The last beer discovery in Canberra was made at the Canberra Central branch of ALDI. In NSW, we are not able to buy alcohol in a supermarket. Whilst there are many bottle shops adjacent to a supermarket, none are part of the supermarket like the UK, US, Europe and China. This is not the case in the ACT and apparently Victoria and ALDI has exploited this with a “liquor” section offering wine, spirits and beer.
In keeping with other ALDI lines, ALDI beer is ridiculously cheap and branded in a faintly ridiculously legitimate way. They’ve applied a similar approach to wine, beer and Irish Cream made on a wine base – but you’d need to go to a blog specialising in those categories to find out what is going on there. It is possible to get a real brand like Mythos or Asahi, and these appear cheap – but I can’t be sure. A case of 30 cans of Bugle Bay (a “bitter”) is $34.99, a case of Low Carb beer is $28.99 and a case of Storm Light is $19.99.
I tried two ALDI beers – Cape Cyan Natural Blonde and Shipstone’s Crew Fine Amber Ale. As expected, Cape Cyan doesn’t exist, and I’m not sure if the ALDI branding department is being ironic by ensuring that there is no blue in any of the packaging or labelling. It is a low carb beer and has been rendered completely tasteless. At 4.7% and $28.99 a case it is probably the best low carb beer in the market as it tastes (or doesn’t) the same as all other low carb beers but is significantly cheaper. There’s nothing icky about it, it’s just completely flavourless. Shipstone’s Crew does actually taste like something, and has a reasonable hue to it that suggests some effort has gone into making this. There’s beer label hyperbole talking about hops and malt and nutty taste and at $28.99 a case, if you just want to get pissed, this is your poison.
Neither ALDI offering was worse than a beer launched by Carlton in 2010. Carlton Dry Fusion Black “graced” these pages in December last year and was pillioried. It is good to see that the Australian public has rejected this abomination as well and now bottleshops around the country are stuck with pallets of this cat’s piss. I can’t recall seeing a case of ful strength beer being this cheap this decade – but I reckon they’ll need to give it away to get anyone to drink it. I had one, and wouldn’t be paid to drink this crap. It would appear I’m not the only one.