Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Know Your Australian III

Inspector Frank Bumstead: What's that make so far, Husselbeck? Six hookers in all?
Husselbeck: I believe so, sir.
Inspector Frank Bumstead: Give the man an "A" for effort.
”Dark City”

It’s time once again to Know Your Australian. Today I will be dealing with the very important subject of alcoholic consumption of beer.

Beer is very important to Australians, because as a general rule it’s pretty hot here most of the time. And it really doesn’t matter if it isn’t. Most of my North American friends are aware that like the UK, we call our drinking establishments “pubs”. That’s pretty easy, but what about the beer itself?

Each state has a different beer to pride itself on. Most states produce a number of beers, but we’ll just stick to what I associate each state with. Queensland has Castlemaine XXXX (pronounced “Four x”), Tasmania has James Boags which is actually a bit of a premium, New South Wales has Tooheys New, Western Australia has Swan, Victoria has Victoria Bitter and South Australia has piss in a can that they call West End. Please, whatever you do, don’t drink South Australian beer. South Australian’s will go into deep discussion over why their beer is the best, despite the taste proving otherwise to the rest of the country.

Tooheys New and Victoria Bitter (better known as simply VB) are the most popular and available in pubs in every state on tap. Drinking beer at a pub in Australia is most likely to be from the kegs and not by the bottle. Now this is where it gets tricky – every state has a different name for the glasses. A “pot” in Victoria is a “scooner” in New South Wales, and a “scooner” in South Australia is about half that size. Those crazy South Australians, they always know how to screw things up. You’d reckon they could at least get a “pint” right, which is pretty much universal the world over – but no, they have come up with the “Imperial Pint” to go with their “Half-Pint”. They can’t help but be different.

Some pubs just call the glass’ by their size, i.e. 15 oz, 7 oz and so on. Even though we are a metric country, some of the imperial system still lives on.

So what do you do when you are in a pub in Australia and have forgotten what they call the glasses in this particular establishment? You could ask what they are called, but you will more than likely be looked on as an idiot for not knowing all 753 names for beer glasses present in our country. If you ask with a foreign accent, you will be pestered for the next 20 minutes trying to get you to agree that Australia is the best country in the world and better than your home country.

And what if you can’t remember the name of the local beer? What ever you do, don’t ask for Fosters. As above, you will be laughed at and then forced to concur how much our country rocks because it is obvious you must be a tourist. We don’t drink Fosters here in Australia, we only export it.

The answer is, no matter what pub in what city in what state, walk up to the bar confidently and say “two beers, thanks”. Never say one beer, because nobody drinks alone – and even if you do, you’ll find someone friendly enough to share the other one with in no time. Some in-experienced bar tenders will say “Which beer do you want?” – just say the cold ones, and that will suffice. We like to keep things simple when we can.

That will do for Know Your Australian this week. On to the 1st birthday celebrations, I will be holding off for a few weeks past the charity tournament that has been organised and until after the WSOP is finished. I’m looking tentatively to the first weekend in August and the Saturday night is looking like a winner. I haven’t got the site details sorted yet, and thanks to some very in-depth and informative help on the email this should be a great help to yours truly.

On the actual playing front, I have been having some fun in the free rolls again. I placed 20 something in a 400 person free roll for a profit of 21 cents, but I had great fun and that is a welcomed change. As for changed to B&M poker, it will wait until after the tournament if it happens, and I have also been eyeing off some casino tournaments down in Melbourne that look inviting. All depends on how my game is goes from now until then, but I remain optimistic.

For now, I’m just really enjoying the coverage from Card Player magazine and Dr. Pauly of the WSOP. I picked the two Phil’s to win it, and it look slike Ivey is still going strong – but wouldn’t it be amazing if Raymer goes back-to-back? It’s beginning to look very familiar already…

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