Posts Tagged ‘obrien pale ale’

O'Brien Pale Ale - bottleO’Brien Pale Ale
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
O’Brien Brewing Pty Ltd
Ascot Vale, VIC

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.5%

Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:

There’s no descriptive information written on the label – which is fine by me. I think they are hoping that the words ‘naturally brewed’ and ‘gluten free beer’ is all we need to know – and particularly for the gluten intolerant, this is what they need to know.

What the label really means:


The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: One word – LAME! It looks like a no-frills, home-brand type label. They’ve gone to no effort aside from using the same fonted ‘B’ as appears in the ‘Victoria Bitter’ brand (perhaps this is explained below in my tasting notes). It is definitely not attractive to the eye and I wouldn’t have been drawn to it if it weren’t for the ‘gluten free’ factor. You see, I realise there are gluten intolerant people in the world that probably love beer, so this tasting is for you guys. Sorry you get such a horrible label.

I give it a label rating of 1 out of 10.

AROMA: Wow! I certainly was not prepared for the amazing aroma that comes from this beer. There is a distinct honey smell that immediately makes me think of Crackenback’s Pale Ale. My expectations were set very high.

Taste: GLASS – For me this was very disappointing. There is an overpowering bitterness (perhaps this is O’Brien’s nod to Victoria Bitter) that is completely unexpected from a pale ale. My nostrils were being tantalised by smells of honey and sweetness while my tastebuds were bombarded with bitterness.
The other thing that really hit me was that this tasted extremely over-carbonated. One sip and I needed to burp. Not pretty.
I think the over-carbonation is evident in the photo of the beer in the glass. 

O'Brien Pale Ale - glass

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Drinking this from the bottle meant there was no aroma to difuse the bitterness and I found it just a little too sharp to drink. 

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

A word from the wife: ‘Soft, melodic, fruity flavours… the merlot of beers…..not too heavy’.

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

Accompanying food: I could imagine this beer accompanying a good pizza or pasta dish. Definitely tomato or cheese based dishes.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely a warmer season beer.

Time taken to finish bottle: 7 minutes. I really struggled over this beer to determine what was so wrong. Was I missing something? Why did the wife think melodic sweetness while I was being knocked in the teeth by bitterness. I agonised over every mouthful desperately wanting to showcase something good for the gluten intolerant. Sadly, I don’t feel this is it.

All-nighter beer? Not for me I’m afraid. I’d maybe be able to stomach 4 or so before wanting something a bit less harsh.

Other notes: I’d really like to hear responses from you guys, the readers. Have I missed something here? Is this beer worthwhile? Please let me know your thoughts.

After every beer tasting I do for this site, I visit the beer’s website to see how they market it and to get some background information. For the O’Brien Pale Ale they say  “It is a traditional 19th century Australian pale ale, brewed with the finest malted gluten-free grains”. Perhaps I haven’t tried enough 19th century recipes to know a good one when I taste one. Please, enlightened reader, convince me this is a beer worthy of another tasting.

NEXT WEEK: Cobra Premium Beer (our first international beer)