Prologue: James Squire is another of those interesting cross over brewers. Not mainstream enough to be loved by the blue singlet, swirling beers from eskys brigade, but too mainstream to be embraced by the trilby wearing, sipping beers in a darkly lit gastro pub crew.
It sits somewhere in between, but when faced with a tap selection that is limited to the Lion Nathan conglomerate it becomes a more than worthy option.
We have spoken about the Sundowner Lager, but this time we ventured a little further up the tap selection to get the Golden Ale.
Packaging: I’m writing this from the picture you can see above because mine came straight out of the tap into my pot glass. I like the James Squire font, it’s classy and looks just a little bit fancy, there is some writing on there, but god only knows what it says, and a picture of some wheat, which I believe to be the most picturesque of all
Of course this is the old packaging, look out for the all new packaging which should be working it way into stores around now, and it comes with it’s own marketing
Appearance: It lives up to its name – It is very golden, tending almost towards the honey end of the golden scale (if there is such a thing as a golden scale). It had a white head, which ended up turning a little wispy and left lacing throughout the drink.
Taste: There are some bitter flavours here, fruit, sweetness of honey, but all of the flavours are a little dumbed down. You get the feeling they could have produced something fantastic here, but then they dialled it down to appeal to the masses, which is a real shame.
In conclusion: If you are choosing between this and the real microbreweries or even the macro owned micros like Matilida Bay and Little Creatures/White Rabbit then I would forego this. But if you are faced with a rack of commercially orientated Lion Nathan, or even CUB or worse still Pale Euro Lager taps, then this is probably one of the best options.
Ranking: Let’s have a schooner