Beer of the Week

Five Things About … John Boston The Surprize summer ale


1) Okay, before you start sniggering, they haven’t misspelled “Surprise”. That’s the correct spelling – it’s named for the ship HMS Surprize that John Boston sailed over to Australia in 1793.

2) But there isn’t any link to John Boston the real person and the beer that bears his name. Just like there isn’t any link between James Squire the man and that suite of beers. In both cases they’ve just appropriated the man’s name and his history, and let the public presume there’s some historical connection there. But there isn’t. I mention it because this appropriation annoys me more and more as time goes on.

3) That said, allow me to say this – “Surprise! This isn’t a bad beer”. And I’m not just saying that as an excuse to make a crappy joke. As a beer it does have something going for it. There are some nice melon aromas and flavours going on here. Sure, there’s an oddly-placed bitterness in the mid-palate but that’s not enough to wreck things.

4) It’s easily the best of the John Boston beers, though I know that’s not really saying much at all. The rest of their beers are less impressive than the James Squire counterpart they’re clearly attempting to replicate – at least in terms of the packaging.

5) As is the case with most beers that feature in this space, I bought this one. Having been burned by the other John Boston beers, when I bought a six-pack and ended up stuck with five beers I didn’t want to drink, I chose to buy a single bottle of this summer ale. Of course, after I had it, I wished I had bought a six-pack this time. Because I could have easily drunk a few of these over the weekend.


Free or paid for?: As point five states, I bought this beer.

1 reply »

  1. I’m just trying this for the first time from a can (they come in 10pks), poured into a glass. It’s exceeded expectations. I fancy I might make short work of the remaining 9… As a side note, I probably wouldn’t have bothered if not for your review, so thanks!

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