About two weekends ago my wife took me to Bowral for my birthday.
While we were there, we stopped in at the Imperial Hotel for a beer. I’d seen photos of the pub online and thought it looked pretty schmick. But I was sorely disappointed when I checked their beer selection – aside from Coopers Green, it was all very, very mainstream stuff.
So I looked in the fridge and decided to go local with a bottle of Pigs Fly Pilsner from the Bowral Brewing Company. Rather disappointingly, it was lukewarm. As was my wife’s glass of wine.
Clearly the bar’s beer fridges need their thermostats adjusted. Quite a bit.
Still, I wanted to go to the adjoining bottlo, even though it was part of the Liquorland chain. So I didn’t expect to find much of interest there – except maybe a colder bottle of Pigs Fly. I certainly didn’t expect to spot a champagne-style beer from France.
And yet there it was a bottle of Deus, sitting in the beer fridge in all its squat, champagne-bottle style glory. It looked very odd indeed sitting next to the usual Liquorland stock. I had to buy it – even if at $32 I reckon it would be the most I’ve ever paid for a single bottle of beer (the only other contender would be a bottle of Murray’s Anniversary Ale that I bought from their brewery near Port Stephens. Don’t remember anything about the taste, just remember it was a real gusher. Nothing but foam seemed to come out of that bottle).
Part of me was a bit wary about Deus because I’m not a fan of champagne, and this looked very much like champagne. It comes in a fat bottle, with a cork cage and cork, it’s made in the ‘‘methode champenoise’’ style. And it’s even classed as a Biere de Champagne (which is French for ‘‘Glen might not like this’’).
Pouring it – in a special Deus glass scored FOC by the Liquorland people – is unusual. It has a frothy head like champagne but an amber body like beer. The flavour reminded me quite a bit like ginger ale – it was certainly less tart and easier to drink than champagne. Though, at 11.5 per cent, I was glad to drink it out of a champagne flute rather than a schooner glass.
For that reason it’s certainly the sort of beer you’re best off drinking with friends – unless you happen to have one of those champagne stopper things at home that will keep it fresh for a few days.
Would I drink it again?: While the price certainly prohibits making this anywhere near a regular purchase, I reckon I’d consider this for a special occasion. If I could find it again, that is.
Categories: bottle shop