This isn’t some CAMRA-esque campaign for organic ales, but a marketing exercise for
Nathan Lion Nathan.
Why should anyone be pleasantly surprised that their beer doesn’t have preservatives in it? For hundreds of years, the basic recipe has been; water, malted grain, hops and yeast. The hops perform a bittering role but also preserve the finished product to a certain extent. If you bottle it into dark and sterile glass you shouldn’t need any other preservatives.
By the way, that’s another tip for you; never drink a beer in a clear bottle; light kills beer almost as quickly as heat and infection. That’s probably one of the main reasons those beers are marketed as tasting better with a slice of lime stuck in the top, just like those sophisticated Mexicn drinkers have it….
Most beers are preservative free. It’s not preservatives that make the beer awful hangover-inducing piss, it’s the fusel oils.
What are fusel oils? They are types of alcohol produced when the mash stage of brewing is undertaken at higher than normal temperatures. The usual mash temperature of 67 degrees centigrade extracts the optimum sugar type from the grain. Above this, more sugar is produced (therefore allowing a stronger beer to be fermented) but with the result that fusel oils are also produced.
Brewers call fusel oil, “fighting alcohol“. There’s a load of it in Bundaberg Rum, for example.
Why would you brew at this higher temperature then?
Cost, obviously; brewing at a higher temperature allows the same volume of alcohol to be produced but in a concentrated form. Lion Nathan’s main commercial beers will be brewed to be a few percentage points higher in alcohol by volume and are then diluted down to the requisite 5% mark. Yes, they water down their beer.
The duty thresholds for beer are 0-3% ABV, 3% to 10% ABV and then anything above 10% (although a 10% ABV beer is unlikely to taste of much else other than rocket fuel). Based on those thresholds, it’s interesting that the vast majority of beers for sale are precisely 5% ABV. Presumably that’s driven by consumer choice and buying behaviour but it tends to suggest people don’t value slightly lower strength beer with richer and more subtle flavours. Who knows?
Anyway,your favourite beers were always preservative free. They’re still shite though.