Brisbane really is the little train that could (as I’m writing this, Flood Event 2013 has shut down our rail lines but stay with me).
We don’t have the internationality and sophistication of Sydney, nor the food or coffee or general European fabulousness of Melbourne. We don’t have delicious wines or a moniker like Radelaide (please, Brisvegas is just sad, and really, comparing us to a desert? We’re built on a flood plain!). Darwin has historical significance from the war. Tasmania has the cheese and potatoes. And Perth has all the Great White Sharks. In other words, Brisbane needs a thing.
And it seems Brisbane has decided that thing is Beer. More specifically, Beer Houses and Distilleries. More specifically, inner-city, pretentious watering holes with an abundance of wood, cane and wicker and light-fittings that look spare but really are expensive works of art (okay, I secretly love them). More specifically, places where men aged 24-37 dressed in plaid, with skinny jeans and an abundance of manicured facial hair can drink beer after beer and pretend to be knowledgeable about the difference between ale and lager. As though it’s a legitimate interest.
In the last six months, as a socially enthusiastic (ok, single) person, I’ve frequented at least four different beer places umpteen number of times. And I did used to live near the XXXX brewery, so I’m not anti-beer. I’m just anti-beer house. Here’s why:
*These places never have strong enough airconditioning. I know global warming is real. And I’m aware that beer houses have many open spaces, bay windows and balcony areas. But please just aircondition the closed-in spaces. Or purchase really big, rustic, vintage-y fans.
*The furniture in these places is just too rustic and vintage-y. Case in point: at local yuppified distillery, two men-friends sat on a rustic vintage-y wicker day bed. It collapsed.
Okay, one of the men-friends was nearly 7 foot tall, but that guy was lean. Okay, he was lean-ish. I mean, he did like a beer (obviously). Look, think about your target market – just get some day beds with a metal underframe.
*Every time I go to one of these places I end up in a six-month relationship with one of, like, three well-known Brisbane drummers. I’m willing to place blame squarely where accountability belongs – the Beer House. And yes – they wear plaid and have manicured facial hair.
*Beer houses make normally mild-mannered Brisbane men think they can chop wood, take down a grizzly and win a fight. During an otherwise pleasant, if sweaty, social occasion at Beer House, some men at the next table engaged in an amusing game of ‘throwing their butter from the butter dish at the nearest person”. Said butter sailed right through the gaping holes in my wicker chair and landed all over my jeans. As someone of Lebanese ethnicity, normally I’d enjoy the opportunity to get fired up. But after two beers and hours in humidity, I couldn’t move as the butter slid gamely down my leg. Not so our men-friends, each of whom stood up and conducted an interrogation of the butter-throwers. You’d think someone had just shot Kennedy again. “From which direction did the butter come?” “Was there a second butter-thrower?” One of the butter-throwers took exception and stood up. Which would have been menacing had he not been incredibly short. From where I was sitting, it looked like two accountants were about to have an argument about tangential mathematics and vector triangles, so I said as much. Luckily the short one backed down. Admittedly he didn’t have far to go.
*They serve wine in water glasses.
So, you’d think I’d stop visiting beer places. And I totally would, but I’ve only dated two of the three drummers. And I just know the other one will turn up at a beer house eventually…