I have a theory that everything harms the environment (the same way that everything gives you cancer) so if you are going to consume resources you should ensure that you are consuming them for a top quality product.
I have a similar thought on killing animals for food, If Molly the Moo Cow is going to have to die, make sure you make it worthwhile, bathe it with goats fetta and accompany it with truffle oil mashed potatoes, don’t just eat a hot dog.
Now beer is actually not that bad for the environment. Sure it takes 75 litres of water to produce a glass of beer, which sounds like a lot, but it takes 120 litres for a glass of wine, or 140 litres for a cup of coffee and strangely enough, 7 litres to produce a bottle of water.
What is much more important than this is transportation. Beer is heavy, shipping it long distances is undoubtedly bad for the planet. Obviously the shorter distance the beer travels the better, so you should drink local. The fact that the closest brewery to my house is actually CUB in Abbotsford of course makes me a total hypocrite of course.
So what’s got me thinking about this? A visit to Grumpy’s Green on Smith Street in Fitzroy. Being on Smith Street this is a hippy bar. It was entirely staffed by long haired bearded stoned guys (capitalist ideas like working out the correct change seemed beyond them), it is a tad smelly, it has plants all over the place, rainwater tanks on the roof and the menu is made up almost entirely with vegetarian food (and the actual menu is glued into a recycled children’s picture book for some reason that I’m sure makes sense to our stoned brothers).
Surprisingly however they also have a really impressive range of craft beers, all sourced from Victoria so as to reduce their carbon footprint, and all sourced from microbrewers so as to increase flavour.
And this ladies and gentlemen is how I found myself sitting in their beer garden and drinking a brown ale from Jamieson, a brewery a mere 210 kilometres from the bar.
Packaging: I understand that Jamieson (right on the banks of Lake Eildon) is famous for its fishing, and I’m all for embracing localism, but I’m not convinced I want a fish on my beer label. It makes me think it the beer might taste of fish which can’t be good.
Taste: English in its approach, so it tends towards the sweeter end of the taste scale and away from hops. In terms of the taste it is all a little thin and boring until the aftertaste when this powdered cocoa flavour kicks in.
Food Matching: Since we are getting all peace love and mung beans today I can recommend the haloumi and pesto burger from Grumpy’s Green. Animal death-free and all that jazz.
In conclusion: It left me waiting more. It was pleasant enough, but there are better brown ales out there, 2Brother’s Growler and Cavalier’s Brown Ale spring to mind (and they are both more local than this so you know, bonus hippy points for that).
Ranking: I’ll have a Schooner
Six degrees of Norm (where we prove all beers can be linked back to Norm from Cheers in six easy steps):
- The Jamieson Brown ale was served to me by a hippy
- Much like Karen in The Wonder Years, who was played by Olivia d’Abo, was a hippy
- She also played Vincent D’Onofrio’s nemesis in five episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
- And Vincent was in The Newton Boys with Matthew McConaughey
- Who was in EDTV as Ed Pekurny
- And his brother (Ray Pekurny) was played by Woody Harrelson, who of course as Woody Boyd served beer to Norm in Cheers.