Saturday, May 29, 2010

SP Lager

The compact shape of the SP "stubby" is noticeable... many years ago in Australia a well known brewery changed its beer bottle size from 375ml to 335ml and then ran an advert in the paper saying how this was due to "Public Demand".  What a crock!  Public Demand would never call for a downsizing of beer.  Ever!  So when I got off the plane at Jackson's and headed to the Balus Bar at Airways for a cleansing ale, I noted the fact that SP is in a 335ml "hand-grenade".  Oh well, when in Rome...

One time I was in Popondetta and there was a ban on the sale of all alcohol due to states of emergency and local elections so the whole Town was just hanging out for a bevvie or twelve, and then!  The ban was lifted and it was on for young an old; empty SP bottles were being discarded from the windows of Police Vehicles on Main St with great vigour and the local Politicians were getting drunker and drunker at the Lamington Hotel that I had to seek refuge inside the dining room of the Hotel for some peace and solitude.  No-one else was eating as the whole of Popondetta was on a liquid diet that day, so I found my spot, ordered a steak and sipped on some cool cool SP.  See photo above.

Some time later after a few SPs had passed under the bridge, I noticed that SP had decided to sell their Export Beer no longer in a clear bottle but in the smarter green stubby... Looked flash.  I can recall talking to a SP Brewer about how I didn't opt for the clear bottle in certain drinking establishments because of the UV lights in the fridge causing the beer to age prematurely... I wonder if I influenced the decision to go green?  Surely not?

But the green stubby looked pretty flash in my beer fridge which remained clear of wasteful food scraps and old jars of whatever.  A beer fridge is for beer, and gin occasionally and the tonic that goes with it... but only occasionally.  So here's my beer fridge:

Also, one time I walked from Mt Wilhelm down to Madang... great stuff, just walking down the hills, chatting to the locals, enjoying a tea at one of the many kopi haus and not getting an SP.  Needless to say, after a few days in the wilderness, the first port of call at Madang was the Madang Lodge, but an SP and enjoy watching the sun set over the water.  I'm almost back there now... see photo:

I love the way you can see the Palm Tree shadow in the bottle.... classic!

And now, oh yes, I mentioned it before; SP is available in Australia.  Here is a photo of it taken in my backyard; I have Sogeri Grass in my yard and this photo shows SP being right at home.  Good times.... good times.

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....