The Stadium With Decent Beer

Fresh from boasting about Melbourne’s official title as The World’s Best Sporting City, the Victorian Government has begun negotiations over the naming rights of the city’s new $267m rectangular stadium.

One of the negotiating parties is the home building firm Metricon.  Why not the company that actually built it, Grocon? Or better still a construction company without ‘con’ in its name.

Tourism Victoria, being very eager to clarify the location of the stadium for tourists and locals, has been discussing five possible names:-

1) That Rectangular Thing Next To The Lexus Centre (“The what?”)

2) You Know, Across From Hisense Arena (“Huh?”)

3) Alright, Do You Know Gosch’s Paddock? (“No”)

4) Edwin Flack Field?  (“Um”)

5) Just Forget It Will You

A name is just a name but I’m hoping the new place will be called The Stadium With Decent Beer. Because what  really matters, besides comfort, atmosphere, and viewing quality, is the availability of good beer.

Please please Mr Brumby don’t give the pourage rights to the Foster’s Group, pretty please!

Fosters, promoting its midstrength version VB GOLD,  is trumpeting the fact that midstrength beer is the second fastest growing ,and second largest, beer segment. But that’s only because they’ve been dumping endless loads of the tasteless stuff at RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) venues such as the MCG and Etihad Stadium where patrons wait in line to have their egg cartons filled with plastic cups of the watery dross.

For Melbourne Storm games at Olympic Park (too 1956 for Fosters) Lion Nathan had the pourage rights and there was full strength Tooheys Red (yes, I know) and Heineken. Now, I  have to be careful admitting a preference for Heineken over a local favourite. Remember young Jeffrey Beaumont and the psychotic Frank in Blue Velvet:-

FRANK: “What kind of beer do you like?”

JEFFREY: (whispering) “Heineken” 


Young Jeffrey was bashed and came to in a timber yard.

What a dreadful waste of the new venue’s 16 bars if the only beer available will be a diluted one. Even if the stadium has a  more liberal approach to the RSA and allows full strength beer Foster’s would offer VB, Carlton Draught, and possibly Crown Lager for the corporate set; all of them tainted with that CUB metallic bitterness (thanks, apparently, to the “iconic” Pride of Ringwood hops).

Or, God forbid , Carlton Cold ,the most tasteless beer in the southern hemisphere, may even get a look-in.

For those who appreciate fine beer there should be a range of foreign and local independent ales.  To allay fears of drunken loutishness a limit of two serves per person per transaction could apply. Patrons are presently allowed to slug  four tubs of midstrength at a time.

Fosters itself could supply beers other than its CUB homologues. It brews Stella Artois under licence and imports Leffe Blonde from Belgium, a rich beer by Australian standards but ,if the number of empty cans lying on the banks of the Seine is anything to go by, is the VB of Europe.

People forget that during night games in Melbourne the temperature often drops below 10 degrees; no place for “crisp refreshing lagers”.

I therefore recommend the construction of a RSA (Really Serious Alcohol) Section. A place to lounge in while sipping goblets of rich ales brewed by Trappist monks –  like the Rochefort 10 with a very warming alcohol level of 11.3%. Limits per person will be unnecessary as it takes a fortnight to chew your way through one of these.

The Victorian Government requested that the stadium have “green features”. I hope this refers to an environmentally friendly design and not a VB showpiece.

If it is the latter then at least precious water will be saved when the beer is used to flush the toilets.

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