There is a certain element of scavenger hunt in any beer enthusiast, and I'm no exception. While we're pretty much spoilt for choice in Victoria with five or six local craft breweries all producing little brown bottles full of deliciousness, I read Red Racer's twitter about an upcoming cask at the Beagle with the same trembling anticipation as a methamphetamine addict unexpectedly finding a fifty dollar bill. Then I found out they were tapping it two hours before I got off work and I had a spaz-attack like that same meth-head realizing the fifty was actually monopoly money. I may have punched out an old lady.
Still, a man who can craft a sou'wester out of Post-Its is not about to be fettled by the constraints of space and time. Acting in secret, I first re-tweeted to the effect that the Beagle doesn't open until 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Having stalled for time, I then sent forth nefarious agents to secure the precious like I lived in New Zealand and my name was Sauron.
Success (clearly)! The last pint in the place was waiting for me in a hidden fridge behind the bar, which should tell you two things:
1) It pays to have friends at your local pub.
2) The only way to gain access to good beer is lots and lots of drinking. Liver transplant, please!
So what about the beer? Well, Cask Ales are the holy grail of the brewing world: mention an upcoming cask to a member of the Campaign For Real Ale, and they'll immediately have to sit down or hold a cushion in front of them to hide a sudden concupiscence. As such, I was on that isht like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible IV (the one where he brainwashes ex-cast-members of Dawson's Creek before harvesting their souls).
And my wire-assisted gymnastics were worth it: Central City does not disappoint. The smooth, dry-hopped tweaking of their excellent ESB was an Extra Special Bitter indeed. Apparently, the cask sold out in just over an hour, which is pretty good for a town where everybody has to be in bed with a Barbara Cartwright novel by seven.
The Central boys are hitting the bars with tactical casks regularly. Add 'em to your twitter-feed and check off that box on your scavenger hunt list. Getting your picture taken with a policeman optional.