|Goodbye to Magic Melbourne - Land of VB|
Well, our first taste of Tassie was on the bloody big boat we had to catch to get over there after two days driving to Melbourne. The Spirit of Tasmania, it was called, and it was biiig. We drove our car into its bowels, and immediately sought out one of the many bars on board this beast: the Tiger Bar. Like many things Tasmanian this bar was named after the famous Tassie Tiger, an unfortunate creature that, like the aborigines, mistook some of the white man's sheep as a legitimate food source. As a result, the white man killed them all, with the last dying in 1936.
|Wild Man with two tigers||Wild Man with two beers|
Every year or so, someone reports sighting the beasts on the mainland - generally in the depths of the Tasmanian wilderness. We met the Wild Man above in the Tiger Bar itself, and he claimed to have caught one of two tigers in the photo with his bare hands, and to have cloned the other one with its DNA. Although the number of empties the man had should have triggered alarm bells, it was only when we eventually reached the Cascade Brewery in Hobart that we discovered that the animals - Tigger and Bambi he called them - were in fact very dead.
Anyway, Wild Man had just been retrenched from the local forestry industry - something about the bloody greenies not liking them making ashtrays out of 1000 year old trees - and he asked if he could spend some time showing us around the 'apple isle', as Tassie is also known. Better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick we thought, knowing the importance of local knowledge.
But first things first, "Where's the best beer?", we demanded. Wild Man smiled. Not the sort of crazy smile you would expect, but a soft smile that spoke of many nights past, an amber ale in one hand, a pretty local in the other, and both in front of a slow burning wood fire. "It all depends on where you were brought up", he said, dreamily. "The North is Boags country, that's where I'm from". "There, you can't go past the Draught". "Not the premium stuff we've managed to flog to the mainland though - that's for the uppities". "No, the working man's beer is Draught".
"What about down south?", we queried. "Huh?", he grunted, snapping back into the present. "That's where they sell Cascade - us northerners won't drink it - crook as all buggery". "You can't even get Boags down south", he said with a hint of sorrow. "What??", we exclaimed. "Are you telling us that you can't get Boags - one of Tasmania's two major beers - on tap in Hobart - the capital city two hours drive from the Boags Brewery?".
Wild Man smiled again, this time mischievously. "Welcome to Tasmania", he said.
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