11 January 2009

Coopers Sparkling Ale

A few years back, I was up at the cottage with my cousin and saw a bottle of Australian rum at the LCBO. Having never heard of Aussie rum, we bought it and took it home to drink. Now, I have no idea what they used to make it, but it did not taste like any rum I had ever drank before, and we had a hard time finishing it. The ironic part to this story is that the rum was made by the same people who brewed the subject of today's review.

When I first spotted Coopers Sparkling Ale at the LCBO, I was intrigued. The label was very similar to the abortion my cousin and I consumed a few years ago, but this one had other tell-tale signs of a train wreck in a bottle. The top of the bottle was sealed with what looked like cellophane tape over the cap. This was not just present on the bottle I purchased, but on every bottle of Coopers on the shelf. I picked one up for a closer inspection, and this is where it became obvious this needed a proper review.

When held up to the light, the bottle had what appeared to be Sea Monkeys suspended in it. At this point I was pretty sure any more pondering on the subject would lead to second thoughts, so I quickly paid for it and took it over to Brian's for an evaluation.

We cracked it open and Brian took a smell of the aroma coming off it. He seemed disappointd that the beer inside did not smell rancid. I can only assume that he figured the Sea Monkey effect was due to it sitting in a warehouse for many years, perhaps next to a nuclear power plant. Undaunted, he poured out two samples. The beer was a very murky brown colour, not at all "sparkling" as the label promised. Finally throwing all caution to the wind, we toasted Liquor Pig and drank. While not possessing a thoroughly unpleasant flavour (despite the granular texture of the Sea Monkeys), it became apparent that Coopers Sparkling Ale is simply homebrew in a fancy bottle. I have tasted many homebrews that were identical to this one. Not undrinkable, yet not really pleasant at the same time with a yeasty, malty flavour and a far from crisp finish. My advice if you are tempted to try this one is to buy a John Bull Homebrew Kit and make a vat of this crap for a fraction of the cost.


Thomas D said...

No offense, but sparkling ale refers to the fact that it has undergone an in bottle fermentation, and not it's colour. The sea monkeys are not an effect of sitting in a warehouse, but are live yeast.

Too bad you didn't appreciate this one.


Anonymous said...

umm... terrible review. This beer is fantastic. The 'sea monkeys' are just yeast sediment, if you knew even the fundamental basics of beer, you'd know that. This beer should be tipped or rolled to mix the sediment before it is poured into the glass. I can't take anything you say seriously after reading this joke of a review. Grow some tastebuds and preferably a little common sense.

Liquor Pig said...


If you knew even the fundamental basics of beer, you'd know that most breweries filter out sea monkeys for a damned good reason. As for "mixing sediment" in your beer... Is that an Australian thing or something? Mixing the residual sediment from naturally conditioned ale is not something I have ever heard any brewery recommending prior to serving their products - with the exception of Bavarian weissen, of course.

However, I will say that if we all liked the same things we'd all be communists. I just don't personally care for the taste of overpriced homebrew I could make myself at a fraction of the cost of buying it. YMMV.

Boozely. said...

Not only is this a terrible review, but that's also a terrible response to 2 beer lovers that know exactly what they are talking about.

It's not possible to remove the sediment, because the beer ferments in the bottle. Tipping or rolling the beer enhances the flavour.

I've lived in South Africa, England and Australia and Coopers produce one of the best beers I've ever tasted. It might also be a good idea to consider cost when writing these reviews - as coopers is about $15 for a 6 pack here in Australia, which is very decent.

Anonymous said...

I got to add that this review sucks, this ale is great. Coopers makes good beer, end of story.

Anonymous said...

So the review is terrible because the guys who drank it don't share your undying appreciation for this average at best beer?

It is entirely possible to be a "Beer Lover" and say that Coopers isn't the best thing you've ever tasted.

Get over yourselves, people have varying preferences and yours aren't any more correct then these guys.