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

Monday, 12 October 2009

The parts other beers cannot reach.

A glorious weekend, that’s all there is to say about it. I did nothing and went nowhere. The entire weekend was spent in my jogging pants swigging cooking lager and scratching my balls. Found a six pack of Heineken on the special for £4, around £1 a pint and whilst I don’t usually spend that sort of dosh, thought I’d treat myself. And treat you, for it means a beer review.

Needn’t have bothered, as to be honest I didn’t like it that much. The last time I drank this it was called Heineken Export and if I remember correctly I didn’t much like it then. But enough time had passed to try again. It has a cloying aftertaste. The first hit I found pleasant, but there is sweetness in the note of the aftertaste that got a bit on my tits. It was a struggle to finish all six. On a positive note it did create some fantastic belches, which I did enjoy. The type that has the lady squeeze looking at you in disgust. Always a winner. The parts other beers cannot reach. For all malt 5% grog I was surprised I didn’t think much of it. I usually like that sort of thing, but heh. That’s the way it goes.

Heineken is one of the big global brands of beer. A premium brand in most of the countries of the globe, but in the UK it still has a reputation as cooking lager. It reminds me of a dodgy film call Blue Velvet where Kyle MacLachlan drinks Heineken, and it becomes an excuse for Dennis Hopper to thump him, as our Den prefers the patriotism of drinking the domestic piss. Drinking leads to violence, obviously. It if wasn’t for the grog world peace would arrive and we would all have flowers in our hair.

The beer used to be 3% piss brewed in the UK, but when Stella took off they figured the UK market was now appreciating genuine continental strength lout and introduced Heineken Export as a version of the beer available globally. People still viewed it as piss with added alcohol so they rebranded it, dropped the “Export” moniker, imported it rather than brew it local, and renamed the regular 3% piss as “cold filtered” before canning that brand completely. They now expect us to think like the rest of the world? Since when has blighty thought like the rest of the world? What makes this country great is that we think different and we are right and the world is wrong.

The brand is on rarely in the bargain bin, so finding it there was a surprise. The big kegs (party 7’s as older people call them) are often discounted but I suspect they don’t shift due to the total impracticality of chilling a big 5 litre keg. The 6 330ml cans are nice portion amount, though. Twother size more or less is you accept a third of a litre being as close as dammit to two thirds of a pint. I remember a bird I used to date bought these kind of dinky cans when she bought beer, so maybe there is something in the notion of a girl’s portion. I could make a joke now about how the girl liked a portion, but I am above being disrespectful to ladies I used to date.

A better lout at the moment is Carlsberg Export, £7.49 for 18 275ml bottles at Sainsbury’s. Pound fifty cheaper than when the missus bought it a while back and coming in at 80p a pint. Bargain.

However the days of cooking lager enthusiasm are in peril. The zeitgeist is that cheap grog is destroying society. A financially (and morally) bankrupt government of any colour will see the pop as a tax revenue source, so enjoy cheap grog whilst you can. The days of wine and roses may be short lived.

When cheap grog ends I’ll have to find a new hobby. Maybe football. Much has been said about the England game nobody watched, including a number of publicans moaning (do they do anything else?) about not having access. I think we saw a glimpse of the future for the delivery of sporting content to viewers, something that will find its niche when TV’s across the land become web enabled PC’s. I also think it would be good for customers. Why pay £50+ a month to subscribe to sporting channels through a proprietary network when you really are only interested in a few games? When the big clubs cotton on the fact that they could sell their own games direct to punters, rather than through Sky, and make more dosh that way then like garlic bread before it, it will be the future.

Predictably I didn’t pay to watch it though, because I’m tight, could not be bothered, and not into football enough to pay money for it. Howay.


The Beer Nut said...

Bastions of anti-globalisation that we are, there's still a special separate Irish version of Heineken, brewed/watered to 4.2% ABV.

My dad used to be a big fan of the 3% English Heineken. I am from cooking lager stock, really.

Cooking Lager said...

I'm swigging Harp Irish Lager soon, as it's the cheapest grog in a local working mans club that has free pool tables. Your Dad will love it.

The Beer Nut said...

Despite it being the most popular beer where my Dad lives, I don't think he's a fan.

Make sure you get proper Dundalk-brewed Harp and not some British knock-off.

Cooking Lager said...

I will ask at the bar and expect the response "are you 'aving a laugh?"