While many students live by the creed that the best beer in the world is the one right in front of them (preferably that someone else paid for), there are some beers which are simply stupider than Paul Holmes in a burka.
The Japanese actually have some very sound ideas about beer. You can buy a two-litre can of decent beer from a vending machine. Politely, they have even installed these vending machines on the tops of mountains for thirsty climbers.
This makes it even more baffling why they thought it would be a acceptable to make a low-malt beer with milk. This creamy, fruity drink – called “Bilk” – is basically designed to use up surplus milk. Perhaps they should simply sell the milk direct to New Zealanders given dairy prices here.
Surely the Aussies must be coming the raw prawn with Dog Beer (DB). This is a non-alcoholic, un-hopped, low-carbonated “beer” which tastes like beef so you can apparently ‘shout your best friend a beer.’ The big question is – is DB actually any worse than VB?
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In their never-ending quest for efficiency, the Germans have managed to fit two vices into one glass by successfully putting nicotine into beer. NicoShot beer claims to help drinkers stop smoking by providing a steady, controlled release of nicotine as they quaff. Three cans of NicoShot is the equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. Thankfully, it does not seem to have caught on.
At least the nicotine beer contains the nicotine promised. Ben and Jerry’s Stout Ice Cream in America has been proven to contain no beer at all. It does however contain “natural flavours, guar gum and carrageenan” – the later being a seaweed extract.
Before we get too smug, it is not like we are immune to stupidity, as anyone who watches “New Zealand’s Got Talent” will know. After Anheuser-Busch launched the ludicrously named “B-to-the-E” beer with caffeine, guarana and ginseng, we spent a couple of years developing the equally ludicrous MASH range. Our innovation was replacing the vaguely natural ginseng with Food Acid 330.
Similarly, while we laugh at some of the beer laws in the United States – beer in Utah cannot be over 3.2%, a Californian beer was not allowed to be called “Chronic” and shoppers in Pennsylvania stores cannot buy beer in less than 24-packs – we had the six o’clock swill from 1917 to 1967. Who was stupid enough to think that was a good idea?