Beer Haiku Friday and Barrels of Beer

Today’s much-anticipated Beer Haiku Friday describes a beer drinkers paradise. It is called “Variety“:

Dreaming of a place
Where they serve an endless stream
Of various beers

Speaking of beer drinkers paradises*, the latest Malthouse blog looks at the development of barrel-aged beers, talks to three New Zealand brewers who are doing it and profiles the new Moa Barrel Reserve range. The blog is called “Barrels of Beer“:

Epic Journey, two 20-litre barrels of Epic Armageddon which spent six weeks on the Interisland Ferry, were a big hit at Beervana 2009. Their Impish Brewer Luke Nicholas predicts we will see a lot more barrels in use at Beervana 2010. He is a bit of a convert to barrel-aging saying it was “fun and really changed the beer in a way I didn’t expect. It was interesting but also a bit scary and creepy leaving it to the wood. You don’t have that control and there are a lot of unknowns.”

* See what I did there?

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and the Malthouse blog

Beer Haiku Friday, a New Decade of Quality Beer and The Great Debate: Mild versus Wild

It’s summer – which means rain in Wellington and lightning strikes in Northland, Auckland, Southland, Otago and Dunedin. Here is a beer haiku for all those who have lost power – or are about to – “Power Outage“:

With the power out
I grab a beer from the fridge
And light a candle

Blogging at the Malthouse site has well and truly resumed with two new posts up already. The first covers my top ten Kiwi beer of 2009 and makes three predictions about the future of beer. It is titled “To a Decade of Quality Beer“:

Having looked back longingly at 2009, it is time to look forward eagerly to 2010 and make some bold prediction for the rest of summer. Gazing into my crystal ball (well, actually it is a limited-edition Malthouse glass proposing ‘Cheers For 2010’ filled with Three Boys Golden Ale but the effect is quite similar), I foresee new levels of popularity for cider, wheat beers and pales ales (particularly those in the American style).

Next, a summary of the big debate in world beer, have extreme beers had their day, have Tactical Nuclear Penguins been spotted in New Zealand, Hallertau beers and Burns Nicht this Monday. With apologies to Bear Grylls, the post is titled “Mild vs Wild“:

Sometimes you really want a beer that makes you stop and simply go ‘wow’ – you want a real eye opener, a conversation piece, a beer that you will always remember even though you only ever had a single glass. Lagunitas’ marvellously bouncy Hop Stoopid had this effect on my friend Dean late last year. Other times, however, there is a need for a beer that has character and flavour but which accompanies rather than dominates the conversation – a beer which can facilitate a long chat solving the world’s problems or last through a big sporting event.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Malthouse blog

Beer & Food Matching by Stephen Plowman – Hallertau Brewbar

Beer and food matching is fun. The most fun about Beer is your not bound by a bunch of pre-conceived wine matches everyone seems to accept like, “Gewurztraminer goes with Asian food” not only is this stupid it also very boring.

The hurdle to beer and food matching in NZ is the lack of character in the mainstream brands. The real challenge for the chefs the Monteith’s Wild food challenge is making the dishes bland enough to match the beer. Hallertau has set about changing that with a range of beers bursting with delicious food matchable flavours.

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Beer Haiku Friday and Hallertau’s Hopping Good Beers

Today’s beer haiku makes a lot of sense. It is called “Story Teller“: The

sounds of laughter
Are an excellent soundtrack
To my beer soaked yarns

From the Malthouse blog, “Hallertau’s Hopping Good Beers” has a look at the Hallertau range and their self-described sensual brewer:

The Saison is a memorable beer but it is indeed now just a memory as it has run out and been replaced by Hallertau Statesman, a 5.3% Pale Ale with a robust 37 IBUs. The Sensual Brewer believes that drinkers will exclaim “hops galore” on first sup. While this exact reaction is unlikely but possible, Statesman is a well balanced Pale Ale with a balance of clean, sweet malt and floral hops. Attempting to expand the beer lexicon, Stephen says the beer is “both zesty and tangy, indeed, we reckon you’ll find it uniquely ‘zangy’.”

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily

Beer & Food – A Match Made In Heaven

“It’s time Kiwis woke up to the fact that beer isn’t just for swilling, instead you can have a very civilised and enjoyable dining experience with the right beer and food match. And as responsible hosts, you should be serving exceptional food to go with quality beer – the days of serving chips and dip with beer are gone,” says Plowman.

Hallertau is excited to announce its sponsorship of the Beer & Food Match category at the 2009 NZ Culinary Fare as part of HospitalityNZ, 23-25 August, ASB Showgrounds.

The Hallertau Beer & Food Match is open for anyone with a penchant for striking the right flavour combinations to display their skill in matching dishes that complement the sensational flavours of the range of New Zealand hand-crafted Hallertau beer.

Competitors will be required to taste a selection of Hallertau’s beers and then match with a restaurant menu. Competitors’ written justification of the beer and food match will be judged by a panel of experts including renowned brewing industry authority Terry Kyack and Hallertau’s owner and resident brewer Stephen Plowman. Entries for the competition close at 4pm on Friday 24 July. Details on how to enter are at

Hallertau Founder and beer fanatic, Stephen Plowman, outlines how important it is to strike the right combination between beer and food.

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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

New beers about to hit the shelves

Next week not one but three new beers are going to be available for New Zealand drinkers. Over at the Malthouse blog there are details of the launch of Yeastie Boys’ 2009 Pot Kettle Black and Hallertau’s version of Steve Baker’s award-winning home brew Take Your Daughter to the Porter. The title is, of course, “The Porter’s Daughter’s Kettle Calls the Pot Black“:

The brewer’s tasting notes say “We could go into fanciful descriptors but it can be simply summed up as rich, hoppy and far, far too easy to drink.” Having read Stu and Sam’s reviews on the Rate Beer website, this author is happy to confirm that they are more than able to go into fanciful descriptors. Between them, they appear to have about eleventy billion different ways of saying a beer is good

From Emerson’s Brewery, details of the 2009 JP Belgian special have been announced:

The annual JP release, in honour of the late University of Otago Professor Jean Pierre Dufour, or JP as he was affectionately known, pays homage to the Belgium style beers, which Master Brewer Richard Emerson says, is one of the world’s quirky styles. The beer is based on the Dubbel style, like a true Belgian there are many variations on the style as we have added a hint of star anise to the brew. A purist may consider our style to be a Belgian Strong dark ale. This year’s release packs a whopping 8% alcohol. Invited industry guests will launch this years vintage at The Inch Bar, Bank St, North East Valley, Dunedin from 3.30 – 4.30 pm on Thursday 11 June and the beer will be on sale from Monday 15 June.

All this and fruit wine too

Turning a hobby into a full time job – one that keeps a roof over your head – sounds like a dream come true. And, when your hobby’s home brewing and you transform that into a money spinner – well, a lot of blokes would think that’s about as good as it gets.

Beer enthusiast Steve Plowman has done just that. He runs Hallertau Brewbar Restaurant in Riverhead, a 20 minute drive west of the Auckland CBD. It’s a boutique operation; a family restaurant built around a micro-brewery with its own unique style.

“It’s a different concept in beer. No preservatives, no enzymes, fresh on tap.”

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Countdown to IPA Challenge – 17th July

This Thursday (17th July) night at the Malthouse sees the unveiling of two big beers created as part of a joint project referred to as “The West Coast IPA Challenge“.

The idea for creating two similar beers came after a recent trip to California by Luke Nicholas (EPIC) and Stephen Plowman (Hallertau). Having spent 10 days trying mostly American and Imperial IPA’s, it was more the need to get another fix of massive hops than anything that got these two brewers to brew such big beers. (both definitely not commercially viable in this country)

Hallertau brewed using New Zealand malt and hops, and Epic brewed using English malt and US hops. Both target 7% alc/vol, a similar colour, and massive levels of dry hopping. Be warned these aren’t your usual beers. (Photo essay of the story behind these beers)

Both Luke & Steve will be present for the launch on Thursday at the Malthouse and will also be around on Friday for Interntaional Brewers Day, in the company of Carl Vasta (Tuatara), and possibly a couple of other guest brewers.