Viru Premium

Prologue:  I’ve always thought that Australia should merge with Estonia. This would allow us to diversify our geographic offering and gain a crucial foothold into the European market, in fact it would make us an EU member. No longer will Aussie backpackers be thrown out on England for over staying their visas, plus I could claim yet another nationality.  

The benefits don’t end there – We would add 1.3 million people to our population, our winter Olympics team would get significantly better, not to mention the wrestlers, weightlifters and track and field athletes in the summer Olympics. Plus I hear they love cricket, in fact the world Ice Cricket championship are yearly in Estonia.

Plus Estonia’s colours are Black, White and Blue, which is significantly less dorky and far more stylish than Australia’s poxy green and gold. Also they have a better flag, easier to draw for primary school kids, and unlikely to get confused with New Zealand’s.

Most importantly we would get an entry into Eurovision. It’s sounding appealing right?

But for this merger to occur I need to be confident that they have good beer in Estonia. Taking one for the team I’m willing to test their beers to make sure we are safe. But where does one find Estonian beer to check?

Enter ‘The Crimean’ a new and uber cool pub/restaurant that’s just opened down the road from my house. This place is playing in the always appealing Eastern European (and in particular Bulgarian) themed bar/restaurant space.

From some reason the eastern European’s love North Melbourne, within 100 metres of our house we have the Lithuanian, Latvian, Czech Republic and Slovakian clubs. But I digress.

As well as offering an assortment of beetroot, cabbage and meat themed dishes The Crimean also offers a range of wacky Eastern European beers.

Including my favourite Estonian Beer – Viru Premium (pronounced vee-roo, see how Aussie it is?)    

Packaging: This is hands down the best packaged beer I have ever had. As nicely summarised by Cat – It looks like a perfume bottle. The bottle screams premium, classy. And they know it, the tagline – Viru, Beautiful Beer.     

Appearance: This pours a light straw yellow, which doesn’t bode well for a full flavoured brew, I was fearing this was another boring, watery euro lager.    

Food Accompaniment: Did I mentioned that food at The Crimean is fantastic?  The hare terrine is outstanding (plus you can visit a stuffed hare in the bar to solve the what’s the difference between hares and rabbits debate), the Borscht was sublime, The hunters casserole hearty and perfect winter fare, and the rhubarb soup is amazing. Seriously go there right now and get some food, you won’t regret it.  

Taste: The beer is better than the visual suggest. It is a pilsener style, but less fizzy that the norm, rather it’s the maltiness which is evident in the sip, there is a very slight biscuity sweet flavour but overall refreshing, very pure and clean tasting, and a surprise.

In conclusion:  A good beer, easy to drink, refreshing, plus the bottle makes you feel like a Eastern European mogul who has made his money off a shady oil deal with the former communist government officials and now spend his time buying premier league football teams and cavorting with models.   

Ranking:  I’ll have a Pint.   

The Long Bow YouTube clip:  Now that the merged country which I shall be calling Austonia is in Eurovision, we have a lot to live up to – Estonia won in 2001 with ‘Everybody’, But my favourite tune from them was their 2011 effort – Rockfeller Street (Which they seem to think is a place in Manhattan, could have sworn it was Rockfeller Place myself)

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