We’ve been drinking our way through the vineyards of New Zealand for the last week or so, and while it’s been absolutely fabulous, we got a nice change of pace – in the form of BEER. Neil Miller, a beer expert with an ironic last name, took us on a beer tasting tour in Wellington and I have to say that I learned a thing or two about pairing beer with food.
The theme for the September session of the Cellar-Vate beer tasting club was the unique “Dark and Ducky.” This moniker was devised to cover a combination of dark beers and the bottled range from the Dux de Lux. The 50 people in attendance had the Dux beers presented to them by the legendary Dick Fyfe. Given Dux de Lux means “masters of the finest”, I speculated in spectacularly poor Latin that this would make Dick the Dux de Dux de Lux – the master of the masters of the finest. I doubt it will catch on and it would never fit on his business card in any case.
Next, the first ever beer tasting event at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage:
On Friday night, I had the chance to run a fun little beer tasting at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (who I accidentally called the Ministry of Culture and Heritage on the tasting menu and was immediately chastised. You never stop learning in this job.)
Miller – a beer writer and expert who knows everything you could about beer as well as anyone who matters in the Wellington bar scene – is great company. He must be the only person I’ve met who carries around hops and barley in his bag.
In my defence, I usually only have hops and barley in my bag when I’m running a tour or a tasting!
While some of the 45 keen people packed in the Cabinet Room at the Backbencher may have been marking the national day of Belgium, I suspect more were attracted by a top notch beer list from the land known as “the paradise of beer”. The fact that there was only one beer under 8% did not seem to put any one off!
Tonight I ran a tasting at Statistics New Zealand on what turned out to be a (surprisingly) stunning Wellington evening:
It was also lucky that was it was the people in this organisation who were asked to equally share seventeen bottles of “The Hef” between 36 tasters. That would have stumped many less arithmetical organisations.
Finally, beer makes it to writer and photographer Adrienne Rewi’s blog!
From The Wellingtonian, the Malthouse gets Captain Cooker and Chimay White on Tap:
Captain James Cook was a sailor, a navigator, an explorer, a cartographer and a brewer. He personally made the first batch of beer in Australasia at Dusky Sound in 1773. The production of beer, which was safer and healthier than water on the ships, was considered so important it was common for the Captain himself to do the brewing. Cook’s recipe is recorded in voluminous detail in his log which also modestly notes the resulting beer was “exceedingly palatable and esteemed by everyone on board.”
From Beer and Brewer magazine, a profile of the one and only Mr Richard Emerson:
I a cruel twist of fate, award-winning brewer Richard Emerson threw away most of the best beer he ever made. He made a beer with Vierka Munich yeast but says it “was terrible to ferment and didn’t taste that great after two months in the bottle.” Needing the bottles, he dumped virtually all the beer down the drain. The two dozen he kept sat forgotten for a year.
The Air New Zealand in-flight magazine Kia Ora has rated Wild about Wellington’s Boutique Beer Tour one of the fifteen coolest short tours in the country.