Friday Drinks…Waikato Draught
As a friend of mine from Hamilton is coming down to stay, in his honour I dedicate this beer review to him. However, if he thinks he is going to offload any of this onto me, he can bloody well pack himself back on a plane and head back to whence he came.
Now this review comes to you with a twist. I have not had a drink of Waikato Draught since I was in the Navy about 20 years ago. The stuff is vile, filth, and sometimes has me waking in the middle of the night in cold sweats…as if it had been poured (fetched is probably a better term) directly from the Waikato River itself; if the Taniwha who supposedly exists just south of Mercer does in fact urinate, I would guess this is probably what it would taste like.
So why did I drink it? Simple…there was nothing else, and when you are stuck on a ship that is hundreds of miles from any land for days on end, things start to get desperate, and I’m not talking about the lack of female company thank you! Posted to HMNZS Waikato we had an obligation (read Satanic Pact) with the brewers (HMNZS Tui stocked Tui) to carry their product on board, and as Beer & Wine Officer I had to oversee the loading of anywhere up to 10 or more pallets of this stuff below decks depending on the length of cruise.
When rum rations ended (“splice the main brace”) all ratings were rationed two cans per person, per night. They were required to drink it then and there but as was customary it was stashed to be consumed the night before entering home port again, much to the consternation of wives and girlfriends. It was one of my jobs to try to locate it, something which was only given cursory due. I could understand them hiding it, if they weren’t in fact biffing it over the side, but if they wanted to subject themselves to such sadomasochistic tendencies, who am I to stand in their way?
Still, without knocking it too much, it made a great lubricant when the oil bearing bust on the main shafts, and at times it could be used to top up the diesel tanks.
Best served in a dog’s bowl, or as a weed-killer. Not to be consumed in public.