Beer Haiku Friday and Attaining Beervana

Today’s Beer Haiku Friday sums up most art exhibitions for me. To mangle a Homer Simpson quote, I like paintings to look like the things they are supposed to look like. Here is “Abstract Art“:

An art opening
Where beer is the only thing

From the Wellingtonian newspaper, my column reviewing the success of Beervana 2009:

The queue snaked from the front door of the Town Hall around the corner and right across Civic Square. Hundreds of people waited anxiously to hand in their tickets and receive a canary yellow bracelet. They were not there to see a politician speak or a rock band play, they were literally there for the beer.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and The Wellingtonian newspaper

Beer Haiku Friday and Beervana Blogs

It is a busy time for beer tastings at the moment so this Haiku seemed particularly apt. It is called “Flavor“:

That sublime moment
When someone realizes
Beer’s about flavor

Beervana is over for another year but already the planning for 2010 has begun (seriously, the first meeting was this week). It seems timely, well – overdue really – to have a look at what some of the blogs had to say.

I always enjoy Kate Blackhurst’s perspective over at Kate’s Blog. She has done two posts titled “Beervana Tasting Notes Part One” and “Beervana 2009 Tasting Notes Part Two“:

We hear that Epic have sold out of their Armageddon IPA anyway. When we mention this to another brewer, however, he just laughs that is exactly the sort of rumour Luke would put about to create more demand. There’s still some on at The Malthouse anyway and we have a couple of pints later, although we swore we would go straight home after the festival this time.

Over at Brewaucracy, Greig channels his Hamilton roots with a post titled “Smells Like Beervana 2009“:

As Alex will testify, it did lead to a few problems. I’d go looking for a beer, run into a friend, spend 10 minutes talking, then realise what I was supposed to be doing. I’d get back from my sortie to a missing wife, having given up waiting for me and my mouth, and gone searching for beer of her own. Never mind, it was all great fun.

Over at Public Address, Hadyn Green gave his Field Theory on Beervana in “No Draught In Here“:

Brewer Matt Thomson said that they were surprised they had won because they had been (like the Speight’s brewer) concentrating on other beers. I noted to Matt that it was a very malty flavoured beer; he said that it was because of tea-bagging. I caught the spit-take before it happened.

Naturally tea-bagging is the process of planting a muslin bag filled with crushed malt into the boil near the end of the process which creates a stronger malty flavour. It is not anything dirty.

Glass Tip – Those excellent chaps at Beer Haiku Daily

Beer Awards and Beer Tasting

The biggest week on the New Zealand beer calendar is over. The BrewNZ Beer Awards attracted a record number of entries while Beervana attracted a record number of attendees. The winners were honoured at the awards dinner last Thursday and the full results are now up on the Brewer’s Guild website. The highlight of the evening was Emerson’s Brewing Company being crowned Champion Brewery 2009.

Pre-Beervana, I had the pleasure of running a beer tasting for the diplomatic folks at MFAT:

The role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been occasionally described by outsiders as ‘drinking for one’s country.’ It was therefore slightly surprising that it had been a couple of years since I had last run a beer tasting session for the MFAT social club. The organiser of the previous event is, rather ironically, now posted to a completely dry country though I’m sure there is no causal relationship.

Finally, to the hundreds of correspondents who almost over-loaded the Real Beer server with emails wanting to know what happened to Beer Haiku Friday, you will be pleased to learn that normal service will resume this week.

That’s a nice beer, if you can get it

McKinlay is the co-founder of Yeastie Boys, a cheeky craft-beer company that unleashed its fourth commercial brew upon the beer-loving public on Tuesday.

The result? “Beers that push the envelope a little, educate drinkers about style and history, and challenge people’s ideas about what can be done in the brewing world,” said McKinlay.

The boys will be releasing their first bottled beer at Wellington’s Beervana festival in August, but McKinlay wasn’t giving much away about this one.

Full Story

Life-changing stuff as Kiwi beer comes of age at BrewNZ

But for me the most successful part of BrewNZ wasn’t the beers themselves, but the public’s response to them. Beervana, a two-day tasting event featuring 80 or so of the country’s finest brews as well as beer and food matching seminars with top chef Martin Bosley, was a huge success.

Around 2500 people braved some of the capital’s most inclement weather to attend the three sessions at the Overseas Terminal and everyone I have spoken to since has been fulsome in their praise.

Having flown down to Wellington specifically for the event, the Auckland-based editor of a well known trade magazine later told me the quality and diversity of beers available at Beervana had fundamentally changed his understanding and perception of beer. Praise indeed!

Full Story

Kate’s Blog – Beervana

(note below there are actually three different links to three very comprehensive blog posts)

All of this and more was at this weekend’s Brew NZ event, Beervana, in Wellington. Over 20 brewers from around the country and many more discerning drinkers gathered in the Overseas Terminal on the waterfront. Stalls flanked the walls and in the middle the conversation and the tasting notes hummed.

A very good and unobtrusive band played throughout the evening, and the food (which could be purchased with beer tokens) looked excellent and abundant – I saw venison sausages, mashed potatoes and mushy peas, turkey and ham rolls, and a mound of tasty cheeses. I have to admit I didn’t eat any because I was too busy tasting the beer – more of which in the next blog.

Full Blog Post

Kate’s Beervana: Tasting notes (Part 1)
Well, my head has almost recovered after a night of hedonistic beery pleasure, and this morning’s run along the Eastern walkway with occasional glimpses of the inland Kaikouras (they were just there!) has cleared the mental decks so that I can write up some rather illegible tasting notes from this weekend’s Beervana.

Full Blog Post (Part 1)


Beervana: Tasting notes (Part 2)
So, to sum up, I drank lots of beer, I like hops and I had a great night. My top three, entirely unscientifically based upon the way I was feeling at the time are Epic Pale Ale, Yeastie Boys’ Pot Kettle Black, and Croucher Brewing Company Pale Ale. Anyone else?

Full Blog Post (Part 2)

Beer and Loathing – BEERVANA [Review]

And flavour was the theme of Beervana. Every brewer spoke about the aroma and flavours of their beers. The dry bite of feijoa, the tang of grapefruit, the hint of cinnamon, the richness of whiskey. This beer compliments salty fish and cheese; this one will clean out the heavy oils; this one matches chocolate cake and blue cheese. Therefore, having working taste buds was an asset.

Full Story


A mixed pack of beer

From the Wellingtonian, the latest column takes a close look at beer festivals and (eventually) previews this weeks Beervana event:

Perhaps the most auspicious story – and it may even be true – is that we played a small part in getting Speight’s Pilsner and Porter made commercially. Apparently, Speight’s had decided if the beers sold out by the end of the day, they would be green-lighted. At the official close, both were still pouring but the good doctor and I managed to place ourselves in such a way we could clandestinely top up our glasses as the clean-up began. I finished the last of the Pilsner, he exhausted the Porter and the beers later appeared on the market.

This is the article I still cannot believe I managed to get paid to write – my combined weaknesses of “Beer and Fondue” from the excellent Beer and Brewer magazine:

The humble fondue is alternatively derided as a laughable 70s throwback and then acclaimed as the next great leap forward in up-market gastronomy. Despite the vagaries of fashion, there has always been something very sociable about sitting around a warm pot eating melted cheese. That is perhaps why virtually every household in Australasia will have owned a fondue set at some time. Personally, I still have six.

At the August Cellar-Vate tasting, the theme was Beers of Asia:

Because of availability issues in New Zealand, the menu tended to focus on the pale lager style but it did include the superb King Cobra and the Official Beer of the Summer Olympics 2008. It also has a beer quote from Confucius. Epic Zen!

BEERVANA – Festive Brews – Be There OR Miss Out

Beervana is offering beer drinkers of New Zealand, not only the best selection of beers ever brought together under one roof in New Zealand, but a hand full of beers never seen before, especially in one place.

This is truly BEERVANA.

Festive Brews on offer

– Mussel Inn – a particularly special version of the Capt Cooker
– Aotearoa Breweries – Fejoa style MATA
– Epic Armageddon IPA – Double IPA
– Bennett’s Winter Ale – 6.8 % Winter Ale
– Emerson’s Special Reserve – Piny Stout aged in Pinot Barrels 5% Stout
– Yeastie Boys ‘Pot Kettle Black’ – American Porter
– Greenman – Whisky Bock – Doppelbock is matured in American oak.
– Twisted Hop – double IPA ‘Skull Buggery’ 8% Limited to 2 firkins only

Also over 20 breweries and beer distributors under one roof. That is nearly 100 different beers available to sample. Plus meet the brewers of these beers.

Session 1 – Friday 5th September from 4pm till 9pm
Session 2 – Saturday 6th September from 10am till 2pm
Session 3 – Saturday 6th September from 4pm till 9pm

$25 single session
$50 all sessions

Get a branded Beervana glass, with a sample line. Taste either 145ml samples or a full taste of 290ml

$125 – all drinks and eats are free. In addition to all the 100 beers on offer you also have access to a massive selection of over 200 beers from the entries of the BrewNZ International Beer Awards. That is up to 300 different beers you can try.

Overseas Terminal
New Zealand

Friday – 5th September 2008
Saturday – 6th September 2008
Buy tickets now

Love Beer? Seek Beervana!