label is the sense of humour. These guys clearly aren’t stuck up snooty craft brewers, they’re regular folks having a bit of fun with a very fun label description. They make fun of the classically horrid B52 track ‘Love Shack’ with their own spin. But then this is all juxtaposed with some very serious ‘Vitals’ for all the interested beery nerds. Love it. Love Tap - GLASS

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Just like the label text, here is a label that is clearly not taking itself too seriously, is having a bit of a laugh and succeeds in being very cool. The label is a funny greeny yellow colour with a black and white photo of a pig to the side. The pig wears a top hat and a bow tie – again showing that these guys don’t take themselves so seriously that they can’t have a bit of fun. ‘Love Tap’ is scrawled in thick texta-type while ‘Double Lager’ comes in its own little speech bubble straight from the pig’s mouth. All of the above mentioned text appears hand written on the bottle. The whole thing reminds me a bit of what Brew Dogs do – sticking it to the establishment, rebellious, tough, and fun. 

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

AROMA:  Sadly the aroma is a bit lacking….there’s nothing outstanding and it smells like a regular run of the mill citrus lager.

Taste: GLASS – What I love most about this full-bodied, smack in the chops lager is the pervasive bitterness. They have taken a typical inoffensive citrus lager and turned it on its head. They have redefined the power of the lager and presented a very inspiring beauty. Very dry, very enjoyable.

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

Taste: BOTTLE  The bitterness here, that I found such a highlight from the glass, surprises me once more by now becoming a little more refined. It’s a lot smoother now and I think I enjoy it a tad more from the bottle.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Some kind of tomato-based food would sit well beside this. I feel the acidity would cut through the dryness and soften it even more.

Best season to appreciate: A warmer weather brew.

All-nighter beer? For my money this is more of a pre-dinner beer to open the salivary glands. For me it’s a little too dry to drink all night.

NEXT WEEK: Stone and Wood Jasper Ale

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Pistonhead Kustom Lager - CANPistonhead Kustom Lager
Sweden Flag

Brewery info:
Brutal Brewing AB,
Varby, SWEDEN

[www.brutalbrewing.com]

Can size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.75 AU

Label info: ‘Custom brewed with a double-clutch of Munchener-malt and pilsner malt injected with spalter select, magnum and perle hops’ 

What the label really means: The description is definitely revving my taste buds into action.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is the label I have been looking for all these years. Sheer design perfection. The can is a matte black finish with a white sugar-skull inspired design. There are splashes of blood red across the skull’s forehead with a spade motif smack bang between the eyes. The skulls itself is surrounded by a simple silver flame that shoots off behind it. There’s a banner beneath the skull that proudly announces ‘Pistonhead’ in big bold lettering while ‘Kustom Lager’ is in a cursive script beneath. It has a style of tattoo meshed firmly with street art graffiti and works brilliantly. This truly is label perfection. I cannot find a single fault with this and I am proud to hold this in my blood-stained hands.

I give it a label rating of 10 out of 10.Pistonhead - GLASS

AROMA:  Citrussy, musky, good. 

Taste: GLASS – It’s most certainly a very familiar lager encased within this canned beauty. But what is it that distinguishes this from the myriad of lagers in its class? Well…nothing really. It’s a very, very enjoyable drop that is incredibly smooth and has a slight hint of malty goodness, but it’s a bit run of the mill. I guess I expected, and hoped, for more. Still…it’s a great beer that deserves a tasting.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the can Pistonhead loses a good dose of that malty undercurrent and as such becomes a little one-dimensial. It’s still good, it’s just not as strong.

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

Accompanying food: Chilli prawns or chilli beef would suit this well.

Best season to appreciate: A real summer thirst quencher. 

All-nighter beer? Absolutely! Pistonhead slides back very easily. I am most certainly up for the all night challenge.

NEXT WEEK: Fred IPA

Coedo Beniaka - BOTTLECoedo Beniaka
Japanese_flag - SMALL

Company info:
Coedo Brewery
Saitama, JAPAN

[www.coedobrewery.com]

Bottle size sampled: 333 mL

Alcohol: 7%
Standard drinks: TBC

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for approx. $3.10 AU

Label info: ‘Imperial Sweet Potato Amber’
AND
‘Super Premium Japanese Craft Beer’

What the label really means: It was the very mention of sweet potato that compelled me to purchase this beer. Keen to see how it tastes.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is predominantly red with silver text all over it. ‘COEDO’ stands out in huge letters, with ‘Beniaka’ in a cursive script beneath it. At the top of the label is the company logo that is flower-inspired, flanked by the words ‘Beer Beautiful’. A more subtle design element are the letters C-O-E-D-O in a darker red, patterned across the label – it adds a nice touch of depth to the label which would otherwise be rather dull. However it’s the textured bottle (with the same letters scattered about) that this label scores big points with.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.Coedo Beniaka - GLASS

AROMA: Caramel malty tones shoot out at all directions. There’s a slight alcoholic aroma in there too, hinting at the 7% contents.

 

Taste: GLASS – A surprisingly smooth mouth feel with strong, hearty, upfront malt flavours. Very easy to drink, and surprisingly not overbearing in alcohol. A very interesting and complex brew, despite no real detection of sweet potato flavours. It is certainly tantalising my taste buds and I am very pleased to be drinking this from its home country.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle Beniaka is just as good. It’s just as malty, remains very smooth and ultimately very enjoyable. The caramelisation is perhaps a little more pronounced now and it makes for one very delicious drop.

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

Accompanying food: Smoked duck with wasabi. I had this dish the night before (minus the wasabi) and I feel it’s the perfect accompaniment. 

Best season to appreciate: Most definitely a winter brew.

All-nighter beer? The perfect apres-ski beer that I feel is easily sessionable. An all-nighter.

Note: According to Coedo’s website, ‘Beniaka refers both to the unique potato with which it is made and to its vibrant, yellow-tinged red colour.
Because of its use of sweet potato as a secondary ingredient, Japanese laws classify Beniaka as a happoshu (malt beverage) rather than a beer’.

NEXT WEEK: Pistonhead (the beer I promised weeks ago)

Granite Pils - BOTTLEGranite Pils

Company info:
Granite Belt Brewery

Stanthorpe, QLD

[www.granitebeltbrewery.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 5.2%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.99 AU

Label info: ‘With a sharp, bitter taste, this pilsner is not for the faint hearted. In the Granite Belt we recommend you harden up with Granite Pils’

What the label really means: Oh they breed em tough in the Granite Belt don’t they?

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label features a big beefy bloke with an uncanny resemblance to Aussie icon Mark Jacko Jackson. He takes centre stage holding two ‘1.5L’ steins of beer aloft. He’s a muscly beefcake bloke with muscles rippling across his badly airbrushed chest, his white hair sticks up in salute to the sulphur crested cockatoo, and underneath the words ‘Granite Pils’ are presented in a strong font. It’s a mixture of silver and greys, and it reflects the colour of granite quite well. Unfortunately for me I don’t think the design works too well. I think Jacko’s t-shirt gets lost in a sea of grey and it turns out to be a little plain. This would be improved hugely if the bloke was replaced by an all stone humanoid holding the beers aloft, on a sea of say crimson red. 

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.Granite Pils - GLASS

AROMA:  Very mild soft citrus wheat aromas. Not as strong as I had hoped.

Taste: GLASS – Rising above the ranks of many pilsners who have gone before, Granite Pils delivers all of the wheaty citrus goodness you could ask for, but with a sprinkling of bitterness. The bitterness gives a certain depth and character to the beer and it is very enjoyable. Over all mouth feel is impressive, with a good cleansing after taste.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Unfortunately from the bottle Granite Pils becomes a lot more watery and far less enjoyable. Plus this bottle has a slight metallic taste from where the cap once sat. I suggest you stick to the glass.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Chargrilled seafood – prawns, squid, baby octopus…you get the picture.

Best season to appreciate: A fine Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? For sure! This is very drinkable, very sessionable.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Duff - CANDuff
USA flag - SMALL

Company info:
Imported by Pinnacle Liquor
Surry Hills, NSW
Product of U.S.A

[No website listed on can]

Can size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Ring pull

Cost: I picked this up for $2.99 AU

Label info: N/A

What the label really means: N/A

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The beer made famous by animated series The Simpsons has materialised as a real brew. Here is the label that we have seen in countless episodes. The same font, the same colour, the same everything. It is instantly recognised as easily as we would recognise one of the characters and instantly the connection from the beer to the series is made.
I vaguely remember many years ago an Australian company released Duff and was subsequently taken to court by Fox for copyright infringement. Now, this brew has been released as an ‘Australian Edition’ purporting to be a product of the USA and endorsed by Matt Groening (his signature is on the can!) and Fox. To me it reeks of a marketing ploy with the brewers knowing they have an instant customer base of nostalgic fools. Let’s hope the beer brings more to the table than a cheap gimmick. For attention to detail and authenticity to the celluloid design I have rated this label accordingly.

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA:  It’s how I imagine the carpet in Moe’s Tavern smells – a washed out stale-citrus aroma.Duff - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Duff is a generic citrus infused lager with a smattering of bitterness and little else. It’s exactly as you’d expect. But perhaps that is the joke…it tastes just like all the other big US brews (think Bud, Millers, Coors, etc). It’s the stereotypical US beer that fits the mass produced formula of blandness, designed to be consumed in high quantity. Is Duff being ironic? Is this a post-modern brew where bland becomes unique? No. This is as boring as a night watching slides at Patti and Selmas. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 4 out of 10.

Taste: CAN Surprisingly, Duff becomes even more dull when tasted from the can. It’s like the night at Patti and Selmas just got turned down a notch with the arrival of Principal Skinner’s mum. What little taste I could sense from the glass has now all but packed up and headed back to Grandpa’s retirement village.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 3.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I often suggest spicy dishes for bland brews, especially lagers, and this is no exception. Grab yourself a chilli pork dish and tuck in like Homer at an all you can eat buffet.

Best season to appreciate: Summer I suppose.

All-nighter beer? Designed to be consumed in quantity. To be thrown back as quick as you can. It’s so inoffensive that it could be an all-nighter in the right hands. Not for me.

NEXT WEEK: New Englander Brown Ale

Rudeboy - BOTTLERudeboy

Company info:
Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Bobs Farm, N.S.W

[www.murraysbrewingco.com.au]

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Murray’s Rudeboy Pilsner’s distinctive crisp and refreshing taste has seen it become a favourite among the country’s top chefs and foodie community. Murray’s Pilsner pours a pale straw colour with an intense citrusy aroma and flavour. This is delivered by the New Zealand motueka hop, which is balanced by sweet biscuity malt, and finishes with a refreshing bitterness’
AND
’cause most other pilsners are mod-cons’

What the label really means: With only the front tagline, ’cause most other pilsners are mod-cons,’ as the only reference to the rudeboy name (and subculture) I’m a little concerned this is an off-target marketing stunt.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Murray’s, you have done it again. These guys cannot put a foot wrong in the labelling department. This label has the mod-inspired target symbol with a soft blue on the outside and a pinky red on the inside. ‘rudeboy’ is emblazoned across the middle with the ‘b’ pointing up to the top of the label. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s a well-received nod to rudeboy and mod subcultures. Once again for Murray’s, this is very close to label perfection.

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10.

AROMA:  A tad disappointing, there’s distinctive wheaty citrus flavours emerging but little else.Rudeboy - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Rudeboy is a typical pilsner with good crisp, mouth punching flavours that make this brew a real smack to the chops. A smooth dry beer with tinges of raw sugar caramelisation. It’s not the edgy, rule-breaking, throw caution to the wind brew I had hoped for but it’s still a good drop.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE  From the bottle Rudeboy becomes a tad watered down in flavour – while all the key ingredients are still able to be tasted. It remains big and beefy and a tinge of bitterness creeps through in the after taste.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Lamb…pinkish pepper-crusted lamb.

Best season to appreciate: The dryness leads me to suggest this as more of a Winter brew as it’s not refreshing in the least.

All-nighter beer? It’s a bit too dry for me to stick to all night, so no.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Viking - BOTTLEViking
Flag of Iceland - SMALL

Company info:
Vifilfell
Akureyri, ICELAND

[No website listed]

Alcohol: 4.4%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99AU

Label info: ‘Pilsner Bjor from the pure waters of Iceland‘.

What the label really means: Hopefully a clean, crisp beer that truly showcases the pure Icelandic waters.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is one very cool label. Depicted is Odin, a Norse god, and father of Thor. He is flanked by two dragons, while a faithful dog sits at his side. Odin sits with his head held high, his helmet wings pointing to the heavens, while a heavy robe is draped on his noble shoulders. It’s all in monochrome and this is the absolute key to the success of the label – it could easily have gone down a gaudy or comical route and instantly made the beer a joke. Instead it hints that the beer inside is traditional, strong, full of character and depth, and one to be held above all others. It’s strong and bold and I love it.

I give it a label rating of 8.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  There’s a very typical lager aroma arising from this brew…citrus and hoppy fresh. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, as it’s definitely a pleasant aroma. I’m just saying that it’s not boding well for originality. 

Taste: GLASS – Not bad…this pilsner style beer is typically citrus-infused with a tinge of bitterness, nut it’s also a tad bland. It’s very easy to drink by being overly watery, and under-carbonated. Sadly, this is a very middle-of-the-road brew that I suggest you do not go out of your way for. Viking - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Unfortunately for Viking, drinking it from the bottle ensures the brew becomes even more bland and dull. It becomes a little more watery and even the citrus flavours are dulled. I am disappointed. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A spicy Asian pork dish would suit this brew.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I really could drink this brew all night but I’d feel a little empty and unsatisfied by the end.

Over-all impression: This beer has been imported into Australia and I’m not too sure why they’ve even bothered. A cool label, and exotic country of origin can only carry a beer so far. There are a tonne of great pilsners out there that are comparable if not better than this. Sadly, flavour is really lacking in this brew – perhaps it didn’t survive the journey from Iceland.

NEXT WEEK: TBC