An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

When cooking lager goes wrong

How cheap is too cheap? In the quest to answer this, today I’m necking Sainsbury’s basics. 91p for 4, 2% lager, 0.9 units a can. A while back I was tempted to try Carling C2, a 2% lout, due to a tempting promotion in the Mecca of beer that is Tesco. The offer was try it, and if you don’t like it, your money back. All you had to do was send the cardboard cover back, with your receipt, and get your money back. On the question “why don’t you like it?” I answered “its piss”, my money returned, before I’d even bothered to actually try it. That’s how cheap I am. Interestingly when I did try it, months later, I discovered I was correct! However this, as with many brand extensions, is rarely in the bargain bin. Often 2% Carling is dearer than 4%. I’ve never figured why anyone would want 2% Carling anyway. If driving, a shandy is nicer, and at home you’re not driving anywhere.

A 2% lager is on permanent offer however, and it’s the basics and value range in any given supermarket. What glass to neck it from? There is no branded Sainsbury’s basic’s glass as far as I know. I decide to phone ‘em and ask and got a number here. “I am a beer enthusiast and my favourite beer is Sainsbury’s basics lager, is there a branded glass available with which to drink it that I could have? I’ll happily buy one” fair play to the girl on the other end “Are you having a laugh, is this a wind up?” “Yeh, sorry love” A compromise is in order. Sierra Nevada, very popular among beer fans, is actually piss. It is. There is no denying it. If you disagree you are wrong. So a Sierra Nevada glass it is.

So what’s it like? Do you have to ask? It’s piss. Absolute watery piss. Now I’ve been around this world a bit and drank anything from dishwater to paint stripper but I honestly struggled with this one. It’s the wateriness. I was reminded of the film The Quiet Man where Maureen O’Hara asks the matchmaker whether he wants water for his whiskey. “When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey. When I drink water, I drink water” came the reply. Well this is a can of watery piss. I’d rather have a can of pop. I couldn’t face the other 3. They will languish until a “party”, where I will put them out among the other cooking lagers and when asked why I got that shite will say “it’s for anyone that’s driving, it’s not that bad actually”, and hope the bare faced lie is enough to con someone into necking one. Alternately I have 3 cans spare, let me know if you want them.

Thankfully I still have some of that Stella in the fridge. Thank the gods. But I've not used the word piss enough. Piss Piss Piss Piss Piss Piss. Now I'm happy.


Curmudgeon said...

You have to wonder exactly who are the target customers for this stuff, particularly given that it's barely alcoholic so can't be said to appeal to tramps.

I had to laugh a few months ago when the Daily Mail had a shock headline "Drunk for £1!" In fact, for £1, you wouldn't be over (or even near) the drink-drive limit, and it's doubtful, given the amount of liquid you'd have to consume, if it would be physically possible to get meaningfully "drunk" on value lager.

Cooking Lager said...

Tramps on the wagon? Tramps trying to stay under 21 units a week?

Velky Al said...

Sounds almost as bad as a can of Tesco Value "Beer" an ex-colleague of mine gave me to try at the back end of last year. Mind you I didn't drink the whole can, couple of mouthfuls and the rest of the can joined the water in the sewer - where I wouldn't be too surprised to discover it came from.

Barm said...

Just you wait and soon enough you'll see urban hipsters drinking it ironically.

Anonymous said...

Don't think we qualify as "urban hipsters", but we taste-tested C2 vs Sainsbury's Basics a couple of years ago. In a blind test, the Basics won hands down. for full details and pics. Still don't know why anyone would buy either though.

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