Beer Haiku Friday and Attaining Beervana

Today’s Beer Haiku Friday sums up most art exhibitions for me. To mangle a Homer Simpson quote, I like paintings to look like the things they are supposed to look like. Here is “Abstract Art“:

An art opening
Where beer is the only thing

From the Wellingtonian newspaper, my column reviewing the success of Beervana 2009:

The queue snaked from the front door of the Town Hall around the corner and right across Civic Square. Hundreds of people waited anxiously to hand in their tickets and receive a canary yellow bracelet. They were not there to see a politician speak or a rock band play, they were literally there for the beer.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and The Wellingtonian newspaper

Beer Haiku Friday and the New Yawk beer scene

Sometimes you just find the perfect Beer Haiku. In November, I’m doing a wedding speech so this poem, “Advice for the Best Man“, was timely:

A good rule of thumb:
When they try to tackle you
Your toast is finished

From the New York Times, Eric Asimov has a considered look at the highs and lows of the New York beer scene. His article is called “A beer please, and a (Good) Menu“:

Great beer abounds today in New York, and the choices keep getting better. Nowadays, almost every neighborhood bar has at least a few craft beers. The better beer bars offer an expanded selection, scouring the world for unknown brewers and new beers. And the mark of a top-flight spot is one or two cask beers, served unpasteurized and unfiltered with natural carbonation, rather than from a pressurized keg.

Yet an imbalance exists that threatens to undercut the pleasure to be found in a perfectly drawn pint. While aficionados yearn to have beer taken as seriously as wine, too often beer is presented in a context that diminishes the respect it deserves.

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily for the poem and Mr Martin Bosley for the article

Curry in a hurry by Martin Bosley

When you’re looking for a simple dish to accompany pale ale, it’s hard to go past curry.

I am not much of a beer drinker, preferring a glass of wine to accompany my food. So it was with some amusement and a degree of scepticism that I accepted an invitation from the organisers of BrewNZ, New Zealand’s international beer awards, to demonstrate the art of beer and food matching.

Previously, my experience with beer had been limited to the standard brands. So, starting my research with them, I discovered they had one thing in common: they were all wet. It was with pleasure, then, that I moved on to the handsome, locally produced, handcrafted regional beers, and made some interesting discoveries. Committed boutique beer drinkers are just as passionate and know-ledgeable about their subject as any wine connoisseur, and they’re happy to share that passion with you.

Beer, like wine, can either complement or contrast food. But beer has carbonation that cleans the palate between mouthfuls of food, rinsing away traces of fat and richness and leaving the tastebuds refreshed and ready to experience textures and flavours.

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The Tuesday Two-Pack

The latest column from The Wellingtonian looks at “Great beer and fine dining”:

Award-winning chef Martin Bosley is the first to admit that he was totally surprised at the recent Beervana event. “Discovering beer and food matching was a real epiphany for me. It opened up new possibilities – a whole layer of taste and demand we had completely ignored for a long time. I was very sceptical at the beginning but the experience was a true eye-opener,” he explains.

A full report of last weeks beer tasting at the Fire Service:

Last week I ran a beer tasting session for 25 enthusiastic staff at the Fire Service social club. The theme was a little bit Oktoberfest so we had some German beers, some New Zealand beers made in German styles and some New Zealand beers made in non-German styles. The atmosphere was completed by plates of sausages, a little Bavarian beer music and a man splendidly bedecked in lederhosen.

Life-changing stuff as Kiwi beer comes of age at BrewNZ

But for me the most successful part of BrewNZ wasn’t the beers themselves, but the public’s response to them. Beervana, a two-day tasting event featuring 80 or so of the country’s finest brews as well as beer and food matching seminars with top chef Martin Bosley, was a huge success.

Around 2500 people braved some of the capital’s most inclement weather to attend the three sessions at the Overseas Terminal and everyone I have spoken to since has been fulsome in their praise.

Having flown down to Wellington specifically for the event, the Auckland-based editor of a well known trade magazine later told me the quality and diversity of beers available at Beervana had fundamentally changed his understanding and perception of beer. Praise indeed!

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