Judging a Beer by Its Label

These days we can thank the various demons of fate that we have more beer choice available to us than in any other time in history. The world is practically awash with flavorsome, malty, golden deliciousness, so much so that I weep knowing that I may never be able to drink them all, and even if I did it would mean my glorious, bloated death.

But with choice comes anxiety. In the pubs and bars of earlier days there was one, maybe two, brands of lager available, and you could be content that the outcome would be either refreshingly predictable, or predictably refreshing. Now, with so many varieties of ale on offer, it is not uncommon for a drinker to simply pick the beer with the coolest label.

Not very sophisticated, I know, but the alternative is a level of reading and research normally associated with education, which is the polar opposite of beer, and every second wasted reading the hop value or malt rating on a beer is a second you could be dancing around your kitchen listening to Rush.

I submit to you, dear Man Caver, that we should subject our beer choosing regime to the same criteria in which we choose ’80s metal albums and erotic literature– purely on the merits of its cover art. I picked the following nine beers based on their awesome labels, but did the beer itself live up to the label?

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