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
The final beer tasting results for the year come from the session I ran for Jeff Gray BMW:
December 2009 was the busiest month I have ever had for beer tastings. At the final count, I did ten tastings and two tours over a fifteen day stretch. While many of the locations were familiar (Mac’s Brewery viewing platform, the lounge at Malthouse), others were new and spectacular. The venue for the Jeff Gray BMW Christmas function was the Mana Cruising Club up the coast and I ran a beer appreciation session on the spacious balcony overlooking the ocean (and totally sheltered from the rather boisterous wind thankfully).
An interesting perspective on the “Year in Beer” in America was provided by Joshua M Bernstein from Slash Food:
During the first half of 2009, craft brewing grew 5 percent by volume and 9 percent by dollars, numbers made more astounding when you consider that overall beer sales nose-dived 1.3 percent.
Why are microbreweries bucking the economic trend? It’s a matter of taste. Increasingly, brew drinkers “are attracted to flavor and variety, new and different products and beers made by small, local and independent companies,” says Brewers Association director Paul Gatza.
Glass Tip – Rach from Yellow Brick Road food company (best seafood in the country!)
A clever little poem for today called “The Perfect Hobby“:
The perfect hobby
For people that like to clean
Must be homebrewing
Over at the Malthouse blog, my latest post covers the worst beer slogan in the world, Bud Light, geat American craft beers, a beer which gets in your face, a beer which gets 90 additions of hops and a bear fighting a lion. It is called “‘Fizzy yellow beer drinking ninnies’ need not read on“:
The Dogfish Head crew make “off-centred beers for off-centred people” and Malthouse is now offering their 60 Minute and 90 Minute ales. The 60 Minute IPA is continuously hopped. There are over 60 hop additions during the sixty minute boil – a hint, perhaps, about the name. Terrifyingly, they describe this 6%, 60 IBU hop-rocket as a “session” IPA.
Which it actually is when compared to the Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial Pale Ale. The brewers here use both the continuous hopping process and a device they call “Me so Hoppy” (basically an inert gas fired closed loop dry hopping system – watch the video below) to create this 9% 90 IBU beast of a beer. There is also an even bigger 120 Minute ale out there but it is unclear whether it can safely travel across international waters without spontaneous hop explosions.
Glass Tips – Those wonderful tipplers at Beer Haiku Daily and the Malthouse Blog
It’s ten o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting on a horse saddle, and that is not even the most interesting part of this story. The saddle is actually the top of a bar stool and I’m contemplating a bristling 8.3% Double American Pale Ale which weighs in at a staggering 100 units of bitterness. To put that in perspective, most New Zealand mainstream beers would be in the teens or early twenties on that bitterness scale.
(I think it was actually 9am we arrived at the brewery and started drinking – Luke)