Why of course everyone in PNG does. SP is the beer of PNG, sure they've smuggled in some Tiger and you can sometimes see some Aussie beers at Boroko Foodworld and more likely the red-card waving members of the diplomacy will often be spotted with an import or 2 or 3 or 9, but SP is the people's choice. In a country where monopoly rules, SP is one of the finest monopolies around. So let's raise our glasses and proclaim a toast to the people who drink SP. And here they be...
Let's start off with the men and women who work tirelessly at SP to slake my thirst. Here's one here, this guy became a good friend of mine; not because he could brew a decent amber drop but because he was a gentleman, a good bloke, a nice guy and here he was at one of my farewells to PNG relaxing with the tipple of choice: SP Export. And what finer place to enjoy this beverage then the Bluff Inn, halfway up the road to Sogeri, the Bluff Inn would often attract people to stop and rest under the boughs of the majestic Rain Trees and imbibe in some of PNG's finest.
Even Bukans like SP! Here are two of Bougainville's finest young men enjoying a green can or 2 or 3 or 30. These guys stopped to chat with me as one does at 06:30am while I was out walking. I don't think it was an early start to their drinking session but perhaps the tail end of what looks like a Herculean effort. I'm sure these two men were determined to fill the tray with their empties and most likely, they probably have forgotten about the time they met the whiteguy with the camera on that morning. But I have the photo as a keepsake. Cheers!
What can I say, SP goes well with sport, its a marriage made in heaven, here we find the Rabaul Gurias getting their arses well and truly kicked by the Marauding Mendi Muruks in the 2007 edition of the SP Cup Grand Final. The Muruks won the match 44-6 after the Gurias started off so sprightly... Ai ai ai. I was so disappointed when Bemobile took over the Sponsors naming rights for the National Rugby League Comprtition, to me it will always be the SP Cup... that's akin to no longer seeing Somare's face on the K50 note. A sad day indeed.
This little fella is starting off early! Honestly, he was just playing with an empty can, but the son of one of my friends looked like such a seasoned barfly, resting on his esky with green can in hand, that I just had to take his photo. I wonder if the internet will still be around when he grows up and if he'll ever stumble across this shot? Maybe he could leave a comment?
Anyone who is anyone drinks SP. Here are a couple of spent stubbies that were consumed during my last supper in PNG, a dozen of my good friends (including brewery staff) joined me at Moresby's finest Italian restaurant for good food, good beer and good cheer. Besides, like sport, beer goes so very well with good company. Cheers!
I mentioned before that SP is available on the Kokoda Track and that I made a conscious decision to not partake whilst trekking... but afterwards? At Kokoda? Oh yeah! The SP flowed. But on a sober note and no I am not going to start reflecting on the Diggers and what they endured on that ragged bloody track but I heard a rumour that the Asian born, PNG national who operated the Chinese Stoa down by the Madi River was on board the Airlines PNG Twin Otter that crashed into the Owen Stanley Ranges in 2009. I'm saddened by that, he once sold me some Diesel and some SP.
Even Ugly Dolls like SP, and no, I'm not talking about women who have been touched up with the ugly stick, but back in Moresby, at Andersons, they released this range of grumpy sour looking ugly plastic dolls and dressed them up in bilumwear and sold them off as "kids toys"!
Here's one enjoying an SP at Fort Shitscared during a legendary "go pinis" party for some diplomats, and I scored an invite! Anyways, there's a Ugly Doll.
Here's something that I am not sure of. Kind of a case of being damned if you did and damned if you didn't, but say you found a lump of wealth just under the ground and you wanted to move that lump of wealth (let's call it gas) to another location so that you could get the best of that gas and the lump was under lots and lots of people (let's call them Southern Highlanders) and you needed to talk to these people in regards to remuneration and compensation and the possiblity of getting some work, or even not getting some work but at least getting money, then negotiations would be required. Now negotiations won't work where the lump is, because every man and his hunting dog will be there and mob mentality won't work, but lets take a co-op of land owners to another part of PNG for some discussions. The Southern Highlands have often suffered under State of Emergencies and there's kinda a ban on the sale of alcohol in the Province so it seems that it is harder to get an SP up there as it would be elsewhere.
These discussions would take some time and all that talking helps to work up a thirst and I have said it before, SP slakes a thirst like no other. Here we find the average Southern Highlander negotiating a fair deal for his people that he is representing; now that's enough green cans to fill the tray of a Ute from Buka!
Just over half a carton to go for this young fella, and at only 08:00pm, the night is young and this man will do just fine! Drink up, the next round is yours!