It was a perfect half hour.
We strolled in, exchanged greetings with mine hosts and were offered a beer. It was then that we learnt the nostalgic truth.
At the Greenock Brewers Chris and Lisa Higgins sell tremendous beers in bottles and on tap. And, most wonderfully, they can offer you a butcher of beer too.
In a world where the blind madness of upsized consumption has held us to ransom by making us believe we need more and bigger serves of everything from homes to cars to buckets of popcorn at the cinema, being served a beer in a 200ml glass is of great comfort and wistful joy.
Urban myth suggests the Newmarket Hotel in Adelaide first served a butcher of beer to workers from nearby cattle yards, and so the term entered the local vernacular.
Garden-fresh from lunch at the Greenock pub, Nick, Chrisso and I wandered through the shadows of Laucke’s flour mills having decided upon a quick visit and concluding refreshment.
I’m confident it was the first butcher I’d had this millennium. Most pubs no longer stock schooner or butcher glasses and therefore it’s a pint or you’re spitting feathers.
It was instantly the mid-1980s and I was being taught to pull a beer (along with old mate Davo) at the Kapunda Golf Club by Gus Higgins (who was Chris’s uncle). Suddenly all of us were far skinnier but had fatter hair. Allan Border was Australian cricket captain. There were Kingswoods parked outside too.
The Victorville Pale Ale is fiendishly easy to consume. It’s zesty and agreeable and sparkles with citrus notes. I also purchased a six pack for medical and research purposes. If it’d been an hour later, we might’ve dropped anchor and cancelled our evening plans and had a second butcher.
With this nostalgic tone set we spoke of our past, most notably Kapunda icon Skeeta and shared stories of his footy exploits and his drinking exploits and his drinking at footy exploits. Many of us associate Skeeta instantly with the Holden Torana, more particularly his being driven and then not being driven, largely as it frequently ended up in exotic places where a Torana shouldn’t be.
With the golden Barossa light bending across the brewery and through the windows we shared more stories and then it was time for Nick, Chrisso and I to point our non-Torana cars homewards.
I’d enjoyed the beer, and the company enormously. I couldn’t wait until the next time I’d drink a butcher.