Sadly, for much of the wasteland that is suburban Australia, the only local pub is going to be owned by a supermarket conglomerate. Replete with pokie rooms, kids play areas, keno, drive through bottle-os, Tapout t-shirts and in some places a half decent steakhouse.
When it comes to having a drink a supermarket pub, you’ll be pretty safe in assuming you’ll have your pick of industrial lager and a private label only wine list. This is partly the reason I was so surprised when I sat down to jam some grilled bovine flesh into my guts at a Woolworths pub last week and saw this on the menu:
“Perfectly matched with a cold Pale Ale”
“Try a cold Golden Ale to top off our American inspired rib sauce”
Although I had absolutely no intention of doing either of those things it immediately raised my now very well exercised hackles. Especially when I went to order some beers at the bar and found 18 taps pouring a total of 14 different lagers of various alcohol strengths and carb levels, two pouring ciders, one pouring Canadian Club and dry premix (…) and finally one pouring Coopers Pale Ale. In addition, the bottled beers consisted almost entirely of beers they already had on tap, a few more lagers and Toohey’s Old.
This of course begs the question, why the actual fuck would you put beer style recommendations on a food menu if you aren’t actually going to stock any fucking beers in those styles? WHY DAMMIT? You’ve literally got several different pale and golden ales stocked in the drive-through approximately 20 fucking metres away! It’s like saying “this New Zealand Sauv Blanc would pair perfectly with grilled barramundi” and then have a menu that consists of 12 slightly different crumbed cod dishes.
Not to mention the fact that that any one of those 14 lagers would go just as well with a chicken parmigiana as a Coopers Pale and golden ale is close to the worst style of beer you could recommend for a rack of fatty, sweet pork ribs.
Clearly, their customer base loves nothing more than smashing icy cold schooners of lager and Canadian Club and dry premix (…). If enough customers demanded something else, I’m sure they would supply it. So again I ask the question, why bother with the recommendations?
To me, it reeks of a business trying to sound slightly fancier than it actually is. They are hoping the punters might pause briefly after reading one of these recommendations, raise their eyebrows and exclaim “Crikey a golden ale hey? Sounds a bit like those swish joints in the city.” Before knocking back another schooey of Gold and yelling at Jaydyn to stop licking the bloody window.