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Entries in 4/10 (92)



San Miguel Premium All Malt. Yes really. They included ‘all malt’ in the beer name.

Could this be the Crownie of the Philippines? A dressed up version of the staple Pale Pilsen, it brags it uses no adjuncts and contains the dreaded word ‘premium’.

It also comes in a green bottle which, according to my bottle-colour theory,  should make it thin and grassy like Heineken. I tried this in the country of origin just to make sure.

Apparently, it’s brewed with pilsner malt and hops from Europe, Australia and North America. According to their website “the result is a smooth, full-flavored, slightly sweetish, golden, premium lager with balanced bitterness that washes the drinker away in style. This brew is truly meant for those who enjoy the finer things in life.”

Medium to thin body with a slightly better mouthfeel than the standard Pale Pilsen. Sweet malt flavour with a honey and slightly grassy taste. It’s missing that crisp and bitter finish a fine lager should have.

Like the Crownie I’d drink the VB equivalent over this.





San Miguel Red Horse Beer. A popular beer in the Philippines is Red Horse Beer. The go-to beer to get drunk. On the San Miguel website they describe it as “your extra strong beer that brings you that pure alcoholic experience.” 

No, really. That's what it says.

It’s a strong pale lager and it’s 6.9% ABV. The bottle itself explains the ingredients are “water, malt contains any of: cereals, sugar, starch, hops.”

So let’s not get picky, it was a tin of stuff made with fermentable things to make something boozy. And nothing more.

Generic, commercial appearance. Medium body with relatively low carbonation. Cereal, corn and a mild malt flavour.  

It has more body and it’s sweeter than other San Miguel beers, possibly as a result of the high ABV. It doesn’t taste that strong. Either they are lying or it’s very well hidden.

100% chance of god awful karaoke after a few of these.





Crown Golden Ale. Hindsight is a great thing. It’s something Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) could perhaps benefit from.

From their backflip on VB, reverting it back to 4.9% ABV and changing the logo back to the previous one, their launch of Crown Lager on tap to their “re-launch” of Crown Lager they have certainly made some strange marketing decisions. Not to mention the scrapping of Vic Pale Lager and the shelving of Crown Pilsner and Crown Gold Lager.

Now comes the next face palm announcement - the launch of Crown Golden Ale.

In a similar vein to Crown Lager (aka ‘Crownies’), they claim the beer is “brewed using Australia’s finest ingredients”. The bottle itself looks the same as a Crown Lager bottle except the label is black instead of gold with Golden Ale in the place of Lager. Using 100% malt (wow!) and Pride of Ringwood and Galaxy hops, it’s a mild 4.5% ABV.

Looks like a typical commercial beer – golden yellow colour, crystal clear, relatively high carbonation and poor head retention. Even using my fancy Spiegelau IPA glass, which enhances aroma, I can only detect a slight beery aroma. You’d never know Galaxy hops were used. Thinner, less flavour and a lower level of bitterness than Crown Lager. There's a faint sweet malt aftertaste which briefly reminds you this is supposed to be a beer and not sparkling water.

I can see this product line being scrapped in the near future after the public's curiosity has been satisfied and go back to drinking VB… or Crownies if they want to be classy.





Coopers Artisan Reserve. When I heard Coopers were releasing a new beer I can’t say I was too excited. After the release of the mediocre Celebration Ale and their woeful 62 Pilsner I started to lose faith in where they are heading.

Coopers Artisan Reserve was released in early 2014, the second in the Thomas Cooper's Selection series. It’s an unpasteurised all-malt pilsner hopped with Hallertau Tradition and Hallertau Hersbrucher. Two other hop varieties were also used but Coopers decided not to disclose them to “discourage imitations”. It’s a typical 5.5% ABV.

Surprisingly it looks crystal clear with a typical pilsner appearance. Mild grassy aroma. Light body and low carbonation. Light malt character with a mild grassy and slightly earthy hop flavour. There are some subtle yeasty undertones with a soft bitterness and somewhat metallic aftertaste. It seems quite lacking in malt and hop flavour as well as bitterness and carbonation. A very ordinary pilsner. No better than a below par beer chicken.

In a print ad for this beer are two books and a bottle of this beer on the shelf. The first book has the title “We Wrote The Book On Ales” and the second “Now We’ve Added Another Chapter”. It’s just begging for someone to add “some chapters are best left on the shelf”.





Pivovar Rakovnik Bakalar. I saw this on tap in a pub on George Street in Sydney. It was on special, $6.80 for a pint which is pretty cheap for old Sydney town. I was surprised to see it was from the Czech Republic and thought how bad can it be?

Typical pils appearance with a grainy malt aroma. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Mild grainy malt flavour, it seems quite lacking in flavour. There’s a bit of a chalky aftertaste and it’s missing that trademark crisp and bitter finish of a Czech pils.

Now I can why it’s on special... and I’m craving Baklava





Batch Brewing Ludwig. This is a type of beer you don’t often see brewed in Australia – a Maibock. It’s a type of strong lager which the brewers describe as “big and malty with a subtle hop presence”.

Red amber colour with a fine head and caramel malt aroma. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Starts with caramel malt flavour leading into a strange artificial cherry-like flavour.  Being 7% ABV it’s got that boozy, sweet malt thing going on which clashes the mysterious cherry-like flavour.

Not a fan.





Young and Jackson's Naked Ale. On a trip to Melbourne I swung by Young and Jackon’s after hearing about it from fellow Beerio, Graeme Bernauer.

Located on the corner of Swanston and Flinders streets, it’s a nice looking old school pub that’s been around since 1861. Along with the usual suspects I saw a tap of the pub’s own beer the strangely named Naked Ale. I decided to take a punt and order a pint of this mysterious ale.

Well it wasn’t what I was expecting. Very pale yellow, slightly opaque with a thin body and high carbonation.

It looks suspiciously like a mediocre Hefeweizen. I was expecting some kind of old school English style ale. It tastes like a very watery Hefeweizen. Thin body with a mild banana flavour and low bitterness. Halfway through I was wishing I got the Hop Hog for the same price. Apparently it is a Hefeweizen and is brewed by Matilda Bay Brewing Company.





Six String Brewing Bobby Brown. I was keen to try this brew as I enjoyed their Dark Red IPA and Rye IPA. The name of this brew could be alluding to several things. Frank Zappa’s bizarre song of the same name or an R&B singer better known for his marriage to Whitney Houston, infidelity and drug use.

Bobby Brown is an American brown ale which utilises roasted and chocolate malts, some kind of American hops and is 5.1% ABV.

Dark amber colour with the aroma of a Tooheys Old. Medium to thin body with a surprisingly lacking mouthfeel. It tastes like a thin and slightly drier version of Tooheys Old.

Not angry just disappointed.





Stockade Premium Draught. This beer has all the warning signs of a bland beer. The inclusion of ‘premium’ in the name is a tell tail sign it’s going to be very ordinary.

In the language of beer, ‘draught’ merely means beer served from a cask or keg rather than a bottle or can. So all we can obtain at this point is it’s an ordinary beer poured from a beer tap. The large in-your-face metal tap decal is also a common ploy amongst beer chicken breweries. Stella, Carlton, Boags, and Cascade all use this tactic to attract the eye of the lazy drinker at the bar.

Contract brewery Brewpack, under the moniker Macarthur Grange Brewery, have released this as their first beer. 

The brewers describe it as a highly sessionable European style lager with a signature Australian finish. When I think signature Australian lager I think nasty metallic and sulphur aftertaste.

The name Stockade, which while briefly makes you think about the Eureka Stockade, soon leads to thinking stock standard lager. Yes that’s right this is really just another contract brew disguised as a craft beer on an already flooded market of tasteless lagers.

Some of you might be surprised I found this beer boring. It’s like a Carlton Draught with less flavour. Drinking it is quite a chore.

This is the kind of beer that will be on a permanent jug special at your boring, soulless local.





Murray's Rudeboy Pilsner. Previously only available on tap, Murray’s pilsner is now available in bottles after an expansion of their Bob’s Farm brewery.

This is a pils based on a Czech style but with a new world twist. It’s no secret head brewer Shawn Sherlock is a fan of Kiwi hops. So along with the usual European malts, Motueka and Pacifica hops from New Zealand were thrown into the mix.

Pale yellow colour, moderate to high carbonation with a thin head. Strong grassy European lager aroma. It tastes like Heineken with extra grass thrown in with a more bitter finish.

If you like those grassy tasting pilsners that come in green bottles you might like it.