The Best (actually, mediocre) of British

Beer, spent grain cookies and a good book.

In preparation for the new football season I’ve been reading a book entitled ‘The Coach’ which follows the North Melbourne team of 1977 under the reign of the master coach and true VFL/AFL legend Ronald Dale Barassi. I don’t want spoil anything, but those who know a little bit about the 1977 season of the then VFL football will know that the ending is indeed one for the ages.  It’s well worth a read.
What you might not know though is the link to beer. North Melbourne were sponsored in this season by the English brewery, Courage, which at that point were making a (as it turned out ill-fated) push into Australia. Each blue and white stripped jumper was adorned with the red cock of courage (this is turning into a bad episode of ‘Are You Being Served?’) and those on the interchange bench wore natty dressing gowns with ‘North Have Courage’ on the back.
So to prove that football sponsorship generates beer sales, even 35 years after the fact I went out and bought some Courage Director’s to drink whilst reading the book.  If truth be known the book was probably better than the beer. It was very drinkable (the beer not the book), and very British in the sense that it was lightly hopped in the middle, but then ended dry. It was also pleasant enough and refreshing, but in this modern world of high hopped IPA’s and other fancy brews this isn’t really cutting the mustard. Schooner.
Whilst we are in a British state of mind (which is like a New York state of mind, but just colder, a bit more whingy and you have to be careful of geezers) I also broke out one of the classics of British brewing, the Newcastle Brown Ale which is actually more ruby and clear than most brown ales out there. It smelled a little weird, sort of like wet wheat. It tasted of, well very close to not much at all really. It’s refreshing and pleasant, but there isn’t really any sort of distinctive taste coming through at all.
This is the ultimate medium beer, it’s slightly more interesting that your standard British bitter, but it’s not highly hopped or highly malty or very anything much. Another Schooner
Long Bow You Tube Clip:  This isn’t from the Grand Final (or even 1977) but it’s a reasonable spray:


5 thoughts on “The Best (actually, mediocre) of British

  1. Wonderful. Did not know about Courage’s I’ll- fated push. Agree with your views on Newcy Brown. Simply underwhelming.

  2. Its a real shame about the general dullness of english beers we see in bottle shops these days considering how good they can be (I really whould have liked to try Newkie brown when it was supposedly good) If you want to try one that breaks this trend have a go at anything by Meantime, their IPA is excellent, really spicy and true to style, not at all like a west coast hop bomb

  3. And any beer geek worth their salt will make a pilgrimage to the home of Meantime – a fantastic pub in Greenwich where many an hour can disappear (see what I did there with the time pun? Barass would be proud).

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