Ahem, cough cough.
Hi, everyone, thanks for coming. Can we get our glasses filled? Don’t take a drink just yet…yes, yes, I know how hard that can be.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a dear friend. They are a constant in not only my life, but I’m sure in others too. They are someone to rely on in the good times and in the bad.
That’s right, you guessed it, I’m talking about my mate and yours, it’s The First Sip!!
(Pause for applause.)
Our mate The First Sip is one I know I can count on to act like a goose.
(Pause and do the sly face.)
They attempt to distract me on a Friday afternoon around 2:41 pm with their plans of after work drinks, through our mutual friend’s group chat that’s full of their jokes and TGIF memes. As always, it’s great to see them at the bar. Last week The First Sip greeted me through a glistening pint of Goose Island IPA that was only $9 during the happy hour that brilliantly lasted for longer than an actual hour!
(Pause for applause.)
Cough, cough. Ahem.
Our mate The First Sip though, is also there when times get tough. Just like you’d expect a great mate to do.
I remember a time when our friend The First Sip made an appearance in the caravan park log cabin on that family holiday a while back, after my dad and I got lost on that 1-hour walk. The walk that despite being clearly signposted and of moderate level, seemed like we were hiking the country’s largest mountain. It took us half a day and we were without water and phones and appropriate footwear and at one point I looked at my watch and told my dear father the time and he exclaimed, “Oh! Ummm, why don’t you go in the bushes over there?” and I replied, “No, Dad, I said it was a quarter to two. Not ‘I have to do a poo!’”
(Pause for laughter. If no one laughs, just mop your brow and carry on, you’re doing great!)
My uncle who was relaxing in the caravan park log cabin had finished his book and realised he hadn’t seen us in a while. He started to get worried so thoughtfully came to rescue us. We went back to the log cabin, blistered feet, and bruised egos. Via a Mt Kosciusko Pale Ale, The First Sip told me not to worry, chin up, and began to rehydrate my parched, sunburnt mouth. Like I said, what a great mate.
I don’t know how they find the time, but the First Sip manages to be there in other situations, too. Do you guys remember some of these?
(Pause to look up and around your audience for nods of approval. If nervous, pretend they’re all drinking attractively labelled beers, such as the ones from those handsome devils from To Øl in Denmark.)
The First Sip has often been front and centre when toasting to the recent safe arrival of our newborn babies. Do not worry if you can’t get the proud parents down to the pub, they’ll probably be too hypnotised by their new human to pay attention. We just need to remember to send them the photo of us cheering our Fixation IPAs in celebration.
They’ll also be there when we’re farewelling a mate who’s moving interstate.
(Pause while all cheer Kate who’s just finished her Arts Degree and is off to work in a bar in the Cotswolds.)
Yes, we all wish we could jump in her suitcase but instead, we all eye off that James Squire Stowaway IPA on tap at the bar and remember that we’ll always be in each other’s hearts.
Now that some of you are a feeling a little lonely after I’ve brought up Kate’s imminent departure…
No! Don’t take that First Sip just yet!!! Hey, Danielle!! I saw that!!
What I wanted to say, was that now you’re feeling a little lonely now that Kate’s off on her adventure, why not reconnect with that friend that you lost contact with? You know the one. Maybe you can’t remember precisely why you fell out. It may have been something to do with not inviting them to that crappy BBQ you had that time.
(Pause and lock eyes with handsome Matthew who’s holding that elusive bottle of Moon Dog’s Love Tap Larger and give him a sly wink.)
After the First Sip of a Brewcult Reset Robot Pale Ale be certain you can get your friendship with Matthew that unidentified friend/hopefully more-than-a-friend back on track.
(Resist the urge to wink at Matthew again, I think he gets the hint.)
Yeah, yeah, I know this speech has gone on too long. Hey, shut up Pete!
To sum up, all I really wanted you all to remember was that whatever life may throw at you, your mate The First Sip will be there, ready to hydrate, to mend friendships, to celebrate, and to unwind from a working week.
I’d like to toast to a long life filled with First Sips.
So, if we can all charge our glasses with the first beer of the day.
For me, it’s a 3 Ravens Golden.
Three golden cheers for The First Sip!
Hip hip, hop hop, hooray!
(All take the first sip of beer for the day, pause for all to pause and appreciate this special moment. Wait for collective exhales. Group cheering and clinking of glasses. Group hugs.)
The lovely people at Froth have published some of my pieces, some of which you can read here. You can find the latest Froth in all good craft beer establishments.