I can’t think of a more noble activity, but those hounds at the Hun have come over all sanctimonious about the amount of water the throbbing heart of this suburb uses in the alchemic conversion of water into the 1,500,000,000 litres of working man’s pleasure produced by the Abbotsford brewery per annum. Another article in the Melbourne Leader shows just what lengths the
hopmeisters have gone to in order to turn less of the Yarra into more of the bubbly good stuff, halving their water use in 10 years in fact. The two articles yield up a few tidbits worthy of sharing:
* it takes 3.4 litres of water to make a litre of beer;
* the Abbotsford brewery makes 430 million litres of beer a year;
* Foster’s says “Given Melbourne is our home, Melbourne water has become our standard for brewing all our CUB stable of beers, including Foster’s lager globally — with local water supplies modified to match Melbourne water specifications”.
Imagine that. When they brew Foster’s in the lands of the Blue Danube, the White Nile, or the “the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees” (see below) they treat the water to give it the Yarra’s special clean but brown upsidedown flow quality which, like tamarind in Worcestershire sauce, is the secret ingredient which explains the extraordinary pre-eminence of the beers of Abbotsford around the world.
Extract from Kipling’s The Elephant’s Child
In the High and Far-Off Times the Elephant, O Best Beloved, had no trunk. He had only a blackish, bulgy nose, as big as a boot, that he could wriggle about from side to side; but he couldn’t pick up things with it. But there was one Elephant—a new Elephant—an Elephant’s Child—who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions…
One fine morning in the middle of the Precession of the Equinoxes this ‘satiable Elephant’s Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, “What does the crocodile have for dinner?” Then everybody said, “Hush!” in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.
By and by, when that was finished, he came upon Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a wait-a-bit thornbush, and he said, “My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my ‘satiable curtiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!”
The Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, “Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.”
That very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this ‘satiable Elephant’s Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons (the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, “Good-bye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.” And they all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely to stop.”