(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 – IRD and MAF (The Acronym Sessions)

It has been a busy month of beer tastings. Here are the latest two reports including the results of the public vote for best beer. First up is the IRD’s ‘Movemberfest’ tasting:

Every time I begin to think that there is a finite number of themes for beer tasting events, someone comes up with a new one. In this case, the IRD Social Club wanted a “Movemberfest” tasting. It was to have a Belgian, French and German-inspired vibe though it would mainly showcase New Zealand beers. The decorations showed David Hasselhoff – for some reason. Thankfully there were no mo’s in evidence.

I also ran a fun little session for the folks at MAF:

Last week I had the welcome opportunity to return to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to run another tasting. Over 20 people crowded into the meeting room to sample a selection of some of the best craft beers in New Zealand. Because Wellington is such a small place, one of the tasters was my old boss from the Treasury days.

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 Haiku Friday and Saving the World with Beer

Today’s haiku is from Captain Hops and makes a cogent plea for sensible economic policies towards a better world. It is called “Fair is Fair“:

Beer costs much more than
it did just a year ago.
I need a bailout.

Glass Tip: Beer Haiku Daily

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest entry looks at creationism, Al Gore, environmental doom, recycling and Fair Maiden Pale Ale. It is titled “Saving the World with Beer“:

Predictions of the world’s imminent demise began about a week after the world was created. The exact date of creation was either millions and millions of years ago or 4004BC, probably around noon, depending on who you believe. Despite the fact that the planet has patently not been destroyed even once, end-of-the-world theories have been consistently popular.

A Sunday Beer Sampler

There was a unique theme for the IRD Social Club beer tasting on Friday night:

Although the room was done up in its “traditional” Oktoberfest decorations consisting of German flags and pictures of David Hasselhoff with his shirt off, the actual theme for the tasting was quite different. For the first time ever, I was asked to present a flight of beers with “funny names and/or funny stories behind them.” It turned out to be a great theme.

I’m delighted to be the 23rd inductee into Adrienne Rewi’s series “Meet the People – Ordinary and Extraordinary New Zealanders Doing Interesting Things“:

When people ask acclaimed Wellington-based beer critic Neil Miller how he became a beer writer, he says he was simply an enthusiastic amateur lucky enough to turn professional. He says that while he had learnt how to research during six years at Parliament and how to speak through university debating, he hadn’t always appreciated good beer.

Bonus points for the use of “acclaimed”!

Beerly Writing – As Salient as Ever

In a recent beer column for Salient magazine, I profiled the Founder’s range of beers:

Finding a beer which is environmentally friendly, certified organic, vegan, GE-free and kosher is not quite as hard as it may sound. The entire Founder’s range of beer from Nelson fit the bill perfectly.

There is also a survey of New Zealand’s growing Lager Frenzy:

While we may claim to have had “a few quiet ales” the night before, the chances are that most, if not all, of those “ales” were really lagers. Even Speight’s Gold Medal Ale and Tui East India Pale Ale are lagers.

Finally, a visit to the Wellington Show revealed several New Beers:

The Food Show was the first time I’d ever even heard of the Storm Brewery in Bali. While most Asian breweries focus exclusively on light lagers, Storm makes a wide range of ales, many of them are bottle conditioned. The Storm Pale Ale (4.2%) was surprisingly fresh, fruity and refreshing.

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!

Brewers want better bottle

Nelson breweries want a bottle washing plant in the region and a standardised bottle to be produced in New Zealand.

Mr Duncan said Founders produced about 200 bottles a day, and 30 percent of them were returned to the brewery. Each bottle had a 5c refund.

He said hand-washing the bottles was too time-consuming.

Bays Brewery owner Peter McGrath did not back his fellow Nelson brewers. He questioned the quality of reused bottles, saying, “You don’t know if there’s been paint thinner in them”.

Mr McGrath said plastic rigger bottles were the “ultimate recycling vessel”. Some of his customers had reused their riggers 100 times.

Full Story