Banning the Bear

 POOR Bundaberg Rum.

 The drink of choice in my hometown (Bundaberg, of course) has come under fire for causing unruly behaviour and creating an unwelcome clientele, according to some snobby bar owners in Brisbane.

Apparently, those who drink Bundy Rum are “yobbos”.

Well, they’re probably not yuppies – but yobbos?

That’s a harsh generalisation, don’t you think?

Yes, I may be a tad biased here.  But let it be known that I don’t drink Bundy Rum and, despite having grown up in the Sugar City, I’ve never set foot inside the distillery.

The whole debacle seems just a little elitist to me. Considering that Bundaberg Rum is the top-selling alcoholic drink in Australia, that’s a big call being made by club owners banning its sale.

If I actually had a social life, I’d probably boycott such places simply for being associated with such a bourgeois mentality.

Might I remind inner-city club owners that Brisbane isn’t as urbane as Melbourne or Sydney just yet? That they may well do themselves an injustice by setting up apparent class rules?

The PR lass for Bundaberg Rum hit the nail on the head: “It’s a lot of people to be casting aspersions on,” she said.

After all, 2.5 million Aussies can’t be wrong.

But Bundaberg Rum execs don’t seem too fazed by the accusations.

It won’t affect their sales, which I put down to regional taverns and rural pubs.

It’s the good ole local that will keep serving up the favoured drink. They aren’t concerned with upholding an image – they are just watering holes dedicated to serving blue-collar workers no matter their choice of poison (though I suspect you’d look a bit conspicuous ordering a Manhattan at a country pub).

My mother spent most of her working life behind the bar – managing an old country pub at one point – and thinks it’s abhorrent to be telling patrons what they can and can’t drink.

If you had problem drinkers, it was up to the bartender to know when to cut them off, she said.

It had nothing to do with who they were or what they were drinking.

That’s not to say there were never any brawls, but if anyone knew how to sort them out, my mum did.

Thankfully for the less-urbane social drinker there are other places to knock back a few.

But club owners ought to be careful – they may have just created a universal sympathetic ear to all those unloved Bundy Rum drinkers.

And we all know how Aussies love an underdog.


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