It's drinking season, says John Birmingham.
At this time of year, in the first blast of wretched heat, a man’s thoughts turn to drinking of a very particular type. Beer. And in my case, cheap beer.
Having written more cheques to the tax office, with more zeroes on them than Google managed in the last 12 months (seriously, I checked), I’ve developed a keen personal interest in securing my beer supply with minimal call on my poorly named savings account, which is apparently needed to subsidise the tax that wasn’t collected on Google’s $2 billion of Australian profit last. (And Apple’s, and Microsoft’s, and Samsung's and so on. The big miners seem to have paid less mining tax than me too, even though, strictly speaking, I’m not actually a miner and they are).
So, I find myself at the start of the summer drinking season diabolically short of the folding stuff, but possessed of a taste for something more than a $13 sixer of nasty low alcohol pretend beer.
In straightened times of yore, I’ve found the need to economise can lead to unexpected pay offs. The discovery of a great $3 curry in the back streets of Melbourne. A Salvadoran cerveza that delivered half a dozen hits of pure beery goodness for about seven bucks. Alas the curry house, which I’m pretty sure specialised in serving up the pan scrapings of other nearby curry houses, is gone. Damn those health authorities. And I’ll be buggered if I can remember the name of that Salvadoran beer.
I did find a decent German lager on the weekend, Henninger, which being German, vas der awesomme. But still, those insanely profitable multinationals have a lot of tax to avoid, and I don’t know that I can stretch to both covering them and supporting my favourite new brew-meister.
So you’re gonna have to help ol’ JB out here. And don’t anybody even bother typing the words ‘home’ and ‘brewing’ after each other. There’s a burned out shell of a house just off campus at UQ that makes the point about why I should never become involved in such shenanigans with much greater eloquence than I can muster.
To make things a little bit easier, I am willing to trade quantity for quality. A small sup of a really decent brew can satisfy in ways that oceans of astringent cat’s wee-wee passing itself off as beer simply cannot.
So, this year’s beer challenge, should you choose to accept it, is: the best beer for the least money.
I didn’t say it was going to be easy.
The beer is always free* and cold at JB's personal blog, CheeseburgerGothic.com
*Statement may not be true.