Beer of the Week

Beer of the Week – Viru

1) A little over a month ago I was in Port Kembla covering the annual billy cart derby for work. The main drag of the suburb features a steep downhill section perfect for billy carts. After I got all the quotes I needed for the story, I trudged back up the hill to the car.

2) On the way, I passed a biggish liquor store that I’d heard about but never visited. Since I stopped playing Aussie rules for the Port Kembla side as an out-of-suburb ring-in, there hasn’t been much cause for me to visit the suburb. In terms of the beer selection it was pretty mainstream and I was prepared to do my usual self-conscious walk empty-handed out the door (self-conscious because I figure not many people go into bottle shops to browse).

3) But this oddly-shaped bottle caught my eye. The photo here doesn’t really do it justice. Rather than a curved surface this bottle of Viru from Estonia has a series of flat edges all the way around. And there is also no shoulder on the bottle either, it’s one straight line from the bottom to the top. I had to pick up a few of those, even though I thought “this could be the Estonian take of Crown Lager – swanky bottle, ordinary beer”.

4) It wasn’t that bad. While the label unhelpfully offers “beer” as the only description of the bottle’s content, I’m going to call this a pilsner style. There are some sweet, bready notes at the front and the sweetness follows through a bit on the palate. It finishes crisp, which sounds like a pilsner.

5) While I did pour the beer I was reviewing into a glass to get the full sensory effect, the other Viru beers from the four-pack I bought have all been drunk from the bottle. When you’ve got a bottle shaped like that it seems a shame not to.

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