Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Hawke’s Lager

1) So there’s this beer called Hawke’s Lager, right? You’ve probably heard of it. It’s a beer emblazoned with the face of our 23rd Prime Minister Bob Hawke. And it’s got to be a massive gimmick, for sure. Stick some famous Aussie with a high likeability factor on the can and you can put absolute piss in the can and it’ll sell. Because that’s what it is, right? Absolute piss?

2) Actually no, it’s not. In yet another example of preconceptions mucking you up, this beer surprised me by being actually pretty good. It’s certainly a step above your VB’s, Toohey’s New etc – which are all beers I thought would have finished ahead.

3) It’s worth remembering that it’s a lager and, as such, there’s not going to be a lot of bells and whistles here. No crazy malts, no esoteric hop blend overnighted from the United States. Lagers are meant to be simple and straightforward with nowhere for faults to hide.

4) And I couldn’t find any faults here. There was no “wet cardboard” aroma I get from so many mainstream lagers, no were there any chemical notes. I didn’t get the promised “subtle citrus aroma”, so I’m going to put that down to marketing bumf. There’s a generous dollop of malt in the mid palate but otherwise it’s a clean flavour, with a little bitterness at the end. Overall it’s a pleasant surprise.

5) As an aside, am I the only one who thinks branding a beer with the name and image of a guy who once suffered from alcoholism is a bit iffy? It was a part of his life before he became PM, sure, but at one stage he was apparently drinking brandy with breakfast. Hawke’s an adult and can consent to whack his face on whatever he likes, but alcohol does seem a bit off.

Free or paid for?: I picked up a six-pack at First Choice Liquor, mainly because I was too wussy to break it up to buy a single can.

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