The taste on your tongue in the woodlands of the Antipodes – a million years of desiccated eucalyptus leaves – dries the sinuses, is cleansing for the soul, only muddied by a century or so of bulldust, scotch thistle, genocide, paterson’s curse. Breathe deep. Feel the mass of the island continent wash through you. Invigorating!*
*ignore that bitter, guilty feeling at the back of the mouth.
Unlike the sweet eucalypt smells in California, where a gum tree was once seen as the denuded goldfields’ saviour, now as a pest. Their canopies are prone to exploding in a wildfire and Hollywood Hills mansion incineration, their limbs to sudden widow-making (also uninhabitable by native fauna), their railway tie timbers to cracking and warping. And yet, mixed with the distant perfume of pine, of sage, of bacon-wrapped hotdogs, exhaust fumes and gun violence, that smell is a most welcome reminder of the dear, drear, free West Coast.
Lost Coast Brewery Fogcutter Double IPA
Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka CA, USA