25 December 2015

Christmas Day Bonus Post - Worst Beer of 2015 - Lift by Sleeman

Just stop. This is ridiculous.

As much as I love to taste craft beer, I do not ignore the offerings of it's older, more experienced and yet somehow clueless Macro cousins. My pursuit of the Perfect Beer is nothing if not thorough, so I ignore no new beer found at the LCBO or the more infrequently visited The Beer Store. More on why I don't go to the Beer Store that often in the new year.
In the past, had I made a list of my favourite beers and then picked the worst, I have no doubt some big hop bomb would have made the latter. I have grown as a beer drinker and learned to appreciate all the subtle and not so subtle notes in most of the different styles of beer. Earlier this year I probably would have been leaning towards a witbier or saison. but even those styles have shown me the error of my ways and I continue to be amazed at what I find when I pop the top on one of those orangey buggers.
So that leads me back to macro brewers. They make a consistent brew. Try a Canadian, Coors Light or Blue and you will be assured of getting the same bland, tasteless beer made to get you drunk as you always have. That is what they do. Very little in the way of experimentation. That is not what generates billions in revenue. So little about what they do is really bad, just not in my wheel house anymore. I described what made me move away from them in my post Quantity Vs. Quality Beers.
So picking on these industry straddling giants is easy for those of us who love to explore all craft beer has to offer. Making fun of how crappy and tasteless their beer is almost a daily ritual on Facebook or Instagram. I generally stay away from the topic, because let's face it, I am not all that removed from being that guy. The guy who made fun of craft beer drinkers for being hipsters and thinking they were so different. Little did I know I would change my tune and realize it wasn't about being different as much as drinking good beer made you enjoy life more.
I think I am better informed now than I was to objectively pick the beer that made me cringe more than any other in 2015. It came down to the usual shitty lagers and ales made by the big boys of beer. Two stood out above the rest and were my only half star reviews of the year.
 My Beervent day 17 "gift" of Oculto from Texas was a terrible sprite like beer aged on tequila staves. Made by the guys who give you the bud lime-a-rita is all I need to say. But even that could not dislodge a product I assume was meant to be beer I tried this summer.
Sleeman Breweries from Guelph makes some beer I can enjoy on occasion. Their Original Draught is something I have been known to consume. Not so much anymore, but if you offer me one, I'd drink it with you. MacLays is an easy drinking lager found in my fridge from time to time, especially in the summer. But they are not a small brewer, having been bought by Japanese giant Sapporo in 2006. They also brew that beer here, so when you get your "imported" beer from Japan, it is actually brewed up Hwy. 6 in Guelph.
All of this leads me to a beer I described as having a long distance relationship with hops and barley when I reviewed it in July. Sleeman Lift was marketed as a performance focused beer that contained coconut water. That was my first clue I was in for a real treat. I am not really that focused on my performance when I drink beer, except for my ability to spell correctly. Crap is spelled with one "C" right?
It poured an almost clear yellow with a quickly disappearing head. Smelled a little coconut, but not much. When I drank it, I had to check that I didn't accidentally drop my glass in the pool. Oddly metallic, with little in the way of body or flavour left me wanting anything resembling beer. It was so inoffensive that I was offended I had paid money for a marketing slogan. I am sure it is refreshing, but so is drinking water out of the hose when you are doing yard work. When you make Bud Light look like a stout, you're doing it wrong.
So for making a product I hope was cooked up by the advertising department and not actual brewers, because why do that to us? And for delivering exactly no "lift" in my drinking experience I award Sleeman Lift my Empty Dot Award of 2015. Well deserved for this weird, tasteless garbage water. Not for me, but really, not for anyone.
I'd say Cheers like I usually do, but I think if you are drinking one of these you shouldn't really be that enthusiastic and maybe need to re-examine your life choices. I know I did when I drank it.
Better days ahead my friends, just avoid this like the plague and all will be well.
Writing about this made me sad.  Sorry you had to read that.
Here's a picture of my cat being cute at Christmas to bring you some joy.


  1. Haven't seen this...won't look for it either! Haha! Cheers!

  2. Haven't seen this...won't look for it either! Haha! Cheers!