Comment: (Matt Kirkegaard )
Judging by its sales, you couldn’t describe XXXX Summer Bright Lager as in anyway a bad beer. It obviously brings a great many people a great deal of pleasure and refreshment. That, after all, is one of the reasons we drink anything.
That said, you would never describe it as being the highest expression of the art of brewing. It is a beer that demonstrates the incredible skill of modern brewers as industrial food processing engineers, able to harness complex chemistry and natural ingredients to rapidly and cheaply create something completely anodyne with perfect consistency.
So, to read about the so-called Beer Pilgrim and head over to his Facebook page and see a photo of a carton of XXXX Summer Bright under a Christmas Tree captioned “Someone’s been good this year!” makes me question just how deep is his love for beer is and his thirst for knowledge.
Cynical? Me? Never.
Anyway, The Beer Pilgrim is Tim Charody, a very accomplished and engaging travel presenter who seems to have beaten other (shall we say potentially more independently-minded beer-loving) film makers to win last year’s Project Froth audition.
I’m not sure why it is, but the local beer industry is filled with beer-loving film makers, some of whom applied for the same gig. Although proclaiming to be in pursuit of an ‘intrepid beer lover’, Lion’s real aim seems to have been to identify a camera-friendly face for Lion’s beer brands. That’s the business, but I guess it means we take the resulting output with a rather large handful of salt.
While Tim’s showreel focused heavily on drinking beer in far flung destinations, it showed about as much insight into it as any other lifestyle TV talking head. You don’t often see the wine industry throwing up people who merely happen to like drinking wine as being the people best placed to interpret and explain the history and significance of their product. Oz Clark manages to be both informed and informative…and people still watch him.
Anyway, while unlikely to be an insightful and compelling insight into brand Beer it at least it offers the prospect being a highly entertaining, if somewhat cynical, ad for brand Lion.
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Another applicant, Matt Hoffman’s, Project Froth entry. (Note to Matt, it may not have been the best idea to include the sign saying “No XXXX, No Dickheads” in an entry for a Lion competition. Just saying…)
1788 meets 2014 with the creation of ‘The First Brew’
The Beer Pilgrim unveils tribute to the history of beer on Australia Day January, 2014 – Captain Phillip toasted the new colony with a beer in 1788, and the tradition has held with beer remaining the most popular choice of alcoholic beverage for adults celebrating on Australia Day this year. So it seems only fitting that The Beer Pilgrim, an Aussie on a mission to tell the great story behind beer,has unveiled ‘The First Brew’ in time for January 26 as a 21st century tribute to this historic moment.
Created especially for Australia Day, this one-off, limited edition porter beer is a collaborative effort between Tim Charody, The Beer Pilgrim, and one of the nation’s leading brewers, Peter David. Lion Head Brewer, Peter David believe that while it was important to create a porter style beer that was a nod to the past, so too was adding a modern twist to the recipe to cater to today’s modern palate.
“With the Aussie climate in mind, The First Brew is lighter and mellower than the heavy English porter recipe originally enjoyed in the early 18th century, but still uses the same natural ingredients. We have used English-style malts like Crystal and Roast to give this porter a moderate character of chocolate and coffee, which is nicely balanced with the citrus-notes of New World Citra hops,” said David.
David has worked alongside The Beer Pilgrim to create the beer following his recent trip to discover the story behind Australia’s first beer.
“Once our team knew that it was beer that toasted the colony in 1788, we decided to find out more about what this beer actually was. Once we started digging around, we discovered that beer actually played a pretty important role on ships during the time of the First Fleet and Captain Cook’s voyages.
“Aside from being a refreshing beverage, scurvy was the scourge of the sea for sailors at this time, so they were given a ration of spruce beer as it was incorrectly believed to help combat the sickness,” said The Beer Pilgrim.
“It was some years later, that the presence of Vitamin C in diets was determined as the preventative measure to scurvy, so the inclusion of citrus hops in The First Brew is a nod to this thinking, while incorporating a modern Australian flavour to appeal to today’s drinker,” said David.
On his recent journey to discover the origins of beer in Australia, The Beer Pilgrim sought out publicans and brewers in Sydney, and travelled to the United Kingdom, taking him back to where the First Fleet set sail and to discover the source of that iconic first beer.
“While getting to the bottom of beer’s amazing Australian story, I was surprised to discover that beer is still sourced from the same four natural ingredients – water, hops, yeast and barley – the very same ones that would have been used to brew the beer that Captain Phillip first drunk on our fair shores.
“Now even 226 years later, a delicious frothy brew is still the most popular alcoholic drink for us to toast on Australia Day, and we encourage Australians to enjoy doing so in moderation and to drink responsibly,” said The Beer Pilgrim.
The First Brew is exclusive for Australia Day, and will be available to consumers (18+) for a free tasting at Sydney’s Bar 100 at the Rocks on January 26 from 6-8pm.
To find out more about The Beer Pilgrim and view video content from his journey, visit www.facebook.com/TheBeerPilgrim
Lion brings together great household brand names including Tooheys, Dairy Farmers, XXXX, PURA, Hahn, Berri, Speight’s, King Island Dairy, Boag’s, Yoplait, Wither Hills and COON.
We believe business success comes from investing in our people and brands and by constructively engaging our stakeholders. Lion employs over 7,000 people across Australia and New Zealand and delivers revenues in excess of AU$5 billion.
In addition to direct employment, we make a significant contribution to the Australian and New Zealand economies. We are one of the region’s largest purchasers of agricultural goods and an integral component of the retail, hospitality and tourism industries.
Our products accompany life’s sociable moments, whether it’s a family meal or good times at the pub with friends. Dairy, juice, soy and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol beverages are all part of a healthy lifestyle for many people and we aim to maximise the community wellbeing arising from the enjoyment of our products while playing a leading role in helping the community minimisemisuse.
About The Beer Pilgrim
The Beer Pilgrim is Tim, a beer lover who is not only thirsty for knowledge about his favourite drink but is keen to share his discoveries with Aussie drinkers. Armed with a toolkit that includes a camera, passport and a love of beer, he is prepared to travel the world in his pursuit of information. Along the way, he’ll share his experiences with some interesting characters as well as the odd beer or two.
Bound together by a mutual passion for beer, Lion is supporting The Beer Pilgrim in his pursuit to discover everything there is to know about this humble drink, and subsequently help increase our knowledge of all things beer in Australia.
Follow his journey at www.facebook.com/TheBeerPilgrim