I confess to some confusion over this beer, a lager/ale hybrid.
To me hybrids always smack of compromise, and when I first encountered this beer, back in July was I reported “frankly I was disappointed, it was neither IPA nor Lager and didn’t really do it for me”.
However in his recent biography ‘The First Emperor’ – about Caesar Augustus – the writer Anthony Everitt suggests “Opposites do not have to be mutually exclusive, and we are not obliged to choose one or the other.” This would indeed appear to be the case as Caesar Augustus – the beer – was runner up in the Sainsbury’s Beer Challenge, so I figure I owe it another try, this being at home under what I consider ‘controlled’ conditions.
For information, at the Sainsbury’s final in September I spoke with Richard McLelland – the brewery’s Sales and Marketing Director – who described Caesar Augustus as ‘a gateway to ales for lager drinkers’. The brewery’s website describes it thus:
A celebration of 2 mighty beer styles; This beer is cold fermented with a classic lager yeast. The initial fermentation takes at least two weeks, after which we lager (store) the beer for a minimal of four weeks, during which we add a chock load of classic IPA hops and allow the two to marry…
Okay, so here goes… I’ve decided to try this chilled, as I would a pilsner.
Well it pours bright and golden, like a lager, with a crisp, white head. The nose was indeed filled with ‘new world’ aromatic hops.
The flavour? Well it’s refreshing like a pilsner, although those aromatic hops take it into the realms of those golden ales that I’ve tried for The Brew Club this summer, but with an underlying lager ‘bite’.
This is the third time I’ve tried this beer, and try as I might, I can’t rate it above two stars, I can think of more interesting ‘gateway’ beers to wean lager drinkers away from supermarket lagers, and can think of plenty of beers I would turn to before this one.
Bob the Brit