Sydney Lager

We not sure if you have ever come across this beer but one of our reviewers picked it up on a tour of the UK and thought it warranted a review.

One can't help viewing a beer named after a city with a cringe. A beer called Brisbane Bitter was legendary, for all the wrong reasons. It did have a redeeming feature. It was cheap. Some would add 'and nasty'. We would not go that far in describing 'Sydney Lager' but in your reviewer's humble opinion its not quite the nicest Aussie beer out there. Let's start with the packaging.


A cursory glance and it's off to a bad start. It is prominently labelled 'Australia's Original SYDNEY Export Lager' and coloured in Green and Gold. *Alarm Bells* Someone's obviously trying to cash in on Sydney's status as a global city, a status cemented by the recent Olympics. Not being biased, but indubitably the best Olympics ever. Apologies to Melbourne which hosted the Olympics in 1956. 

The bottleneck label sports the world famous Opera House (designed by a Swedish genius who was driven out of Sydney by the powers that be before he could complete the project) and the equally iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge (which Paul Hogan used to paint before he started bringing the Fosters brand to the world and before he made his first millions as the world's most famous Aussie 'Crocodile Dundee' perhaps only second in fame to Rupert Murdoch, but he's disqualified for turning American for media ownership reasons). 

It's all as cheesy as trying to flog "England's Original LONDON Export Ale" in Oz complete with a label bearing the mug of Prince Charles in a union jack vest standing next to Big Ben. Ok, so the labelling is a bit too much but let's not judge this book by its cover. Does it taste like it's been brewed on Bondii water? Well you pour yourself a glass and *alarm bells* the first thing you notice is the unusual head. Very, very frothy as the picture shows. Then as the head settles down you realise that something is not quite right if this is meant to be an Aussie lager. Where's the gassiness you begin to ask yourself? Have you poured yourself a Czech Pilsener you ask? You take a whiff and the odour is strong but not particularly great. Next comes a sip. There's a nice malty flavour up front but then you swallow and it's all over. No lingering aftertaste to leave you yearning for more. Putting two and two together you realise that being an export lager it's a beer brewed for foreign tastes. Disappointed with not getting the taste of home you have been longing for, you finish the carton in quick time.

Food for thought
As this is not the kind of beer you would find at a typical Aussie BBQ, I would not say it goes with a couple of shrimps off the barbie on a hot summer's day. It would have to go best with Bangers and Mash or Brutwurst and Sauerkraut. Since it has apparently been brewed for the foreign market in a foreign style, it probably goes best with foreign food.


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