Friday, April 22, 2011

Uma cerveja por favor

As an unexpected but appreciated side-effect of beer blogging is the occasional approach from beer marketers.

Upon return from holidays, was surprised to find at the front door a small wooden crate, with "Product of Portugal" emblazened on the side. Thinking that I may have acquired a dozen of the world's best vintage ports, I eagerly opened the crate.

I was somewhat taken aback by its contents, followed quickly by an out-loud laugh.  You see, the holiday from which we returned took us to Hervey Bay in Queensland, where the best bottleshop to be found is a Dan Murphy. Among other items, I picked up a 5 litre DraughtKeg of Sagres Lager.

Australian Brews News has some pictures, and a similar story, here. It was the same item that sat amongst my new collection of crate straw.

Sagres is the dominant beer of Portugal. It is owned by Heineken and suits the warm climate quite well. It's a fairly non-descript Euro lager, but when Libby and I visited Portugal in 2001, it was my go-to thirst quencher and palate cleanser, and well enjoyed from the Algarve in the south, to Bragan├ža in the north.

Heineken has been offering its ubiquitous Euro lager in the DraughtKeg system for a couple of years now. Evidently successful, other beers in the Heineken stable are making their way into the format. This system keeps the container air-tight, giving the beer some longevity after opening. "30 days" says the Sagres promo material, at a constant pressure of one bar.

The same cannot be said for other beers that are appearing in the 5 litre keg.  When at Dan Murphy, I had a choice of Heineken and Sagres in the DraughtKeg, or Franziskaner in the normal, pop-the-plug-in-and-go keg. Although the wheat beer would have been my preferred drink, there's no way I was going to go through 5 litres of hefe in a sitting, and didn't relish the thought of drinking flat, air-exposed beer the following day.

With Heineken having brewing interests all over the world, I hope the DraughtKeg system is used for more of their products. It's a good thing to have in fridge, allowing a couple of glasses a night for a week or so, or something to take to a party to share around.

As with other kegs, it is important that the DraughtKeg is well and truly chilled before opening; the blurb recommends 5 degress of less. Else the CO2 will escape too quickly, causing much froth & bubble.

As for my Portuguese abilities, all I could ever bring myself to ask was "one beer please".

A list of the stuff I have received free from brewers and marketers can be found by clicking the Disclaimers tab.

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