Daylight savings trips on the back of the ferry are now in full swing. The crowds are growing at the outdoor Circular Quay bar and it seems that the bars at Circular Quay are growing in number. I talked about Young Alfred last week and the fact they offered two beers that I’d never seen before. I’ve already covered about the first of those – ‘na biretta Chiara. I lamented the fact that ‘na biretta’s brewer – BirradaMare – makes some very interesting looking beers and that we in Oz got the most mainstream. Well, fortunately their “blonde” isn’t the only one available in Oz – and BotF will be having a crack at the Nera and Rossa (read black and bock) soon. (Not that the Chiara was bad – it was actually a good Euro beer).
The second unique at Young Alfred was a “Premium Dutch Lager” called Hoöten. After the ‘na biretta Chiara, Hoöten was very, very bland. It is very fizzy and undistinguished. It is one of the few beers to include Maltose as one of its listed ingredients. I had one before pulling into Mr Liquor for the supplies for the journey home and made my second sighting of Hoöten in 20 minutes. Mr Liquor had it in 6 packs for $9.99. That was a worrying sign. Normally Mr Liquor puts in something new at a double digit price – but with the Hoöten, he’d gone bargain basement from Day 1.
Now this hasn’t washed up on a beach – Hoöten is legitimately imported. I like to check the provenance of a beer, but that proved hard with the Hoöten. It’s allegedly brewed by “H-West B.V”, located at a Post Office in Maarsen. H-West B.V. is a subsidiary of Bavaria Brewery which makes a shit load of beer for Liquorland – Hollandia or Bavaria. Those beers at least seemed to have a history. On the other hand, it looks like someone in Coles said – “That cheap Dutch beer sells. Are there any more varieties?” “Nah – all we’ve got is Hollandia or Bavaria”. “Well, just give us something like Hollandia and we’ll make up a new brand”.
If that sounds improbable, then check out this article from the Sydney Company that manufactured the label and packaging. “The name Hooten was provided by the client, but aside from that, there was no established branding so everything was created from scratch.” I’ve looked at a few Dutch dictionaries and the name Hoöten translates to nothing in English. They then go onto to say – “A foil label and the icons that were developed for the natural ingredients used add to the story that this is a high quality, premium product”. There it is in black and white – the story that this is a high quality, premium product. It’s not – it’s simply cheap Dutch piss, packaged to look classy. And it is cheap with a bottlo advertising it for $33 a case. Another one taken for the team by BoF.