Since the drinking age in Australia is 18, I wasn’t really expecting strict policies with regards to alcohol consumption here in Melbourne. I also wasn’t expecting the school to hold functions where alcohol is not only allowed, but paid for and provided to students. So that was a pleasant surprise to say the least.
What wasn’t pleasant was the high cost of alcohol. Australia has one of the highest alcohol taxes in the world and a twenty-four pack of beer here typically costs around forty dollars. I’ve yet to see a thirty pack of canned beer, but there is an iced beer that looks about as good as Keystone Ice or Natty Ice. While I can’t say that I miss Natty light, I do miss having the option for cheap beer. Since beer is so expensive, many Australians turn to other options.
I haven’t had much experience with cask wine in America, but I’ve never seen it at a party where there wasn’t at least one joke made about its presence. But it’s practically a mainstay here in Australia. Cask wine is almost always referred to as goon, regardless of the brand.
I found Goon’s consistent presence puzzling at first, but it’s really not that bad considering beer and vodka are so expensive. Goon doesn’t exactly taste very good and it’s usually found in its white wine form, but the Australians get creative with how they drink it. Goon is almost always mixed with juice, which makes it taste all right. I couldn’t stop laughing when I first saw it, but Goon is hardly fine wine.
I can’t say I’m not excited for a good glass of wine when I get home, but Goon has been good to me so far this trip. I doubt I’ll become a big Franzia drinker when I go home, but I won’t hate on those who choose to consume it. It’s certainly been a nice alternative to Natty Light.