Effen – Premium Lager

Late Edit: I’m getting some hits on my site for “what happened to Effen Beer”. Apparently they are rebranding the beer to be “more like Brewdog”. Make of that what you will.


After a short hiatus due to laptop issues, I’m back this week with a review of “effen” beer. Oh what a clever name. Effen is apparently “a truly unique and irreverent name like no other“. Personally I think it’s a rubbish gimmick. Lets see how this one goes down.

The Basics

Brewed in Traralagon, Victoria, this one is the only beer made by these guys. It’s described as on the bottle as “no ordinary lager” and says it’s inspired by traditional European pilsners.

It also makes the rather ambitious claim that they’ve “taken Australian and New Zealand culture and bottled it”. Being a kiwi living in Australia, I figured this would be just what I was looking for.

It comes in at 4.6%.

How does it look?

I’ve crapped on about beer labels before. I think it’s important. Lets face it, Crown Lager is a rubbish beer, but their gold label tricks every Australian male, drinking on a corporate tab, into thinking they are drinking some sort of nectar sent from heaven. That’s the power of the label.

This beer, unfortunately fails miserably in the label department. You don’t bottle NZ/Australian culture with a red and gold American style label.  I feel like I’m looking at baseball team, not a beer.  It may be some sort of ironic joke, but I doubt it. With a name like “effen”, I don’t think they really do irony… so who knows what lays behind the label design, but I do know it’s a bad choice.

In the glass, it’s golden in colour. A little darker than most lagers, with a head that doesn’t sit round too long.

How does it taste?

Bland mostly. You definitely notice the pilsner influence, as it’s very dry on the palate, but that dryness also comes with a bitterness. Not a lovely hoppy bitterness, but more of a lifeless dull one. The aftertaste is just unpleasant. It’s not crisp, it’s not tasty, it’s not clean. As I sat on my balcony with a crispy bacon sandwich on a hot day, I was dying for a crisp refreshing lager, but it’s definitely not what I got.

When should I drink it?

You probably shouldn’t. I’ve been trying to come up with a good time or place to at least give this one a good go; but I got nothing. It’s too bitter for a scorching hot aussie day, and it’s not sturdy enough for a kiwi winter. Maybe if there is a free one on offer then it might become a good time to drink it, otherwise, don’t bother.


Disappointed. I really don’t like anything about this beer. The stupid name, the bizarre choice of label and the uninteresting flavours really leave me nothing to say. It did win an award in 2009, so somebody must like it. I, however, do not.

I rate it; 1 Anzac spirit.

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