Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Some good beer blokes
Every now and then you get the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of some very needy and deserving people. And then, on other special occasions, you get to enrich the lives of those less fortunate. Then here are nights like last night where you just get to talk shit and beer with some really good blokes in a restaurant.
John, Rob and Geoff had booked a table for a ‘business meeting’ at the restaurant that I manage. See Beer Dinner post. I think they may have mentioned business a couple of times which will probably justify the expense claim to the desk-jockey over in accounts but, for all intents and purposes, they were having a very good social evening.
Rob is a Queenslander who was down from Queensland, John is a Melbournian who was born in FNQ* and Geoff is a local who is originally from New Zealand. Sounds like the start of a bar joke. And on that count, these boys would have fit right in.
From the start I knew we were in for a good night when Rob asked me to suggest a beer for him. I love this one, where some fear it. I asked him what he usually drank; “Crown Lager”, he offered. “Sorry, I meant what BEER do you normally drink”, I replied. TISH!! BOOM!! He was rapped to hear that we had around 70 beers available but also a little daunted to be jumping out of his mainstream lager comfort zone and into a veritable rainforest of choice.
Geoff was on the light beers as he was driving so the responsibility of getting his mate to drink some new and interesting beers naturally fell to him. A Grand Ridge Brewers Pilsner (a local Gippsland offering from a long standing craft beer survivor) started him on his new journey. We had our first winner.
John and Geoff were throwing suggestions at Rob and he settled on a Hoegaarden wit which I think he was surprised to enjoy as much as he did. We were two from two and Rob wasn’t slowing down. In fact he enjoyed the Hoegaarden so much he had another. Matched nicely with the entree as well. The boys then talked him into a Monteith’s Radler ad they asked me for my opinion. As you know from reading this rabble, I rarely ‘bag’ a beer (Carlton Cold and Corona don’t count – only just beers) but on this occasion I explained to the boys that I couldn’t recommend this one.
I recounted how Monteith’s parent company had recently taken expensive legal action against a small brewer for using the term ‘Radler’. Like you can claim copyright over the German word for cyclist! Bastards!! Undeterred by my moral stand and my repeated warnings of Beer Karma the boys got their beer. And you know what? Beer Karma is a bitch. Each had a sip, turned up their noses, had another sniff of the beer as if to make sure it wasn’t the beer, confirmed it WAS the beer, turned up their noses again, left the beer on the table and asked me to bring them whatever beer I WANTED TO BRING THEM from then on.
A Cascade First Harvest was chased by a Belgian Strawberry beer and three very satisfied guests were the last ones out as the night drew to a close. Some new experiences were had, some lessons learned and beer-friendships made. John made a booking for Saturday night as he left and I suspect I might be seeing more of Geoff as we discovered we share the same little corner of one of Victoria’s nicest holiday regions – holiday houses on adjoining roads, no less.
Another example of the Beer Blokes making the world a better place – one beer at a time!
*FNQ is Queensland shorthand for Far North Queensland. XXXX is Queensland shorthand for beer flavoured fizzy drink.