Beerstitution Volume 19: UGLY DUCKLINGS

Beer ye, Beer ye!
Packaging design invariably influences whether or not we reach for a beer on the shelf. Many breweries have mastered this art — we love you Beau’s, we’ll get back to you next month —, but what of those that have failed: the design-impaired ugly ducklings?

This BRST° theme was different in type: it was first visual. This means that the initial hurdle for each contending beer was the inadequacy of its packaging design. In the end, however, the evaluation was still primarily flavour-based, because, yes, it’s what’s inside that counts. 
Since this theme was not style specific, we considered tasting order according to beverage colour (the blonds, the browns, the rather malty, the hop-heavy, the sweaty gloves and sours, the Belgians), rather than our default alcohol by volume.
So Beerstitutioneers found the ugly, the lame, the passé, the cliché, the botched illegible typography, the lousy print, or just the plain boring labels that contained juice to seduce our palates.
Beerstitution volume 19 — A chance for Fuglies, rejects of Beerstores, to show their quality.
 Bv19-all (1)


The lacklustre labels line-up
LSD — Blanche de blé (brought by Chris S.)
Microbrasserie Goudale
Notes: I would give this design a “C” — wants to be psychedelic but just looks cheap and tacky. Very hoppy bite.
Tasters’ comments: “Grassy, lovely, delicious.”
Label rank: 5 of 6 (1 is ugliest)
BRST° Rating: 3.75/5

Gladiamori — Bière brune (brought by Corey)
Multi-Brasses, Tingwick, QC
Notes: The label is fuzzy, bad, and bad.
Tasters’ comments: “It’s a bort (beer-port), spices. If this was the last thing to drink, I would drink it.”
Label rank: 1 of 6 (our ugliest!)
BRST° Rating: 1.58/5

IPA Lévisiènne — IPA anglaise (brought by Gen Laf)
Le Corsaire, Lévis, QC
Notes: Shameful drop shadow. On peut voir le traversier, le fleuve ainsi que la ville de Lévis — toute ça — sur une étiquette. 
Tasters’ comments: “Liking it, bitterness, less bitter than LSD, pub floor smell, musky-malty, the quintessential IPA.”
Label rank: 3 of 6
BRST° Rating: 3.66/5

Turbo Belge — Tripel IPA (brought by Phil T) 

Brasserie Generale , Quebec, QC
Notes: Label must be designed with MS Paint or Word.
Tasters’ comments: “Boozy, dies fast, very “tripel” but not very “IPA”, meh…, Belgian yeast, honey clover-like, a bit flat, bort‘s neighbour.” 
Label rank: 2 of 6
BRST° Rating: 3/5

La Pince-Sans-Rire — Black IPA (brought by Dave) 

La Voie Maltée, Saguenay, QC
Notes: Clearly designed on PowerPoint by a drunken camel. 
Tasters’ comments: “C’t’un bon breuvage, well balanced, good-complex, roasted coffee, caramel.” 
Label rank: 6 of 6 (least ugly)
BRST° Rating: 3.66/5

La Belle Empoisonneuse — Spiced Beer (brought by Geneva) 

Les Brasseurs du Temps, Gatineau, Quebec
750 ml
Notes: Doux arômes de cacao, de cannelle et de gingembre, une empreinte mordante et piquante.
Tasters’ comments: “Smells spicy, medicinal additive, burns!, I really dislike this beer, mulled wine?, liquid cocaine?, hot ginger, too muck, bleurk, need to eat cheddar cheese to coat your mouth first.”
Label rank: 4 of 6
BRST° Rating: 2/5


Blind taste test
  • Corey — 1. Fail, 2. Success : Lévisienne
  • Geneva —  Success : LSD
  • Phil —  1. Fail, 2. Success : LSD
  • Geneviève — Success : La Pince-Sans-Rire
  • Dave — Success : Gladiamori (aka Bort)
  • Chris — Success : Gladiamori (aka Bort)


Favourite / Surprise / Sessional
  • Corey — LSD / Gladiamori (bas surprise) / LSD
  • Geneva — La Belle Empoisonneuse / Gladiamori (bas surprise) / Lévisiènne
  • Phil — LSD / Gladiamori (bas surprise) / Lévisiènne
  • Geneviève — La Pince-Sans-Rire / La Belle Empoisonneuse / Lévisiènne
  • Dave — LSD / La Belle Empoisonneuse / LSD
  • Chris — La Pince-Sans-Rire / La Belle Empoisonneuse / La Pince-Sans-Rire

The winners

  • Favourite: LSD 
  • Surprise: It’s a tie — Gladiamori (bad surprise) and La Belle Empoisonneuse (spicy surprise)
  • Sessional: Lévisiènne
  • Ugliest label: Gladiamori, hands down.
  • Best BRST° rating or the evening: LSD
  • Overall winner considering theme (ugly labels with best juice): Lévisiènne
Chris S.
That beer guy from Beerstitution

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