IPA Project 2010 and Beerfest comes to Welly

Arrow Brewing Company have announced their “IPA Project 2010.” Teasers have been sent out but I have received the synopsis of this awesome sounding project which involves Arrow brewing

“an authentic IPA by traditional methods and cask conditioning the resulting beer in a wooden barrel. On March 1, this IPA will be given its “sea journey” when the barrel ventures out into the notorious Foveaux Strait on board one of the first oyster boats to set sail for the season. Upon the boats return to Bluff, the barrel will be transported back to Arrowtown where the celebrations begin and the IPA will be “cracked” and served with fresh oysters. This project is a world first and a unique way to celebrate two great traditions.”

Major media coverage is expected tonight and tomorrow.

On Saturday 6 March 2010,Beer Festival 2010 comes to Wellington. This event gets bigger and better every year, was a huge success in Auckland recently and returns to the Capital this year with more breweries and a weather proof venue.

The event runs from midday to 9pm at the Westpac Stadium (please don’t call it the ‘Cake Tin’). 25 breweries will be pouring over 70 different beers, there will be food, there will be music, there will be seminars and there will be the opportunity to talk to the people who made the beers. Full details (including tickets) are on the Beer Festival website.

The Epic Journey Has Begun

Epic and the Malthouse have conspired to put Epic Armageddon in oak barrels on board the interisland ferry for six weeks. The barrels are named Pete (after Pete Brown whose Hops and Glory book inspired this lunacy) and Melissa (after Melissa Cole, a British Beer Writer). This news has reached Melissa and she blogs her response in a post titled “Does my bum look big in this barrel“:

[Luke and Colin] went back to New Zealand, we did the Facebook thing to stay in contact and I didn’t think much more about it – until a tagged photo of a barrel appeared with my name on it on Colin’s page, which I found a little odd/slightly insulting! So, a faux-indignant enquiry was made and I got back a very cryptic ‘you’ll have to wait and see’ response – worst thing ever to say to a nosey journalist.

Unfortunately, my attempts to get more information out of Luke yielded even less fruit, which was even more frustrating – particularly when Tweets started appearing saying things like ‘just filling Melissa’ [see action photo] which, I must say, came as a surprise to me!

Melissa’s blog, “Taking the beard out of beer” is well worth a read.

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

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.