GOOD FOOD GUIDE
THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN TINNIE TASTE TEST 2018
Crack. Fizz. Gulp. Ahhhhhh.
Is there a drinking experience more classically Australian than ripping the ring-pull off a beer?
"The visceral pleasure from that first crack of a beer can is identical to popping a champagne cork," says wine and drinks writer Mike Bennie. "There's also huge appeal in the tinnie's nostalgia factor."
Australian beer has been sold in cans since 1958 and while most beer cans sold in Australia are from multinational breweries, there has been a massive increase in the number of craft-style cans over the past five years. And over the past 12 months, the growth has been even more explosive.
Time, then, to rally a panel of experts for The Great Australian Tinnie Taste Test 2018 and identify the best local cans on the market.
The Good Food panel was chosen to represent a range of industry and beer appreciation backgrounds. Cans were disguised, but discussion was encouraged during the blind tasting at Mike Bennie's office. The beers were scored out of 50 by each taster, with points awarded equally for drinkability and complexity. (Final scores are the aggregate divided to give a number out of 10.)
"Drinkability is the idea that something has the ability to be drunk with ease and its inherent in all great products."
Bennie also states, "Complexity is where things start to get interesting, because we've all got our own value judgments. A very small batch IPA [India pale ale] might have very high complexity levels, but the drinkability is quite low. Then something that's super smashable might have no complexity at all. "The binary system means a crushable beer won't win, necessarily, and neither will a turbo-charged beer steeped in one type of element."
Sixty-nine Australian tins and one collaboration from across the pond were tasted over six hours. Some of the best beer palates in the country cracked creaming soda brews, mandarin beers and chocolate stouts. Chilli ales, jasmine-flavoured creations and lavender lager. Beers that performed the best were mostly straight-up balanced brews that didn't force a particular flavour. Strange-flavoured beers were deemed an interesting novelty, but when it came to drinkability, many of them weren't the kind of cans you would want to buy in a six-pack and sit on over an evening.
Southern Highlands Brewing's American Pale Ale, Original scored 6.8/10 and came in at 12th place. The beer was positively described as "quite sweet" and "a nice pale ale with golden honey flavours...sweet and approachable"
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