Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

Figure 1. Coopers Best Extra Stout

Introduction

Coopers Brewery, based in Adelaide, South Australia, offers complete beer solutions with both homebrew kits and recipes as well as pre-prepared bottled or draught beer (Coopers, 2010).  Coopers make purchasing easy for their clientele by colour-coding their bottled products to avoid confusion.  One of their pre-prepared bottled products is Best Extra Stout, a stronger 6.3% alc. vol. stout which is identified by theorangey-yellow colour on the label.  Coopers Brewery is an exception among large contemporary breweries in that it is still owned and run by several Cooper family members.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Coopers Best Extra Stout including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 750 ml bottle of Coopers Best Extra Stout was obtained from a local supermarket for NZ$3.99.  The sample was refrigerated to 4oC.  The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

Results for Coopers Best Extra Stout are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Coopers Best Extra Stout.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Juicy prunes steeped in licoricey chocolate with an finish of caramel and a hint of espresso
Flavour Substantial fizziness is quickly interrupted by considerable bitterness with an almost smokey undertone and a recollection of leather, with a burnt-like coffee aftertaste
Colour Deepest brown with a splash of red culminating in an almost black pour.  The final pour provides a view of a personal, micro-universe in the bottom of the glass as thousands of yeasty ‘stars’ pepper the black ‘void’ of space … where no one can hear you scream.  A feeling of omnipotence is difficult to avoid.  Unfortunately, the ‘stars’ soon coalesce to form a beige sludge, perhaps providing evidence of the Big Crunch and the ultimate fate of our universe
Satisfaction A beer to share over good conversation, probably in the cooler months.  The carbonation detracts slightly from the drinking pleasure
Vessel Design An choppy, brown bottle, embossed with the brand name and adorned with a no-nonsense black, white and yellow label (see figure 1)
Head A fizzy caramel-coloured head steadily diminishes over 192 seconds to leave a thin coating of tiny bubbles on the surface
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

The beer was tasty, but the analysis revealed questions about the fate of the universe.  The yeasty precipitate appeared to model the Big Crunch (Wikipedia, 2010), however, it is beyond the scope of this study to determine the final outcome of the universe.  Luckily, since contraction of the universe may not even start for another 10 or so billion years (new scientist, 2002), it seems that there are plenty of opportunities to investigate this phenomenon through beer-related research.

References

http://coopers.com.au/#

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2759-universe-might-yet-collapse-in-big-crunch.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_crunch

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Pirate Beer

Figure 1. Pirate Beer

A note to all you scurvy knaves: Due t’ Halloween festivities, this week’s article will be dressed in a pirate costume complete with a wooden leg, a hook for a hand and a scruffy parrot on its shoulder. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum? (All pirate-talk translations be provided by the landlubbers at talklikeapirateday).

Introduction

Arrr, think o’ Dutch beers and brands such as Heineken, Amstel and Oranjeboom sprin’ t’ mind. Howe’er, thar be plenty o’ other less-well known beers t’ be had. United Dutch Breweries boast an extensive range o’ beers includin’ Weidmann Lager, Phoenix Strong Lager, Three Horses Dark Malt Beverage and Pirate Beer (UDB products, 2010). Pirate Beer is an 8.5% alc. vol. strong lager originally from the Breda Brewery.. A pence for an old man o’de sea?

Aye, pirates seem t’ have a tenuous connection with beer and a more common association with rum feels both more traditional and comfortable. Little information is available from either Breda Brewery or UDB, and this may be due t’ the questionable link between the product and brand mentioned previously. Gaarrr! They should be keel hauled!

Aim

Aye, this experiment was designed t’ investigate numerous characteristics o’ Pirate Beer includin’, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.   Yarrgh!

Method

Aye, a 500 ml can o’ Pirate Beer was obtained from a local supermarket for NZdoubloons3.99. The can was refrigerated t’ 4oC before the integrity o’ the can was breached under controlled conditions usin’ the supplied puncturin’ device. The contents o’ the can war decanted int’ a clean glass vessel. Aroma was evaluated by smellin’ the beer. Flavour was analysed by tastin’ the beer and discussin’ it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Results

Ahoy, results for Pirate Beer be shown in table 1 below. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!

Table 1. Characteristics of Pirate Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Aye, sweet caramelly and fruity on the nose with an almost cider-like quality with a suggestion o’ ash tray lin’erin’ in the surroundin’s. Overall, the aroma be faint
Flavour Cloyin’ with a pungent lacquer aftertaste. The heinous taste o’ the beverage caused the researchers t’ abort the experiment and dispose o’ the sample responsibly. Garrr!
Colour A deep yellow colour, bordering on orange
Satisfaction The researchers struggled t’ identify a situation which would befit imbibing such an offensive brew
Vessel Design The can be illustra’ed with a clichéd pirate image, replete with parrot, wooden leg, cutlass, tricorn, eye patch and a cannon in t’ background (see figure 1)
Head A disappointin’ white foam emerges upon pourin’, but recedes to almost nothin’ within 39 seconds. Yarrgh!
Drinkability 2

 

Conclusion

Aye, havin’ sampled Pirate Beer, the researchers now understand why it is not a prominent Dutch beverage. Pirate Beer succeeded in offendin’ on almost all scales. The researchers war reluctant t’ award drinkability scores or 1 because it is not inconceivable that thar be worse be’erages a’ailable. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!

Aye, it is possible that, if pirates had consumed Pirate Beer, this could be the reason behind their frequent use o’ strange noises such as Yarrgh and Garrr and the incorrect use o’ the verb ‘be’. Howe’er, it is beyond the scope o’ this study t’ confirm this hypothesis. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum?

References

http://www.talklikeapirateday.com/translate/

http://www.udbexport.com/EN/products

Figure 1. Asahi Black

Introduction

Asahi Breweries control Japanese beer consumption with a staggering 40% of the market share (Wikipedia, 2010).  Asahi have been producing beer for well over 100 years and have recently started dabbling in beer styles beyond their usual Super Dry offering (Asahi products, 2010).  One member of this diversifying range of beverages is Asahi Black (黒生, Kuronama), a 5% alc. vol. “Munich-Type” black lager (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

The English version of the website contains useful information, however, it is the Japanese language website which provides a host of information for the bored imbiber.  Aside from the usual downloadable wallpapers, there are additional delights such as “after 9 stories”, history of black lager and black lager cocktail recipes (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Asahi Black including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 350 ml can of Asahi Black was obtained from a specialist Japanese bottle store for NZ$3.80.  The can was refrigerated to 4oC before the integrity of the can was breached under controlled conditions using the supplied puncturing device.  The contents of the can were decanted into a clean glass vessel.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardised light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

Results for Asahi Black are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Asahi Black

Characteristic Result
Aroma Presents a strong roasted malty nose with a chocolatey undercurrent mixed with buckwheat groats and Kiwi brand shoe polish.  A slight hint of sweet smoke hides in the background
Flavour First taste is overpowered by considerable fizziness.  Once prepared for the carbonation onslaught, the flavour is low on the tongue with bitterness reminiscent of coffee or dark chocolate.  A remainder of burnt caramel lingers long after the liquor has been swallowed
Colour Deep shade of brown resembling an iced long black (Americano) coffee with the ice removed, or even a globally renowned cola beverage
Satisfaction Surprisingly drinkable, however the excessive carbonation guarantees that bloatation would determine the final quantity the drinker is able to consume
Vessel Design A gold, black and red can with an interesting crossover of English and Japanese informing of the beverage’s German origins (see figure 1)
Head A fizzy cream-coloured head dissipated within 54 seconds
Drinkability 5

 

Conclusion

The overriding carbonation of Asahi Black tainted the drinking experience and resulted in an uncomfortable, distended-stomach feeling for over 90 minutes after the single can had been finished.  It is beyond the scope of the current study to evaluate the performance of Asahi Black when incorporated into the suggested cocktails such as “Fruit Original” or “Moon Stone” (Asahi kuronama, 2010).

Finally, the researchers were left with a nagging question about the paradox which arises from the naming of the product.  Asahi translates to rising sun, but when coupled with ‘black’ an uncomfortable illogicality of the rising sun delivering blackness occurs.  However, rumination surrounding this troublesome absurdity was frequently interrupted by severe bouts of eructation.

References

http://asahibeer.co.jp/

http://www.asahibeer.co.jp/english/index.html

http://asahibeer.co.jp/kuronama/

http://asahibeer.co.jp/products/beer/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asahi_Breweries

Figure 1. Shepherd Neame Spitfire

Introduction

English beers are as varied and numerous as the accents encountered on a tiki tour around the country.  Shepherd Neame contribute to the plethora of beverages with brews such as Bishop’s Finger, Canterbury Jack, 4-4-2 and Spitfire.  Spitfire is a relative newcomer to “Britain’s Oldest Brewer” (Shepherd Neame website, 2010), having been introduced in 1990 to commemorate the Battle of Britain 50 years earlier (Spitfire website, 2010).  Spitfire is a 4.5% alc. vol. Kentish Ale

The marketing of Spitfire Kentish ale appears to rely strongly on Britain’s patriotic sensibilities harking back to the Second World War, indeed naming itself “The Bottle of Britain” (Spitfire website, 2010).  The website has a wartime feel and ads show images of unfortunate German soldiers and brave, Dad’s Army style photos of plucky British soldiers (Spitfire ads, 2010)

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Shepherd Neame Spitfire including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 500 ml bottle of Shepherd Neame Spitfire was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$7.50.  The bottle was refrigerated to 4oC, then allowed to warm to 7oC before the cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into a clean glass vessel.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardised light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

Results for Shepherd Neame Spitfire are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Shepherd Neame Spitfire

Characteristic Result
Aroma Dried lime peel from zingy hops with a smattering of toffee and an undertone of shoe polish and a note of extremely dry dust on unpolished wooden shelves
Flavour Bold and substantial bitey bitterness with vigourous citrusey and floral flavourings which linger long after the liquor has been swallowed.  The bitterness is slightly offset with a hint of caramel and toffee
Colour A pale chestnut brown
Satisfaction Because the sample was not heavy, it could certainly be enjoyed year-round and would also make a solid session beer
Vessel Design A stout, white glass bottle is draped with a red, white and blue label in true English colours (see figure 1).  The vessel also sports a label commemorating The Battle of Britain (see figure 2)
Head A persistent head upon pouring remained until through the photo process (see figure 1) and after the first taste (over 517 seconds after pouring).  Remnants of the head remained to the bottom of the bottom of the glass
Drinkability 8.5

Figure 2. The Battle of Britain label

Conclusion

While Old Blighty may be a very long distance from New Zealand (and our soldiers died defending the Empire), Shepherd Neame Spitfire travels remarkably well.  The researchers agreed that if they were travelling past the bottle store where the sample was purchased, it would be probable that they would stop by and pick up another bottle or two.  It is beyond the scope of the current study to ascertain whether Spitfire is truly “The Bottle of Britain” from such a remote location.  The researchers resisted all urges to say (in the thickest, old-school BBC accent) “That’s one in the eye for you, Fritz”, or any other ridiculous wartime references.

References

http://www.shepherd-neame.co.uk/

http://www.spitfireale.co.uk/spitfire-adverts/

http://www.spitfireale.co.uk/spitfire-ale/the-beer.aspx

Figure 1. Budĕjovický Budvar

Introduction

Breweries from the Czech Republic city of České Budějovice started producing the original Budweiser beer in 1785, and Budĕjovický Budvar is one of those breweries (Wikipedia, 2010).  The naming of the beer as Budweiser (which, in fact, originates from the city in the Czech Republic) has been the cause of many a legal wrangling between the Czech breweries and Anheuser-Busch, USA, over trademark rights (Wikipedia, 2010).  Budĕjovický Budvar is a premium strength (5.0% alc. vol.).

The Budĕjovický Budvar brewery boasts a host of interesting attractions for brewery tourists, including a Brewing Pan, an Enjoy Centre, and, most intriguingly, the Stargate.  The Stargate presents you with the possibility of “being suspended above a beer river. This river flows to metropolises worldwide that have been conquered by our unique lager” in a Ghengis Khan – Willy Wonkaesque manner (Budvar website, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A six pack of 0.33 litre bottles of Budĕjovický Budvar was obtained from a Countdown supermarket in Napier for NZ$14.99.  By the time the bottles had been transported to the laboratory, they had heated up to room temperature.  Five of the bottles were placed in a refrigerator to cool them to 4 oC.  The cap of the sixth bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels containing between 8 and 10 small cubes of ice.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results of Budĕjovický Budvar are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Floral hoppy burst which hints at a reminder of fruit salad dressed with citrus
Flavour A tsunami of hoppyness assaults the senses with zingy, floral, citrusy, bitter tastes give way to a sweeter aftertaste with a suggestion of rolling tobacco
Colour A strong yellow, bordering on the pale orange
Satisfaction A proven performer in a range of conditions.  Budĕjovický Budvar would be acceptable in all seasons, but would be particularly pleasurable in a beer garden on a hot, sticky summers evening.  Budĕjovický Budvar has also confirmed its versatility by being suitable when faced with, perhaps the most testing of beer conditions, Vietnam-style, ice-in-glass cooling
Vessel Design Gold, red, white and black label with some jolly knights shown subtly in silver behind the brand name.  A gold foil adorned with a ‘wax’ seal tops a standard green bottle with a fancy ‘B’ in a shield on the shoulder (see figure 1)
Head A fine, fizzy white head disappeared rapidly, possibly due to the presence of ice
Drinkability 8

Conclusion

Budĕjovický Budvar is a pleasing beer which can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator or even over ice.  It is a cruel coincidence that Budweiser from the Czech Republic, and which is a very fine brew, shares the same name as the primary fare from Anheuser-Busch and it is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the relative merits of each of these beers.  Despite the shared brand name, Budĕjovický Budvar has something that Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have, and that is a Stargate with a river of beer.  What more could a thirsty research scientist ask for?

References

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/o-nas/predstaveni.html

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/navstevnicke-centrum/multimedialni-expozice/stargate.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budvar

Figure 1. Schöfferhofer Weizen

Introduction

Germany, one of the heavyweights of global beer production, is home to around 1300 breweries and the famous Reinheitsgebot or purity order which regulates ingredients that can be used in beer production (Wikipedia, 2010).  Among this bewildering choice of beverages is the trickily named Schöfferhofer Weizen, brewed in Frankfurt, a lesser known wheat beer, or hefeweizen which weighs in at 5.0% alcohol by volume.  Judging by commercials, the target audience of Schöfferhofer Weizen appears to be heterosexual males in their thirties who are into nostalgic things such a toy cars (youtube, 2010), and who also have fancy bachelor pads littered with gadgets and Polaroid photos (schoefferhofer website, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Schöfferhofer Weizen beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 500 ml bottle of Schöfferhofer Weizen was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$4.50.  The bottle was opened under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the liquor and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Schöfferhofer Weizen are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Schöfferhofer Weizen

Characteristic Result
Aroma Fresh pears smeared with a sugary butter mixture
Flavour Small, fizzy bubbles carry a creamy, bready sweet flavour which yields to a zingy bitter hoppy essence.  A constant undertone of red apples and green pears stirs up memories of scrumping fruit and being chased off of land by angry farmers
Colour A pleasant, pale, hazy pineapple yellow
Satisfaction A definite summer drink, possibly best enjoyed in a field on a picnic blanket
Vessel Design Bright orange dominates the label with smatterings of black, white and gold, on a classic brown beer bottle (see figure 1)
Head A think creamy head rears up upon pouring.  The froth thins to leave a persistent film of fine, white bubbles
Drinkability 7.5

Conclusion

English language information about Schöfferhofer Weizen is conspicuously absent from the internet and so it is difficult to validate any of the claims made by the brewers.  However, as the research team contains a mid-thirties heterosexual male, we can confirm that both the beer and the advertising materials appealed to at least one member of the team.  We are led to the conclusion that the company’s marketing strategy has been very well thought through, although the commercials have led the team member to develop a strong desire to have considerably more gadgets around his accommodation.

References

http://www.oetker-group.com/oetker-gruppe/html/default/deut-734j73.en.html

http://www.schoefferhofer.de/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_in_Germany

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgDybrzo0Vs

Figure 1. Kingfisher Premium

Introduction

Kingfisher beer dominates the Indian beer market with a range of products including Kingfisher Premium, Strong, Ultra, Blue, Red and Bohemia (Wikipedia, 2010), and it’s parent company, United Breweries, has been producing beer since 1915 (see United Breweries website, 2010).  In addition to being loved by the Indian public, Kingfisher beers also appear to be loved by judges at international beer exhibitions as they have won no less than six international awards.  It is possibly this popularity that has led Kingfisher to adopt the slogan “The king of good times” (see Kingfisherworld website, 2010).

The target audience of Kingfisher beers is clearly aimed at young, wealthy males as the website displays cornerstones of maleness in swimsuit calendars, a model search, sponsoring a soccer team and a Formula 1 motor racing team.

Aim

This experiment was designed to compare numerous characteristics of Kingfisher Premium with Kingfisher Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

Six 330 ml bottles of Kingfisher Premium (5.0% alc/vol) and a single 650 ml bottle of Kingfisher Strong (less than 8% alc/vol) were obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$12.00 and NZ$8.00 respectively.  The beers were chilled to approximately 6 degree C.  The stoppers were removed under controlled conditions and the contents were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beers.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beers and discussing them with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glasses were held up to a standardized light to evaluate colour, and aesthetic aspects of the vessels were considered.

Results

The results for Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.

Characteristic Kingfisher Premium Kingfisher Strong
Aroma Significant citrusy and appley hoppy odour with a smidgen of white grapes Clean fresh scent reminiscent of lying in a field of wheat which has been drying in the searing heat of a late spring day
Flavour Initially, bitter and slightly floral hops rush onto the taste buds and linger pleasantly high on the palate.  This is complemented by an underlying malty sweetness. Slightly sharp taste that bites down the sides of your tongue finishing with the aromatic taste of lemon. Cumbersome flavourings become a little muddled.  Leaves the palate tasting as if spearmint chewing gum has been taken 10 minutes prior
Colour Deep yellow, reminiscent of a pale caramel Clear amber liquor similar to apricot infused honey
Satisfaction A premier candidate to accompany almost any Indian curry, particularly nice with papad Palatable, but high alcohol content could leave the consumer with impaired faculties
Vessel Design Uncomplicated white, red and gold label with an image of a kingfisher (see figure 1) Maroon, gold and white label induces imagery of a Victorian bordello or the flocked wallpaper seen in Indian restaurants across England in the 1990s (see figure 2)
Head An effervescent fizz produces a thin white veneer on the surface which disappears completely within 29 seconds A thin white spume rapidly disperses exposing the beer beneath within 36 seconds
Drinkability 7 6

Figure 2. Kingfisher Strong

Conclusion

This comparative study has uncovered several interesting features of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.  Firstly, both beers consisted of considerable amounts of flavour which directly led to substantial satisfaction.  Secondly, Kingfisher Premium appears to be a good candidate for a session beer, perhaps best consumed in the early evening on a balcony, while Kingfisher strong would not be unpleasant shared with friends and accompanying a meal.  Finally, the inextricable link between Kingfisher, India and curry could not be avoided by the researchers and the consumption of the samples was accompanied by palak paneer and dahl makhani with garlic naan.  It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate whether the presence of curry influenced the experience of consuming the beverages, but it all went down without complaint.  When considering the outcome of these two heavyweights of the beverage world locked in a fight to the death – the agility and zippyness of Premium against the raw strength of, erm, Strong – the beer left standing at the end would probably be Premium, albeit with a bloodied nose and a broken limb or two and perhaps a large patch of hair missing, gripped in the dying hand of Strong.

References

http://www.kingfisherworld.com/index.aspx

http://www.theubgroup.com/index.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher_(beer)

Figure 1. Harbin Beer

Introduction

The production of beer-like beverages in China has a long history dating back to around 7000 BC (Wikipedia, 2010), although rice and wheat has often been used in place of barley.  This information questions the claim by Harbin Brewery, which was founded in 1900 AD, that it produces “the earliest beer brewed in China”, creating a 9000 year discrepancy (Harbin Beer label, 2010).   Harbin Beer (哈尔滨啤酒) is a weaker (3.6% vol.) lager-style beer made from “water, malt, rice, hops” (Harbin Beer label, 2010).  Harbin produces several types of beers including Hapi, Hapi Golden, Hatepi Heart Beer 10o and Harbin Wheat King 10o (ratebeer, 2010).

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Harbin Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 610 ml bottle of Harbin Beer was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$4.50.  The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Harbin Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Harbin Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Sweet scented, like freshly bailed hay, with floral, hoppy undertones
Flavour Watery, with a distinct lack of flavouring.  Inoffensive aftertaste due to the almost complete absence of tastebud stimulation
Colour Pale yellow, evoking memories of a visit to the doctor’s to produce a sample
Satisfaction Having consumed the beverage, researchers were found wanting (beer with real flavour)
Vessel Design A crudely embossed, large green bottle adorned with a mainly white, gold and green label (see figure 1). Three gold “medals” at the bottom of the label promise award-winning achievement, but on closer inspection informs that it is “the earliest beer brewed in China” (see figure 2)
Head A thin fluffy head dissipates in 54 seconds
Drinkability 4

Figure 2. Harbin Beer ‘Medals’

Conclusion

Harbin Beer managed to underwhelm the researchers in the majority of tests.  This disappointment led to a protracted discussion as to whether the remaining liquid should be consumed or discarded.  The presence of rice in the ingredients may explain the final product being almost completely devoid of flavour.  The over-riding deduction from the analysis is that Harbin Beer is disappointing, and the almost complete nonexistence of flavours means that it will only be purchased again if nothing else is available.

References

Harbin Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/harbin-beer-company-anheuser-busch/2951/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_and_breweries_in_China

Figure 1. Indo no Aooni

Introduction

Although Nagano prefecture’s Yahou Brewing company adeptly touts its wares through a contemporary and trendy website, its expertly crafted ales need no advertisement – they should sell on taste alone. “Indo no Aooni” (インドの青鬼) (Indian Blue Demon) is an IPA sold only in finer liquor shops and upscale Tokyo supermarkets at 280yen per 350ml can. This high-alcohol undertaking (7.0%ABV) is made of only two ingredients (malt and hops) and claims to be same recipe controversial London brewer George Hodgson invented in the late 18th century.

Aim

This experiment attempted to discern various aspects of Indo no Aooni including aroma, flavor, color, satisfaction, vessel design and drinkability.

Method

Materials collected for experiment included: one can of said product for testing, one thirsty researcher, one iPhone for record keeping as well as one room temperature pint-sized glass. Product was kept at approx. 6 degrees Celsius in refrigerator then allowed to sit and warm up to 8 degrees just before tasting. Entire contents were poured into glass and head was measured. Researcher used own larger-than-average proboscis to determine qualities of aroma. Notes were recorded using iPhone Speed Text application. Product was tasted, notes recorded, then remains were quickly disposed of via researcher’s gullet. Can was rinsed and kept on researcher’s desk as reminder to buy more upon leaving laboratory.

Results

The results for Indo no Aooni are shown in table 1 below (italicized portions were taken directly from researcher’s notes and unedited).

Table 1. Characteristics of Indo no Aooni

Characteristic Result
Aroma You are pulled through space and time to rural Flanders in the mid 1500’s. Wandering across a soft landscape of bright green fields of ripening hops, there stands a moss-covered stone monastery whose great oaken doors are unclosed, welcoming visitors. As you pass into the bright courtyard, there is a jolly abbot stirring an enormous vat of wort. You salivate as a light breeze delivers the yeasty smell of rising bread from a nearby window in the monks’ bakery. You feel the warmth of the oven on your face and the sun’s rays on your back.
Flavor Round as the rear-end of a Bavarian grandmother. It mercilessly bites and gallops up into the nose. A sweet reward and a slap of yeast, but a clean bitterness that slides to the sides and back of tongue. Leaves the palate refreshed and begging for more! The foam yields to the lips a delightful stickiness likened to a honeycomb kiss.
Color Rooibos tea steeped for 3 mintues.
Satisfaction All aspects top quality. “Magical” ingredients led to researcher being in danger of losing objectivity nearly jeopardizing experiment.

Researcher recorded a “Buzz” (slight intoxication) and “general well-being feelt [sic]” after ingesting only 150ml of product. High-alcohol content and an unfilled digestive system are ostensibly cause of said reaction.

Vessel design Indigo background with text and image in bone-white (see figure 1). A demon’s fanged grin stands out, expertly configured to be curious balance of both totemic and “manga” design.
Head Upon pouring, reached a towering 4.4cm forming large bubbles at bottom and small thick ones at top. Within 45 seconds reduced to 2.1cm and began to resemble cream. Still had 0.8cm after two minutes and at 3 minutes, one small dollop of foam (0.1cm) remained on side of glass.
Drinkability 8

Conclusion

Virtues of this IPA are not wholly doubted, however, researcher’s unorthodox recordings and accelerated inebriation led vetting team to doubt specifications of experiment. An immediate repeat experiment to confirm findings is proposed as soon as additional supplies of Indo no Aooni are located and purchased.

References

http://www.yonasato.com/main.html

http://www.craftbeers.jp/Aooni-India.html

http://www.craftbeers.jp/Yahhorbluing.html

http://zythophile.wordpress.com/false-ale-quotes/myth-4-george-hodgson-invented-ipa-to-survive-the-long-trip-to-india/

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C

Gosser Beer

Figure 1. Gosser Beer

Introduction

Austria evokes images of mountains, Mozart and The Sound of Music, but it is not globally renowned for its beer varieties and production, which may suggest that Gosser’s claim that Gosser Beer is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ may lack substance in the beverage world.  Gosser Beer (Gösser Bier) is a premium-strength (5.2% vol.) lager brewed by Brau Union Österreich in Graz, south-eastern Austria (see Gosser website for further information).  Other beers in the Gosser range include NaturRadler and Gösser Dark.  Gosser Beer is available in 0.33 and 0.5 litre cans and bottles.  The Gosser website is full of beautiful images of natural vistas which leads them to claim that ‘Gösser[‘s] … highest quality, purest nature and living brewing tradition conventionalize Gösser a myth with legendary character’, whatever that means.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Gosser Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 0.5 litre bottle (see figure 1)  of Gosser Beer was obtained from a local supermarket.  The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Gosser Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Gosser Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Reminiscent of ‘old beer’, perhaps experienced the day after the beer was poured, a hint of citrus with a notes of cigarette ash
Flavour Initially, significant malty flavours which are replaced by a tangy hoppiness
Colour Similar to apple juice yellow which has had no more than 1 medium-sized ice cube melted in it
Satisfaction Served below 6oC, it would provide considerable refreshment on a day which exceeds 24cC
Vessel Design 0.5 litre bottle sits comfortably in the hand.  The label is an unfussy ,lustrous, dark green, gold and white design with classic European elegance
Head A thin , gassy head which disappeared after 156 seconds
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

It is beyond the scope of this experiment to confirm Gosser’s claim that their product is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ (Gosser Beer bottle label, 2010), however, the results indicate that Gosser was certainly inoffensive to the researchers and would be an above average choice on a hot summer’s day when in need of beverage based refreshment.  It is even conceivable that Maria and Captain Von Trapp may have shared a Gosser before fleeing their humble abode.  The highlight of the Gosser experience was the complementary green glass bottle and lustrous green label.

References

Gosser Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.brauunioninternational.com/default_e.asp

http://www.goesser.com/