I’ll give Victoria Bitter one thing. Working out in the sun all day really does necessitate a big cold beer. Whether or not the best cold beer is Vic is very much open to discussion (it isn’t) but regardless, the point still stands.
Last year I had the pleasure of accompanying my wonderful wife on her archaeological dig to a very small town on the coast of central Queensland. Yeah I know, that is pretty cool. However, even being married to an archaeologist didn’t really prepare me for what was in store.
Contrary to popular belief, actual archaeology does not generally involve adrenaline-fuelled flights through flaming catacombs, speedboat chases, young Chinese sidekicks or killing Nazis.
My archaeology field experience consisted mostly of fucking up measurements, tying pieces of string to tent pegs, picking up thousands of pieces of broken glass, washing said thousands of pieces of broken glass, complaining, making sandwiches, stealing water, complaining, scraping dirt, sifting dirt, making fun of people and drinking beer.
Up until that point in my life I have managed to consistently avoid any particularly large amounts of manual labour or just outside work in general, aside from those few days doing labouring jobs for my Dad which I hated every single second of (sorry Dad). But my short stint as an archaeologist has given me an appreciation for beer that could not have been provided any other way.
At the end of the day we would all pile into a convoy of economical four cylinder cars and make the short trip back to the pub where we were staying. This pub is typical of every small pub in Queensland and probably Australia. Quiet, eerie - verging on completely terrifying - and blessed with no more than 3 or 4 beer taps. Within minutes of arriving you would almost unconsciously find yourself at the bar and with no more than a nod or a show of fingers, the heavily bearded Man behind the bar would produce the coldest schooner of XXXX Bitter you have ever tasted. And fuck me with a pineapple if it wasn’t the most delicious thing I had ever experienced.
Later on in the evening after I had showered the grime of the day away and sat down to eat one of a series of various crumbed meats, I would have loved to have had a couple of beers with a bit more substance, but craft beer is still yet to darken the doorstep in regional Queensland.
It does make me wonder if the icy cold lager after a long hot day in the sun effect (ICLAALHDITSE for short), is a major contributing factor to why bland lagers are so ubiquitous throughout Australia?
I’m sure there must be other beers styles that would be greater or equally as enjoyable in the circumstances. But given I have no plans to toil under the harsh Queensland sun in the foreseeable future I may never know.
Now, where’s my whip?