Saturday, May 1, 2010

South Pacific Lager

The photo in my last post about Kokoda and the lads sitting in front of Andrew's Stoa eating cucumbers is a fine segue onto my next post, and this one is all about Beer and the PNG fineart of Hospitality. You see the other day I was perusing my local beer merchants fine warehouse of alcohol and I noticed a very familiar beer on the shelves and it was one I had not tasted for some time but knew very intimately.

Well I just had to make a purchase.

But then I got to thinking about all the great times that SP had been with me over the years, all the laughs, all the tears, the good times... the good times. SP is a critical part of PNG culture and its dynamics; I'm sure those people who visit PNG and don't drink beer, miss out on something.

But lets talk about the beer itself... it's a hoppy beer and quite bitter, it does hint of its parent beer in Heineken especially the Export. Niugini Ice is pretty ordinary though, sweet and strong and designed for the PNG Nightclub market, Ice is pretty forgettable. But who could forget the Stout with Father Christmas on the label?

SP lager, has to be served cold, not room temperature nor "I have just turned the fridge on temperature" and some merchants got the temperature right when others failed.

The tale continues....


Walt said...

Nice article about one of my favourite topics, thanks. I guess the new label is more "modern" but it seems kind of generic ... I prefer the bird of paradise. I haven't been able to find SP in Canada but maybe it will show up eventually. I'm surprised to hear that it's hoppy ... it seems that most tropical beers I've tried are more like Corona in flavour.

Steve Bennett said...

Oh Dear, Corona is a bad tasting beer; even the Mexicans don't drink it... It is strange having such a European style Lager available in the Pacific, and I'm glad its available in Australia now!


Ali said...

Corona! No Way!

SP is a nice beer and yes it is pleasantly HOPPY. We are very "Hoppy" that it tastes alot like our Queensland XXXX. We love the standard old SP very much!
SP Export is nowhere near as good, but still very drinkable indeed.
I love the way it is one of the first big bill boards that you see when you step out of the Jackson Airport International Airport...
Ahhhh, yes, bring on an extra cold, freezing.... SP....please.
We can buy it here in SE Qld, but it is quite expensive... I always look forward to my first SP when I'm Paradise bound.
We also like SOL BREW. (Solomon Island Beer.) Anybody else?

Steve Bennett said...

Ali, I think SP is better than XXXX, there is a depth of flavour in the PNG gear that is lacking in the very generic XXXX.

I haven't tried SOL, but I think my local brew vendor does have some in stock. Might have to do a taste test and get back to you.

I agree, I do like the introduction to PNG with the Huge SP advertisement at Jacksons.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Aussies became alcoholics on SP during the colonial days, so it must be OK. It had to compete against XXXX, VB, and Fosters in the clubs of old ... hmmm ... seems the Aviat club is still going! It certainly beats Fiji Bitter, Vailima (Samoa) and Guano Larger (Willis Is.)