Try as I might – and I have tried – I can’t help but feel disappointed about Mountain Goat’s Summer Ale. That came as a bit of a surprise because I was really, really looking forward to trying this beer; and not just because it is craft beer in a can. Though the can thing is pretty cool (I know it’s not the first craft beer in Australia to go into a can – that honour goes to the Australian Brewery. But those cans are a skinny, “energy drink” sort of can, not the full-on 375ml beer can that this Mountain Goat comes in).
Anyway, I was so looking forward to this beer that I’d been scanning the Dan Murphy’s website to see when it’s in-store. And when someone tweeted that it was at Thirroul Cellars, I shot up there the first chance I got. I bought a six-pack too – I usually buy single bottles of new beers; a six-pack is an indication that I expect to like it a whole lot.
The first time I tried it, I found myself guzzling it from the can, knocking back half of it before I realised it was gone. When I did realise that, i noticed there didn’t seem to be much flavour getting in the way of me knocking it back so fast.
The second can, I poured into a glass to really check it out, to see what there was in terms of aroma and flavour. The main adjective that came to mind was “light”; there was a light pineapple aroma, a light pineapple flavour and light bitterness.
And that was really not what I was expecting from this beer. I know it’s a summer ale and, presumably, the idea is for it to be an easy-drinking beer. But this was just too easy-drinking for me. I expected a beer with more flavour, I wanted a beer that made me feel like I’d actually drunk something, a beer that wasn’t, well, a bit on the bland side.
I spoke to some brewers, who told me they were really impressed with the beer. Figuring, they might know a thing or two more than me about beer, I cracked open the third can. And the result was still the same. It still didn’t move me. I know plenty of people have been raving about this beer but I just can’t make myself like it. I tried three times and it just didn’t work.
So when it comes to summer ales, I think I’ll stick with Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale or Nail’s Hoppy Summer Ale.