You know I still remember the days when you were, well, not exactly my equal but at least you could hold your own in some of those drinking games we had. I even recall the time I dropped into your place for what I thought would be a quick pit stop on my way to big Saturday afternoon glory in 2010. I was so sure I was going to do some damage that night I even brought a skipper with me. Wayde ******* Skipper to be exact, I’ll never live that one down, what a ******* disaster, I still can’t remember how I got home.
I got plenty revenge though Freo. I mean, remember how every year you’d roll up to my place expecting a BBQ and a few choice brews in my back yard only for the chief to say “Sorry son, didn’t we tell ya, he’s 500km away in Lonnie in the freaking sleet and you’ll just have to haul your sorry arse down there if you want to play, we don’t let your type in here at the home of football”. I have lost count of the number of times you turned up to Tassie like a faithful dog to be kicked all the way back to Perth, it was cruel but as the chief always said to me afterwards, no one cares Al, it’s Freo.
Then finally hey, you surprised us all and gatecrashed the birthday party uninvited in 2013 and you arrived at the G with that hot looking chief brewer Ross Lyon on your arm and everyone thought, well hang on a moment, maybe they’re serious this time. But then you opened your Esky on the big day and brought out a Zac Clarke Cruiser and a Danyle Pearce Ultra Low Alcohol Pale Ale and a Nick Suban Syrup of Ipecac and everyone just felt sad and embarrassed for you, like George Bush trying to give the victory sign to some Aussie farmers but with his fingers around the wrong way. Same old Freo.
Anyway that’s all water under the bridge and to be perfectly honest I had the worst three peat hangover you can imagine, I’ve lost a few intervening years in the mist and haven’t been on the top of my game myself but mate, at least the famous old Glenferrie Brewery is still not as sh*t as you. So to cheer you up I thought I’d bring over a selection of my new craft beers this week, with some tasting notes so you know what you’re drinking. The word on the street was you could do with some cheer since most of your attempts at putting something tasty together for 2021 spilt out of the vat and is lying on the cold concrete physio room floor at Cockburn.
Your drinking buddy Angry Al, Brewmeister
Sam Frost Frothy. Imported hops from Melbourne, big head, bitter after-kick
Kyle Hartigan Headspinner. Stale Adelaide bouquet. Traditional old fashioned brew. Not sure why I bothered with this one.
Changkuoth Jiath Juice. Bold but unbalanced drink, will likely improve with careful cellaring.
Jarman the Barman Impey. Seems to have lost none of its zest, enjoy with a twist of
Blake Hardwick Amber Ale. Previous solid stable beer, lately seems to have become a little ragged and unreliable. Still packs a punch on its day.
Harry Morrison Mead. Sweet little number, one for the ladies and the ladies at heart
Tom Phillips Porter. I stumbled across this one in the burning embers of the Collingwood Brewery Fire. Brought it home and now I am not quite sure whether I like that smoky porter taste. A work in progress.
Jaeger O’Meara O’Lager. Hops sourced from the tropical Gold Coast, bursting with aromas of passionfruit, pineapple and fig jam.
James Worpel IPA. A bit of an oddity for the Hawthorn Brewery that usually prefers to serve up recycled bottled beer, this one is actually a good draught pick. Very easy on the palate, just a solid well rounded drop.
Luke Brewst. Say no more, was born to be a beer.
Jacob “The Coldie” Koschitzke. Just quietly this is an awful drop, living off the reputation of his name. Expect it to be a limited release available only this year and off the tasting list for 2022.
Chad Wingard Wheat Beer. I always had a soft spot for this one, even when it was showponying itself around the provincial SA tasting circuit. Ignore the hype, a tasty well balanced drink.
Shaun Burgoyne Sour. Ancient ale, made in the traditional Lambic style by Benedictine monks. Reached its peak flavour in the 16th century.
Jon Ceglar Cigar. Not a beer obviously. Puffing a cigar though is the 5th P I forgot to mention when I lectured the boys about piss, penis, punting and powder.
Tyler Brockman Sneaky Cider. Stole the idea for this one from under your noses, unfortunately the only available serving size is a middy, if I could squeeze a pint out it would be more memorable
Ben McEvoy Biggie Ale. I put this long neck up as my vanguard representative at the annual captains day in 2021, and it just got laughed at by the other 17 brewers. Still, not as bad as the Stratton Carton, what a cock-up pick for a leader that was.
Tom Mitchell Mid Strength. You can drink forty of these on a good day and still not notice that it’s had any impact. Bland in every regard.
Liam Shiels Irish Stout. The drinking man’s beer, never lets you down this one.
INTERCHANGE AND EMERGENCIES:
I do have a few out the back on the bench but bugger me if I am going to list all them too, have to keep something up my sleeve for your trip to Tassie later in the year.
The real preview:
Round Four 2021
Venue: Optus Stadium, Sunday April 11 2021 at 1440 hrs.
Partly cloudy. Slight (20%) chance of a shower. Winds east to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h turning north to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h during the day.
Overall head to head:
Freo P37 W9 D0 L28 (yep that's a less than 25% win rate!!!)
Last five meetings:
2020 R11 Fremantle 7.6 (48) d Hawthorn 4.8 (32) Optus Stadium
2019 R17 Hawthorn 12.12 (84) d Fremantle 8.5 (53) Launceston
2018 R19 Hawthorn 17.10 (112) d Fremantle 7.11 (53) Optus Stadium
2017 R18 Hawthorn 15.10 (100) d Fremantle 7.6 (48) Subiaco Oval
2016 R8 Hawthorn 17.14 (116) d Fremantle 11.9 (75) Launceston
Where it will be won:
The careful readers will notice the Freo goal scoring record the last four times we’ve met: 7, 8, 7, 7 goals. Three of those games at home. We simply have to do something more to score, or a season that is already bleeding heavier than the head of a drunk that fell and struck the Northbridge pavement will ebb further away.
Where are the goals going to come from? The failthful have faith that S Sturt (3 career games, 4 career goals) and J Treacy (0 career games, 0 career goals) are the answer. The faithful are as blind as a teenager after drinking a jug of methanol laced cocktails in a Kuta nightclub. But it might just work JLo. Are you listening? Just play them please.
But it can’t just be the forwards, Look at those tasting notes from Angry Al – we really should be able to cover the hawks in the midfield. Darcy back into the #1 ruck and Fyfe midfield to stop the centre clearance debacle vs Carlton will go a long way to protecting Cox and his undersized backline defensively, and mean we can try and get the ball outside enough to give the forwards something to lead to n some semblance of a coordinated fashion.
The game will be an arm wrestle, I predict Freo to kick a bevy of early goals and get out to a handy quarter time lead only to have it slowly pegged back as the McEvoy-Ceglar combination wear down an underdone Darcy through attrition. But a couple of spectacular solo efforts from the much improved M Frederick and the evergreen M Walters in the last quarter will cap off the work of S Sturt (4* career games, 7* career goals) and J Treacy (1* career game, 3* career goals) and see us prevail.
Freo by 14 points. Celebratory beers. hangovers all round. I might even chuck a sickie on the Monday if all goes to plan.
And if we lose? Drown the sorrows.