Aussies Do Not Drink Fosters
By Ash Jurberg, Australian Native and Beer Connoisseur
Whenever I’m overseas and drinking beer (which is quite often) and people find out I’m Aussie they always ask why I’m not drinking Fosters. I choke on my beer and explain to them that Aussies DO NOT DRINK FOSTERS. I’ve never seen it happen. It doesn’t happen. No true blue dinky di Aussie will ever voluntarily drink a Fosters. If I had been crawling through the desert on hands and knees for a week, severely dehydrated and a Fosters appeared in front of me, I would shake my head and continue on in the hope of another drop.
What is most disappointing about the association between Australian beer and Fosters is that we have so many really great beers here. From the mainstream to the ever evolving micro brews and craft beers there is such a wide range of great beer to try that it is such a shame our beer reputation (or beeruptation in a word I just invented) is often based on Fosters. There is a reason that Australians are in the biggest few countries in beer consumption per capita- we make great beer.
You’ll find that many people are parochial to the beers made in their own state. Victorians are passionate about VB, Carlton and Melbourne, those from New South Wales prefer a Tooheys, and Queenslanders love XXXX (but are not so fond of the joke that they called their beer XXXX because they couldn’t spell beer). South Australians favour Coopers and Tasmanians only go for James Boags or Cascade (depending if they live in the north or south of the island). And these are just the mainstream brands. There are hundreds more to try across this Great Southern Land. The one thing that unites all the states is their love for a beer.
It’s actually ingrained in the Aussie DNA to enjoy a beer. For those with some knowledge of Australian history, you are aware we were settled by convicts from England. They brought plenty of rum with them and it became so popular even young children would become intoxicated by drinking rum. It even became a semi form of currency. To dissuade the population from consuming so much rum, the government encouraged the production and consumption of beer and sent the appropriate ingredients to make this happen. And so, the love of beer began.
The best thing about Australia is the weather is very conductive to having a drop of the amber fluid. With warm weather most of the year round, there are plenty of beer gardens, pubs and bars to sit in the sun and enjoy a beer. And of course the best place for a beer is the great Aussie Barbie. Whenever invited to a BBQ, it is customary to bring enough beer to sustain a football team for a season. A very common term is BYO (Bring your own) and when people say that, they mean- please bring beer- and don’t make it Fosters.