(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.

Of Tuataras and The Treasury

Reprinted from the Wellingtonian, my latest column titled “Hatching a new Tuatara“:

With the expansion completed, Carl is turning his formidable brewing brain to more new offerings and is planning some special big brews. These, he says, could include a stout, a “nice American Pale Ale” or a “big Belgian triple on the yeast, champagne corked and wired so it would age.”

This week I also ran a beer tasting for The Treasury:

It was in the hallowed halls of The Treasury that I ran my first ever beer tasting. The year was 2003 and the big worry then was bird flu rather than swine flu. How far we have come. It was attended by exactly eight people and around half the beers we tried that night are no longer brewed today. It was a very different event last night when twenty people sat down to a value for money buffet and, more importantly, to taste six New Zealand craft brews.

Beerly Tasting and the Winter Solstice

Last week I ran the second annual beer tasting for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage:

I made a mistake – the same mistake as last year. According to my carefully designed beer menu, I was running a tasting at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. Such an august body does not exist and indeed never has in New Zealand. It is the Ministry for Culture and Heritage though in my defence even the former Prime Minister used to make the same mistake though she probably didn’t have it pointed out to her in the same way I did. Any insinuation that there is a Ministry of Culture and Heritage is erroneous, untrue and quite possible flocculent.

Last night I attended the launch of Mac’s new winter beer Solstice:

Mac’s Solstice is a five malt beer, fermented from a mix of Pale malt, Vienna malt, caramalt, Dark Crystal and Chocolate malt. The Hop component comes from southern Cross and Fuggles, while Horopito adds some mouth-warming clove and pepper aromas.

REVIEW: Hop harvest ale has legs

Beer reviewer Ric Oram samples Emerson’s celebration of the annual hop harvest, the Harvest Fresh Hop Ale, and tests Green Man’s improved Pils.

If you like the smell of buttered popcorn or butterscotch, you will be disappointed to know that Dunedin brewery Green Man’s Pils (5.4%) now has a fresher aroma.

Previous batches smelled of diacetyl, which is naturally produced early in the fermentation but which usually disappears by the end of the process. The brew is now being allowed to rest before bottling, allowing the butter/butterscotch smell to dissipate.

Full Story

Big guns to fire for small NZ brewery

Beer boffins have enlisted some high-powered legal help to fight one of New Zealand’s brewing giants over a trade mark.

The Society of Beer Advocates (Soba) has filed a legal application to invalidate DB Breweries’ trade-marking of the beer term “radler”.

The move comes after a leading firm of patent attorneys, James & Wells Intellectual Property, waded into the brewing industry stoush, originally reported in the Waikato Times on April 4, by offering the services of its specialist intellectual property litigation group on a pro-bono basis.

Earlier this year DB Breweries forced the small entrepreneurial Green Man Brewery to stop using the generic term radler and re-label its bottles, because it had trade-marked the name in New Zealand in 2003.

Full Story

Storm in a pint pot over radler beer – Green Man and DB slug it out

A boutique Dunedin brewery is being forced to rename its Radler beer after being told DB breweries has exclusive rights to the name.

Overseas, radler is a generic term to describe a style of shandy, but in New Zealand DB has claimed copyright on the word.

As a result, some beer lovers are now calling for a boycott of the brewing giant.

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REVIEW: Beer to knock your socks off

Beer reviewer Ric Oram reviews the latest creation from local brewer Green Man, fermented with champage yeast to pack a wallop.

Dunedin brewer Green Man has produced, at 14.5%, what is probably the strongest commercial beer made in New Zealand.

It is Enrico’s Cure (named after its maker Enrico Gritzner) which won a silver medal and was judged the best experimental beer at this month’s BrewNZ beer competition.

Full Story

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.