Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I just want normal beer

Beer drinking used to be a simple pleasure. It tasted good, it made conversations more interesting and it made those around me appear considerably better looking. When I went to the grog shop my buying choices centred on whether to opt for the regular cheap domestic brew or stump up for some fancy imported stuff. Now I have to decide whether I want my beer low carb, carbon neutral or with a twist of lime.

Clearly adding some weird citrus flavouring to a beer is wrong and deeply unAustralian. If anyone feels like having fruit in their drink, they should get a cocktail waiter to fetch them a daiquiri.

Skinny beer is similarly pathetic. The truth is that if you want to get rid of a beer gut it takes hundreds of hours or vigorous exercise. Sitting on a bar stool drinking some reformulated low carb concoction isn’t going to do the trick, no matter how much it tastes like medicine.

Perhaps the most shameful new addition to the bottle-o cool room is however the carbon neutral beer. Niche marketing at its worst, the eco-beer is targeted at naive people who believe that by displaying their profound environmental concern in alcohol form they will be able to win the affection of some other clueless modern day hippy.

Next time you go to a barbie you can expect to find one of these guileless consumers proudly sipping on their trendy eco-beer. As they turn their tofu sausages they will no doubt blather on about carbon footprints and sustainability, all the while making you feel like an environmental vandal, just because you chose to bring a beer that was created without the use of solar panels. Stay away from them. Who needs a guilt chaser ruining the taste?

It’s difficult for anyone to enjoy a beer any more. Turn on the news and government sponsored boffins warn that if you imbibe more than about four teaspoons full of beer you will suffer severe health damage. Then during the break you will likely be confronted by an ad showing how partaking of the demon drink will lead inexorably to a bar fight, vomit soaked shoes and a DUI conviction.

Apparently I can’t be trusted with my beer any more. When I go to the Cricket Ground and need to quench my thirst, I’ll be offered a foamy mid-strength beer, served in a plastic cup. Obviously they believe I’m going to become unruly and glass someone. Were that my nature I would have joined a rugby league team.

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