IN THE time I have been writing about beer, one of the consistent themes that has come through is the fact there are not too many bad beers taking up space in bottle shop fridges and shelves these days.
Sure there are some beers that are so full of hops they come under the heading 'an acquired taste', and certainly others that are really tasty and interesting, but you wouldn't bother taking a carton to a 21st birthday party.
On the whole though, be they imported drops with incredible names or local ales made in the millions of gallons, after blowing the froth off a cold one I can usually say that wasn't too bad. And I stress the "usually". For I have come across a beer that I really didn't like.
Oddly enough it is a sister product to a beer I regularly enjoy, Fat Yak, the pride of the Matilda Bay line-up.
One of the original new-style craft breweries, Matilda Bay grew from small batches made in the Sail and Anchor Hotel micro-brewery in WA.
Such was the popularity of its output, the operation built a much larger brewery and became a genuine player in the Australian beer scene to such an extent that it ended up being taken over by the giant CUB.
The original team behind Matilda Bay went to start the Little Creatures brewery - and what fine drops they are.
Over the years Matilda Bay has produced some cracking drops - Redback, Beez Neez, Minimum Chips, Dogbolter, Dirty Granny cider and the aforementioned Fat Yak to name but a few. And then they made The Ducks.
According to the blurb, The Ducks is their take on "the classic Australia Ale" with "fruity aromas, subtle spice and pepper notes, and a zesty clean finish", the duck's nuts in fact.
Be that as it may, it looked flat in the glass about 10 seconds after it was poured and didn't taste or smell like anything much to me. I really found it a dull drink and a letdown compared with Fat Yak.
It was not as if I wasn't in the mood for a cold beer either, having toiled in the garden cleaning up after the recent wild weather all day. However this was the first beer I couldn't bring myself to offer to Hugh the neighbour, who had been likewise engaged. It might suit some, but this one was not for me.