The final three Salient columns for 2008 begin with a review of the Best Beers in the Land:
It is a simple fact that the winners of proper competitions are decided by proper judges. Text voting from the masses probably makes “New Zealand’s Got Talent”, Telecom and Vodafone truck loads of money each week but the results are hardly based on merit. By reducing the judging to a phone-in popularity contest, an expert’s considered verdict is worth exactly the same as “Sonny” from Victoria who texts in “OMG tht dancin dog tht thru up on stage wuz the coolest! LULZ 2008!!! Vote Labour!”
Then, an objective look at the Best Places to Drink Beer in Wellington:
One of the best aspects of being a beer writer – apart from the master key to every brewery in the country and being called a “hero” in a letter to the editor – is all the research. Now, the extensive research required for beer writing is not like legal research (“find the case of the person who first got shafted by this particular law”), chemistry research (“record precisely what time you caught fire”), political research (“rephrase Nicky Hager in your own words for extra credit”) or even sociology research (“Wikipedia does so count as an academic source”).
Finally, the final Salient beer column pompously titled Some sober reflections on beer:
After an introduction so tangential it would make Professor Nigel S Roberts exclaim “my word, what an awfully tangential introduction,” it is time to announce that this is my final beer column for Salient. Perhaps next year another writer will step into the breach and produce three-part exposes on “Flame Beer – Why it Rocks.” Judging from the mailbag, there is a strong demand for that article from at least one student with a blue crayon and poor spelling.
Glass Tip: Salient Magazine