Today was exceptionally busy.

Started the day with trialling out our new still, and distilled some Message in a Bottle. Unfortunately we ended up with a few cases left over, after its best before date. So we can’t sell it anymore. Even though it is tasting as good as it ever has. So I thought it might be a bit of fun to make some spirit out of it.

Then I had the privilege of meeting and having lunch with Richard Shirtcliffe the new CEO from Tuatara Brewing Company. What a great guy, and so super positive about craft beer and also New Zealand. I am excited to have Richard as part of the craft brewing industry in New Zealand.

I asked the waitress what the most popular item on the menu was, she said the steak sandwich so I had it. It was average to fair, I did find the small steak pieces a bit chewy. Overall a little dry, could have used some mayo or sauce.

OK Lumsden what is the idea of having an amazing “Build Your Own Salad” that no one knows or talks about? This is incredible and its only $9, I am totally trying this next time.

You get to build your salad from the ground up.

It looks incredible.

Stop keeping this a secret.

On returning to the office, it was time to bottle a couple of batches of beer, that were trial recipes from the ePICO Brewery. One was an Old Ale and other a small beer.

The Epic Team as usual loves to get involved and learn and experience new stuff with brewing and beer. I ended up just being the guy taking photos.

Next we had a meeting with our friends from Culley’s (makers of chilli sauces)

They have just produced a new hot sauce, their hottest yet. This time using the hottest chillies in the world “Carolina Reapers”

We said a sauce that hot needs a cold beer to put out the fire. So we have brewed something up, a one off limited release beer to go with this limited release hot sauce.

Our new beer is Epic Carolina. It is an Amber Ale 7.2% abv, Hopped with Centennial and Chinook (sorry Niels)

No we didn’t use any chillies in making it. It is to help put out the fire.

The launch party is from 5pm on Friday 14th February at Brew on Quay. There will be tastings of the beer and hot sauce. There will also be a hot wings eat competition.

We also have a date for Hamilton at House – 20 Feb.

There will be other dates and locations announced next week where we will be turning up and tasting the hot sauce and beer.

After the Carolina meeting I did an ageing tasting on the most current batches of our Epic Pale Ale. Just to make sure the aroma and flavour in each of the batches in stock are holding up OK. 330ml batches are all good. I am going to revisit the 500ml again on Friday just to double check, with the brewsheet in hand. One seems to be a little low on aroma, so need to work out what was done differently. But nothing you should worry about.

(I was told I should blog about doing these tastings)

End of the day, we did some tasting of the new hot sauce and some beer. It went well. These are some crazy hot chillies. I took a half of the Carolina Reaper in the photo and just touched it to my tongue (didn’t eat any) and it burned like crazy, lasted like 15 minutes. Just a touch, man thats some hot stuff.

Yes and we had some BBQ’ed bacon, because that is how we roll.

Some times things just happen. It started with “hey the purple of your dress is the same as the Armageddon label” and ended up as an Armageddon bottle Angel.

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