By Andrew Starke
John Boston Premium Lager has launched as a reaction to what its makers are calling ‘the increasing sophistication of Australian beer drinking’.
The newcomer aims to elevate beer to the same level of sophistication as wine, having been initially crafted to satisfy the discerning palates of the 55,000 members of The Wine Society.
The premium craft beer has been brewed to a specific brief prepared by the society’s members.
John Boston Premium Lager is named after the free settler who became the colony’s first brewer in 1796.
The task of turning the John Boston concept into a product was placed in the hands of former Lion Nathan head brewer Bruce Peachey, previously charged with the responsibility of producing Guinness and Lowenbrau’s legendary beers under licence in Australia.
He also created the popular Blue Tongue craft beer.
Peachey terms his new creation a ‘luxury lager’ as the brewing technique is a hundred percent natural.
“We use prime malted barley, premium local hops and specially-selected yeast, and the purity of flavour is outstanding,” he said.
“Noble hops (hops that are low in bitterness but with vibrant aromas) are added late in the brewing process to further balance the beer and to provide seductive fresh floral aromas. It is a refreshing full-strength lager and pale golden in colour.”
Certainly, the 2009 John Boston brew is more palatable than the 1796 drop, which was brewed from malted maize bittered with the leaves and stalks of cape gooseberries.
Boston himself had little opportunity to develop the quality of his beers.
In late 1804, trading opportunities took him to Tonga where he received a warm welcome and was invited to a banquet.
If the story is true, he was the main course.