(Belated) Beer Haiku Friday and Beer, Civilisation and Politics Explained

There is over a week to go but planning is already underway for Superbowl Monday. Details are yet to be worked out but it involves American craft beer and cheese burgers. To celebrate, today’s Beer Haiku is called “Superbowl Traditions“:

Beer, food, and football
Surrounded by family
Watching commercials

At the Malthouse Blog, the latest post explains why beer created civilisation which in turn created politics, then asks every political leader in New Zealand for their favourite and gets a 100% response rate, the favoured beers of our political elite are then revealed in a world exclusive. It is called “Beer, Civilisation and Politics“:

Last year, this blog literally stumbled over a media report on a British website claiming that Prime Minister John Key’s favourite beer was Bath Gem, a tasty ale from Bristol. Always thirsty for the truth, we decided to test this theory and directly ask the Prime Minister for his favourite beer. In the interests of balance and impartiality, the same question was put to the leaders of every political party currently represented in the New Zealand Parliament. They all provided answers and these are reproduced in full below.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Malthouse Blog

Beerly Tasting – Telecom and DesignX

One of the highlights of last week was a big, energetic tasting at Telecom:

It was a tasting that had pretty much everything: a full range of New Zealand craft beers, over 40 eager participants, a giant plastic pager advertising the event, excellent food matches for every beer from “Iron Chef Jonno”, a close popular vote and, of course, a guy in a full lion suit called “Mr Lion Brown” who had a bottle opener attached to his tail.

Last night I had the chance to run a fun little tasting for a ‘book club with a view’ which was organised by DesignX:

High in the hills of Northland (the Wellington suburb rather than the northern most region of New Zealand) I ran a beer tasting for a “book club”. Like most “book clubs” around the country, there was no reading involved but there was a lot of banter and good humour. It was hosted and organised by innovative web design company DesignX. The intention was to sample an introductory range of New Zealand craft beers, enjoy some snacks and marvel at one of the best panoramic views I’ve had at a tasting.

Glass Tip – Centre City Wines and Spirits for the supplies

Beerly Writing – The Wellingtonian: Craft beer defies the recession

My latest column in the Wellingtonian covers the state of the beer market in New Zaland and Tuatara’s debut on the Deloitte Fast 50 list. It is titled “Craft beer defies the recession“:

Brewers are, in general, remarkable people. Given only toasted barley, the flowers of a vine, clean water and a single-cell organism which usually makes bread, they can manufacture delicious, quenching beers. Confronted with those same ingredients, most normal people could only produce a slushy muesli which smelt like a barnyard and tasted of a teenagers sock drawer. Or worse – Victoria Bitter.

Beer Haiku Friday and Tasting at the Backbencher

Beer Haiku Friday exposes the best way to watch the fireworks with a poem called, unsurprisingly, “Fireworks“:

at my secret spot
with a wagon full of beer
watching fireworks

The October Backbencher beer tasting had the theme “Best of Brew NZ“:

The October Backbencher beer tasting had a “Best of Brew NZ” theme. A number of senior MPs were spotted in the immediate vicinity though they were probably present for the filming of “Backbenchers” (TVNZ 7) rather than the beer. There were over 370 entries in this year’s Brew NZ Beer Awards and only 23% of them received medals. This month’s selection showcased a range of medal winning beers accompanied by some fine food matches from the kitchen.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Backbencher

Beerly Tasting – Stats and Met Service

Here is the report from the recent tasting at Statistics NZ:

Over the years, Statistics New Zealand has been one of my most regular and favourite beer tasting clients. Last night, I ran my seventh tasting for their staff club. As usual, it was raining. That did not deter thirty two participants who seemed to enjoy trying a range of Kiwi craft beers. The offerings included some of the last Smokin’Bishop in the city. This year’s Three Boys Golden was also making its first appearance at one of my sessions.

That same busy week, I ran my first tasting up at the Met Service:

Last night I ran a beer tasting for the social club up at the Met Service. The venue was perched at the very top of the Kelburn hills and the room was filled with over 30 eager participants. I put together an introductory menu but it was only much later that it was (correctly) suggested to me that including Dux de Lux Nor’ Wester Pale Ale or Sou’ Wester Stout would have been both appropriate and tasty. However, this event did give me the chance to list my Facebook status as “off to run a beer tasting at the Met Service. The forecast is for ale storms.”

The results of the popular vote each night are in the reports.

Beer Haiku Monday and the People’s Blog Part Deux

While the seasons are wrong for this hemisphere, the poem still resonates. It is called “Winterizing“:

Taking the sails down
could go quicker without beer
but what fun is that

Over at Malthouse blog, the popular People’s blog returns with two more guest columnists and some considered reflections on bloggers and blogging. It is titled “The People’s Blog Part Deux“:

Ten years later, even hardened net geeks are giving up on trying to figure out how many blogs there really are. The answer is well over 100 million, almost certainly a lot, lot more. Blogging is not just for pyjama-clad Generation Xer’s who live in their parents basement anymore (though they are certainly still well represented on-line.) Now, rock stars blog. Beer writers blog. Businesses blog. Scientists blog. Even politicians blog.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Malthouse Blog

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
Understandable

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

Putting Beer in Context and A Tasting Report

From the Malthouse blog, a post on “Beer in its proper context” which covers why Fiji Bitter tastes better in Fiji, (Sir) Jeremy Clarkson on Chinese beer and details of the new beers coming on tap in October (including the debut from Golden Ticket):

The thing is, it was exactly the same (awful) beer but they were also quite right that it tasted much better in Fiji. Why precisely that was the case quickly became clear when I enquired about how they drank the beer in Fiji. Essentially, they all drank ice-cold Fiji Bitter in the hot sun, by the pool, relaxing on holiday while being waited on by someone young, attractive and largely naked.

In contrast, the Fiji Bitter they had in Wellington was served cool-ish, the rain was lashing against the spartan meeting room’s windows, it had been a busy working week and the beer was being served by a husky chap in a Hawaiian shirt. It is all about context.

Last week I braved blizzards and public transport to run a beer tasting out at Wallaceville:

I ran my first beer tasting in Upper Hutt last week. It was for the Social Society out at the biosecurity complex in Wallaceville and it turned out to be a great night despite Wellington producing some of the worst weather of the year. What happened to spring and global warming Mr Gore? Anyway, the idea was to offer up an introductory selection of New Zealand craft beer to an audience which contained more than one person who initially thought they ‘didn’t like beer.’

Must be Awards season…

Every year, the Capital Times asks readers to vote in their extensive “Best of Wellington” survey. Obviously, there are some rogue results (Blanket Man described as a character again) but the beer related placings were:

Best Beer Brand
1. Tuatara (3rd last year)
2. Monteiths (2nd)
3. Emerson’s (-)

Best Bar

1. Mighty Mighty (1st)
2. Matterhorn (2nd)
3. Goodluck (3rd)

Best Outdoor Bar

1. Southern Cross (1st)
2. St Johns (2nd)
3. Matterhorn (3rd)

Also out recently are the finalists for the HANZ Awards which make slightly depressing reading for beer fans:

Best Bar

Four Kings, Wellington
Frederic’s, New Plymouth
Sale Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland

Best Sports Bar

Four Kings, Wellington
Grosvenor Hotel, Timaru
The Right Track Sports Cafe, Auckland
The Tote Pub & Super Liquor, Trentham, Upper Hutt

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.