Drinking in Australia is expensive, over the years alcohol prices keep increasing. Some pubs are charging close to $17 for a pint of ale, an average night out hits the bank balance hard. We are all guilty of the pre-drink, heck we are the binge-drinking nation, even as we slowly hit our 30s the afternoon/night starts with a few drinks at someone’s residence, which cuts the cost of becoming bankrupt on a night out. Skimming Dan Murphy’s for their most cost-effective ale, my eyes caught Sail & Anchor. With my membership card (worth more than my credit card), I notice a six-pack is almost half price. This is fate, I know what I like and stick to my guns but when I’m saving a dollar or two, my morals fly out the window. I buy the beer.
The history of this beer starts in 1984 when Phil Sexton led a team of keen and enthusiastic beer lovers to establish a rather neglected public house in which to brew their beer. While the pub Sail & Anchor still exists, the on-site brewery, unfortunately, does not. Since 2010 the ALH (Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group, a part of Woolworths) bought and closed down the brewing operations at the Sail & Anchor. While the ALH promised the reintroduction of small, local and independent breweries taking the reins, this is yet to happen.
This ale prides itself on being an American style IPA. From the smell, there is a fruity aroma, but it is short-lived. Looking at the design of the bottle, the main theme is green. Are the graphics eye-catching? Not really. I wouldn’t have found this ale based on it catching my eye. It was on sale in the liquor store. Simplicity works best and for Sail and Anchor, they have done just that, using the old generic anchor. The logo is simple and fits with the brand name.
This beer sits at 4.2%, typical for your average Australian ale. There is a plus to this ale, it's a great session beer for long days in the sun, it doesn’t leave you bloated, which is always a winner! Price-wise it is pretty reasonable, although I bought a six-pack on sale at $12, the usual price is usually around $20. Sail & Anchor is certainly a cheaper option than ales such as Wild Yak. A box of 24 x 330ml bottles will cost you around $42, which is decent given Australian liquor prices.
Sail & Anchor, is it the best beer? Not really. Is it affordable? Absolutely. Do not mistake this for the shaming of both the brand and ale, it's good but just not the best. Although it holds some flavour, it's not enough to make me a regular consumer. The price was a highlight, think of it as the cheaper version to Fat Yak. This ale is perfect as a session beer in terms of strength, without breaking the bank. If you are more worried about taste/experience, I would probably hunt for something else.
Overall rating 5/10