1) I’ve always held that, if you want to take the temperature of the penetration of good beer in the broader community, don’t bother with going to a craft beer shop. You should also not bother reading the comments at the bottom of some clickbaity “beer hipster” story. It’s a well-known statistic that people who are pissed off about something are 90 per cent more likely to comment on a story than people who agree with it. Okay, I made that stat up, but the underlying claim is correct – anger fuels more comments than happiness. When’s the last time you posted a comment saying “hey there writer, excellent work”?
2) So how do you work out craft beer’s place in the real world? You go to a mainstream bottle shop. Maybe that could be Dan Murphy’s but I find the likes of Liquorland or BWS to give a more realistic picture. You do find things like Murrays or Feral in those places but they’ve become pretty ubiquitous. Tasty but ubiquitous.
3) The theory in play here is a chain like Liquorland isn’t going to give fridge space because they’re feeling charitable. They’ll do it because they think it’ll sell. So if you see a good beer in the fridge it’s because there’s a market for it. I go into these places a lot and I can’t say I’m surprised very often.
4) But last Friday I was surprised. Very surprised. I saw a US craft beer in the fridge. A beer I’d never seen before. Anywhere. That would be Speakeasy’s session IPA from San Francisco (Beer Advocate gives it an 85, if you care what obsessed and prickly beer geeks think). I was so gobsmacked when I saw the six-pack of cans in the fridge I had to buy it – and for just $20. In the US it’s apparently called Baby Daddy Session IPA but there’s no “Baby Daddy” on the packaging here – weird that they’d create different packaging for their export beer.
5) I really like the cans, which feature a black top with a set of eyes painted on it. Like this.
I like it because I can’t think of any other examples of breweries putting artwork on the top of the can. And it’s tasty too – resin upfront and some really good bitterness all the way through. It does finish ever so slightly thin and that’s a bit of a surprise for a 4.7 per cent beer. But I’d happily drink this again. Which means I’m very happy to have bought a six-pack. Wonder if Liquorland will start stocking some of Speakeasy’s other beers.
Categories: Beer of the Week