Back to the future

Everything old is new again.

By Bob Anthony

Everything old is new again or so it would seem in the beer fridge of your local bottle.

Carlton and United Breweries has taken a step back in time when launching its Victoria Bitter VXtra brand by putting it into 250ml stubbies (better known as throw-downs).

I can remember as a much younger man, when just about every mainstream brewery was bringing out thrown-downs (aptly named because you could literally throw one down very quickly).

They were a “trap for young fools” being so easy to drink, you could find yourself knocking over a carton of 24 in a relatively short period of time but paying the consequences for that later.

Now, CUB ‘s VXtra which is a strong little sucker at 6% (normal VB is 4.9%) and it is probably a good thing that it comes in throw-downs when it is that potent.

Lovers of the original VB may probably find this not to their liking as it definitely isn’t as bitter.

It has far more malt flavour which I think delivers a smoother, better balance. You definitely notice it in the second stubbie you open.

I have to confess that I am not a fan of VB, though I have been known to drink it on a hot day or when there isn’t many other options available.

The appearance is a little darker, probably reflecting more malt on the brewing process, and there is slightly more body to this.

The flavour still lingers but there isn’t the same bitterness in the aftertaste which the original VB has.

Traditional VB lovers may find the flavour “lacking” but be wary, the strength of this brew will creep up on you very subtly and you’ll be surprised what 4 little stubbies can do.

There seems to be a bit of a trend in the craft beer market to produce high alcohol level brews which deliver more intense flavours (but at a price).

It is not so much about wiping yourself out quickly but appreciating more robust flavours and depth in the beers, especially delivering on body and ‘richness.’

The Victoria Bitter VX, in my opinion, is a year-round brew, more so than its famous ‘cousin.’

It is refreshing in the warmer months, as is VB, but it also delivers a warm glow in the colder months, more so than VB.

The Victoria Bitter VXtra is widely available through major and independent outlets. It is not cheap even though it comes in small stubbies at around $58 a carton, four pack prices will also vary.


Bob Anthony

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