Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Liefmans on the Rocks

As if summoned up by one of my comments in the Blue Moon post, recalling an incident where a barman nearly served a bottle of beer over ice, a press release for Liefman's Fruit Beer plops into my inbox.

When Duvel Moortgat rescued Liefman's, I expressed an opinion that Liefman's were probably in safe hands. They messed around a bit with the fruit beers, producing a saccharine fluff-fest of a beer, of which one of its chief merits appeared to be that it contains only 99 calories. Now the suggestion is to serve it over ice, to make a cool refreshing summer drink.

Am I being too grumpy about this or is this just a harmless bit of summer fun? If I think that serving a wheat beer with a slice of orange in it is OK, then who am I to complain that serving a saccharine sweetened fruit beer over ice is a step too far? Should anything and everything be acceptable in the quest to get more people drinking beer, or is there a line that can be easily drawn, that we can point to and say "No, THAT is too far"? And which side of the line does this fall?


  1. I got the same email today, along with some franks ginger beer that also says to serve over ice.

    It's not something i will be trying but i do wonder if they are trying to cash in on the whole magners/koppaberg/bulmers ice thingy and try to get people who drink those to drink their beers.

    although i found the fruit beer too sweet i thought it had potential, our lass loved it, might ask her if she would drink it over ice when i get in form work, got a feeling the answer will be no way.

  2. I suppose it's all subjective, isn't it? One person's pleasure another person's poison and all that?

    But if an iced fruit beer gets a Magners drinker to try something less apple-based there's a chance they could give a cold lager a go and from there they could move on to a pale ale or maybe a bitter and then, eventually who knows, even a mild, a stout, an IPA..? Cider's loss could be beer's gain in the long run. Hell, I started out on snakebite & black when I was a lad and look at me now... ;)

  3. I sometimes put ice in beer if it's too warm. It's really not that bad.

  4. I audibly yelped when I got this press release through yesterday... all I could think was about the summer when Magners made it big, which seemed to coincide with Wetherspoons putting the temperature of their beer on the bar (as close to zero as possible). I just remember thinking then how real ale is stuffed and now everyone thinks beer should only be served at -2 degrees!

    It's a gimmick, probably aimed at women, to make beer something other than beer (they've already changed the label enough to make it not look like beer anyway).

  5. Andy - I remember reading your review of it, and it reminded me that it really isn't a beer that I enjoyed. I'll have to look again at the video blog that I did for it.

    Darren - you're right of course, and I always try not to be prescriptive in my opinions - I'm interested in educating people about good beer, and if that means starting from a point a little lower than I'd like, then maybe I shouldn't be such a stick-in-the-mud.

    Ed - it's not something I've ever done - maybe I should try it before having sich a strong opinion about it, although I'm not sure that I'd like it very much. Maybe to dilute a DIPA back to an IPA?!

    Kieran - read it and weep!

    Mark - that's a fair summary of how I felt, although today I'm going to post the email exchange I had with Rupert at R&R - he makes some interesting points in it.

  6. Let me first say Rupert is a Diamond.

    To add my subjective opioin to the mix. It is subjective and mine.

    If the brewer is happy that someone is serving his beer with frozen tap water to people who think drinking stuff through frozen tap water makes it better then they don't deserve to be a brewer. If they are as insensed by the idea as I am I would encourage them to resign from Moortgat and come and work for me.

    Madame Rose will be pirouetting in her grave!

    I've got a got a bottle of 1989 Goudenband in my cellar, there's no 'cking way that will ever see any ice! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Did I mention that Rupert is a good bloke?

  7. Stuart - I'm assuming you've never tried St Enodoc Double with a splash of ginger beer?


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