Beer of the Weekend #29: Foster's Premium Ale

The beer this weekend is Foster’s Premium Ale, brewed by Foster’s Group of Melbourne, Australia.

Now let me take you back…back to a time when the Hawkeyes were the kings of the Big Ten, when Apartment 12 of 1012 East Burlington Street was bouncing with Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, and the shelf in our coat closet was piled high with empties of Foster’s Special Bitter. Ah, 2004. What a time. (Yes, “Kings of Crunk” came out in 2002, but we kept playing it. Get low.)

Anyway, my point is I drank a lot of Foster’s Special Bitter. That’s right: Foster’s Special Bitter. Never heard of it? That’s because it’s now known as Foster’s Premium Ale.

I have no clue when Foster’s did this. A month or so ago I saw the familiar green can on the beer shelf labeled with a different name. I read somewhere that it was renamed because a the word “premium” attracts more attention. The rebranded brew was tested at 45 Outback restaurants and sales doubled. The only difference was the letters on the side of the can.

Besides 40s of Mickey’s, FSB was my drink in college. I had a can whenever I had about 10 quarters to splurg. Oh, to be poor and…poor.

So, does this make FPA the second brew I’ve previously tried to be profiled? Well, technically I haven’t had FPA before, so it’s up in the air.

Serving type: One 25.4-ounce oil can.

Appearance: Light bronze, caramel colored, which surprised me. You’re supposed to drink it in the can, but I poured a little into a glass once and remember it being lighter in color. The side of the can says the caramel color is added, so maybe that’s a new improvement. A bit of a head developed but dissipated quickly.

Smell: It seriously reminded me of Olde English 800. Malt scent. Nothing special.

Taste: FBS…I mean, FPA is still tasty. Caramel malts with a bit of a tea-like bitterness at the end. No hops, though. A malt liquor taste matches the malt liquor scent.

Drinkability: If it’s 40-like, it’s very drinkable. Throw a couple in a cooler and fire up the barbe!

Fun facts about Foster’s Premium Ale:

-Serving temp: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: 5.5 percent ABV.

-There ain’t nothin’ else you need to know about FPA. There was a time, though, when I marveled at a full, unopened oil can of the stuff. They didn’t remain full for long, and I had a closet full of empties, so I cherished each before stacking them with the others.

The Quiet Man’s grade: Hmmm. Mmmm. It’s just beer. B-.


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