November 4, 2013 by 250 Beers
“‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello. What do we have here then?” is an old, clichéd statement made by the old-fashioned British policeman or ‘Bobby’ on his beat in years gone by. I uttered the exact same statement when this arrived a few weeks ago at 250 Beers HQ courtesy of Lion’s PR people…
The release of The Constable, a mid-strength ‘copper ale’, was very low-key and I’d suggest that perhaps the marketing budget was spent on this intricate PR package instead. Any leftover funds may have gone towards the redevelopment of jamessquire.com.au which is now looking rather cool and modern.
The purpose-built wooden box houses a jar of hops, a small hessian sack containing malt, a deck of James Squire branded playing cards, a vintage-style newspaper poster, a policeman’s whistle and, importantly, a 345ml bottle of The Constable.
The Constable is the latest beer to join the Malt Shovel’s James Squire-branded stable accompanying seven established bottled beers. I cracked mine open on the evening of this media release. It seemed rather fitting somehow.
It wasn’t my first time trying this beer as I’d sought some urgent refreshment a few weeks prior during a jaunt through Brisbane’s CBD on a hot day. The Platform Bar had not long tapped it and, always looking for a unique Untappd check-in, I ordered myself a schooner of this intriguing take on an English classic. In fact, I had two.
As the name ‘copper ale’ (which isn’t an actual style) suggests, the beer pours an inviting deep amber colour with strong floral hop aromas…I actually couldn’t wait to taste it. I was genuinely pleased with the thought that appears to have been dedicated to producing this beer. It really isn’t that bad at all and for a 3.4% beer it is very flavoursome indeed – perhaps a little thin but quite drinkable and a sensible addition to the range.
The addition makes me question the fact that The Constable is a direct rival to Lion’s Little Creatures’ Rogers. I had the same thoughts just after the Lion take-over as both the James Squire and Creatures brands brew and bottle pale ales and pilsners and now, of course, IPAs. I guess as long as all beers are retailing well then things will be left alone. I wonder if the Malt Shovel Brewery will continue with Mad Brewers releases or whether they’ll leave the specialties to Little Creatures and their super-awesome Single Batches? Maybe there’ll be a Mad Creatures collaboration?!
As a beer drinker with a keen passion for big IPAs, I still have a lot of respect for these lighter, sessionable beers with a lower alcohol content – the kind of brews that Wade Curtis at Four Hearts Brewing devotes his recipes to.