Beerly Writing – Around the Traps

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.

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.

Long Weekend Beerly Reading

The Southern Cross Tavern is a striking example of the change in attitudes to drinking and beer in New Zealand. This article – reprinted with the kind permission of the Wellingtonian newspaper – charts the evolution from booze barn to beer bar:

In my first year of university, the Southern Cross Tavern was a drinking establishment of near mythical stature. Virtually every day, a line of hopeful, nervous students would queue up to the door hoping to partake of $2 jugs of Lion Brown, complete the epic ‘Round the World’ beer challenge or even endure the exquisite horror of the ‘bladder buster’ – cheap drinks until some unlucky person went to the bathroom.

The Salient Beer Column returns for 2008 and the first column can be read here:

“Beer” and “university” go together as naturally as “essay” and “leaving it to the last minute.”

The second column details the various beers and bars which continue to vex me – My Beer Nemeses if you will:

My first real Beer Nemesis was the lamentable range of Fruit Hopper beers. Many gentle readers will be too young to recall these beers (at least legally), but they were generic lagers mixed with what tasted very much like different flavours of Raro and then over-carbonated in a Soda Stream machine. Shortly after a press release went out extolling their strong sales, they were quietly taken off the market and possibly re-released as Lift Plus.

Beer Haiku – Beer by Committee

Writing about the Collaborator Doppelbock, Captain Hops aptly captures the problem with beers designed by a committee in today’s Beer Haiku.

Brewed by committee.
How many are too many
Cooks in the kitchen?

Glass tip – As ever, Beer Haiku Daily

Our Beer in the Media Watch section is occupied for the second week in a row by the Education Review. Tom Reece, the Chief Executive of the Extractives Industry Training Organisation, reveals he would take a “supply of Emerson’s Organic Pilsner” into orbit along with a pot plant and some comfy slippers.

Richard Emerson and Paris Hilton

Last week’s column in the Wellingtonian newspaper continued the southern theme by covering Emerson’s Brewery – “a craft brewery with big brewery production.” Reprinted as always with kind permission.

Home made beer from first time brewers rubbed shoulders with classic Trappist ales at the latest beer tasting at M-co. It was a two-part tasting – a standard commercial beer tasting and the grand finals of the M-co personal beverage production competition.

The final Salient column of term one was an exposition on Beer Wisdom.

And finally, a random question: Paris Hilton was the face of Bondi Blonde Low Carb beer. Will her going to jail (twice) push sales up or down?

Visit the website to vote on whether Paris should serve her sentence in Australia because (in their words) it is the world’s largest penal colony and confirm that the beer’s motto is “nothing goes down like a bondi blonde…”

I can’t make this stuff up.

Salient Points

Here are the links to my two latest columns from Salient Magazine:

Discovering good beer – a look back on my beer drinking development:

My beer drinking career got off to a rough start with my first recollection being a slightly warm six-pack of Rheineck. This unpleasant experience certainly put my beer appreciation back several years.

Teenagers called Rheineck ‘weasel piss’, which was unfair. If my pet weasel passed Rheineck, I’d rush him to the vet


Beer the South should be proud of – An article about Emerson’s:

Brewers are, on the whole, extraordinary people. From just toasted grain, the flower of a vine, ordinary water and a single-celled organism, they can produce delicious, sweet, life-giving beer.

Given those ingredients, most people would produce soggy muesli which smells of wet grass, and tastes vaguely like bathroom mould. Or worse – Mash beer.

Land of Hops and Glory

There are few things in the history of the world more satisfying than a good beer festival. On the 5th May the Hops and Glory festival was held in Upper Moutere. It is the brain child of real ale enthusiasts Martin Townshend, Andrew Cole and Kieron Lattimer.

Kieron was kind enough to supply the following report:

Approx 350 were at the beer tasting (sober drivers and non-beer drinkers weren’t charged entry so we don’t know exact attendance).

The majority of the attendees were from the immediate local area (rather than Nelson itself) and over 100 signed up to the “Hops and Glory” email link.

The event also attracted people from the local tourism/restaurant industry who wanted to check out alternatives to mainstream beers – very encouraging!

Beers from 10 South Island brewers were available – including “The Twisted Hop” and “The Townshend Brewery” – the only Real Ale Breweries in the South Island. 140 litres of Real Ale alone sold out in less than two hours! (many thanks to “The Twisted Hop” for providing the three beer engines for the night – people were mesmerised watching the beer being pulled and loved watching it swirl and settle in the glass).

Full list of Brewers/beers

Lighthouse – Dick’s Dark, Pilsner
Founder’s – Generation Ale
Mussel Inn – Captain Cooker Manuka Beer, Apple Roughy Cider
Pink Elephant – Golden Tusker
Renaissance – Perfection Pale Ale
Emerson’s – Pilsner
Townshend – Dinner Ale, Number 9
Twisted Hop – Challenger
Three Boys – Wheat Beer
Tasman Brewing Co – Best Bitter, Tasman Lager

The event also got a great deal of attention from the print media – (Nelson Mail, The Press, Malborough Express, Nelson Leader, Motuka-Golden Bay News) – the best of these will soon be displayed on our website.

The next event is planned for Spring 2007

Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the other guys involved.

Cheers – Kieron Lattimer

This sounds like an absolutely fantastic event and the organisation deserve our congratulations. I for one plan to be there for Hops and Glory II!