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Main | Stacked's on! »

Daddy issues...


Why it's important to check out the bargain bins at your bottlo - you never know what's lurking inside!

One of my local bottle shops has a “cheap as chips” section where they roll out all the weird beers, wines and RTDs their supplier has laying about because none of the usual outlets can move them. This place buys them, puts them out for bugger all and the braver drinkers get to try peanut wine, carbonated vodka, Korean tequila etc.

It’s well worth checking out because occasionally they have some gems (like the time there was this “really weird” grapefruit beer there for $25 a case… and it was Brewdog’s Elvis Juice) but mostly it’s just odd offerings I regret drinking the second I take a sip.

And this week, smack in the middle was something called Big Daddy.

God knows what marketing genius came up with this name – for a start there’s already a pretty well-known beer called Big Daddy from San Francisco, then there’s Big Daddy the wrestler (this guy)

and the fact it sounds like the liquid version of those “Man-Sized Meals” supermarkets offer for lonely guys to eat in front of the TV.

The can’s black, big, has “DOUBLE STRENGTH” running up the side and honestly looked like one of those novelty megaswill offerings from somewhere in Europe where they add rubbing alcohol to a lager "for ze giggles"... so naturally I was going to grab at least one, fully expecting I’d laugh and spit most of it out.

But from the moment I picked this up, I noticed a few interesting things.

For a very big start, this is from Hawkesbury Brewing Co, one of Australia’s better-known small brewers (and allegedly the people behind the alcoholic's favourite "hard apple drink that's not cider" that Little Fat Lamb stuff, although that's hard to certofy, the LFL website is so dodgy my browser won't even open it and the HBC site doesn't mention it at all), it’s an IIPA which is always good this time of year and from the can notes, it looks like someone's at least tried to come up with something new.

They’re boasting Pilsener malts, a long brew process and dry hopping with Citra, Pacifica and Galaxy so I’m at the “Weird name, looks odd, but sounds OK” stage.

So into the shopping basket it goes.

Back home, the can opens and I’m confused again.

The pour is dark, murky and I swear it smells almost exactly like a butter menthol. No really, it actually does.

First sip and that’s reinforced, there’s a buttery honey flavour that tastes wholly artificial, almost as if someone tried a few of the Moon Dog Frankenbeers and thought “We can beat that! Quick, get the appprentice to go buy a box of cough lollies!”

Press on though and the honey notes stand aside for some strong citrus undertones and a nice hit of bitterness – and the very obvious belt of 9.5% ABV.

Middling mouthfeel, it’s noticeably heavy, which is a good thing, you wouldn’t want to be chugging these down, but it’s not thick.

The carbonation is a bit “blink and you’ll miss it”, with a solid white head and quite obvious bubbles cascading up for about a minute (check the pic), but even when they disappear what you’re left with is a pretty good IIPA.

Be warned, this won’t be for everyone – what IIPA is? – and I really can’t shake that Butter Menthol smell, but this is a good reminder that I really shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

This looked like it'd be utterly terrible but I managed to finish the can... and it cleared up my sore throat a treat!