Stoke Amber Ale

Prologue:  Now I’ve seen my far share of Commonwealth Games coverage over the years. I remember the 1982 games with that creepy winking kangaroo in Brisbane, 1998 in the exotic (for then) sounding Kuala Lampur, and I’m very much looking forward to the 2018 games in ‘Whatever the only city to bid for them is’ I assume Berwick or perhaps Craigieburn (AKA the promised land).

The coverage of the Commonwealth games would consist of bronzed 15 year old swimmers from Queensland beating all comers in the pool (admittedly all comers involved three dudes from Canada where water is normally frozen and you play sport on top of it, not in it, an Englishman who was normally just an Australian who wasn’t fast enough to get in our team so moved to old Blighty, and one guy from Kenya, who hadn’t actually seen a pool til the heats).

When the newly anointed Aussie hero emerged from the pool, he would promptly sign a contract with Uncle Toby’s and then have a microphone shoved in his face and asked by the recently retired swimmer now working for Channel Nine ‘How do you feel.” The swimmer, breathlessly would tell the world…..

“I’m Stoked”

And that is the beer we are having today Stoke Amber ale, all the way from the land of the long white cloud.

Why is it called Stoke? No idea, maybe the McCashin family who make it, were very happy with it, let’s see if that’s justified.

Packaging: Simple, just some words in a nice bold font, but there are a couple of things that are interesting here. Firstly the bottle, it’s the greeny brown colour of a wine bottle, rather than the brown or green of the traditional beer bottle. From what I can tell the McCashins don’t make wine so I have no idea why they are breaking ranks here, but it works for me. Also the labels are just clear stickers, so maybe they are going after the stick a sticker on your ute brigade.

Appearance:  Nice light amber/golden colour. Not a huge amount of carbonation with a thin foamy, off white head.     

Smell:  It smells of malts with slight citrus hop tones, but all quite subtle, there is even a hint of honey which was promised by the label.

Taste:  This really is quite a good beer. The malts are almost biscuity and there is a sweetness mid sip that I really like. The bitterness isn’t overpowering but it lingers in your mouth.

In conclusion: A seriously good amber ale, perfect as a sessionable beer, and well worth keeping a 6 pack of in the fridge for a rainy (or sunny, or snowing, or hailing, or overcast, or slightly foggy, or hell even just an average) day.

Ranking:  I’ll have a Pint

Six degrees of Norm (Where we link every beer back to Norm from Cheers in six easy steps):

  1. The McCashin Brewery is owned by a former All Black
  2. All Blacks play Rugby Union
  3. Just like Matt Damon in Invictus
  4. And Matt Damon was was also in Saving Private Ryan with Ted Danson
  5. And Ted Danson played Sam ‘Mayday’ Mallone in Cheers
  6. Where he served cold brews to one Norm Peterson
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