Beer Haiku Friday and Awards That Actually Matter

Today’s beer haiku will outrage the purists but I like it. It is called “Because I Can“:

A bucket of wings
And some expensive cheap beer
Just because I can

Over at the Malthouse blog, my latest post discusses bar service, Evelyn Waugh’s seven requirements of a good inn-keeper, assesses Malthouse’s Colin Mallon against those seven criteria, looks at the Capital Awards and highlights three coming events. In a unsubtle dig at the Oscars, it is called “Awards That Actually Matter“:

Many would have expected Malthouse to also do well in the ‘best beer list’ category – except there wasn’t one. There was a ‘best wine list’ and ‘best drinks list’ but beer was a glaring omission. Fortunately, the flame-haired perpetrator has been quickly identified and given a stern talking to over a Tuatara Ardennes. Hopefully, it will be a proper category next year.

Glass Tips – Those determined tipplers at Beer Haiku Daily and the multi-award nomination folks at Malthouse

Beer Haiku and Beers from the Edge

Today’s beer haiku belatedly recognises International Bacon Day (September 6) which really should replace Labour Day as a public holiday. The poem is titled “Bacon Lattice“:

Any recipe
That includes “bacon lattice”
Has got to be good

From the Malthouse blog, the latest post has a look at the mainstream media, beer judging and the Mata range. It is called “Beers from the Edge“:

One of a beer writer’s constant frustrations when trying to push craft beer into the mainstream media is the frequent impact a journalist or editor’s pre-conceptions and prejudices can have on the final article. It can be as simple as the choice of pictures used to accompany positive or negative stories about alcohol. If you look closely, negative stories usually have stock photos involving beer or RTDs while positive stories tend to use pictures featuring wine, usually in a quite sophisticated setting.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Malthouse Blog

Beer Haiku Friday and Official Confirmation that Richard Emerson is, indeed, a Champion

As well as being a day early, todays Beer Haiku has a distinctly New Zealand flavour. It is called “Perfect“:

Butcher and brewer
Make ESB sausages
Perfect with mashed spuds

It is by Rupert Morrish who notes “my local butcher makes these excellent Bitter & Twisted sausages for Galbraiths.” The editor also adds a note saying “Mmmmm… ESB Sausages… Drool…” However, this is not the first time the dashing Keith Galbraith has had a poem written about him. *

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post takes a look at the Beer Awards, Richard Emerson, beer, life and shoes in “It’s official, Richard Emerson is a Champion“:

Perhaps suspecting that he was going to do very well at the ceremony, Richard was sharply dressed. That has not always been the case. Emerson’s brewery manager Chris O’Leary recalls Richard arriving at a previous Brew NZ wearing two different shoes. Apparently, Richard had gotten up at 5am in the dark, slipped on his shoes and travelled all the way to Wellington. Chris says “being the observant, caring guy I am I let him wear that combination for a day then advised him that he was wearing one brown shoe and one green shoe. Ever positive, Richard replied ‘Bugger – oh well, at least I’m wearing one shoe from each of my favourite pairs!’”

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily and the Malthouse Blog

* I can not provide any actual evidence of this but I’m sure its true.

2008 Beer Awards, Imps and Trappists

From the Wellingtonian, my now traditional end-of-year beer and bar awards:

I have continued my fledgling tradition of putting together an assessment of the best New Zealand beers for 2008 and some beer-related awards for venues around Wellington. These are, of course, simply the opinions of one beer writer but, rest assured gentle readers, they are based on extensive and intensive research.

From the Malthouse blog, a long look at Epic Pale Ale and its impish creator:

His brewing style is ashamedly hop-fixated. Luke has made a decision to use all imported hops for his beers as they give him the flavour and power he is looking for. While this approach can be controversial with his peers, the resulting beers are highly regarded. Epic Pale Ale was crowned Supreme Champion Beer of New Zealand just weeks after it launched. Metro called it the “Best Beer in Auckland” (by which they mean New Zealand) and the Listener also had it as the best beer of 2007 though their sole source for that assessment was me.

Also from the Malthouse blog, an entry on our old friends at Chimay:

Extensive research has unveiled exactly one joke about the monks at Chimay. Actually, it is not really a joke, merely a witty quote which may or may not have actually happened. As semi-silent monks in The Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (which is understandably shortened to Trappist) there probably isn’t a lot of opportunity for verbal comedy and word play.

How Salient for October

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

And the winners are…

The 2008 BrewNZ Beer Awards were announced last night in Wellington. The Best in Class winners in the following categories were:

Classic NZ Styled Beers: Biman, Invercargill Brewery, Invercargill.

Amber and Dark lagers: Hereford Bitter, Dux Brew Co, Christchurch.

International Golden Lager: James Squire Pilsener, Malt Shovel Brewery, Australia.

French & Belgian style ales: Tuatara Ardennes, Tuatara Brewing, Wellington.

New world/American style ales: Epic Pale Ale, Epic Brewing Company, Auckland. UK and other European style ales: Tuatara IPA, Tuatara Brewing, Wellington.

Stouts and Porters: Clydesdale Stout, Harringtons Brewery, Christchurch.

Strong ales and lagers: Monteith’s Winter Ale Doppelbock, DB Mainland Brewery, Auckland.

Wheat and other grain beers: Emerson’s Weizenbock, The Emerson Brewing Company, Dunedin.

Fruit, spiced, herb flavoured beers: Boysenbeery, Invercargill Brewery, Invercargill.

Packaging award: Monteith’s New Zealand Lager, Monteith’s Brewing Company.

Experimental and non or low alcoholic beers: Enrico’s Cure, Green Man Brewery, Dunedin.

Champion Brewery: Tuatara Brewery