Hard to believe that Cascade Premium Lager hasn’t graced the pages of BotF before now. An Australian premium perennial, it has sat comfortably alongside Hahn Premium, James Boags Premium and Crown Lager as a corporate board room beer. It would appear to have finally been forgiven by Australian drinkers who justifiably punished its brewer for the most cynical and mean-spirited repackaging exercise in recent memory. The increasing number of 330ml and 345ml and 355ml stubbies has long been a source of irritation to BotF members. Cascade (after it was acquired by Fosters), decided to move from a 375ml stubbie to a 330ml stubbie. At the time the Fosters employee responsible for selling this sh1t sandwich to the public claimed 1) It was designed to better compete with European beers 2) Drinkers found the 375ml stubbie too chunky.
Despite going on the record and saying they were confident Australians would accept the changes and keep drinking cascade, Fosters were flabbergasted when sales of Cascade plummeted, and the beer became as endangered as the Thylacine on its label. Within 15 months, Cascade Premium was back to 375ml. It’s a good beer and has a real bite to it. It deserves to the flagship brew of Australia’s oldest brewery. One thing BotF discovered is that there is a Tasmania only range of Cascade beers – another reason to get there.
Our second drop to try was another bevvy from the Holgate Brewhouse Holat ESB. Despite using the loathed 330ml stubbie, Holgate packs plenty of taste in each bottle. Our English BotF contributor, who was notably subdued as the Australian ripped the heart out of his top order, commented on its British flavour. Like James Anderson, it was very bitter, but unlike James Anderson left no bitter aftertaste. (Anderson may yet have the last laugh – it is that kind of series.)
Sydney Harbour was at its finest yesterday, and a full line-up of BotF originals gathered to induct Bi-eh. There was a moment of concern as the security guards looked to be doing more than a cursory lap – but they found the sun too much and they retreated inside. Barons Brewing had a boat on the harbour, and it looked a treat. Welcome to BotF Bi-eh, and we look forward to some reviews of LA dive bars.