a pithy guide to the Australian beer scene in zine form

Stubby Buddy vol. 1

Beer week continues! For your enjoyment today, we have a zine review on beer. It seems there’s a zine dedicated to just about everything!

As is usual whenever I’m browsing the Sticky Institute website, I start off by wanting to order one zine, and then leaving with seven or so in my online shopping cart. I was pretty gleeful when I saw a zine about beer and that it was selling for *one cent*. Mistakenly, I assumed it was going to be pretty bad but hey, who can complain at one cent, really?

Stubby Buddy is excellent, and the people who write it are articulate and clearly know what they’re on about. Their information is current and addresses issues in the beer industry that affect consumers right now. The first piece discusses the phenomenon of ‘low carb’ beer and cider and how commercial breweries are pushing these ‘products’ as the next big thing to snare the punters. Judging by this discussion, the zine was written just before summer 2009 got started.

The meat of the zine is devoted to beer reviews and there are plenty, mainly from various craft brewers around Australia, with a few international beer reviews peppered in between. Both Buzz and Bumble (the nicknames of our humble contributors) rate each beer out of five and state that anything with a three or above is “a fine and decent drop”. They also have a couple of cider reviews – hopefully they’ll have a few more next issue.

After the reviews, a brief history of Australian beer is given. I was quite surprised to learn that “at first beer wasn’t that popular. Rum was the preferred method of getting shitfaced.”, like in the West Indies (my father tells me that there rum is cheaper than beer so everyone drinks rum ‘back home’). This article had me giggling all the way through.

The column ‘Barfly’s Rant’ is spot on. Barfly goes on to list ten drinks that are overrated but are continually ordered by misinformed party animals. There are some pretty dodgy suspects on the list, and one item used to be an old fave of mine *winces*. It’s kind of cool, looking into the mind of a bartender and finding out what their bugbears are. If you ever read the zine and guess what my old fave is, I’ll buy you a beer.

Stubby Buddy can be purchased online or instore at Sticky Institute, city, Melbourne. I purchased volume 2 with this first one and will be keeping an eye out for future volumes as it’s of an excellent standard, and lots of fun. Stay tuned for a review of volume 2.

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