Melbourne, Australia

This is hipster territory!


Melbourne is full of hipsters. Especially the district of Fitzroy. Correct samples, decorated according to all the rules of art, are on display here. Are hipsters still hip? Sure, I think and take another sip: Who else would come up with the idea of ​​making a gin from Tasmanian Pepperberry Leafs and Grains of Paradise?

I am surprised how stubborn the whole hipster thing is, because I never really knew what to do with it myself. The scene doesn't seem very meaningful to me. Nevertheless, I am often impressed by the aesthetics. From the forearm tattoo, the fine Cortado, the full beards. It always looks great. Admittedly, certain hipster achievements have crept into my everyday life, almost incidentally. For burger, for example, I often leave the beloved cola in the fridge in favor of a regionally produced juice spritzer. Things like that.

I'm afraid that the hipster movement has nothing more to offer, apart from aesthetics and optical alignment. The strict parting and the buttoned shirts come up without a message. Now the bike hangs on the living room wall and is no longer in the basement. If this really wants to be a subculture, there is no ideology behind which the relatives can gather: the rebellion, the rebellion, a common vision for a better world.

I recently read that hipsters deliberately act differently to express their consumer criticism. For example, use an old typewriter instead of a laptop or make certain items yourself. I found that paradoxical and therefore extremely ridiculous. The scene feeds on the products so closely linked to it: the fixies, the beard oil, the sweet potato fries, the braces - an endless list.

But I didn't want to go to court with the Melbourne hipsters that hard. In principle, these were everyday thoughts that came to my mind while strolling along Brunswick Street in Fitzroy .

I had forgotten one thing: There is one area that “the hipsters” have certainly churned up with remarkable results: gastronomy. The creative food trucks, the new affection for regional organic ingredients and ultimately the idea of ​​interpreting well-known dishes in a modern way are very positive developments.

Some think that the gastronomic ambition goes too far. In Prenzlauer Berg the ice cream parlors no longer had chocolate, vanilla and strawberries on offer, but only pretentious mixes with ginger or rosemary (here is a top ten list of the most bizarre hipster ice cream flavors ). You can smile about that, you don't have to like the hip posture, but such a statement seems horribly reactionary to me. Criticizing someone who thinks progressively, who questions and wants to improve what already exists is never good.

And also: If you see this whole thing as a trend rather than a seriously motivated subculture, it suddenly starts to be fun. If only because you can really discover a few shops in Fitzroy that you won't find on every shopping mile in the world.

I look at a few crazy clothes shops, take a tour of a modern art gallery and drink the obligatory Cortado in the Café Umago. The view goes out through the window: The people seem so friendly and open. It depends, I think. It just has to fit so that I feel comfortable somewhere and I am doing that right now. I only learn that there are vegan shoe stores in Fitzroy. My conclusion on the last sip: I wish I had a hipster café in my neighborhood instead of the unspeakable beer pubs. I would be a regular.

Not in Fitzroy anymore, but in Healesville near Melbourne , the hipster radar is fully working again. We stand in line at lunchtime in front of a rustic container building. The Four Pillars lettering is posted on the outside. Inside, they not only distill the coveted juniper brandy, they also serve it. The tastings are so popular that there are long waiting times.

It is loud in the hall. Must also: Only people who have already drunk gin sit here, some have several empty glasses in front of them. A hipster temple with all its insignia: a bartender with a mustache, people in flood pants, the exposed heating pipes on the walls. The entire interior looks deliberately barren, an almost empty factory building with decorative elements in the right places.

We are handed wooden boards on which several glasses of gin stand in the round recesses. In each jar there is an additive that should bring out the desired character of the variety: rosemary, orange, cloves. I read the description of the first variety:

"First, we took our base botanicals and upped the amount of Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and cinnamon. Then we added an exotic West African spice called Grains of Paradise. This is one of the most unusual spices in the world, with clove and sichuan characters. "

Wow. Tasmanian pepperberry leaf. Grains of Paradise. It tastes good before I've even tried it. The description goes on a few fruity paragraphs. When I put the glass to my mouth, expectations were high and I had long been programmed to melt every single grain of paradise on my tongue.

It becomes clear to me: We try gin, but above all we get a lesson in marketing. The whole concept of the boys from Four Pillars is like a unified whole. From the location in industrial style, to the design of the bottles, to the appearance of the employees. The whole product is surrounded by a lifestyle factor that you should try to incorporate with a hearty sip of gin.

Concluding thought on the hipster topic: It is above all a functioning business at the moment. A decorative stage on which a conventional product can be turned into a must-have.

We are told that options are currently being examined to export the good gin to Germany. Does it still taste so good at home?

Disclaimer: I was invited to Qatar Airways and Visit Melbourne on my trip to Melbourne and the surrounding area. Thank you for the well organized tour!

  1. A Neumann

    I also like to drink gin =))

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