Are Aussies the only ones who drink beer properly?

IN 1988 I had the good fortune to go on a Rotary Group Study Exchange which is a cultural and business exchange program between Rotary districts around the world.

There were six of us who went from Central Queensland to a district that covered the Niagara Falls region of western New York State in the US and southern Ontario in Canada.

For six weeks we toured businesses, schools, hospitals and tourism sites, all while staying in the homes of Rotarians.

One of the things that sticks in my mind is our host's approach to entertaining Australians.

"We know you Aussies love your beer, so we got some in especially for you" was the rule rather than the exception in many places we visited, the only problem being the beers tended to be left on a table rather than a tub of ice.

The beers we enjoyed most were Molson, Labatts, Moosehead and other major labels from both sides of the border - craft brewing was not really around in 1988.

Imagine then my surprise, when what should turn up in my local beer supermarket but Molson Canadian Lager - one of the favs from all those years ago.

Hugh The Neighbour and I sat down to a cold half-dozen the other week, HTN manfully swallowing the beer while I regaled him with stories of the trip.

(You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle adversity - when listening to what my wife calls "endless reminiscing from when I had hair", HTN expressed astonishment in all the right places while trying ever so gently to get the conversation back on the beer - in other words a perfect gentleman).

Made without preservatives and from prairie barley, it is crisp and refreshing, and a good example of a premium lager.

You can get a bit of malt in the mouth - certainly nothing offensive - and it would be a good full strength beer to enjoy on a hot day watching sport.

Palates change over time, and the Molson, like many lagers from macro brewers, didn't have a complexity that would bring me back.

Still wouldn't want to stand by and see it get hot, mind….

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