29 April 2005

Cheap 'n' fizzy

For all my ravings about craft-brewed this and complex-flavoured that, I do like to keep a supply of easy-drinking fizzy lager in the house for everyday drinking. My beer of preference for this is Euroshopper lager from Superquinn, which I took a shipment of last night.

Euroshopper beer has a bit of a bad press, having a dodgy name, being dead cheap and the favourite of Dutch al fresco alcoholics. But this reputation is ill-deserved.
The case for the defence:

1. It's Dutch. Imported from the Netherlands: a nation who know how to make beer and expect much of it (though why Heineken allow their name to be used on such dreadfully vapid lagers brewed under licence around the world is beyond me. It might possibly have something to do with the money).

2. The can, though not designed by a team of psychologically-trained marketing experts, features a list of ingredients (and there's nothing there that shouldn't be there). Listing ingredients ought to be mandatory and it would certainly help to show people in this country at least what shite goes into the beers made by the big industrial breweries.

3. It's drinkable. A lot of the cheap lagers we get taste awful. Dutch Gold, for instance, is made from and tastes of, sweetcorn. Harp, Carling, Fosters and the other less-than-premiums all have something wrong in the flavour department. Euroshopper, however, is at least as good as Carlsberg and Heineken and significantly better than Bud. I think the reason for this goes back to point 1.

4. It's full strength. The premiums weigh in at around 4.2-4.3% ABV. Euroshopper is the full 5. Why pay more for less?

5. It's cheap. At €1.15 per 500ml it's close to half what you'd pay in a supermarket for Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken or Miller. That €1.15 pays for the beer that's in the can and the journey from the brewery. It does not pay for TV advertising, sports sponsorship or all the other expensive stuff the big guys use to get us to buy their mediocre beer at hyperinflated prices.

Having said all that, I notice that DBC's Beckett's lager is now being sold for €1.29 a bottle. I'd trade up to that in a heartbeat if I could find a way of buying it in the quantities I want.

28 April 2005

The Beer Nut begins


After years of looking at menus and beer shelves and bar taps and wondering "Have I had that before?" I've decided it's about time I wrote down a bit about the beers I've tried, the places I've tried them and what I thought of them.

So here it is: The Beer Nut Blog -- an infrequently updated, disjointed account of one man's journey into beer.