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Reporter David Wroe of The Age, reports from Berlin.

YOU CAN get it eating bratwurst. You can get it wearing lederhosen. But German beer lovers, it seems, didn’t quite get it at all.

What was this curious brew in a funny little bottle, overchilled and underdressed in a rudimentary green label, presuming to stand alongside the big boys from Germany and the Czech Republic at Berlin’s International Beer Festival?

“It’s too cold,” said a Bavarian bus driver, Hans Horst. “If it’s too cold it has no aroma. Beer should be 10 to 12 degrees Celsius, the same as sausage.”

The humble VB was one of the beers featured for the first time this weekend along the Berlin festival’s famous “beer mile”, on Karl Marx Avenue. Despite some misgivings, the world’s most discerning beer drinkers gave Victor Bravo a modest, if not effusive, thumbs up.

The bad news at the end of the first day, was that VB was being comprehensively outsold by New Zealand’s Steinlager at the international beer stalls.

The good news was, at least VB was outselling Castlemaine XXXX, which was struggling to get off the mark.

[From theage.com.au]

A sign of the times. Any viewers have a clue as to the reason for this very well supported march?


Two Hobart traditions come together at Shippies’ every New Year’s Day: the Quiet Little Drink and The Kravats, Hobart’s favourite band.

The Quiet Little Drink attracts crews from the Sydney-Hobart yacht race looking for a chance to rinse down the salt water with a cool drink or three to the music of maestro Barry Woodruff and the mighty Kravats.

They’ve been part of Hobart life for more than 50 years — but they haven’t slowed down a bit. The Kravats can rock along with the best of them and they’ve been at it for longer than the Rolling Stones.

Specialising in favourites of the 60s and 70s, the band will be joined this year by Hobart bluesman Jimmy Roussos.

They’re the only Tasmanian band that outsold the Beatles with their hit single ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’. Have a look and a listen and enjoy a trip back to more cheerful times.

drinklogoEvery New Year’s day locals and crews from the Sydney-Hobart and Melbourne-Hobart races meet for a quiet little drink at Shippies’ to tell tall tales of adventure at sea, catch up with old friends and rinse away the effects of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

There’s a barbeque and spit roast — and entertainment by Hobart’s legendary good-time band, the mighty Kravats. They’ve been rocking this usually sedate town for more than half a century and this year they’re joined by another legend, veteran bluesman Jimmy Roussos.

Join us the early afternoon on January 1 and round off your New Year celebrations with a Quiet Little Drink.