Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Hop House 13 Lager

1) When reviewing something, there’s always a fundamental issue to be dealt with. And that is, do you review the thing on what it is, or what it claims to be. So this makes a bit more sense, let’s think of the film known as The Room. “Aye did nart hit her! I did nart! Oh, Hi Mark” – yeah that one.

2) Now while I haven’t actually seen the film itself, I reckon I’ve seen enough snippets on YouTube and other social sites that I can pretty much piece together a story line. Writer-director Tommy Wiseau apparently thought he was making a drama but even going by those snippets, it’s clearly not a drama. What it is, is a very funny film, one of those “so bad it’s good” films.

3) And so, what criteria should you use to review The Room? Do you ignore what Tommy thought it was and just make up your own mind? Or do you assess it with the idea in mind that it was supposed to be a serious film? If it’s the former, then the film is an entertaining one. If it’s the latter, it’s a stinking failure.

4) I ask this with Guinness’ new beer Hop House 13 Lager in mind. Because, you see, that very name immediately conjures up certain expectations. As does the fact the press release says it uses big fruity hops like Galaxy and Mosaic. As does the claim of Guinness brewer Peter Simpson, quoted in the press release as saying “I personally enjoy more flavoursome beers, so I wanted to make a lager with lots of character and flavour”. It’s going to be a beer with some easily spotted hop flavours.

5) And yet it’s not. It’s a nice lager, clean and well-made. Certainly don’t taste any technical faults here. I’d say that while I probably wouldn’t buy it again, I wouldn’t think “Oh God, not this crap” if someone handed it to me at a barbecue. So which is it to be? Do I say it’s a good beer by judging nothing but the beer itself? Or do I say it’s not much chop because it fails to live up to the expectations set by the man who brewed it and the beer’s very name? I don’t know. Do you?

Free or paid for?: I got some samples of this sent in the mail.

1 reply »

  1. Marketing is all about hype (I worked in the brewing industry decades ago) and you can go mad trying to sort out the truth from the spin. I don’t go with the adage “the best beer is the one in your hand” (Corona disproves that) but if you try something and don’t like it then you move on, don’t you?

    Best measure is to put beer tasted into three categories: + good, will drink again;0 ok, but wouldn’t rush out to buy it again; – Corona

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