Sunday, October 12, 2014

BEER!![17] – Astor Ale

Name:  Astor Ale

Brewery: Mildura, VIC

Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV.

The Astor Ale is actually named after the old movie theatre in Mildura that is now the home of the Mildura Brewery. But being a Melbournian, seeing it reminded me of the theatre of the same name in St. Kilda that is closing down next year.

My first memory of the Astor is seeing the posters of the movie schedules in the room of my uncle – a big old-time film buff. The Astor was probably something that always seemed a little better in imagination than in reality. Parking there was always difficult for me, even when I lived in Caulfield, and I probably only visited there two or three times in the end. Indeed I can’t recall what I saw there, though I am pretty sure I saw Orson Welles in ‘The Third Man’, a movie that I had seen many times already on VHS, and which my girlfriend at the time found perfectly dull.

But even if I did not frequent it that much, I always liked to think it was there. I liked its art deco feel. I liked the staff’s suits. I liked how each showing was made to feel like a matinee, with an interval in between for the double headers. I liked the fact that they showed double headers, which also looked really cool on the upcoming movie schedules. Drinking the Astor Ale, even if did turn out to be referencing another theatre, made me think of those things again.

I bought the beer however when I saw the recent movie ‘Boyhood’ at the Kino Cinema in Melbourne’s CBD. The Kino is a different cinema to the Astor – the theatre I sat in had only four rows – although both have a reputation for being a cinema of choice for ‘discerning’ movie goers. Watching ‘Boyhood’, which essentially looked back at the 2000s, at a cinema just a few minutes walk away from work, made me feel pretty good about the present era. But sipping the Astor Ale I did long for a little the art deco past.   

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