Watch out for a new release soon from Matilda Bay, the first since releasing Itchy Green Pants early this year.
The beer, to be called “Minimum Chips, Handcut Golden Lager” is Matilda Bay’s newest beer and, at 4.7% abv, is described as “a classic golden lager, using pale and crystal malts and producing a mild malty palate. Enhanced by hops in the boil producing spicy stone fruit aromatics”.
We are told that, “The guys wanted to create a refreshing Golden Lager, perfect for Summer, and they wanted something that could also match with a classic Summer meal. So just as common as “Minimum Chips” goes with Fish n’ Chips everywhere, we wanted a beer that could do the same (so we thought we’d take the name as well).”
We are yet to taste it here at Australian Brews News, but it sounds just a little like the Port Lager that is being served at Matilda Bay’s Port Melbourne brewery bar, which we understand has proved a big seller at the venue. The trade mark for the name was lodged in December 2011 so the beer has been planned for some time.
The most interesting thing about this beer is that it will be released exclusively through Woolworths, at least initially. This is surprising as when Matilda Bay last brewed a beer exclusively for Woolworths, 2010’s Longshot coffee beer, I am sure I was told afterwards that the exclusive release to Dan Murphy’s was considered a mistake not to be repeated. The beer didn’t move through Dan Murphy’s and it upset the independent retailers who had supported the speciality offerings. Time and ownership change, however, and the new boss has indicated one of his challenges is to repair and improve CUB’s relationship with the two big retailers. Of course, developing a better relationship with the big two retailers generally ends with you dropping your pants and singing Moon River, so expect that this will be the first of a number of releases from Matilda Bay exclusively available through one or other of the Coles and Woolworths-owned outlets.
The other thing about the beer is the packaging that seems to reveal the new Matilda Bay livery, featuring a ye olde brewing kettle, that may be part of the SABMiller tendency to emphasise heritage. When we caught up with Vincent Ruiu, CUB’s General Manager of Global and Craft Brands he indicated a label refresh was in the offing.