Posted by: travelrat | March 31, 2008

Aussie Beer


I think one of the first statements I heard when I got home from Australia was:

‘I bet you’re glad to get back to a decent glass of beer!’


Trouble is, many people think that Australians drink ice-cold possum urine and call it beer, but they couldn’t be further from the truth these days. There’s a far greater choice available to the Aussie drinker; it’s far easier to ship beer interstate than it used to be. In Sydney, you can get Coopers, from Adelaide, Little Creatures, from Fremantle, Cascade, from Tasmania, to name but three.

If you know where to look, you can even find imported Guinness, Stella Tortoise, Heineken or whatever your brew of choice … if you’re prepared to pay for it!

Now, I’m not going to stick my neck out and name my favourite Aussie beer, because, like the beer at home, the brand I’ll choose depends on the time of day, the weather, what I’m doing, what I’m eating, who I’m with …

Let’s just say, pick from Cooper’s Pale Ale, Cascade Light, James Squire Amber, Hahn Premium etc., etc.

James Squire! Now, there’s a name! He was an English publican, who had been transported for highway robbery … the Dick Turpin kind, not that practised by modern pub-keepers! Back in the pioneer days, to fill a lamentable deficiency, he produced a wheat beer, because there wasn’t any barley. He’s sometimes said to be the first person to brew beer in Australia, but he wasn’t.

That honour belongs to the Endeavour’s cook. James Cook reasoned, correctly, that beer was better for his crew than rancid water that had been in cask for years. So, he instructed his cook to brew beer, improvising with any plants he could find when his brewing supplies ran out.

That’s the last Australian entry from the ‘Trip Diary’. (Did I hear someone say ‘Thank Goodness’?) We’re off up to Cumbria next, and heading for Spain in about 3 weeks time. My grandchildren are in Rome at the moment … I hope I can persuade one of them to write about their experiences for a future ‘Guest Entry’ slot.


  1. I have two favourite Aussie beers – Cascade Premium and James Boag. Mmmmmmm!

  2. I had some ‘Little Creatures’ beer at the ‘Tasting Australia’ festival a couple of years ago, and regretted wasn’t more widely available. Now, it seems, it isl

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