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Tinnie of the Week: Emu Export remains a WA icon

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Our resident beer writer (best job in the world, right?!) has sipped his way through everything from Emu Export to Barrel-Aged Imperial Porters.

Trying out this week’s sip, Simon Collins gives his verdict on the Tinnie of the Week and whether it’s worth cracking one with a mate.

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BEER NAME?

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Emu Export, also known as Bush Chook, Red Can and ‘Sport

WHERE’S IT FROM?

Despite being considered a WA icon, the red can in your hand was not made in this State.

And Export hasn’t been brewed here for a long time. Production shifted to the West End Brewery in Adelaide in 2014. When West End shut last year, brewing the red menace was split between Japanese-owned Lion’s facilities in NSW and Queensland.

Yep, Emu Export is about as West Aussie as rugby league, the Sydney Opera House, Allan Border and the Great Barrier Reef.

However, the beer has undeniably strong links to WA beer history, having first been brewed in 1954 by the Swan Brewery at the Emu Brewery — the Art Deco industrial building that stood at the corner of Spring Street and Mounts Bay Road until its demolition in late 1991.

The old Emu Brewery still adorns cans of Export along with the slogan: “Beer for Western Australia”. Clever.

Emu Export.
Camera IconEmu Export. Credit: Supplied

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT?

Emu Export has positioned itself as an egalitarian beer, as seen recently when 107-year-old Bridget “Bid” Grocke revealed that drinking a can of the stuff every day was the secret to her long, healthy life, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison was snapped brandishing a can at the Toohey’s Brewery.

Bush Chook is a beer embraced equally by old chooks, politicians, bogans and young hipsters, although I’m not sure you can drink a beer ironically.

Best swilled as cold as you can get it without freezing the straw-hued liquid, this sharply bitter and medium strength (4.2 per cent) lager offers a mild malt nose and hoppy finish.

A lot of beer has gone under the bridge in the 30 years since the Emu Brewery was imprudently demolished, but this simple, clean and crisp mass-produced lager defies trends and remains a fixture in bottle shop fridges.

SHOULD I SHARE IT?

Share a block, but a can of ‘Sport is a job for one person.

WHAT’S THE DAMAGE?

Beyond reputational damage, Emu Export is your bargain basement beer. One red can costs around $3.50, while a six-pack should land around $18 and a block of 30 tins will set you back less than $60 — sometimes well under that.

RATING?

2 tins out of 5. Don’t worry, beer snobs, we’ll be back on the fancy stuff next week.

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