I'm not sure what Mister Beer is looking so happy about here... as his Red Lager leaves a lot to be desired.

I’m not sure what Mister Beer is looking so happy about here… as his Red Lager leaves a lot to be desired.

Mister Beer Bottle Brew “Red Lager”, Mississauga, Ontario (Homebrew kit in a bottle) $5

After pretty much championing the brew-in-bottle homebrew kits from MB Bottlebrew in a GFR piece a few months back, I was then somewhat chastised by the company’s Brewmaster Stefan Riedelsheimer for suggesting that said kits were a “fun project”.

“It’s certainly more than a fun project as we have loyal long term fans across all of Canada.”

Now my reasoning behind the “fun project” comment was because it was exactly that. Never before had I seen such a hands-off homebrew process, a process that whilst being perfect for Riedelsheimer’s loyal fans, was just too hands-off for my liking, with literally no variables bar perhaps ambient brewing temperature affecting the final beer in the glass.

Nevertheless, as I had mentioned in my first piece, I was intrigued to try out some of the other types of beer offered by MB Bottlebrew as both the Mexican Cerveza and the Bohemian Blonde (which I still feel to be erroneously labeled by-the-way) were a little too simplistic and lacking in any real aromatics or flavour for my particular palate.

With this in mind I tracked down a couple of bottles of Mister Beer’s Red Lager (not to be confused with Mr. Beer, America’s number one homebrewing system), a different label from the two varieties I had played about with before, but made by the same company, and selling for $5 a piece at a health food store in Parkdale.

I went through the same process as before with the first bottle: Adding the yeast to the unfermented beer (wort), screwing on the special pressure release cap, leaving for 14 days in a dark place at around 24 degrees, standing upright until almost clear, and then transferring to the fridge for at least 12 hours.

So I did all of this, forever careful in my following of the undeniably foolproof directions, but what I eventually poured into my glass at the end of the process was a beer so mediocre and clumsily carbonated that I actually found it offensive; I had brewed a soapy, fizzy beverage devoid of any personality or character whatsoever. I wasn’t even going to try this batch out on friends… it went straight down the kitchen sink.

Thinking that perhaps user-error was the issue, although to be quite honest I do not know how on earth that could have been, I set about brewing a second bottle.

14 and a half days later… Hmmmm… same disappointing results. Awful.

Perhaps what the Red Lager Mister Beer kit produces passes for beer in some parts of this great country?

… Probably.

Perhaps my palate is just not attuned to the fine nuances present in the Mister Beer Red Lager?

… I very much doubt it.

Perhaps I am not the target market as I actually enjoy the taste of beer?

… I think that to be the case.

Zero apples out of five.

Jamie Drummond - Good Food RevolutionEdinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s thinking of brewing more of his own beer, but not using this popular method. Suggestions are welcome.