Nova Schin Pilsener….is an evil beer.

The Nova Schin on the right, and a good beer (Fat Yak) on the left.

Most of the beers choices I make for the blog are natural. I drink whatever I feel like and review it on here if I think it’s good beer that others should try it or if I have something interesting to say about it.  But occasionally I’ll go out searching for a beer for a specific reason and today’s beer is one of those.
I was updating the list of beers I’ve reviewed to include the December beers, which also involves me updating the map of countries from which we have tasted beers. I started thinking to myself that South America is looking a little thin and I should rectify that.
So this going through my mind on the tram on my way home from work when I remember a Back of the Ferry post about a strange bottleshop near Crown Casino which has random beers. My tram is about to go right past its door. I quickly jump off, calculating that I have 6 minutes until the next tram, race to to the bottleshop and start looking in the fridges.
Strangely I have three Brazilian beers to choose from. I choose Nova Schin on the basis that it looked the most like a proper beer (I think it was the only one in a brown bottle). I quickly grab it, pay for it and race back to the tram only to be stopped at the pedestrian lights and watch it sail past. 
And it all goes downhill from here. When I get home I notice the use by date on the beer. It’s the 9th of January 2010. I bought this beer on the 7th of January 2012, so by my calculations that is almost two years past its use by, which probably means it was brewed in early 2009.
Now how does this happen? Is it a dodgy grey importer? That’s probably the first problem. The distributor is listed as http://www.maresias.com.au/ which I note is now called Ibev and Nova Schin is no longer on this list of products. They claim to have started importing Brazilian beers in 2009, so there is a chance that this beer was in date when it got to Australia, but probably only just, and this is the problem with a lot of imports, Beer is heavy, it has to come by ship, which means it’s never going to be that fresh when it hits the shelves, add to that that the bottleshop probably isn’t doing a roaring trade in Brazilian beers and you have yourself a problem.  
The other problem with importer beers (or any beer for that matter) is the lack of control that the beer maker has over the product once it leaves the brewery. God only knows how this bottle of Nova Schin made it to Australia, how long it sat in the Ibev warehouse and finally how long it sat in the fridge at Cellarabrations. 
So was this beer any good? Short answer, absolutely not. We should start with the fact that there was guck floating in it. I was determined to taste it though (because I care about you, my three readers.) I poured it in a glass, it had a very, very light colour to it and seemed thin and watery, which was probably a sign that it wasn’t a good beer to start with let alone 2 years past its best. It had almost no carbonation and a slight apple vinegar smell to it.  I tentatively tasted it and it tasted like, well nothing really, except a slightly weird, slightly off aftertaste. Simply terrible, Butchers.
One sip in and I decided that it wasn’t the best idea to continue drinking a funny tasting beer with guck floating in it so I tipped it out and I quickly poured myself a Fat Yak to get the taste out of my mouth.
And the lessons I learned: drink local, or at the very least check the use by dates.

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