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© The Chicago Bar Project   Written by Sean Parnell
Australian Beer Etiquette

In recent times, a disturbing trend has emerged in our pubs and watering holes. The wholesale Americanization of our culture has crept into even these sacred shrines, causing a weakening of the "beer culture" we know and love. Everywhere you look it seems as though someone is swilling a light beer or breaking the shout. IT MUST END HERE. To this end, we feel that the times require a review of some ancient wisdom.Below are the words of Australia's first and greatest philosopher, Beerfucious.

Wisdom from Beerfucious

The Rules:

  • Always keep your beer in your hand, touching your plate or as close to the edge of the table as possible. Don't leave it in the middle of the table as this can become confusing when many people are drinking at the table.
  • Free beer should always be consumed at a pace greater than that of a beer which had been bought by you or someone in your shouting party.
  • Never accept a beer if you do not intend to shout on that evening. Shouting "next time" is not acceptable no matter how much interest is involved. This leaves the rest of your drinking party agitated and they will say bad things about you after you leave, or if they've had a few this may lead to violence.
  • Even worse than the previous rule is accepting beers from the drinking party and then just buying one for yourself when it is your turn. If you make it home without at least one broken bone you should consider yourself lucky!
  • If you are falling behind in the rounds, complaining that you ate too much is not a legitimate excuse. You should have foreseen the night of drinking ahead and not filled your beer stomach with food. The beer stomach must be kept separate from the food stomach at all times.
  • If the beer is served in a stubbie, pouring it into a glass to drink is simply not acceptable.
  • It is a well understood obligation that slower drinkers in a shout must attempt to keep pace with the faster members of a shout, so as to avoid bad feelings and cries of "Hurry up," "Beer Queer," etc.
  • Changing drinks on people during a shout is considered poor form. I.e., shouting everyone VBs then asking for a Crownie or other "boutique" beer on the return leg.
  • Guinness is to be served in an appropriate receptacle, i.e. a pint glass. Anything else is simply unacceptable.
  • When drinking, it is bad manners to talk up your drinking ability when you are not going to perform. This includes the oft observed phrase, "I may not be able to drink much beer, but I'd kill you on Vodka / Bourbon / Scotch," etc.
  • NEVER, EVER drink so slow as to allow a beer to warm up.
  • Beer from a tap must be drunk in the largest available beer glass of the establishment at all times, e.g. pot to be superseded by a pint, pint to be superseded by a stein.
  • Toohey's or any brand of American beer should never be attempted to passed off as actual beer, unless obvious insult to the recipient/recipients is intended.
  • One's perceived beer drinking ability should not be in any way overshadowed by the frequency with which one visits the lavatory for urinary purposes. The idea is beer consumption, not beer retention.
  • Stubbies must always be bought over cans unless there is storage or transport issues.
  • Knocking over someone else's beer will only be tolerated if there is a full replacement on the table in an acceptable amount of time.
  • Ambient temperature has no bearing whatsoever on the desire to consume beer. The day being "too cold" is never an excuse to get out of beer drinking.
  • No matter how much money is earned by each of the party members the same shouting rules apply, unless one of the more "well-off" members insists on re-shouting. However, this in no way implies a future obligation to repeat the form.

Now there is no excuse! If you require any further information on shouting try visiting http://www.australianbeers.com/culture/shouting.htm

~ Have a good story relating to Australians and beer drinking? Email us. ~

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