Anthony Albanese corn ale beer launched in Canberra

Nick Newey (front) and Pat McInerney at their craft beer distillery in St Peters called "Willie the Boatman"
Pic nick ...
Nick Newey (front) and Pat McInerney at their craft beer distillery in St Peters called "Willie the Boatman" Pic nick Moir 24 oct 2014 Photo: NIC MOIR

It's a real "albo-bender", as they say.

Willie the Boatman's Albo Corn Ale Beer, named after Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, had its Canberra launch on Wednesday.

While you might already know what you think of the politician, The Canberra Times has asked its resident beer critic how the brew tasted.

Anthony Albanese holding a bottle of the beer that was named after him.
Anthony Albanese holding a bottle of the beer that was named after him. 

"[It's] a sessionable beer, where you can sit down and knock back a few. Easy to drink, and not bland," Chris Shanahan said.

Where craft beer can be "in your face" with flavour, the brewers have perfected the amount of dry hops – hops added late in the brewing process – in the Albo Ale, Mr Shanahan said.

"When you smell the beer you can just smell that delicate citrus, hop level, but it's just enough to be pleasant, enough to be noticeable.

"It's a seasoning to the beer."

As the name suggests, brewers Pat McInerney and Nick Newey, from Sydney, have included corn along with malted barley in the brewing process.

It's a nod to prohibition era America, where farmers would make beer out of whatever was at hand, since malted barely was restricted.

Corn happened to make quite a nice, drinkable beer that came to be known as American Lager.

"What the corn does … it just sort of lightens it up a bit, gives it a bit of life," Mr Shanahan said.

And since it's only moderately bitter, the Albo Ale will appeal to the masses beyond Mr Albanese's inner west Sydney electorate of Grayndler.

"People who were coming off VB or Carlton United would be able to enjoy it. But it would also appeal to a lot of craft beer drinkers, because it actually has character and interest," Mr Shanahan said.

"It'll appeal to Labor politicians, I don't know if it'll appeal to the other side of the bench."

Mr McInerney says the brewery makes about 1200 litres of Albo Ale a week, and it's "pretty well sold before it's fermented".

"The Albo-factor is a lot bigger than I thought," he said.

"It's a good drop," Anthony Albanese told Fairfax Media at the beer's Sydney launch. "It's in a long neck bottle, which I like. I'm old school."

The Albo Corn Ale Beer launched at King O'Malley's in Civic on Wednesday evening.

It will be sold at King O'Malley's, the Old Canberra Inn and at Plonk.