I HAVE often said that these days in Australia you have to go a long way to find a bad beer. This was not always the case.
Before the consolidation of various region brewers into the clutches of a handful of international players, trying the output from the local brewery was fraught with danger.
Indeed, Hugh The Neighbour (HTN) says the memory of Mac's from the Rockhampton brewery of the same name still gives him nightmares and cold sweats.
Even the local majors had differences in my youth, with NQ Lager (known as Cairns in cans or white death) tasting like not much else from the Carlton and United stable.
Bulimba Beer, Brisbane Bitter, Courage, Reschs, Tooths, Coopers, Cascade, Boags - everywhere you travelled there was something new to try. These were exotic beverages, there being no Dan Murphy or 1st Choice around to bring together a couple of hundred beers under the one roof.
Drinkers were so parochial that a change of beer could encourage strange behaviour in those only accustomed to their local brew. Indeed, who could forget the impact KB Kegs and SP Greenies had on Queensland temperaments and stomachs during the great beer strike of 79?
Now though, you can find anything from just about anywhere in most outlets, albeit some of them were probably left where they were.
Which brings me to Snow Lager. This Chinese beer is the biggest selling beer in the world now, with more than 10,000,000,000 litres produced every year, mainly for the Chinese domestic market. HTN and I thought we would try it. It was wet and cold. That about sums it up really.
A very bland brew that has a faint whiff of hops but leaves nothing on the palate when swallowed. And at $44 a carton - there are better beers around.
In fact, HTN had a bottle of his son-in-law's Coopers Lager home brew in the fridge, and it compared pretty favourably in a side-by-side match up with the Snow (thanks Duncan!).
What prompted me to buy a six-pack was the label which is written in Chinese… what could possibly go wrong here I thought?
I have often enjoyed a Tsingtao stubbie with a feed at an Asian restaurant, so it is not that there is anything intrinsically bad about beer from China. However Snow misses the mark for mine.
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