Prologue Vale Ale was not a beer I even vaguely gave a shit about until all hell broke loose in the Victorian Beer Wanker Mafia earlier this year after it took out the number one spot in the Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100.
Apparently this winning was a sin akin to ‘Pretty Fly (for a white guy) winning the 1998 Triple J’s hottest 100. There were cries of rigging, misrepresentation about the locality of the brewery, underhand tactics, the use of (shock horror) social marketing and bullying from the Macros.
Of course everyone just needed reminding that it’s only beer, and they all need to settle down, have a beer, and move on.”
Of course in the back of my mind I thought ‘I should try Vale Ale at some point.’ And there is was at the GB, on tap, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I think they might be ramping up distribution. I also noticed later in the weekend that it was on tap at the Leveson as well.
Packaging: Again I was drinking it on tap so well, the pot glass looked good. The bottle is a study in minimalism. This is the circles that make a V, V for McLaren Vale or you could argue that the dots represent grapes, which makes some sense as McLaren Vale is more known for wine than beer. Either way it’s a very nice label that implies quality.
Appearance: The beer was a deep golden amber colour, slightly cloudy, and with almost no head. There was only a little trail of bubbles in the middle of the beer.
Smell: Nice citrus overtones in the nose.
Taste: It feels quite soft in the mouth, with a slight citrusy bitterness in the aftertaste. It reminds me a lot of Little Creatures Pale Ale – but this is smoother and more refined.
In conclusion: This is actually a good beer. Is it the best beer in Australia? No, it’s really not interesting enough for me to claim that title. But it is easy to drink, completely sessional and full of flavours, so I can see how people score it highly.
Ranking: I’ll have a Pint.