October 15, 2013 by 250 Beers
Over the past few months, a number of PR companies have made contact with me asking if I’d be happy to receive some free beer. Unless the beer being promoted is from a brand or brewery that I have no interest in, the usual answer is in the affirmative. It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? I like beer after all.
I must state that I did not start writing this blog to receive free beer. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I value the unforeseen friendships that I’ve made through 250 Beers far more than any free beer.
As an independent blogger (i.e. not affiliated to anybody within the industry), there is no obligation to review any freebies. However, personally speaking, I believe that expressing my opinions is the least I can do in return. Take last Thursday for example. I got home from work (actually it was after a few après work beers) to find a box of beer had arrived at 250 Beers HQ. The contents consisted of eight bottles. Each one had been individually and lovingly bubble-wrapped. This would have taken somebody a fair amount of time to complete (and I know that I wasn’t the only person that took receipt of one of these care packages).
As a thank-you to that bubble-wrapper I figured I’d spend a similar amount of time writing about what I thought of two award-winning Kwencher beers from The Beltz Group.
The first Kwencher to be scrutinised was the Premium Australian Pale Ale (4.7%) – released seven months ago and brewed in Geelong (presumably at Southern Bay Brewing). It comes with the tagline ‘Rich with rhythm’ but I couldn’t detect any smell or taste any rhythm in the bottle. Then it dawned on me that I’d read about the guys behind Kwencher and their ethics of freedom. The ‘rhythm’ refers to that freedom in the form of dancing the tango. In fact, the ‘K’ on the label symbolises a pair of dancers mid-tango.
Once poured, I took a great big lungful onboard and immediately caught aromas of passionfruit (Galaxy hops no doubt). There were also hints of doughy bread on the nose.
In terms of taste and thirst kwenchability it was pretty bloody good. The Galaxy was quite prominent as was a distinct, clean malty aftertaste. The carbonation, which was spot-on, provided a very refreshing experience. A decent pale indeed with bundles of session appeal.
Next up, was Kwencher Lager infused with peach and tea (4.2%). What? Yep, you heard me. A beer with peaches and tea…
I shouldn’t be judgemental but I am and I couldn’t disguise the fact that the green glass of the bottle made me nervous. I’ve had some shocking beers out of a green bottle in the past. I wonder, do contract brewers such as Southern Bay dictate what colour bottles are used or can the ‘client’ (in this case The Beltz Group) specify what colour they want? I digress…
As soon as the bottle cap was removed, I was greeted with a strong waft of peach. I poured the beer into a glass and kept inhaling. I was trying to find other aromas but couldn’t. It was pure peach. A comment from my brother-in-law (who was sitting close by) described the aroma as “…like an air freshener…”
The taste was of sweet, over-ripe peaches which definitely categorises this as a fruit beer. I was struggling to taste the shot of black tea but then I began to feel a tart dryness after each mouthful which I eventually attributed to the tea.
I’d go so far as describing this beer as being like an alcoholic, fizzy iced tea which makes me ponder who this style of beer is aimed at. I can’t think of a demographic that this drop would appeal to. Nevertheless, served very chilled (and despite an over-peachiness) this beer is refreshing. On the right palate, this might be thirst kwenchingly kwenching but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.
Kwencher beers are available in various stores across Victoria and in Sydney. There are plans to distribute into Queensland soon. In the meantime, the beer is available to order online through www.beerstore.com.au