beer notes # 34

961 Red Ale Lebanon 5.5%

961 Traditional Lager Lebanon 5.2%

Is this is what I have become – the sort of person who stalks beer delivery men?

Thanks to the tragic amounts of research previously mentioned, 961 – a microbrewery named, I think, after the country code for Lebanon – was earmarked as a priority beverage target. I should have known better than to trust their hip yet remarkably uninformative website; after two hours of combing the street in the blazing sun, the target (in the form of the brewery’s eponymous bar) remained at large.

This isn’t the first time we have endured the elements in search of a Dodd folly, so I remained only slightly deterred. Meanwhile, we adopted a local cafe, Bread Republic, as our HQ and it was here that I noticed a stubbie of the elusive brew in the fridge. An unusually competent waitress informed me that while the bar had closed due to its financially premature opening, the brewery was still battling on albeit with supply issues due to a recent relocation of their brewing operations. Encouraged – not that I needed it – by this information, I ordered said stubbie of 961 Traditional Lager and it was a few days later that I chased the beer delivery man down the street as I saw him lugging a carton of Red Ale into a nearby corner store.

In somewhat of an anticlimax, this beer actually caused me to plunge into a sort of existential beer crisis, realising that it had been so long since I’d sampled a decent beer that I was now having trouble identifying one, no longer able to distinguish between “good” and “trying too hard.” I think the Traditional Lager falls into the latter category – funky citrus and yeast, it’s anything but an industrially produced larger, just a pity it’s not much chop. The Red Ale is more successful, a straight amber ale with nice hops and simple structure.


4 Responses to “beer notes # 34”

  1. Beno Says:

    Elements of chuck Hahn-ism here: innoffensive lager and amber. What’s next? A lebon porter?

    Ps 60 beers for ink.

  2. Naomi Says:

    poor things. I’m just back from NZ, awesome beers there, maybe you should just head back to the antipodes!!

  3. 961 Beer Says:

    I would love to offer you a fresh Lager as the batch you tasted was produced before we moved and left in bad storage by our distributor. We have recalled what we could find but some bottles are still out there. Our new filling line goes online soon so you will find a regular supply very soon. And guess what? Yes we will release a porter too. Let me know if you would like a visit to our brewery. Glad you liked our Red Ale, hope to have you try our Lager again.

  4. beyondbagot Says:

    Thanks so much for your comment – it always shocks me a little to see that anyone is reading my beer blogging, let alone the actual producer!! Thanks for the update on the goings on at 961.

    I really loved my time in Lebanon, I’m sure I’ll be back in the next couple of years. The promise of a porter might just hurry me along too!

    Thanks again, best of luck for the future.



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