Sunday, March 09, 2008

In search of Reschs' Pilsener - Bob Q replies

At the start of my post In Search of Reschs Pilsener I recorded my despair at the fact that my local bottleshop had sold out. I also made a passing reference to Bob Q. Now Bob has responded.

In this case such a full response that I thought I should respond by full post as part of my consumer revolution series. So Bob's comment follows with my comments inserted.


A tragedy indeed, at least from your POV. Worse, it indicates a number of things:

1. Your bottleshop doesn't sell much in the way of the old Silver Bullet either if one customer can buy out the whole stock.

Too true, I fear.

2. Such one-off mega purchases are not the answer - it doesn't encourage regularity of supply.

3. [snark] Most people agree with me on the taste of this beer. [/snark].


"But what can I do, Bob?" I hear you cry, your anguished tones echoing even in my farflung corner of the former Empire? One of four things leaps to mind:

1. Drink locally, act locally. Talk to the bottleshop owner and literally ask that s/he continue to stock your brew of choice, explaining that you will in future eschew the evil that is Woolies' shelf stocking policy in favour of his her establishment. Problem if the bottleshop is a chain. BIG problem if it is BWS, owned by ...

This I have done. The local bottle shop - Cellarbrations Rosebery - is part of a chain, but the stores are independently owned. I know them, and they know me. So they will stock to suit my tastes, at least within reason.

2. Drink locally, act even more locally. As a South Australian, I have been very pleased to see the comeback made by various Coopers beers. They went through a period of being a niche product and one result was that you can still buy beer making kits which produce a relatively OK facsimile of the real thing. Maybe Reschs' does the same, or one of the standard pilsener kits would result in a tasty brew. It's cheap and costs about four hours (two x two hour slots) and makes an absorbing hobby. Homebrews actually mature and improve in the bottle. I know however that time is not your friend - never has been, that I recall.

Too true, Bob, so far as time is concerned. I have never attempted home brew, at least not since ginger beer when the bottles exploded! Oh, and my one attempt to create a home still when I was a kid. The thought of getting the bottles clean puts me off.

3. Patience is a virtue. Wait for resupply. If it's hot at the moment, I'd recommend a bottle or two of Clare Valley Riesling to see you through. If the weather is cooling off, move to support your local winemakers with a Hunter Valley red.

This, supporting my local wineries, is something of a sore point. There are now a number of New England wine areas, not just the Hunter. In a very crowded wine marketplace, I find it hard to buy regional. Further, the growth of the big wine companies has created a problem because they focus on just a few brands, dropping others.

4. If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence that you ever tried. Switch brands again. Surrender to the power. Ugly, but an option. Moving to Coopers might see you safe as it is a family concern which fought off a takeover recently. Shareholders refused to take quite a generous offer.

I do in fact drink Coopers from time to time, and for the reasons you cite. Maybe I should do more so.

Dee sends her regards, Bob.


Bob Q said...

I think we're pretty much agreed here, Jim. Just a couple of points:

Homebrew: Buy yourself 40 bottles of Grolsch beer. The bottles are 500 ml and fit in the bottom of a dishwasher (or if you have one of the 2 draw jobs, in both draws). Handwashing beer bottles sucks. The Grolsch bottles have a reusable swing cap, so no crown seals, hammers and broken glass. And they are thick and tough.

Teach one or more of your girls to make the beer and pay them for their time. If you pay 2/3 of the cost of 20 litres of beer (less ingredients), you'll both be well ahead. (20 litres is 2.5 slabs).

Finally, the reason *I* drink Coopers is for the taste. Although I rather like Little Creatures from WA and the James Boag range from Tassie.

Say Hi to Dee.

Jim Belshaw said...

Good thoughts. If only we had dishwasher!