“India’s Premier Lager” according to, er, itself. If true, this is unfortunate.
Name: Kingfisher Strong Premium Beer
Brewed by: Blossom Industries/United Breweries (Bangalore, India)
Alc: <7.2% abv.
Price: $4 per 500ml can from Countdown (Crofton Downs)
First Tightarse Tuesday post for a long time and so I turn to the Kingfisher strong, a high strength lager from the land of…wait, what was that? Less than 7.2%? What the hell does that mean? How much less? Could you be a bit more specific on this? No? Well why not say less than 10%, or 18%, or 40%? Regardless, this is what it says on the can. In small writing. Right above where it lists the ingredients which are, and I quote:
Water, Malted Barley, Sugar, Rice/Maize/Millet/Corn Syrup, Ethyl Alcohol (generated in the process), Hops and Yeast. Contains permitted natural colour.
…and suddenly I have that sinking feeling. Continue reading
- It could be worse, conceivably.
An auspicious day, this. May the first, international worker’s day, when sweaty layabouts worldwide belt out the Internationale almost as if it still means anything; neopagan Beltane, which really should be Samhain here, the end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark half of the year, marked with the opening of gates to the various netherworlds. It is also the feast day of St. James the Less, an epithet I am not going to mock if his dead-but-not-really spirit happens to be out and about (though if you’re reading this, zombie Jim, it’s not as bad as being remembered as Charles the Fat or Charles the Simple or George the Worryingly Mad and they were all kings). But it’s also tightarse Tuesday, and I choose to commemmorate the day with another cheapie from the nasty end of the shelf, the Crest Super.
Tightarse Tuesday time again, and just for something different I’ve gone for another bottle of Coopers. This time it’s the Best Extra Stout*, as opposed to the Happy Super Pale Ale or the Superlative Triple Ultimate Porter. Silly names aside, it ticks two out of three boxes so far. On special at $5.49 for a big bottle it’s certainly cheap, and at 6.3% it should pack a bit of a punch. So, is it any good?
- Urk…is that what I’ve been drinking for twenty years?
Name: Coopers Sparkling Ale
Style: Golden Ale/Blonde Ale
Brewed by: Coopers Brewery (Regency Park, South Australia)
Alcohol: 5.8% abv.
Price: $5.49/750ml bottle
From: Khandallah New World
Woohoo! Tight-arse Tuesday!
I’ve been drinking this stuff for nearly a quarter of a century now. I have been known to say in my more belligerent moments that this is the best beer Australia has produced. That plainly isn’t the case of course but compared to the rancid bilge many Australians erroneously call beer it’s astoundingly good. Coopers occupies a strange middle ground between independent and mainstream, between craft and mass production. Very consistent for something that is bottle-conditioned and has no additives or preservatives, comfortably in the budget range, thoughtfully sold in big bottles perfect for home brewing, it’s definitely one of my go-to beers. And yet in all that time I’ve never, ever, poured in into a glass, taken my time and really tasted it. I wonder why that is? Continue reading
- From the label: “Holsten Pils gets its unique and distinctive taste because more of the natural sugars turn to alcohol during our enhanced fermentation process. This also makes it lower in carbohydrates than some other leading lagers.”
Name: Holsten Pils
Style: German Pilsner
By: Holsten-Brauerei AG (Carlsberg)
Origin: Hamburg, Germany
Alcohol: 5% abv
Price: $3.20/500ml can
From: Pak n Save
Perhaps by this point I should just call it tight-arse Wednesday and be done with it.
This one is better than expected but I really wasn’t expecting much. Continue reading
Cucapá Obscura (American Brown Ale, 4.8%). Cervecería Cucapá (Mexicali, Mexico). $10/6 x 355ml bottle.
- Hecho en Mexico. You could do worse.
Here we go again with another Wednesday edition of tight-arse Tuesday. It’s not all down to sheer laziness though. Part of it is because of the dread I felt yesterday at the thought of going down to pick out another undrinkable can of bland and possibly toxic Europiss, the shame at taking it up to the counter and the absurdity of paying for the privilege of doing so. So, after procrastinating for far too long I find myself in Thorndon New World looking sadly at the shelves of seemingly interchangeable cans of desperate self-loathing but on the point of giving up entirely I wander down the other end and find a well-priced six pack of this Mexican beer which is not only not European but is not a pale lager. I feel like I’m saved. Continue reading
Melchers Dutch Gold Lager, aka Melchers Rembrandt Masterpiece (Pale Lager, 5% abv). InBev (Leuven, Belgium). $2.49/500ml can.
- Canned meh. Better than it sounds.
After a week long Southern sojourn I find myself back in Wellington again on tight-arse Tuesday*, and it’s with a feeling of dread I pick out another can of Dutch pale lager. The last one was frankly awful, and it’s not until I get this home that I discover to my horror that this is in fact brewed by the same company. Upon further investigation though there are signs of encouragement. Continue reading
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
- It’s not as bad as it looks. It’s considerably worse.
Atlas Strong Beer – Strong Pale Lager, 12% abv./ InBev Breweries, Breda, Netherlands/ $7 per 500ml can.
It can be expensive being a beer snob. So, starting today, I’ll be trying once a week to visit the forgotten and unfashionable end of the shelf, trying to find something affordable and drinkable – or at lest non-toxic – amongst the unloved inhabitants of the savage black heart of the local bottle shop. I’m hoping ‘tight-arse Tuesday’ catches on, though not to the extent where a certain pizza chain decides it has grounds to sue for breach of intellectual property rights. Continue reading