Fat Yak, from the Matilda Bay stable, has been around for a couple of years now. Whilst originally defined as a craft beer, its popularity has increased to the point where it is now seen more and more on tap in pubs, which begs the question of when does a craft beer cease being a craft beer? James Squire also falls into this category. Regardless, it ticks all the boxes for me.
This beer is best described by the slogan on the side of the bottle – “its a big hairy beer, but approachable, like a yak”.
- Big and hairy: It’s bitter aftertaste is strong, and is the successor to its palatable nature when it first hits the tongue
- Approachable, like a yak: I have no experience with yaks, but Wikipedia tells me they are “highly friendly in their nature”, and the mother will “bluff charge to protect their children if they feel threatened”. This friendly nature is perfectly aligned to the beer. It has some lovely aromas rising up from the bottle, and it is sweet on the tongue. Whilst it has a bitter aftertaste, I detected a soft undercurrent which makes it smooth for the drinker and softens the bitterness.
Fat yak has more than likely been used as an obscenity before (“get out of my house, ya fat yak!”), but this beer is no obscenity. From the moment it hits your tongue right until it goes down your throat, it is a very enjoyable experience for the drinker. Fat Yak is a credit to the brewers that they have been able to maintain the quality and popularity of this craft-come-mainstream beer, in spite of the fact that its position at the upper end of the price chain would be off-putting for many.
Drunk: from the bottle