Crass Beer to Craft Beer?

We saw these Klip tea brewers online and wanted to know if you could take a standard low flavour lager (Fosters fitted the bill nicely) and transform it into something drinkable by infusing flavour into the beer using a tea brewer.

We filled one with Nelson Sauvin hops, one with Papaya and Hibiscus and one with Oak Chips and Rowanberries; then poured the beer slowly into the glass through the infuser and left to stand for 3mins. Tasting against the standard Fosters all 3 showed a definite improvement and took on subtle flavours through the infuser that added depth and complexity to the beer.

The hopped version showed the smallest improvement, with improved aroma and a slight bitterness to the beer; whilst the strongest flavours came through from the papaya and hibiscus giving it a super refreshing tropical fruit finish that made it really drinkable. The oaked lager was also really interesting, although not a beer style usually associated with oak the taste was definitely evident giving the beer some depth and character to the aftertaste, the colour pick up in this beer was also impressive.

Although the flavours were gentle, and pouring a Fosters through one of these is never going to turn it into a Pliny the Elder, it’s a definite improvement. It’s Homebrewing at the simplest level, a real quick and easy way to experiment with flavour in beers and a good introduction to someone who is used to drinking innocuous lagers to show that beer tastes better with flavour. What unusual flavoured lagers have you brewed/tried and how did they fare?

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