Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A Less Pointless Import?




I see that a major importer has targeted Kross Brewery of Chile as a possible source of imported beer. Kross is an artisanal brewery run by Asbjorn Gerlach, a German who has a Chilean wife. Asbjorn claims that he and his co-brewmaster are the only professionally trained brewers in the country within the artesanal brewing scene. The brewery produces a golden ale, a stout, a maibock and a pilsner, so there is some unusual stuff there, though frankly it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was the pilsner that ends up on our shelves.

I have mixed feelings about this having just criticised the import of draught Tiger Beer in a recent blog. I still think generally speaking, it is pointless to drag water over thousands of miles of ocean. On the other hand, a Chilean stout does sound kind of interesting does it not?

13 comments:

Stonch said...

No import is pointless if someone wants to buy it!

Tandleman said...

Not at all sure I agree with that statement at all. The pils, no matter how well made will just be another pointless yellow fluid. It might be less pointless if they bring in the unusual beers. Ah that's what I said in my blog!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I have had this range, it was entered into NZIBA a few years ago. The Stout is almost certainly a dark lager. These are worth a try for curiosity's sake but aren't really that exciting.

I drink a lot of imported beer, almost none of it golden lager though.

Rednev said...

"No import is pointless if someone wants to buy it!"

From a capitalist point of view, this statement is absolutely correct. From a beer drinker's point of view, to bring in something that replicates locally produced beers is irresponsible and pointless, both in ecological and aesthetic terms. We should import beers only that provide something we don't have already. The quest for novelty shouldn't become an addiction in itself, but it's that quest that results on nondescript beers such as Tiger and, previously, San Miguel being shipped in and promoted as some great new & previously undiscovered foreign beer. If this Chilean brewery is radically different, then I'll be happy to try their brews ~ otherwise it's just a costly way of moving water around the planet.

Tandleman said...

Kieran

According to their web site, the stout is top fermented with an ale yeast as is the golden ale. Getting a bit more interesting?

Laurent Mousson said...

If it's a neutral top-fermenting yeast (think a K├Âlsch or Altbier strain) and the beer is then cold-conditioned (which is likely if the head brewer's german, it's likely to taste and feel more like a dark lager.
Not that dark lager is necessarily bland and uninteresting, quite in the contrary ! :o)

Stonch said...

Sorry, but all the objections above sound like geek stuff to me.

Tandleman said...

Didn't ypou confess to being a geek at sometime Stonch. Like me I guess you are checking emails etc after locking a pub up?

Tom Fryer said...

Stonch - instead of dismissing everyone who isn't satisfied with your massive generalisation as a geek, why not try to argue with some of them?

While I agree with Tandleman, Rednev and others about beer miles, sourcing locally, etc., I have to admit that the Chilean stout sounds like the sort of beer I'd want to try if I saw it in a shop - though based on Kieran's assessment of it, perhaps only once.

The ecological/aesthetic arguments against imported bland beer raise an interesting point though. If importing the stuff in bulk is wrong but there's a big demand for it, perhaps we shouldn't be so upset when big brewers manufacture it locally.

Tyson said...

Tom

Ah, but that beggars the question-is there actually a big demand for it? Or is that demand artificially created by the big brewers/importers? People will drink it if spoon fed it, but I'm not sure there's a massive demand for it.

Tom Fryer said...

Fair point, Tyson, but unfortunately I don't think it really matters whether there's an existing demand or some expensive ad campaign creates one - if a market can be found one way or another, then chances are that someone is going to make money out of it by supplying the beer.

Assuming that's the case then surely it's better if the beer is brewed locally? ...from an environmental point of view anyway, though not an aesthetic one. The moral ground is pretty shaky too, especially if the branding is a bit coy about the country of origin.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

It certainly tasted like a dark lager and not a particularly interesting one, I cant remember what it was entered as but not a stout I suspect.

Anonymous said...

I tasted these when I was in Chile, the Golden Ale was the better of the two but certainly very forgettable. The Stout was rather boring, they made a point of it being a stout on the menu but it had nothing interesting about it. Chile sells a few different German and English style beers but only a bottle conditioned brown ale from a small brewery in Valparaiso (lost the name I'm afraid) stirred my interest. ,