I think most of you must know by now that I love Australia. I live in Brisbane, and I love Brisbane too. Regular readers will also have noticed that I love beer, not lager type beer, but bitter.
Imagine my delight then, when I was doing beer shopping for Christmas, to see a new brew on the shelves called Brisbane Bitter. I’d never seen this beer on sale before, so I picked up a carton of 24 and popped it in the trolley.
I also saw cartons of a beer called “Gold Top” which described itself as a Pale Ale of which I am also a fan, so I popped a carton of those in the trolley as well.
Even though I have lived here for four years, I knew nothing about these beers or why they were being described as “specials” for Christmas.
Later that day…..
Said beers having sufficiently cooled in my fridge….
Being an Englishman, when I think of bitter beers and pale ales, I think of beers like Abbott Ale, Old Speckled Hen, Directors, Ruddles County, Spitfire and my favourite, Greene King IPA.
Now I was about to sample Brisbane Bitter.
I drank two cans; I don’t think I quite believed the first. What can I say? My immediate thought was “OMG, I’ve still got 22 cans to go”.
It’s my own fault, I should have known better. I have long been aware that when Australians say “bitter”, they mean it’s just another lager.
Then I tried the Gold Top Pale Ale, slightly more palatable. Can’t really think of anything more to say, other than it isn’t a pale ale. It’s just another lager.
Today I had my fifth annual pest control treatment and Paul, the guy who has done each and every one of them, noticed my cartons of beer in the spare room as he was going around spraying.
“How d’ya go with that Brisbane Bitter?” he asked.
“Not good is it? Way too sweet for a bitter!” I replied. “What’s the story? I went on.
He then told me the story.
Brisbane Bitter and Gold Top were popular beers in the 70s and early 80s in these parts. They have been released this Christmas as “retro” beers for those who want to relive the good old days.
Looks like I will be reliving the good old days for another 44 cans worth. I can’t chuck them in the bin; it’s against our household policy to throw away alcohol.
So this Christmas, for some of it, I’ll be drinking retro beer. I’ve got quite a few people coming round over the festive season, hopefully I might be able to palm some of it off on them.
I’m not sure I’ll get away with that though. When Paul had finished spraying the house I said “Do you want to take a sixpack of Brisbane Bitter home with you for Christmas, relive the old days?”
“No thanks.” He said.
I think that sums it up, don’t you? Can’t even give it away.
Tell you what though, the advert was a corker! Take a look at this from about 30 odd years ago. They don’t make ’em like this any more……