I’ve recently been drinking a lot of Fat Yak, having spent a bit of time socialising in less salubrious establishments. It’s no sacrifice really; the Yak has been tasting pretty good of late, with a lovely hoppy note in both aroma and taste.

Sure, Matilda Bay is owned by CUB, but it’s still made in a craft-like manner by good buggers. I know the brewers; they’re a good crowd who love their beers, are wicked fun at a beer festival, and are passionate about taste and quality. I was happy drinking my tasty Fat Yak, knowing that it was still supporting local brewers.

Or so I thought.

Today CUB revealed that production of the Matilda Bay beers would be moved to the Cascade Brewery in Tasmania. The Port Melbourne brewery would be closed and redundancies are expected to be made.

And further more – Fat Yak wasn’t being made in Melbourne ANYWAY.

Fat Yak had already been moved to Cascade, outgrown it, and been moved again to CUB’s Yatala brewery in Queensland. The beer I was so smugly enjoying was made by strangers in a land far away. I felt cheated, ignorant, and peeved.

But does it really matter? If the beer tastes good, does the location really matter?

Yes, it bloody does. At least to me.

I have no control over who makes most of the products and services I purchase. Clothes shopping is a nightmare, never knowing if I’m contributing to the working conditions that will result in the next horrific factory collapse. Technology items are riddled with questions around mining, environmental impact, and work health safety. Many processed foods carry the ambiguous ‘Made from local and imported goods’.

Beer was good. Beer was my refuge. It was relatively guilt free.

Will I stop drinking Fat Yak at pubs? Probably not. It’s the lesser of various evils. And it still tastes good. But my world will seem a little sadder.

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