MY SHOUT: The Italian beer all the way from Victoria

I THINK the first time I tried an exotic foreign beer in Australia was at Expo 88 in Brisbane.

Many readers may well remember the excitement of drinking Lowenbrau, eating sausages and pretzels, and doing the chicken dance at the German Fest Haus.

Sure, I had had beers when travelling overseas, but the idea of something from other than the Castlemaine Perkins/CUB stable was almost unthinkable. How times have changed.

This was brought home to me when I headed over the fence to Hugh the Neighbour for our weekly beer tasting and critique.

"What's on the menu this week?" he asked.

"I was in a hurry and just grabbed the first thing I saw," I said, "so it is just a six-pack of Peroni."

It seems like only yesterday that the thought of drinking an Italian lager in a regional part of Australia was the stuff of fantasy. And now, in 2017, here I am dismissing it as being common as muck.

Of course, there is a twist to this tale, as the Peroni Nastro Azzurro available from my local Chapel of St Dan's has not crossed several oceans in a container dispatched by someone named Luigi from a brewery in Lombardia, but rather brewed locally "under licence" by CUB.

This doesn't stop the Dan's website from putting it under the classification of International Beer.

So if it is made using Australian water, Australian hops, Australian malt and Australian yeast - is it really a foreign beer at all?

The beer itself is quite drinkable as far as lightish lagers go - you can get hints of malt and citrus and it is a little bitter, although it doesn't seem to want to hold a head at all.

At 5.1% alcohol content it is a full-strength lager, unsurprisingly in the European style.

Both HTN and I enjoyed drinking it, with nothing bad to say but at the same time fairly pressed to find anything to rave about either.

It is would be good choice for a barbecue when the weather was warm.

But the question remains, should we be paying about a 30% premium on the cost of a domestic beer when they both come out of the same factory in Victoria?

myshout@newsregionalmedia.com.au



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