Review: Old Time Premium Lager


May 1, 2013 by 250 Beers

Australia’s finest craft lager

That is a very bold statement isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what greeted me when I went searching for some more information on a beer that I saw for the first time the other day.

I certainly enjoy stumbling across a beer that I’ve never tried before and it’s always a bonus when a newbie is Australian. I happened upon Old Time Brewing’s Premium Lager (4.6%) at First Choice Liquor, Mango Hill. Maybe it’s been stocked there for ages? Who knows? The guy at the check-out had no idea anyway! As far as I’m concerned it must be a fairly recent addition to Brisbane bottle shops. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Intrigued by my find, I bought one solitary bottle. I actually had a 6pack under my arm at one point, however, having stuffed up previously with a never-before-tried beer, I opted to play it safe with a single. Come on, let’s face it, it isn’t the most appealing of labels and the two words ‘Premium Lager’ certainly didn’t fill me with confidence.

Old Time Brewing Premium Lager (courtesy of Old Time Brewing)

Old Time Premium Lager (courtesy of Old Time Brewing)

The “Australia’s finest craft lager” statement actually appears on the Old Time Brewing website. They make the claim more than once. The site also suggests that the unique design makes this a “high value product“. Are they serious? I think it looks like a beer you’d find at the back of a fridge in a London side street in 1973. Maybe it’s the drab colour? Maybe it’s the typeface? Maybe it’s the artwork?

I’m rambling on about how it looks because labelling and packaging are important to me.

Whilst searching for more information, I found that Old Time Brewing is a fully independent Australian owned and operated business run by Stephen and Michael Fennell in Camberwell, Victoria. However, the label on the reverse of the bottle suggests the beer is brewed for JP Developments.

Reverse label

Reverse label

Nevertheless, they contract brew the beer less than 100 kilometres away at Southern Bay Brewing in Geelong.

Everybody seems to have an opinion on contract brewed beers. Personally, I reckon that if the owners are open about it then who gives a shit. The important thing is…does the beer taste any good? If the beer is ok then why should we worry about where it’s brewed?

On this occasion, and based on some of my findings, I can’t help but feel that this beer is nothing but the result of an entrepreneurial exercise intended solely on making a fast buck. That fast buck is being gained at the expense of real craft beer. If that is true then I’m not impressed.

So, is it any good? Is it indeed ‘premium‘? Does it ‘stand and deliver‘ as the label promotes?

I’ll tell you what I think…

Old Time Brewing Premium Lager


I wasn’t convinced to be honest. It didn’t do much for me at all and it didn’t really stand up or deliver.

It poured a lot darker than I was expecting and tasted very malty. It was quite distant from many of the lagers I’ve tried in the past and there were no overwhelming flavours to rave about although, apart from the malt, there was a slight nuttiness to it.

Also, there was hardly any carbonation. This was evident when the thin head dissipated within 30 seconds of pouring from the bottle.

I gave it two stars because it was wet and cold and kind of resembled a beer. It wasn’t offensive and I would drink it again…if somebody handed me one. I’d urge you to try it for yourself though and make your own mind up however, I feel that my choice to leave the other five bottles from that 6pack on the shelf was justified.

If it was 1973 this beer would most definitely be at the back of the fridge because this is not Australia’s finest craft lager.

4 thoughts on “Review: Old Time Premium Lager

  1. 1973 is close, the beer was the first contract beer ever brewed by Southern Bay for Michael in 1988. The label has been kept as close as possible to the original design to fit in with the ‘Old Time’ theme.

  2. Sechys Diary says:

    I had some Moo Brew Pilsner this weekend and it was delicious!!! It went down much to fast!! 🙂

    always love your reviews and enjoy trying new beers. Keep them coming !

  3. […] Old Time Premium Lager (4.6%) gained notoriety at 250 Beers HQ in April. For all the wrong reasons. […]

  4. Ava Gardner says:

    I agree! Old Time is a baaaad beer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to receive instant notifications of new 250 Beers posts.

250 Beers beer tally


4 Hearts 4 Pines 8 Wired AIBA All Inn Brewing Co Amager Bryghus Anchor Brewing April Fool Archive Bar Armakeggon Australian Beer Connoisseurs Bacchus Beer Bloggers Series Bacchus Brewing Baird Brewing Banyo Beard and Brau Bear Republic Beer Advent Calendar Beer Camp Beer Fest Beer Glass Beer Here Beer InCider Beer InCider Social Club Beer Mail Beer of Origin Belgian Bitter Suite Black Hops Brewing Brewbake Brewcult Brewhouse Brisbane Brewski Brewsvegas Brewtal Brewers Bridge Road Brisbane Brisbane Brewhouse Brisbane Brewing Co. Burleigh Brewing Co BWS Calibre Craft Beer Trading Cardigan Bar Cartel Bar Cavalier CBIA Chilli Beer Christmas Coles Coopers Craft Beer Rising Craft Red Hill Dragonhead Ekim Embassy Craft Beer Bar Feral Brewing Five Flavours Fortitude Brewing Co. Fortitude Valley Founders GABS Gage Roads Gluten Free Beer Good Beer Week Good Food & Wine Show Grand Central Cellars Green Beacon Green Flash Brewing Co Grifter Hair Of The Blog Hawthorn Brewing Co Hipwood Brewery Holgate Brewhouse Hoo Ha Bar Hop-X IPA Ipswich James Squire Kerbside Kooinda Lager Lambic Lion Little Creatures Lowenbrau Mad Brewers Mantle Group Matilda Bay Matso's McLaren Vale Melbourne Mikkeller Milton Monteith's Moo Brew Moon Dog Mornington Peninsula Mountain Goat Movember MT Brewery Mt Tamborine Murray's Nail Brewing Co Newstead Brewing Nogne O Noisy Minor Brewing Co. North Coast Brewing Co NOvemBEER O'Brien Orkney Brewery Pale Ale Pig 'n' Whistle Platform Bar Porter Pumpyard Bar & Brewery QLD Beer Week Queensland Queensland Rail Rare Breed Red Hill Riverlife Rogue Sail & Anchor Sierra Nevada Single Batch Sniff & Sip Spiegelau Spring Hill Statler & Waldorf Steamrail Brewing Co. Stone & Wood Stout Sunshine Coast Brewery Temple Brewing Theakston's The Burrow The Charming Squire The Gold Digger The Mill On Constance The Scratch The Session Tippler's Tap Tomahawk Bar Tooheys Toybox Brewery Tuatara Two Birds Brewing Untappd XXXX Yeastie Boys


%d bloggers like this: