The Fox is in the hen house alright! Wine maker, Adam Barton branched out into brewing and has come up with a surprisingly complex and pleasing lager.
In Adam’s own words,’ “Like traditional European lagers, a slow cold fermentation and extended maturation has allowed a slow building of clean, crisp lager characters with distinct and engaging hop aromas of grassy florals & spice that are interwoven with the complex biscuity aromas from the use of three types of malt. This is a refreshing lager with low bitterness and a distinct flavour profile that is made with care & patience from natural ingredients.”
This certainly has the characteristics of a German or Czech lager, with solid malty undertones, and a rich golden colour, ‘Biscuity’? Yes, there’s Malted Milk, in there, with a hint of honeydew melon. ‘Refreshing’? Yes, but so so refreshing that you don’t want another one.
If you like lager, you love this. If you like spending money, you’ll love this too. At $156 a case it’s not for your average BBQ or fishing trip, but the cans are 500ml, so you’re getting 12L of quality lager. Cough, cough ……. Christmas is coming……. cough!
Cos it’s a lager n all, I was very much in danger of including Underworld with ‘Born Slippy’ for a third time so here’s the Fleet Foxes with, ‘Ragged Wood’…….
When I think of Spanish beer, I generally think, San Miguel, tapas and headaches. The whole purpose of this blog is to banish such parochial attitudes and in Estrella’s 1906 Special Reserve I find myself vindicated. And yet, it’s a lager and regular readers of the blog will know my jaded views on the amber nectar. Well, this one’s different.
1906 saw a typhoon and tsunami devastate Hong Kong, a major earthquake in San Francisco and the release of the worlds first feature film, ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ in Australia. Having lost the bottle and conducted extensive research, I cannot for the life of me find out why this lager is named 1906. Perhaps it’s the price of a bottle in a Barcelona night club?
The bottle oozes class and you’d almost expect to find vintage port inside. The lager pours thickly into the glass with a light honey aroma and a dark honey colour. On the plate there are hints of crème brûlée and cognac, it’s velvety smooth yet complex and satisfying.. The carbonation is light but the liquid has real body. I am now officially a fan of Spanish lager again.
At 6.5%, it’s not to be taken lightly, unless you want to end up half-naked, dancing on a table singing ‘lager, lager, lager,lager’
Talking of which, here’s Underworld with, “Born Slippy” …….
The World Cup is upon us. Well, not The World Cup, that takes place in England next year. This one is the football World Cup or, as they say here in Australia (and probably in America too), the ‘Soccer World Cup’. That’s so we don’t get it mixed up with ‘football’, ‘footy’, ‘football’ or (in the case of America), ‘football’. To save further confusion, I’m just going to refer to it as ‘the World Cup’.
To honour the start of the ‘World Cup’ I thought I’d try this special edition brew. Contrary to popular belief, Kaiserdom is not a German S&M club, rather an historic brewery from Bamberger, Bavaria. The limited edition World Cup premium lager comes in a one litre can, featuring the Brazilian flag on the front and and is only available in ‘special’ countries. Empty cans are already appearing on ebay and if you drink your beer and then list the empty can, you get your money back …….. and some.
The Germans give good lager and this is no exception. Reliable and efficient, it’s the sort of easy-drinking, slightly malty brew that is loved by footballers and fans alike. It would go well with bacon and eggs or porridge.
Everyone loves a World Cup, even dyed-in-the-wool rugby fans like me. So I’ll be up at 8.00am on Sunday morning to cheer on Eng-er-land. Here’s hoping for an England v Germany final, with us Poms winning 5-4 on penalties!
Best World Cup song ever? Here’s New Order with the 1990 England World Cup squad with, ‘World In Motion’
‘Brewers of genuine beer since 1877’, so reads the label of Bathams Delph Ales Best Bitter. Imagine my surprise then when I knocked the top off and poured out what can only be described as ‘lager’. ‘Lager is as lager does’ as Forest Gump once said, and this so-called ‘best bitter’ is pale straw in colour and has the malty smell of the aforementioned amber nectar.
Now maybe this doesn’t travel too well, but I brought this all the way from the UK, a gift from my baby brother. May be it’s his idea of a joke, but damn me if this doesn’t taste like a lager too! A real Trojan Horse of a Best Bitter, with a prize bull on the bottle top. No prizes for the bull, I’m gonna play it safe and go for a stout tomorrow!
Now I’m a big fan of Matilda Bay, ‘Fat Yak‘ and ‘Redback‘ being two of my favourite Aussie beers, but I found the ‘Minimum Chips’ left me a bit cold. It’s quite fruity on the nose and it’s certainly a lovely golden colour but, like many lagers, it lacks the depth of a real beer.
Perhaps I should stay away from lagers for a while. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad lager, there’s a malty sweetness to it, balanced with a bitter finish and I imagine, when it’s really cold, it would be a good accompaniment to hot, salty chips. But for now, I leave this one to the seagulls.
When in Rome …….. Well, when in Melbourne do as the Melbournians do. Last night I tasted an Menabrea 1846 in the wonderful ‘East Elevation‘ restaurant on Lygon St. This Italian lager is pale gold in colour with a hint of honey on the nose. This sweet aroma is reflected in the taste, southern European in style, it is smoother than its northern European cousins.
I found it to be the perfect accompaniment to the shaved squid and chorizo that my wife and shared for a starter. Danielle even liked the beer too, most rare. I particularly loved the vibe in this restaurant, friendly and informative staff, great ambiance and a soundtrack straight from my iTunes collection, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, The Smiths and this particular beauty from Television, aptly titled, ‘Elevation’
Cornish Lager? Surely not? Well, St Austell Brewery has done a fine job with this amber brew, made from all-Cornish ingredients. I always struggle to describe a lager because they tend to taste ….. well , ‘lagery’
Having said that this is a classy lager, reminiscent of an established European brew like Kronebourg 1664. Slightly sweet on the tongue with a nice tang in the finish, it tastes stronger than its 4.8% abv. If I were to go back to drinking lager, this would be a good place to start.
Here’s Mercury Rev (see what I did there) with ‘Holes’ …….
Just as earlier in the week I didn’t know what the hell a ‘Helles’ was, I didn’t know what a ‘Kolsch’ was until I asked my German friend Bettina. What a journey of discovery this blog is for us all ….. and when I say ‘all’, I mean both of us.
A “Kolsch”, so I’m told, is an easy-drinking lager and this effort by the Manly-based, 4 Pines Brewing Company is certainly that. Bright and clear in appearance, it holds a good head and is clean and fresh on the palate. There is a slightly bitter finish which is nice, but otherwise this lager has very few distinguishable characteristics and I was was surprised to learn that it weighs in at 4.6%. Great for hot days and for those people building up to drinking real beer. More from 4 Pines to come.
Musical association football match ……..
If you have 9 minutes 20 seconds to spare, here’s Kolsch featuring Troels Abrahamsen with their deep house track, “All That Matters”. The video didn’t win any awards …..
I wasn’t sure what a ‘Helles’ was when I popped the top of this “All Malt” brew by the Burleigh Brewery in Burleigh Heads, Queensland. On pouring, I could tell it was definitely a lager by its pale straw colour. The label bumf purports that the lager is inspired by European brews and a little research tells me that a ‘Helles’ is a typical Munich lager, “The aroma should have very low hop tones and bitterness, with a malty or grassy sweetness slightly apparent. A slight bready yeast tone should also be notable. The aroma should be somewhat muted. The taste Should also have a low hop bitterness. A mild malt sweetness should be notable, along with a bready yeast flavour.”(TheBeerSpot.com).
Now, I don’t read anything but the front label before my tastings so I’m quite pleased to report that this Helles pretty much does what is says on the tin. There’s no real strong aroma and the taste is clean and reminiscent of a Becks Vier. At 3.5% it’s a good old fashioned session lager, not too much gas and a balanced malty flavour with an ever so slight bitter finish. It slides down very easily indeed. Burleigh Brewery must have done their homework.
Continuing my beer and music association football, here are the Arch Dukes themselves