Tastin' With The Tramps: Mongoose, Aboot The Hoose!

The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their now-outdated title of Curry Lovers Of The Year 2010. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps. What curry-related product is in the hot seat this time? It's relatively-recently-launched, spicy-food-friendly lager Mongoose Premium Beer!

(Click here to chase the Mongoose ...)

The Product: As if Cobra didn't have enough on their plate battling Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Roadblock and the rest of G.I. Joe, they now face a new rival: Mongoose. Launched in 2010, this upstart brand seems keen to grab some of the lucrative curryhouse market, a sector currently staked out by Cobra, long-time TATTGOC supporters Kingfisher and, to a lesser extent, Lal Toofan. The rivalry with Cobra goes beyond mere marketing huffin' and puffin' – a Brewers' Guardian article goes into some detail about the be-coiled history between the two brands.

(For another take, here's the National Geographic Channel on Cobra vs. Mongoose. Rudyard Kipling would be proud, apparently.)

The Pitch: From the Wells And Young website: Available in bottles and on draught, Mongoose Premium Beer is a 5.0% ABV lager brewed with Hallertau and Hersbrucker hops. And like all Wells And Young's beers, Mongoose is brewed with accredited natural mineral water from the brewery's very own well. Its exceptional smoothness and soft carbonation make it the perfect match for Indian food. In a blind taste test, over 50% of consumers preferred Mongoose over its competitors ... Who could they mean?

The Packaging: With its distinctive red livery and traditional Indian font, Mongoose seems calibrated to appeal to curry consumers. The depiction of an actual mongoose on the label at first seems like a comparethemarket.com-esque appeal to fluffy cuteness – simples! – until you spot the dead cobra in its gob. What on Earth could that symbolise?

The Process: The Tramps have had their eye on these guys ever since the Scottish Curry Awards 2011, when the hard-fought category of Curry Lover of the Year was actually sponsored by Mongoose (there were also bottles on all the tables). Once that night's vengeful dust had settled, the Tramps reached out to the company through their Facebook group to drop some hints about sampling the beer – and a crate of Mongoose turned up at TATTGOC Towers THE VERY SAME DAY. That's service ...

And so it came to pass that almost the entire Curry Club got the chance to try a bottle of Mongoose, ahead of TATTGOC's recent visit to the mighty Cafe Serena. So how did it all go down?

Trampy says: "I CAN'T BELIEVE I WORE THE SAME SHIRT THREE POSTS IN A ROW. Also, Mongoose was nice and refreshing in a bottle ... but draft will be the true test. So, y'know, if you wanna send us a keg ..."

The Tramp says: "Small, furry and vicious ... three words that accurately sum up the playing style of TATTGOC legend and tearaway ne'er-do-well Rabbie Shankar on the five-a-side field. They also could be used to describe the Mongoose – an animal famed for being fierce enough to take on the mighty Cobra. For my money they have to get massive respect for being so bold in the first place so they're off to a good start. The packaging and branded glasses certainly pack a punch and the beer doesn't disappoint either – I'd certainly be more than happy to order a pint or two of Mongoose to go with my curry. Having only tasted it in bottled form I'm keen to see how it performs on draft. Two thumbs up from The Tramp."

The Verdict: There was a general cheer of approval for Mongoose from the 10 or so Curry Clubbers present, but then they've never turned their nose up at free booze. Everyone was tickled by the combative Cobra stance, however, so perhaps Mongoose can leverage their current underdog status into a workable business model. Some TV advertising featuring cute furry mongooses – possibly not tearing the throat out of a cobra in a shower of blood – would be the next logical step ... 

Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from appropriate enthusiasts might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at trampyandthetramp@trampyandthetramp.com and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!

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