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.

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.

SOBA National Homebrew Championship

The Society of Beer Advocates is pleased to announce that entries are now open for the SOBA National Homebrew Championship proudly sponsored by Mac’s All Malt Brewing and Brewcraft.

Entries close on Friday 30th November 2007. Entry forms will be available at your local homebrew store or can be downloaded from

There are some great prizes from Mac’s and Brewcraft to be won. Prizes for each BJCP category as well as Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for best kit beers and best full grain beers.

The winner of the Supreme Champion Beer will be invited to a brew day to brew their award winning beer at Hallertau BrewBar.

SOBA would like to thank Brewers Coop, NZ Hops and Hallertau BrewBar for their support.

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.