Dates: 30th September – 6th October, 2013
Bottle shop: New World Thorndon, Wellington
Beer: Schöfferhofer Kristallweizen, By Binding-Brauerei, Germany (6 x 500ml bottles, $19.99)
This week, I regretted my beer-buying decision a little earlier than usual:
I was still standing at the checkout.
There were three prongs to my panging regret: first, I always feel a wee bit guilty when I buy a non-Kiwi-made beer. Even when I buy Boundary Road or Mac’s – both of which are (at a Meta level anyway) owned by international conglomerates – I’m still helping to employ a Kiwi brewer or two. If I buy a non-Kiwi-made beer, at best I’m helping a local importing company – which just ain’t my bag at all.
My second prong of regret was that I’d gone to the hassle of travelling all the way across town (which, living in Wellington, took me a whole five minutes out of my way) – just so I could go to The Greatest (Bottled Beer) Place On Earth, New World Thorndon. And yet there I was: standing at the checkout of Beer Geek Disneyland, holding a six-pack of Schöfferhofer – a beer that I could have easily picked up Pretty Much Anywhere.
My third regret was that I’d let considerations of beer quantity sneak their way back into my purchasing decisions. I guess three litres of wheat beer for twenty bucks – the equivalent of around nine 330ml bottles – seemed like an offer too good to refuse. It turns out that old habits do, indeed, Die Hard. Occasionally with a vengeance.
Maybe it was just my guilty conscience talking – but as I was leaving New World Thorndon, I’m pretty sure I heard a bottle of Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta yell out:
“I’M NOT MAD, JASON…I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED.”
So, a three-pronged Regret Attack before Schöfferhofer had even hit my fridge. Not a good start, then.
Sadly, things didn’t improve much once I opened a bottle. Schöfferhofer Kristallweizen is the sibling of orange-labelled Hefeweizen, which I’ve always thought was a pretty good bang-for-buck wheat beer. I chose Kristallweizen over Hefeweizen in a moment of Adventurous Spirit, but in binary terms I really did choose the 0 over the 1 – a posthumous check of online beer rating site ratebeer.com scores Hefeweizen a solid-ish 66%, while Kristallweizen weighs in at a lowly 34%.
The 34% isn’t too surprising – since Kristallweizen just isn’t very pleasant. It’s not Double Brown Shudder-inducing, but it’s certainly not yum. Sure, it’s beer – and there’s three litres of it for twenty bucks – but in retrospect, I could have picked up two four-packs of the out-freakin’-standing Tuatara Hefe for just a few shekels more. I’m pretty sure I would have been sans regret if I’d made that move instead of the Dick One that I had to live with all week.
The short version of this review (which I could have put at the top and saved us all a lot of time) can be summarised in one word: disappointed. Disappointed in the lame beer, but also disappointed in myself for some poor decision making.
Hey, Gunnamatta: if you’ll forgive me, I promise to never disrespect you (and your kin) like that again.
Cross my heart.