We review a bunch of gross craft beers

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

Did anyone else spend a majority of 2014 on their knees, holding their fists in the air and cursing craft beer as loudly as possible? The shit is everywhere, the wet dream of thousands of beardos who made it their mission to make the most refreshing and easy to drink beverage in the world as unrefreshing and hard to drink as possible.

Apparently people love it, there’s about five craft beer events happening in Sydney every hour and your local pub now exclusively has beers named after random words like ‘Rusty Hop Barnacle Moose’ on tap.

About six months ago I was sent a six pack of various beers that people who are into steampunk would enjoy by a company called Hops & Craft, who run a subscription service that sends you six random craft beers every few months. The six pack sat on my desk, gathering dust until late last week, when I decided to put together a crack panel of beer drinkers (aka everyone working at Two Thousand / Golden Age Cinema who could knock off at 4pm) to review five of these nutty beers.

The panel consisted of:

Name: Hahna
Do you like craft beer? Normally no. But when I’m drunk I’ll drink anything.

Name: Willem
Do you like craft beer? Is Resch’s craft beer?

Name: Jessa
Do you like craft beer? Yes.

Name: Claire
Do you like craft beer? NO! I will usually avoid drinking it, I like embarrassingly simple beers like VB and Superdry -the latter because it has no preservatives and I’m a sensitive soul who is a bit allergic to preservatives. Not as allergic as I am to whimsy and fedoras though – both of which I associate with craft beer.

Name: Levins
Do you like craft beer? No. The hundreds of un-replied email invites to craft beer events in my inbox can testify.

The five beers to be tasted were:

Dos Blockos Pale Lager
Hopfen Fahrt IPA
3 Ravens Black Stout
Chai Fighter
Zeven Lemon Strawberry Blonde

We took a seat, reached for the bottle opener and started drinking.

BEER #1: Dos Blockos Pale Lager
What the label says: “A leafy flora with a candy shop aroma, sweet to the nostrils. The simple and refreshing taste sits on a low carbonation rounded by a hoppy bite after sipping.”

Claire: Has a distinct old pineapple juice aroma but a surprisingly light finish, this might be okay?
Jessa: I like! Goes down easy. 4 stars.
Levins: Not bad, pretty drinkable. It smelt like it was gonna be a piece of shit, but I reckon this is gonna be the best of the lot. This is the only lager of the bunch too, it’s rare for craft brewers to make lager – it may be easier to drink than an ale but it’s much harder to make.
Hahna: Attracts fruit flies. I see why they like it.
Willem: Not nearly as offensive as the label’s spiel. I would consider drinking this again, assuming it was free.

BEER #2: Hopfen Fahrt IPA
What the label says: This German IPA has come out bursting with fresh stone fruit, mandarin and grassy aromas. The flavour is choc full of spicy resinous hops, and is rounded out by a solid whack of bitterness.

Jessa: Smells musty. Tastes a bit like wet cardboard. 1 star.
Willem: A joke name that isn’t funny. Pungent, yeasty and too viscous for any self respecting beer. The joke is on us for having to drink it.
Levins: This is the worst. Tastes like someone spilt a coffee into a beer and decided “fuck it”. This will be tough to beat as the least drinkable.
Claire: Oh god, smells like blue cheese with quince paste (posh), looks like a cloudy UTI riddled urine sample and has a similar mouthfeel JKZ! Heaps fizzy. Good for standing around in cargo pants while laughing at the word ‘fahrt’.
Hahna: I can’t finish it because everyone’s comments are making me laugh or dry-heave the mouthful back into the cup.

BEER #3: 3 Ravens Black Stout
What the label says: A bold yet hospitable beer, with roasted and chocolate malts to call you in from the cold, sweet Munich and caramel malts to warm you and oatmeal to wrap you in silky comfort.

Willem: The espresso martini of the craft beer world. I can see the boys hitting this after a big night on the Cosmo’s at the annual craft beer disco.
Hahna: Reminds me of a cold cacao drink gone a bit funky in the sun then re-chilled. I prefer my chocolate in a solid form.
Claire: A thousand pardons m’lady, but this tastes like someone added a liberal spoonful of MILO to a beer. One time my dad put ice cubes in a milky MILO and my sister and I cried, similar effect.
Jessa: Chocolatey aroma and taste, so I’m a fan. Couldn’t sit on this all night though, one is enough. Easy drinking for a stout beer. 4 stars.
Levins: Smells like chocolate, tastes like cold coffee that someone put through a sodastream three days ago. Weirdly refreshing I guess? What’s with the coffee/beer combos though? Are craft beer fans too lazy to drink two separate beverages?

BEER #4: Chai Fighter
What the label says: The Chai Fighter is infused with Masala Chai tea sourced from the Berry Tea Shop.

Jessa: Eww. Smells gross. Tastes worse. An insult to Star Wars. 0 stars.
Hahna: Tastes like LIES! I can’t taste the chai! THEY LIE! LIARS!
Levins: Smells like the last thing I want to put in my mouth. Banana peels. These people have clearly never tasted chai before, but even if this tasted like chai it would still be fucked. This is the new worst.
Claire: Very sour on the nose, smells very specifically like raw chicken breast marinating in soy and garlic. It tastes like you have eaten the aforementioned earlier in the day and then burped. The aftertaste lingers and no amount of palate cleansing can erase the feeling that you maybe contracted salmonella from eating raw chicken.
Willem: If this were low carb it would be the official beer of the Bondi Yoga festival. Uniquely unpleasant, it doesn’t deserve to be labelled beer, it also doesn’t deserve to be brewed and bottled.
Bonus review by Kate: Like licking the inside of a Glebe Markets stall-holder’s bum bag. That hadn’t been opened since 2005.

BEER #5: Zeven Lemon Strawberry Blonde
What the label says: Having mastered the perfect balance between beer and cider, Zeven Lemon indeed combines the best of both worlds, adding natural strawberry juice to its brewed malted barley and wheat beer for a refreshing, delicious taste.

Willem: By the time I drink this I’m cursing the craft beer world. What is wrong with these people? It’s like they exist in an isolated, insular community with no interaction with the outside world to expose them to the idea that drinking beer can be a pleasant experience. Upsetting.
Levins: Not really beer, not really good. You can’t even taste the ‘real’ strawberries, if anyone was as stupid to want that in a beer they could just shove a strawberry in the neck and hopefully choke on it.
Hahna: Looks like cheap pink passion pop, tastes worse. Hurts my teeth (weird).
Claire: Burnt raisin toast. A beer perfect for those who prefer their Strawberry Cruiser’s ‘toasted’.
Jessa: It’s like if beer and a diet Vodka Cruiser got mixed together at somebody’s sweet 16th party. Not great. 1 star.

The review was over. We made our way back to our desks as the rest of the office scowled at us for loudly yelling “GROSS!” for a solid half hour. The upside of this experiment: nobody died! Plus, the Dos Blockos was pretty good! Maybe if more small breweries made lagers instead of thick, hoppy ales, the view of craft beer being largely un-drinkable would change?

One out of five ain’t bad right? If you’re a craft beer fan (or even a brewer!), don’t get upset, get in touch! Email us with some recommendations so we can do this again sometime with way less bitchy insults.

DISCLAIMER: Ten minutes after our tasting, Hahna broke out in hives. Please drink craft beer responsibly, if at all.


Most of these beers are available when you sign up for Hops & Craft


  1. […] few weeks ago we published an article entitled ‘We review a bunch of gross craft beers‘ and felt the wrath of passionate craft beer fans from all over the country. We’ll […]

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