330ml 4.9% abv
The sample bottle of prime beer proclaims this beer is the perfect accompaniment to red meat because “Australia’s premier food and brewing experts have made sure of it.” It must be asked, if Australia’s premier food experts are such great beer advocates, then why are the beer lists at most Australian restaurants so universally bad?
Hopefully this beer indicates a change is in the air.
That petty gripe out of the way, everything about this beer is pretty much exactly as advertised and delivers very nicely on its promise. It’s a deep amber with lovely toffee-malt flavours that fill the mouth and pair well with the caramelised fat of a good steak, the well-defined bitterness cutting through and cleansing the palate nicely. The flavour is solid and lingers, nicely complementing both the rib steak and the barbecued lamb leg it was matched with in our taste test. Even without the food, this is a beer that can be savoured on its own and shows how a “sessional” beer doesn’t have to be light-bodied and dull.
Brewing a beer as an engineered food match is a clever marketing concept and one that works well here. The experience of their brewer, Brian Watson, and their consulting ‘foodie’ Matthew Evans has paid dividends in the delivery of Fusion’s matched suite of beers. Still, there is a paint-by-numbers element to Fusion Brewing’s ‘seafood’, ‘spicy’ and ‘meat’ approach to brewing. Prime is a very satisfying beer and it does indeed work very well with a wide range of meats. But, just as the saying ‘white wine for fish, red wine for meat’ is a guide rather than a hard rule, don’t limit your beer journey to just this one beer matched to all meats. It certainly can introduce you to the delights of meat well matched to a good beer, but it’s not the Swiss army knife of beers. You should also keep a few other tools in your locker as well.
You might like this beer if: You use your GPS even though you know the way.