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Has rising cost of beer killed Aussie tradition of shouting mates?

Is it OK to buck decades of drinking tradition if a shout can cost $72?

Four men cheers with pints of beer
Exotic and craft beers can make a shout unaffordable? (Source: Getty)

It's one of the great Aussie put downs: "Wouldn't shout if a shark bit him."

You can prang a friend’s car or mock their silly little dog – just don't go MIA when it's your turn to buy a round of drinks. It's seen as the ultimate betrayal.

Visitors to our country are even given advice on how to handle this strange custom.

"Indicate to your drinking companions that it’s your turn to buy the group drinks with a resounding, 'My shout'," AFAR magazine states.

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"Don't worry, most Aussies are 'true blue' and will shout you back. It's considered bad manners to suddenly disappear to the bathroom (or other places) when it's your turn to shout."

Most definitely.

But what if you're fed up rounding up tight-arse mates and putting them in MMA-style chokeholds just to get your drink? Is it OK to buck decades of drinking tradition and not enter into a shout? Will it make you a social pariah, surreptitiously deleted from friends' WhatsApp groups while you sleep?

Tony Franzon owns four pubs in Adelaide and has been in the hospitality game for 40 years.

He's noticed punters trending away from shouting mates, with more and more people opting to go solo when ordering at the bar.

He said cost-of-living pressures were tightening budgets. However, some craft beers cost almost double that of a domestic brew and an unwillingness to fund more exotic orders has also played into the erosion of a group mentality on a night out.

A man carrying two beers back to a table in a beer garden.
Older drinkers tend to stick to shout culture but younger pubgoers are more likely to go out alone. (Credit: Beach Road Hotel)

"The shout is almost dead," Franzon told Yahoo Finance.

"If you're with six mates drinking pints of Stone and Wood, that's $72 for a round. That's OK if the round is completed and you end up drinking six beers for $72, but we all know how shouts can fall apart.

"The shock factor of how much you are actually spending has made people wary of getting in big shouts."

The move away from shouts has created another problem. Traffic jams at the bar have increased as groups of solo drinkers line up in single file to order a solitary drink rather than buying four in one go.

Older drinkers tend to stick to shout culture but younger pubgoers are more likely to go out alone, leading to tension at the taps.

And you don't know anger until you've met a 67-year-old denied quick access to a schooey of Reschs Draught.

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