One of the most frustrating thing working in a beer bar, or any bar for the matter, is annoying shit-heads sneaking in their own alcohol. It bugs the hell out of me: you spend a lot of time and money building a nice bar, you stock it full of wonderful beer; then some cretinous spanner with a bag full of Corona comes and takes up space that could be occupied by customers who actually understand what we’re all about and, you know, spends money.
And it is always Corona too; or one of its equally cheap and crappy siblings. No one ever sneaks a bottle of Panhead The Vandal into a good bar. You know the best beer I’ve ever caught someone sneaking into the bar was? A Cooper’s Pale Ale. And I’m damn sure they chose it because it’s dirt cheap here, not because they actually appreciate it’s subtle nuances.
Having said all this, we don’t actually get a lot of people sneaking alcohol into Golding’s. Our ‘customer base’ (nebulously defined as it is) are not the sort of people that sneak shit beers into good bars. Further more it’s even rarer that we catch any of them. So it came as a surprise that I managed to confiscate two unopened bottles of beer less than a month apart.
Now normally, I wouldn’t bother reviewing beers like these. It’s not sporting, you know? Like shooting low-hanging fruit in a barrel. But I don’t know, something about drinking shitty beer that we took off absolute munters appeals to me on aesthetic level: fate brought these beer to me. I’m meant to review them.
Then again, it could just be schadenfreude.
Beer 1: Flame
Yup, straight in with the good stuff: pure bogan juice. This particular bottle was confiscated during the Wellington Sevens, or as it’s colloquially known, ‘Munter’s Halloween’.
We cracked this bottle after our not particularly busy Sevens Saturday shift.
Appearance: Pleasantly golden.
Over all notes: poor.
One of my colleagues summed it up nicely: “This tastes like someone poured brown sugar on wet cardboard”.
Hmm. Wet cardboard… That’s a sign of oxidation. I have no idea what conditions this bottle has been stored in. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that this bottle has been stored in less that optimal conditions (and possibly someone’s pants, to get it past the security gates of the Sevens Street party).
Beer 2: Tui
Alright, this shit just got real. This particular bottle was confiscated off a guy on a stag do pub-crawl. Any seasoned bartender knows that guys on stag dos are trouble. Usually more trouble than they’re worth. And if they’re in drag, it’s even worse (incidentally, this is why Hashigo has a blanket ban on men in drag, excluding performance artists and the legitimately transgendered). This guy wasn’t in drag; he was one worse still. He was wearing a unitard.
Anyone wearing a unitard to a pub is guaranteed to be a A-grade, certified cock.
Aroma: Bugger all.
Appearance: Pleasantly amber
Over all notes: You know what? Tui starts of pretty good. It’s got some mildly inoffensive nutty amber flavours, but just as they reach your tongue, they just sort of trail off into nothing. Again, one of my colleague’s summarised it nicely as having ‘the ghosts of flavours’.
You know I can’t grab your ghost-beer. Lets move on.
Beer Beverage 3: Wolf Blass Yellow Label Pinot Noir
Now I spied someone stashing these two bottles after closing, in an alcove outside Golding’s before heading of towards Hope Bros. My guess it that they’d been drinking one of them on the way into town and would’ve picked them up on the way home.
The one on the left was unopened, so I figured I wouldn’t catch some disfiguring disease from it. So, yeah… Lets review it….
Bugger this, I can’t do this any more. I think I’ve shot my quota of Barrel Fish, so here’s an actual piece of consumer advice:
Beer 4: Mussel Inn Golden Goose
Golden Goose has been described as “the Thinking Drinker’s golden lager.” For years it’s sat in the fridge at Hashigo as the ‘craft’ alternative to green bottle shite.
I love Golden Goose. It’s head and shoulders above corporate lagers, because it has that rare, almost-mystical thing that the corporate brewers like to claim their beer’s have: a full malt body. It’s light, but it’s full and well-rounded.
Alright we’re done here.
People actually try and sneak beer into a bar? Wow, that seems so …… pointless.
Yup. My favourite is when you get a group of young guys all ordering coke. You can guarantee one of them has a bottle of spirits down their trousers.