The Ital­ian beer all the way from Vic­to­ria

The Queensland Times - - WEEKEND - with Simon Ir­win myshout@news­re­gional­me­

ITHINK the first time I tried an ex­otic for­eign beer in Aus­tralia was at Expo 88 in Bris­bane. Many read­ers may well re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment of drink­ing Lowen­brau, eat­ing sausages and pret­zels, and do­ing the chicken dance at the Ger­man Fest Haus.

Sure, I had had beers when trav­el­ling over­seas, but the idea of some­thing from other than the Castle­maine Perkins/CUB sta­ble was al­most un­think­able. How times have changed.

This was brought home to me when I headed over the fence to Hugh the Neigh­bour for our weekly beer tast­ing and cri­tique. “What’s on the menu this week?” he asked. “I was in a hurry and just grabbed the first thing I saw,” I said, “so it is just a six-pack of Peroni.”

It seems like only yes­ter­day that the thought of drink­ing an Ital­ian lager in a re­gional part of Aus­tralia was the stuff of fan­tasy. And now, in 2017, here I am dis­miss­ing it as be­ing com­mon as muck.

Of course, there is a twist to this tale, as the Peroni Nas­tro Az­zurro avail­able from my lo­cal Chapel of St Dan’s has not crossed sev­eral oceans in a con­tainer dis­patched by some­one named Luigi from a brew­ery in Lom­bar­dia, but rather brewed lo­cally “un­der li­cence” by CUB.

This doesn’t stop the Dan’s web­site from putting it un­der the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of In­ter­na­tional Beer.

So if it is made us­ing Aus­tralian water, Aus­tralian hops, Aus­tralian malt and Aus­tralian yeast – is it re­ally a for­eign beer at all?

The beer it­self is quite drink­able as far as light­ish lagers go – you can get hints of malt and cit­rus and it is a lit­tle bit­ter, al­though it doesn’t seem to want to hold a head at all.

At 5.1% al­co­hol con­tent it is a full-strength lager, un­sur­pris­ingly in the Euro­pean style.

Both HTN and I en­joyed drink­ing it, with noth­ing bad to say but at the same time fairly pressed to find any­thing to rave about ei­ther.

It is would be good choice for a bar­be­cue when the weather was warm.

But the ques­tion re­mains, should we be pay­ing about a 30% pre­mium on the cost of a do­mes­tic beer when they both come out of the same fac­tory in Vic­to­ria?

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