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?
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.
Edinburgh-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.