Burleigh Brewing BIGHEAD


I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to people pointing out my flaws. Perhaps it’s because I’m already aware of so many of my own shortcomings that I’ve just gone on to accepting them and become immune.

Frankly I’ve never really understood why people – men and women alike – can’t go through life loving who they are and not obsessing over the way they look, trying to fit a mould that has been shaped by reading too many magazines and seeing too many clothing models with their ribs popping out. Personally the only time I like to see that many ribs is when they are of the pork variety and smothered in some sort kind of smoky sauce!

So while eating my body weight in, said smoky pork ribs, and camping over Easter, sitting around the old bush TV with stories flying thick and fast; “the one that got away”; “you blokes are never going to believe this but…..” you know those typical campfire stories that are more fun than a circus clown on the sauce for a big night around town.

But when Steve-o and Chooka mentioned that Big Mick probably didn’t need that last plate of ribs as he was getting love handles, it started a low carb beer debate (and allowed me an extra plate of ribs).

This has been an ongoing debate for a while now, whether the low carb beers are actually doing you good or not. I’m firmly in the “watch the calories and joules not the carbs” band with that debate.

I think that the idea of drinking a low carb beer removing a beer belly has as much chance of working as I do of winning the role of Han Solo in a Star Wars remake, no matter how hard I work at it, it just isn’t going to happen.

And it’s the same with low carb beers, the idea is sound, but in reality the only way you will move those kilos is by sheer hard work, or heaven forbid, abstinence, not by switching brands.

But in the interest of fairness we went and got a 6 pack of Burleigh Brewing Company’s Bighead no carb beer on arriving home. That’s right a no carb beer, its not a new release but surprisingly not a lot of people know that its out there. Bighead registers only 88 calories per 330ml bottle, or 26 calories per 100ml. At the time or writing, Fourex Gold for example carries 7g carbs and 120 calories per 375ml bottle, or 32 calories per 100ml; Tooheys Pure Blonde carries 3.2g carbs and 107 calories per 355ml bottle, or 30.1 calories per 100ml.

Regardless of the whole carb argument however, this beer just flat out lacks flavour. Its alcohol volume, at 4.2%, is only slightly lower than other low-carb offerings, e.g. Toohey’s White Stag 4.4% and Platinum Blonde 4.6%.  It looks good in the glass, holds a good head, and even smells quite decent, but when it hits the tongue it holds about as much appeal as changing baby nappies.

On a scale of “they call this beer?” to “it’s like an angel dancing on your tongue” this rates somewhere near “I’m bored, let’s watch Star Wars and pretend I’m Han Solo”.

Put simply, it’s bland. It doesn’t grow on you; it doesn’t get better over time. It fails to raise an eyebrow, let alone a hint of smile of satisfaction. It’s not that it tastes bad; it’s just that it is lackluster, especially when some of the other Burleigh Brewing offerings are so good. Perhaps with a little more work, a little more refinement, or even a different blend of flavours, like adding some for example, this might turn itself around.

I can see where it has a place, with people that are counting their calories, but if it were me, I’d choose to simply drink less of a beer that is fuller flavoured.

And stop letting people see my love handles when I put my plate out for more ribs.

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