It's a damning indictment of the state of Irish beer that our largest independent brewer, owner of a chain of pubs which does not stock the vapid products of Ireland's macrobrewers, has always had a Bud clone in its repertoire. Because it has to. (Ireland's Bud, for the record, is brewed by Diageo down at the old Smithwick's plant in Kilkenny.)
I'm sure I tried this Chiller way back when the Porterhouse (or The Porter House, as it was then) first opened the doors of its Temple Bar brewpub. Recently, however, after years of tireless beer education I've become curious about it. How accurate a rendition is it? How do you make a tasty, hand-made beer that trades on its tastelessness?
Today I gave in and had my first Chiller in eleven years. Believe it or not, it really does take the worthwhile elements from pale American cooking lager and put them in a proper beer. It's very dry, but in a refreshing way, almost like my old friend Fischer. The mouthfeel has a stimulating sparkle to it which leads to criticism number one: the gassiness. I can't imagine drinking very much of this without becoming bloatis in extremis. Perhaps the reason the Porterhouse is so fond of ear-splitting skiddley-eye music is that it covers the belches of the Chiller drinkers.
More problematic was the chemical aftertaste that came with it, a bit like disinfectant. Could have been a bad glass or stale beer, but I sincerely hope it's not supposed to be there. I'll confirm this on my next tasting in 2018.
Michael Jackson, inspiration, RIP.