Friday, November 4, 2011

An excellent adventure based on beer research

By the time many of you read this I will have set out on my excellent adventure to Western Australia. About two months ago I received a phone call from Janet (my former Mother-in-law), letting me know she and Denis were coming to visit for a couple of weeks of Grandparent-time in November and suggesting I take this time off to have a holiday. As other parents will know, opportunities like this don’t come around very often, if ever, so I took Janet’s suggestion and ran with it.
My mind was all turmoil, chaos and Libran dilemma; how to choose a destination? So many choices: Port Lincoln to dive with sharks; camping in the Flinders Ranges; New Zealand’s north island to see the cousins; New Zealand’s south island to walk the Milford Track; Tasmania’s Bay of Fires; exploring in the Kimberley region of Western Australia; a road trip to Byron Bay; the Amalfi Coast of Italy; the south of France to eat baguettes… (yes, I know I was getting carried away); horse riding through the Victorian high country, snorkelling in Palau…
My nearly final thought was Palau. A tiny speck of islands somewhere east of the Philippines and rumoured to be the world’s most beautiful diving location… not that I know anything about diving mind you, but I have snorkelled. I phoned my friend Rossco (a diving fanatic) to see if he wanted to join me on a two-week platonic holiday in Palau. Rossco thought this was a brilliant idea and the fact that we had yet to meet in person was a minor detail.
A couple of weeks later however, Rossco pointed out one major flaw in my plan… in the time since my initial suggestion of flying to Palau, I had started dating Ash (a clever and devastatingly handsome farmer) and perhaps Ash would think this was a less than brilliant idea? Good point, so I moved on to Plan B.
At a friend’s wedding earlier this year I acquired a taste for Little Creatures Pale Ale. By a fortunate stroke of serendipity I was enjoying a small bottle of this rather delicious beer while contemplating Plan B.
Looking down and admiring their label I noticed the Little Creatures Brewery was located at Fremantle in Western Australia, the only Australian State I had yet to visit. On this basis my holiday is now being formed around a brewery, which seems like as good a plan as any.
It got me thinking about the possibilities for “brewery tourism” and how this could be an excellent value adding idea for our district grain growers. Soon I had lapsed into global empire mode and started envisaging Club Barham building a small state of the art brewery at the picturesque Barham Lake Complex, using local grain, creating industry and a tourist attraction for our district as well as selling their (sure to be excellent) beer all around town. If someone would like to establish a cracker biscuit factory (utilising local wheat) it would compliment Jonesy’s Dairy’s planned gourmet cheeses and we could all enjoy local cheese, crackers and beer.
Meanwhile back to my excellent adventure: Besides visiting breweries I also plan to visit old friends I haven’t seen in years, friends of friends who I’m yet to meet and long lost relatives who are rumoured to be lovely. All in all I can’t wait.
Looking forward to typing my column to you from the other side (of the country)… cue spooky music.

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