Beer review: Lazy Yak is more mild than wild

WHAT comes to mind when you think of a yak, that noble beast of burden found in the Himalayas?

I appreciate this could be construed as a rather odd question on a summer's Saturday morning, but stick with me…

While it may well be the case that the thought of yaks has never crossed your mind, for me, the thought of a yak evokes an image of a really large, hairy and powerful beast plodding up a mountain carrying more than its fair share of cargo.

If this ideal of big hairy potency and load lifting was what attracted you to the Matilda Bay Lazy Yak Pale Ale then, like me, you may feel a little bit let down.

Admittedly, the brewers at Matilda Bay probably got the name from the Yakima hops used to give this and its sister brew Fat Yak their punch, but the yak motif is more than prominent on the label.

There is absolutely nothing much wrong with Lazy Yak. It is just that from the flavour point of view it is more pint-sized and docile dexter than hulking hirsute ox. For the agriculturally challenged out there, a dexter is a miniature breed of cattle about half the size of a hereford.

Don't get me wrong, this is a nice enough beer - both Hugh the neighbour and I used words like "pleasant" and "refreshing" as we were tucking into a couple at one of our regular beer and cheese afternoons.

It is just that there is a generic sameness to many of the beers coming out from what were once independent craft breweries that have been swallowed up by one or other of the giant beer conglomerates.

Matilda Bay was arguably the first West Australian craft brewery of any size. It enjoyed enough success to be bought by Carlton and United Breweries about 25 years ago and now is part of the world brewing giant SAB Miller.

And some of their brews changed the way we looked at what constituted good beer - Alpha Pale Ale, Redback, Beez Neez etc all had a bit of a wow factor. Lazy yak, not so much.

You get some malt and some hops, it holds a head in the glass; as I said before, nothing wrong with it and if you want to try something a little bit different, give it a try. Just don't expect to be transported to a Himalayan high.

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