One thing that screams ‘‘novelty’’ is a beer that is associated with a rock band. Obviously the odious KISS beer springs to mind.
Clearly a large part of the appeal in linking your beer with a rock act is that said band’s fanbase will almost certainly buy the stuff. It’s a ready-made market – they’ll grab some of no matter how bad it is.
So that’s the attitude I took when I pulled a bottle of Trooper out of the beer fridge at Thirroul Cellars. You see, Trooper is a beer linked to UK metal band Iron Maiden – a fact music geeks would instantly realise as soon as they saw the label featuring the band mascot Eddie (at least I think his name is Eddie).
Or, come to think of it, the fact that the Iron Maiden logo is on the neck label would be a bit of a giveaway too.
The beer takes its name from some Maiden song inspired by the Charge of the Light Brigade. if you believe the website about the beer, Robinsons Brewery approached the band to make the beer – presumably because of the previously mentioned ‘‘ready-made market’’. Singer Bruce Dickinson is a real ale fan and was stoked to be asked to help make a beer.
Though I do wonder exactly how much input Dickinson had. Did he just tell them make an English bitter and then they went and did that? I reckon so, because I don’t think he’d have been working out which malts to add or devising a hopping schedule.
But according to the rear label dear Bruce ‘‘has designed a beer that has true depth of character’’. Sorry, actually he hasn’t. What he (or the brewery) has created is a pretty standard English bitter. There’s nothing actually wrong with it but it’s definitely not a beer that people would look twice at in the beer fridges without the Iron Maiden connection.
Which makes it a novelty beer, because few people beyond Iron Maiden fans will likely buy a second bottle of this.