1) I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. I don’t get much in the way of free beer out of this gig. People seem to think I’m some big wheel in the beer world (at least that’s what I like to tell myself that’s what they think of me) and so it would follow that I’d get so much free beer there’d never be a need for me to buy a six-pack again.
2) Doesn’t happen. Not even close. I’d say at least 90 per cent of the beers I write about here I’ve bought with my own hard-earned. So when a brewery contacts me and says “hey mate, want me to send you some beer?” I get all excited. And then I tend to get disappointed – because that promised beer never seems to arrive. Or maybe they sent it and someone swipes it along the way.
3) So, when Stockade Brew Company (owned by contract brewing giant Brewpack) offered to send me some beer, I said “yes” but thought “they’ll probably forget”. But they didn’t – a week or so later a mixed four-pack arrived containing their Chop Shop pale ale, Duel hoppy lager, Peachy Keen peach gose and The Sesh golden ale.
4) So far I’ve only tried three of them – the peach gose is the odd one out. Two of them stood out, but for different reasons. On the downside was The Sesh which boasts the following label.
Now there is a bit of concern in the beer geek world about sexism – some of which is directed at labels very similar to this one. Part of me feels quite uncomfortable about the use of a buxom blonde on the label (and the references to femme fatales and vixens on the back) while another part wonders if I might be over-reacting. Either way, perhaps it would have been better to avoid the artwork altogether so as not to make potential customers feel uneasy.
5) On the upside is the Duel hoppy lager. It’s a lovely, lovely beer – and exceptionally well-made too. There’s the Ella stone fruit aromas on the nose and a decent hit of bitterness at the front. But then it fades away and leaves that clean lager character. It does EXACTLY what it says on the label – “hoppy lager”. And it manages to meld those two words together seamlessly. I’m going to have try and find some more of this beer so I can try it on a warm day. I reckon this beer would go down a treat in the heat.
Categories: Beer of the Week