Beer Haiku and International Brewers Day Tomorrow

Today’s haiku is about beer and food. It is called “That’s Good Eatin’“:

She brought me a beer
and a Maryland crab cake
the size of my face

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily

Malthouse blog this week focuses on July 18 – International Brewers Day – as well as discussing beer writer Jay Brooks and legendary brewer Dick Fife in “Have you hugged a brewer today?”:

July 18 2008 – a day that will live forever in the opposite of infamy.

That date was the first International Brewers Day and was marked around the world by small groups of beer aficionados in various cerevisaphilic ways. International Brewers Day is the creation of legendary American beer writer Jay R Brooks – author of the Brookston Beer Bulletin – who was inspired by a “Have You Hugged a Brewmaster Today?” sticker on the brewery door at San Francisco’s 21st Amendment.

Beer Haiku Friday, Beer Battles and Beer Journeys

In the 1,001th post on this fine blog, Beer Haiku Friday continues its ratings dominance with “big foamy head

Just some good ole boys
Talking beer, blues, barbecue
And living the dream

The TAB is offering long odds on Neil “Haiku” Miller becoming a more popular nickname than Luke “The Imp” Nicholas.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the 30th post there looks at the West Coast Challenge, brewers talking like professional wrestlers and the Dux de Lux. It is titled “Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the hoppiest beers in the world run wild on you?”

Over a quiet pint of Epic one evening, the Handsome and Softly Spoken Scotsman had the crazy idea of recreating Pete Brown’s IPA voyage recreation right here in New Zealand. He asked the Impish brewer to procure some wooden barrels and fill them with Armageddon. The Impish brewer immediately agreed. He asked the Interislander ferry if the barrels could go on their ship for up to six weeks. The Interislander people immediately agreed.

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily

Beerly Writing – Winter Warmers and Beer Talk

The May Cellar Vate beer tasting looked at “Winter Warmers” in appropiately wintery conditions:

The theme of this beer tasting – Winter Warmers – was selected as the last vestiges of autumn still lay snugly over the Capital. By the time the anointed time arrived, the weather had conveniently provided a week of cold, gales and rain to really set the scene for a selection of darker, stronger, warming beers. Forty people tried a range of dark lagers, porters, stouts and dubbels in the Cabinet Room at the Backbencher.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post, “Lets talk about beer“, looks at the subtle art of beer writing and Cooper’s Stout:

Liquor aficionado Frank Kelly Rich once penned a thoughtful piece on why beer appreciation (or “beer snobbery” as he called it) was superior in virtually every way to wine snobbery. Of course, Mr Rich considers anyone who drinks out of a glass rather than a furtive paper bag to be a bit of snob really. Fundamentally, he argued that beer snobs had it better because the dress code was more casual, there was no need to learn French and you could basically make everything up because no-one really knows what they are talking about when it comes to beer.

Glass Tips – The Backbencher and The Malthouse

Beer on a Monday Morning – Cellar Vate Tasting and the Porter Story

Regular tastings have resumed at Cellar-Vate with the first of this year called “The Best of the Best for 2008

The first Cellar Vate beer tasting of 2009 was the always coveted “Best of the Best” session. Forty-five tasters gathered to sample eight beers which were voted first or second in each of the eight tastings I ran last year. Our aim was to select the Cellar Vate Beer Tasting Club Champion Beer and Champion Brewery of 2008.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post talks about beer and storytelling, the best beer story in the world and Tuatara Porter. It is called “The Porter Story“:

Beer and storytelling have a long, interwoven history. The ancient Sumerians, sipping their beer through long straws, probably whiled away the hours with exaggerated stories of hunting prowess and how they totally could conquer Egypt but just didn’t have the time these days. That tradition has continued unabated.

Glass Tip – The Malthouse Blog and Pete Brown’s Blog

Queenstown’s Dux de Lux restaurant going on the market

Queenstown’s Dux de Lux restaurant and bar owners have written to creditors saying they cannot pay their bills and are hoping to sell.

Dux de Lux director and part-owner Ross Herrick said the Queenstown company had a downturn during the winter and the restaurant business had suffered.

The Queenstown business was separate from the Christchurch Dux de Lux, although he was manager of that business, he said.

Only the Queenstown restaurant was for sale, not the accompanying bar.

Full Story

Beer – The only known cure for a case of the “Mondays”

Here is the full report on the latest tasting session at the Backbencher:

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.)

Finally, a write up in the Herald of a recent boutique beer tour:

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!

Beerly Reviewing – The Beer Store

The three question I am asked most often at the beer tastings I run are:

1) What’s the difference between an ale and lager?
2) Why does Steinlager give me such a bad headache?
3) Where can I obtain these magnificent libations?

The answer to the third question just became a whole lot easier with the successful launch of The Beer Store – a New Zealand on-line specialist beer supplier.

The Beer Store currently has over 300 boutique beers from New Zealand and the world including many which are impossible to source even in beer-rich Wellington. In my first order, I picked up a six-pack of Croucher Pale Ale and a six-pack of Dux de Lux Nor’Wester. Next time, I can’t go past the Brew Moon Hophead IPA – I haven’t seen that brew here for years.

The order process is simple enough for me to use (which means it must be very simple) and, despite placing my order late on Wednesday afternoon, the beer arrived in a robust cardboard box the very next day. One of the very nice touches about the site is that provides quite detailed information on every beer. That takes away a bit of the guesswork.

You can colour me impressed with the whole Beer Store experience from start to finish.

Seeing New Zealand the Right Way

I recently met a very cool American guy called Kurt who was touring New Zealand in search of adventures and good beers. He has been keeping a bit of a journals of his travels:

headed north and made my way to Queenstown, on a lake in the southern alps (Misty Mountains). pretty awesome. parked the Falcon at a camping park in town just at the base of a mountain. took the gondola up to the peak and had a few beers just soaking in the Misty Mountains. went out to Dux Delux for some Black Shag Stout, then a pizza at Missi’s, then some beers at the Minibar, which has a huge selection. quiet sunday night. tonight I go to a Haka demonstration and then dinner at the peak. cool little town Queenstown is. headquarters for adrenaline activities (bungy, rafting, jetboating, skiing, lumberjacking, shoving sheep off of cliffs (with a kilt, naturally))…no snow except for the peaks, just prior to the season, but it is still very cold!

Click here to read his account of his adventures and beers down south in all its unedited glory.

Pub of the Year

According to the NZ Herald, the Dux de Lux in Christchurch has just walked off with the pub of the year award.

Well done! Great to see a winner who supports craft beer.

That said, if I had been judging, I’d have given the prize to the Twisted Hop, as real ale trumps keg beer every time. That and they support SOBA.


The above looks to be completely wrong.

I’m not sure what is going on at the Herald, but the original article seems to have vanished, and has been replaced by one declaring that Galbraiths is the Pub of the Year. That’s all well and good, but I’m not sure where the original article is!

Apologies patient readers.

Boo Sucks to the NZ Herald.


Stu points out this isn’t the first time that the Herald has let beer lovers down with useless reporting.

Some detail would be nice, NZ Herald people. I love Galbraiths to bits, but who chose it as the pub of the year? Who sponsors this contest? Does it run every year? Who judges it?