Let me tell you a story about buying this bottle of Cleanskin Beer. Sorry, Premium Cleanskin Beer, according to the label (because I wouldn’t want to think I was just drinking an ordinary old cleanskin beer).
When I took this beer up to the register, the guy behind the counter told me this story about how some buyer for the bottle shop chain said he’d gotten some people who only ever drank Crown Lager to swap to this beer instead.
“Now they find that this beer tastes even better than Crown,” said the cash register guy with a note of amazement in his voice.
Being the polite guy I am I just nodded and said ‘‘Mmm, oh really?’’ but inside I’m thinking ‘‘dude, that’s not as amazing as you think it is. Crown Lager is a triumph of style over substance. The fact that someone found a stock-standard lager tastes better than a Crownie shouldn’t surprise you because a Crownie is a stock-standard lager’’. It’s like being surprised that Home Brand cheese slices taste just as good as Kraft Singles.
Incidentally, I’m classing this beer as a lager even though the label gives no descriptive claim beyond calling it ‘‘beer’’. Which is like buying a can of peas where the label says ‘‘vegetables’’.
Anyway, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of cleanskin beer. It’s a concept that works in the world of wine, as there is a glut of the stuff so it’s not too hard for a manufacturer to pick up a few thousand litres of fermented grape juice for cheap and whack it in a bottle with a label that looks like it was printed off someone’s home computer by using one of those old-style printers where the cartridge zips back and forth, making a god-awful racket.
But in the beer world, to my knowledge there’s no glut going on. There aren’t litres and litres of fermented beer sitting in huge vats going undrunk. No, to end up with something like this, someone had to go out and buy all the ingredients with the intent of making a cleanskin beer.
Because they sure weren’t aiming to make a good one, but you’d probably already worked that one out. A truly imported beer – it comes from South Korea – it’s a macro lager pure and simple. If you drink Crownies, or VB or Carlton Cold, you could get the same ‘‘enjoyment’’ and save money by buying ‘‘Premium Cleanskin Beer’’.
Or you could move up a level and start buying beer that has some actual taste.
Would I drink it again?: You know, I can’t really see a time when that will ever happen. So, no.