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Coopers was the brewery that opened my eyes to the possibility of better beer. Growing up drinking the normal macro fare, when I had my first Coopers Red it was an amazing revelation. The Red and the Pale Ale still reign as among my first choices for session beers, even though my taste has largely moved on to bigger and hoppier things. I will always feel everlasting gratitude to this brewery for its role in making me hate Caaaarldon, making me realise that life is too short to drink crap beer, no matter how cheap it is. However, this brewery has done some horrible things, such as Coopers Clear, and some middling things, like this lager.
It’s better than your average macro pale lager, don’t get me wrong. On tap, this is actually quite drinkable, probably because it’s served ice cold. However, at fridge temperature, the more unsavoury flavours come out and does it no favours. On the whole it’s a fairly inoffensive Euro-style pale lager, but it’s got the typical stale malt notes, that grassy aroma that I find a little unappealing, and very little that’s memorable except for the faint, ever-present LAGERARSE. These sorts of lagers have to be drunk Aussie style to be palatable - near freezing, on a hot day with a shitload of dead charcoaled meat. Otherwise, it’s pretty bland.
Which brings me to this Judas Priest album. I think Judas Priest is one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. They have a legacy that is unquestionable. However, they also have some very iffy moments. This is not exactly one of those iffy moments, but it definitely led them straight to Ifsville. This was where the more commercial elements they’d introduced in the previous album, Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather (name depending on if you’re the rest of the world versus America), really came to fruition. While those commercial elements worked quite well for the latter album, they fall flat on this one. There are a couple of their signature razor-shard speed metal tracks mixed with mainstream rubbish. They basically made an even-more accessible version of Killing Machine, and of course, every chump loved it, and people still say it’s their best. Which is complete bollocks: that honour goes to either the 70s masterpiece Sad Wings of Destiny, their 80s comeback Screaming for Vengeance or the utterly insane (if terribly overproduced) speed metal monster of Painkiller. British Steel is the first Priest album I ever owned/heard, and I still spin it occasionally because it’s a fun listen, but it’s in no way their best, and in fact led to the crime that was Point of Entry. Just as the lager above led to the abysmal horror that is Coopers Clear and Coopers 62 Degrees. I have spoken.