K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry is a blonde ale by K’s Brewing. I have never heard of either the brewery (Editor: ahem are you sure?) or the beer and did a double-take when I looked in my fridge to find it there (It had materialised there after a barbecue with Rob the previous night. Man, my bag was heavy on the way back. Related, possibly?).
After my initial beer-materialisation horror had subsided, I looked at the bottle and thought “Blech! Who the fuck wants to drink this? What is it, a lager? What is this, a Premium Malts clone? Who am I asking all these questions to? Never mind! Again, blech I say!”. I then proceeded to toss it into the Narnia-esque depths of my fridge, over and over again, for a month and a half. It was only yesterday, when I had nothing to quench the old thirsty-wirst, that I slouched Kevin-the-Teenager-like to the fridge to retrieve K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry .
The first thing you and I will notice is that it’s easy to see why this ridiculous label made me think it was some kind of garbage lager. A garbargler.
I recently read an article about the most effective (and thus prevalent) keywords used in advertising in Japan in recent years. Alongside “極め” (“exceedingly”) and “大人の” (“for grown-ups”), the most popular word of all is “プレミアム” (“Premium”). “Premium” is the first word on this bottle. I saw it and a neuron fizzed in my head that finished the phrase with “Malts”.
Look at the rest of the bottle. Let’s do some word association. “Super”. “Blonde”. “Dry”. “Brewmaster”. Right? All of those words have featured prominently in the marketing of various Big Four drinks at some point. Two of those comprise the entire fucking name of the most famous and iconic Japanese beer ever. I highly doubt that the decision to put these words on the label can be attributed to random chance or the phase of the moon. But why? Is this beer trying to rub shoulders with the big boys? Is this, indeed, a garbargler (which my iPad seemingly believes is a real word)?
In a word, no.
K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry Aroma and Taste
On pouring K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry, it’s a much deeper gold than a lager. Almost like an ambery, honey colour. I clicked out of the brainwashed trance the label had put me in and finally noticed that it said “Ale”. Aha! Selective attention at work, folks. Keep that in mind, Robson:
Notalager notalager notalager notalager
It’s an ale it’s an ale it’s an ale
The nose is pleasant, with ester, hoppy and citrus notes. The esters continue upon tasting, and there’s a lambic sourness to it, as well as fruity, grape notes. This beer is really great. I’m sorry I misjudged you, K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry. Truly a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Joe’s Kinda Soapbox Corner
Let’s go back to the label issue one last time, because it’s an interesting one. There are three possible ways they could have ended up with a label like this (well, technically four, but I’m ruling out random chance). The first scenario is that K’s Brewing are trying to cynically trick people into thinking this beer is something that it isn’t, much like those “Transmorphers” DVDs you see in bargain bins which hoodwink legions of grandmas buying gifts for grandkids at Christmas. Call me naïve, but I’m willing to think that this isn’t the case, and all craft brewers’ intentions are pure. We’re all in this together, right? Standing up to the big old meanies at Kirin and Asahi.
The second is what I originally thought was the correct one: I thought K’s Brewing suffered from low self-esteem, putting all of these buzzwords on the label because they thought the beer wasn’t good enough to stand on its own. After a quick look at their lineup I noticed they put “Super Premium Handmade Ale” on everything. No problems with self-esteem there, then.
The third scenario is where a third-party marketing company was given a picture of the beer and free reign over its label design, and read the same buzzword article as I did. K’s Brewing have no thematic consistency in their labels and some pretty eclectic designs, so this could be the case. If so, it’s an odd decision to go with such an unappealing look. I don’t know about you, but I was really put off by all the bullshit on the label. Had it not been for Rob secreting this into my possession, I would never had picked it up in a kabillion years. I mean, look at it. Go back up and look at it.
Nothing that I want is on that label. It looks like a bottle of Bizarro craft beer. Me buy valuable crap beer! Shitty design make Joe want buy! Me hope it watery and weak! That best craft beer!
So, buy this beer. It’s really great. But rip the label off and stamp on it. Maybe let a pet eat it. Bloody hell. Am I getting too granular here? Ranting about the labels on beer.
K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry One line review
A lovely lambic-like with a ludicrous lager-like label. Look it up!
Where to Buy K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry
K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry can be bought online at the following places: