Dr Tim’s Traditional Ale is a bit of an oddity in the Coopers’ oeuvre.
For starters, it’s only available in cans. And as far as I know, it’s the only Coopers product that only comes in cans (well except for their homebrew extract, but you know what I mean). Incidentally, this would make it the first Australian craft beer to be canned – so forget your Australian Brewerys and your Mountain Goats, Coopers got there first.
And got there some time ago it would seem. As far as I can tell, Dr Tim’s came into being in 2004 – so it could be sold at the Big Day Out according to Google (you know, because festivals are full of idiots who can’t be trusted with glass bottles (no, this is not sarcasm)).
The other strange thing about it is that it is so hard to find. Oh sure, I presume it’s so prevalent in Coopers’ home state of South Australia that people can buy it in their local post office (have you been to a post office lately? Is there anything they don’t sell?). But it’s damned hard to find everywhere else. I have a bit of a thing about going into bottle shops big and small, indie and corporate, just in case there’s some small treasure hiding in the fridges. While I have found a number of treasures this way, none of them had been a can of Dr Tim’s.
All Coopers other beers are super easy to find. But Dr Tim’s? Well, I was beginning to think it was some colossal joke Coopers’ perpetuated, them going so far as to create all the internet links to the product.
But then I walked into a bottle shop at Byron Bay a few months ago. And there it was, the silver and green can. I thought ‘‘how the hell did you get here?’’. I’d sussed out tonnes of bottlos that were much closer to Adelaide than this one at Byron was, so why did the delivery truck pass all of them and choose to drop off its cargo at Byron Bay?
I bet it was just to mess with my head.
So anyway, I bought a can of the stuff. As if I was going to do anything else. What’s actually in the can – aside from ‘‘traditional ale’’? Well Google also says it’s a canned version of Coopers pale ale, albeit with some tweaking of the yeast. The Coopers website doesn’t explicitly state this but, to read the description of Dr Tim’s is to see someone try and rewrite the Coopers pale ale tasting notes while at the same time trying to make them sound different.
But yeah, it tastes like Coopers pale ale in a can to me. Still glad I finally found it though.