As a fan of rock music, particularly of a certain era, I found it difficult to walk past this trio of gift sets in Morrisons.
In fact, having managed it once, I actually went straight back into the shop and bought all three.
A Battle of the Bands, beer style, I thought. Ok, so not really a battle, just an afternoon of enjoying what will hopefully be three great beers.
Trooper: Onward, onward, rode the 600…
Of the three beers, and the three bands, this is the one with which I have the most past experience and familiarity, so I’ve chosen it as today’s Maiden pint.
Brewed by Robinsons, under the watchful eye of Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, Trooper has already passed the 15 million pints sold milestone in its five years.
If it wasn’t a good beer, even the Maiden tie-up wouldn’t have seen it achieve that. Novelty is one thing, but beer fans need a decent product to keep coming back.
That’s what Trooper is.
It’s certainly not a charge of the light ale brigade.
This is a good quality, 4.7% premium beer and you could happily sit down to a few of them (maybe not 600).
Crisp bitterness and a not-overwhelming blend of three hops gives it a good, steady-Eddie flavour that takes it out of the novelty box and into the company of some top British beers. Many breweries would be happy to have this as their brand champion.
Road Crew: Win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me…
Probably less of a sessionable beer, thanks to its richer flavour, is Road Crew, from Camerons Brewery.
A tie-up with Motorhead, this is a very hoppy American pale ale that is right up my street. I like a hoppy beer, full of aroma and flavour.
Having had this a couple of times (if you’re in a Head of Steam pub, you’re likely to be able to lay your hands on a bottle), I knew what I was getting here: a great beer, but not one I’d recommend lining up for an entire night, or one that you’d want as your first ever beer, if you’re migrating from lager.
If I were to match Motorhead to a beer, I doubt it would be this. I’d probably have gone for something heavier, something darker, but this is certainly a lighter, more melodic beer.
I’m not going to say it makes my mouth sing, I’m not that cheesy. But it’s a real pleasure.
Dog Of Two Head: Something ‘Bout You Ba-beer I Like
Ok, so I was expecting a bit of an old fashioned beer. Possibly brewed with only three ingredients.
I wasn’t as far off as I’d thought. This is a no-nonsense beer from Hobsons.
But it’s not boring. It’s not a Workingmen’s Club special, bland, generic beer.
There is nothing overpowering about Dog of Two Head. It has good flavour. I suppose you could call the aroma “grainy”, which suggests it’s all about good ingredients.
Like Status Quo themselves, it’s not there to smash through any barriers, power into new ground. It’s subtly different, likeable, and puts a smile on the face.
This is a beer, like Trooper, that you can sit and enjoy through a session, pleasing, but not overpowering the taste buds.
A Parfitt session beer? Quite possibly.
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I’m 44, I don’t (always) have a beard (partly because when I try it is patchy, has gaps, with ginger and grey bits) and don’t take a clipboard to the pub. So, I’m not the stereotypical real ale fan of old, in the style that I was always told to look out for...read more