You will probably know about, even if you did not see, the close first test of this year’s Ashes series. Just incase though, it was a very close thing in the end with England just scraping victory. This got me thinking: I wonder what would happen if these two great nations were to fight the Ashes with beer and not cricket? Who would be the winner then? That is why for every test match during the coming Ashes series I am going to try two beers which I have never had before, one Australian and one English. To try and make it fair I have picked beers which are a similar style and are of similar price (where I couldn’t find exactly the same price I gave Australia the price advantage to counterbalance the advantage of the umpire (me) being overbearingly English).

For the first test I had pale ales. Batting for Australia was Little Creature’s Pale Ale and bowling against it was Nottingham breweries Extra Pale Ale (both £2.59 from Beers of Europe). The Little creatures was a great beer, it was hoppy, a real treat with great lemongrass notes to it. A sweetness like jellytots and with only the faintest maltiness which lingered long after. On the other hand the Nottingham  was much more piney and resinous, and way to carbonated for my tastes. At times it almost tasted more akin to a lager than a pale ale. Goes to show you can’t judge a beer by its label.

The Beer Ashes - First Test. Little Creature's Pale Ale vs. Nottingham's Extra Pale Ale

The Beer Ashes – First Test. Little Creature’s Pale Ale vs. Nottingham’s Extra Pale Ale

I must be honest with this, and so I shall be. I am ashamed to say that unlike the real ashes which took place in Nottingham over the weekend, the beer Ashes go one up to Australia. Had these beers gone up to bat the Nottingham would have been lucky to get a run, whereas the Little Creature’s would have knocked it to the boundary for four.