#32 – Stoke Bomber Smoky Ale

Good, but probably not good enough.

Name: McCashin Family Original Stoke Bomber Smoky Ale
Style: Smoked Ale
Brewed by: McCashin Family brewery (Nelson, New Zealand)
Alc: 5.7% abv.
Price: $10/650ml bottle @ Thorndon New World.

Today’s review is brought to you by the letters ™.

Lots of baggage with this beer. Following on from the kerfuffle caused when Montieths trademarked the term ‘radler’ (which I ranted about in review #12), earlier this year Stoke decided to do the same to, er, protect the term ‘bomber’ in reference to their 650ml bottle size. It’s bad enough when DB does this sort of thing, but when it’s one of your own, as McCashin’s or Stoke (whatever they want to call themselves) were considered to be, it’s been a bitter pill for many to swallow. But are they really still one of the good guys? Continue reading

Review #9 -Sprig & Fern Tasman Lager

Tasman Lager (Strong Lager, 6.5%). Sprig & Fern, Nelson, New Zealand. $11/1.3 litre rigger.

The good stuff.

Tight-arse Tuesday round two, and I’m attacking the Sprig & Fern Tasman Lager which has been looking out at me from the shelves at Pak’n’Save for a while now. $11 for a 1.3 litre plastic rigger doesn’t exactly scream quality, but it is undeniably good value – assuming it’s drinkable. I can try and convince myself that decent beer need not come in a bottle or (god forbid) a can. But something’s not right. I read that Sprig & Fern are actually in the process of setting up a tavern on Tinakori road, within theoretical walking distance of my house, to sell their ‘award-winning’ range of craft beers. It opens in late February or early March, and while it’s their first North of the strait they have five in the Nelson area. I read on and these awards actually mean something. I mean, I’m sure even the Atlas from last week won an award somewhere, no doubt at some backwoods Albanian festival no reputable brewer could be bothered entering anything into but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. These people might actually know what they’re doing. Then I find some reviews and they are utterly glowing. I’m left confused and intrigued. It’s cheap, so what’s the catch again? Continue reading