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Time for a beer? I’ll get the crochet stuff. Ale’s gone all… crafty

I’ve been attending barbecues since I left the womb, so I have considerable experience in the field. The early ones were probably attended in a pram, but there’s a second period of barbecue attendance that’s also pretty blurry between the ages of eighteen to, oh, now, but I still pick up enough details in the early hours to know what’s going on.

I’ve seen a change in men’s barbecue behaviour over the years. In the 70s everyone had a glass that had been filled from a long neck, a tallie or a king brown depending on what state you came from, and the contents were all the same. If you were from Victoria you had VB or Carlton Draught, Queenslanders consumed XXXX, New South Welshmen New and so on. The 80s and 90s saw little change except that the glasses turned to stubbies and there was less oil in the blokes’ hair.

Around the 2000s the big changes happened; half the guys were drinking a glass of wine and the stubbies were mixed, with myriad new brands available. People were drinking light, mid-strength and heavy beers and if you cracked the top on a VB in Brisbane you no longer had to hear “wadda ya drinkin that for ya Mexican?”. The options seemed endless. It was an enjoyable time to be at a barbie with your mates until the entrance after that era of the “craft beer”.

Pre-craft beer, you could simply reach into your esky, pull out a can, pick the scab off it, take a good chug and allow this sound to exit your cake hole: “ahhhhh”. Simple, eh? How things can change so quickly – enter the craft beer culture.

Now the gaggle of axeless lumberjacks complete with man buns assemble to feast on lentil and kale burgers on gluten-free buns. On removing his ‘growlers and squealers’ (air-tight vessels you have filled with your favourite craft beer at the bar), he announces, “Thought I’d bring a refreshing ale, it’s dank”. His mate will come back with “Thought you were a lager man?”, “Na, decided on something with a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) but with a dank IBU (international bitterness units). I simply adore its aroma, body, mouthfeel and finish”. He then pours it into a glass, takes a sip and tells his mate not to burn the quinoa burgers.

I was watching this the other day at a barbie when one of the new breed of beer heads came over with a craft beer that wasn’t a twist top to see if I could open it with a lighter. My mate grabbed it, said “I got this”, removed his thong and opened the bottle with the opener moulded into the heel and I thought, “Wow, haven’t we come a long way” as I cracked another can of XXXX to celebrate.

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