As the clock struck midnight I was likewise struck by the warm inner glow that I was surrounded by family and friends on a warm Melbourne evening feeling happy and glad. The food had all gone down a treat, the kids were all having a hoot and, most importantly, the Beer Blokes First Lager had been given the harshest critics’ approval.
To be fair, our mates had not yet been fed when they tried the beer. Maybe there was a nervous undercurrent of doubt ensuring a favourable response. “If I bag this stuff I might get a burnt chop ” kind of thing.
And here is something that always makes me smile. Jimson, the comedian used to talk about it, too. A peculiarly Australian thing is the reverse comment, or negative appraisal. If someone asks, “How’s the weather ?”, the reply would follow … “ Orh, it’s not pissing down.”., or, “ did you blokes win ?”. “We didn’t get pumped.” You can always be assured of what it’s NOT, but not necessarily what it IS. And so the most welcome and quintessentially Australian compliment from a mate upon tasting your homebrew is, “That’s not bad.” And that’s exactly what we got. And that’s not bad.
The brew was actually released to the public, as it were, in two separate locations with two different sets of anxious and well educated beer critics. The first group, at Prof. Pilsner’s place were impressed with the quality for a first up effort. Some had bad homebrew experiences in the past, which may have helped us. But thanks to Billy, John and Sed for their encouragement.
Over at Dr Lagers’ bash the critics were ready and willing and, by all accounts, quite prepared to shoot us down. But, in the end, the beer prevailed and the critics gladly drank their words. Thanks to Liam. Kizza, Harro and Sean for being gentle with us. The boys even came up with a marketing slogan. Beer Blokes Lager - It’s Not Offensive!
On with the next brew, I says.