Now I know what you’re thinking – “Why on earth would a blog like this review a lager of all types of beers? I swear I’ve read direct disdain towards lagers in previous posts.”
And you would be incredibly correct. For the most part, lagers – in my magnificent opinion – are bland and insipid. The sort of brew whose only purpose is to taste vaguely like wet cardboard, fill – and subsequently empty – your stomach, and get you catastrophically drunk.
However, when confronted with a Peach and Darjeeling Tea Infused Lager, I was all of a sudden dealing with a different kettle of fish. (Like the time we brought a Siamese Fighting Fish when I was younger, put it in the fish tank with an innocent goldfish and were then left slightly scarred when it began to legitimately eat the goldfish. But, that’s a story for another time).
This particular concoction is dubbed the ‘Kwencher’, and it’s put together by ‘The Beltz Group’, operating out of a craft brewery in Geelong. In addition to the peach and tea combination, they also distribute a pink grapefruit and Darjeeling tea lager.
Allegedly this idea stemmed from a trip through the Atlas mountains in Morocco when David – the founder – and his wife Elly partook in peach iced tea and Moroccan lager each evening. This combination was so much of a winner, they set about brewing their own infused lager when they returned to the country.
That’s all well and good, but according to the website, Kwencher beers are designed not to leave the ‘lingering malt and hop taste that many beers have’.
As a self-proclaimed and sometimes derided beer connoisseur, this is a dangerous proposition to send my way. After all, isn’t it the hops and malt characteristics that add flavour, character, and charm to beers? I mean, there are literally thousands of dedicated single-hopped and specialty-malt-driven beers on the market for that very reason!
Still. I’m not one to judge a beer too harshly before trying it, and besides, this beer was bought for me and I don’t enjoy turning down free beer. So, putting my preconceived ideas about what this brew might be like aside, I set about sampling.
First point of interest: It’s outrageously carbonated for a beer. There’s a serious amount of bubbles being produced. Mind you, this isn’t necessarily a bad sign.
The peach definitely comes through in large portions on the nose and when you first swallow the liquid, and the Darjeeling tea flavours fill the back of your throat in the aftertaste, and lingers there briefly. Overall it’s quite a curious drink. Admittedly, it’s refreshing – as they claim – and the combination of flavours does marry quite successfully – as you’d expect.
If I want a peach iced tea, I’ll buy a peach iced tea. If I want a lager, I’ll buy a lager. I just won’t mix them. I simply can’t get behind the concept of combining the two in an infused lager. Whilst admirable in its intents and the commitment that has gone towards producing it – in my book, it just doesn’t cut it.
On the flip-side though, if you are a keen iced tea drinker looking to move past the traditional Long Island Iced Tea and find new ways of making tea alcoholic, this product could just be for you!