James Boags Draught

Prologue  I’ve often said you can’t run a pub in Melbourne without Carlton Draught. But some pubs give it a red hot go. One of those pubs is The Golden Gate in South Melbourne.

This is a pub that as I understand it (that’s internet code for this is possibly completely wrong) about 10 year ago was fully owned by Lion Nathan when they had this wacky idea of buying a portfolio of pubs across inner city Melbourne (I hear they were targeting areas where young drinkers drank, like uni bars, to lure young Victorians over to the dark (old) side).

I don’t believe that are owned by Lion Nathan any more, but they seem to still have a tap contract that ties them to the corporate giant that is Lion Nathan National Foods, purveyors of milk, juice, french yoghurt and generally shit beer. – whose corporate slogan/wank is ‘Bringing more sociability and wellbeing to our world – what the fuck does that even mean?

It should be noted that having a ‘Lion Nathan’ rack of taps in Melbourne doesn’t mean you carry any Toohey’s (because no Victorian will drink Toohey’s under any circumstances) what you have is James Squire Amber, James Squire Golden, Hahn White, 5 Seeds (for those cider kiddies out there) and James Boags Draught.

So when you walk into ‘The Gate’ and order a draught, you don’t great the mother’s milk of the southern states, Carlton Draught. Nope you cross Bass straight and head to Launceston and get James Boags Draught.

Packaging:  It came out of a tap, so a standard pot glass. I know that the label is simple, classics, green and red – a no nonsense label for a no nonsense beer.  It even has a horse on it – just like Carlton.

Appearance:  It looks almost exactly like Carlton Draught, it’s golden, clear, has fat bubbles streaming through it, and a pure white head that turns a little wispy after a few minutes.     

Taste:  Quite soft in the mouth, surprisingly full of flavour with some malts coming through, it has a similar sweet aftertaste that Carlton Draught has as well.        

Drinking Location :  So if ‘The Gate’ is tied to Lion Nathan, why do we as Victorians drink there? Well it’s a bit of a tradition that when someone leaves our workplace (and someone leaves about every 4-6 weeks) we all head to ‘The Gate’ and sit outside watching the drunks of South Melbourne.

On Friday it was Jess, ‘Dances with Tassels’ as the native Indians call here. ‘Haughty Ankles’ to the more learned amongst us, but ‘Sexy Dancer’ to most. Another big personality removed for the increasingly grey cubicle farm. Who will dance quietly by herself in the corner at the next function? Who will I make up rumours about? (although I did tell you she was leaving) And you will yell ‘It’s pole dancing for exercise, not stripping’ across the office a 9.12am on a Monday morning.”    

In conclusion:  Not a great beer, but it was a great night, It was easy to drink, very sessionable, and after a couple you forget that it’s not Carlton.    

Ranking:  Let’s have a Schooner     

The Long Bow Youtube Clip:  As a tribute to Jess – ‘Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol’  and I’m resisting the urge to mention Cindy Mancini


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