Beerly Blogging – Waiter there’s an oyster in my beer

The latest Malthouse blog has a look at unusual ingredients in beer and Three Boys Oyster Stout. It is called “Waiter there’s an oyster in my beer“:

You can, technically, put pretty much anything into beer if you really want to. Off the top of my head I’ve had beers made with cherries, raspberries, peaches, plums, lemon, lime, pineapple, pumpkin, heather, rimu, spruce, elderberries, bog myrtle, coriander, cumin, thyme, lemongrass, chilli, honey, cinnamon, kawakawa, candy sugar, wheat, oats, rice, rye, peat smoked malt, chocolate, liquorice, coffee, caffeine, caramel, bourbon, whisky, wild yeast, guarana and Food Acid 330.

Of course, just because you are able to put an ingredient into a beer doesn’t mean that it is a necessarily a good idea.

Glass Tip – The Malthouse

Beerly Writing and Beerly Tasting

The latest column from the Wellingtonian newspaper looks at some of the beers that didn’t make it.

New beers continue to spring up to take their place and the overall selection for consumers is steadily growing. That does not stop me occasionally pausing to raise a glass to some of those beers which didn’t make it.

In the Free Radical, an article on beer and food including a recipe from that annoying guy who hosts the otherwise excellent Iron Chef:

It is unclear exactly when New Zealander’s decided that pouring a bottle of wine into a stew was classy but using a cup of ale in a sauce was not. Certainly, the Belgian, Germans and French would laugh at our notion that only wine could be used as an ingredient when cooking. When the Germans are laughing at you then it is clear you have a problem.

Finally, a full report from the All Hail Pale Ale tasting at Cellar Vate which featured two guest presenters.

The voting was briefly interrupted by an unscheduled appearance from Rodney Hide MP who was in the building for a television show. While seemingly baffled by proceedings, he was adamant that everyone in the room had to vote for Act.

Long Weekend Beerly Reading

The Southern Cross Tavern is a striking example of the change in attitudes to drinking and beer in New Zealand. This article – reprinted with the kind permission of the Wellingtonian newspaper – charts the evolution from booze barn to beer bar:

In my first year of university, the Southern Cross Tavern was a drinking establishment of near mythical stature. Virtually every day, a line of hopeful, nervous students would queue up to the door hoping to partake of $2 jugs of Lion Brown, complete the epic ‘Round the World’ beer challenge or even endure the exquisite horror of the ‘bladder buster’ – cheap drinks until some unlucky person went to the bathroom.

The Salient Beer Column returns for 2008 and the first column can be read here:

“Beer” and “university” go together as naturally as “essay” and “leaving it to the last minute.”

The second column details the various beers and bars which continue to vex me – My Beer Nemeses if you will:

My first real Beer Nemesis was the lamentable range of Fruit Hopper beers. Many gentle readers will be too young to recall these beers (at least legally), but they were generic lagers mixed with what tasted very much like different flavours of Raro and then over-carbonated in a Soda Stream machine. Shortly after a press release went out extolling their strong sales, they were quietly taken off the market and possibly re-released as Lift Plus.

Banking on the taste of a beer nation

Speight’s elevation has seen Lion Red, a brand the brewer has struggled to market effectively in recent years, repositioned as an upper-North Island beer, pegging it back to what has traditionally been its strongest market.

Pure is being pitched as a smoother drink than the traditional Steinlager, made entirely of New Zealand ingredients and free of additives and preservatives.

‘You’re even saying no to additives in your beer now’.”

MASH…”We got it from whoa to go in 11 or 12 weeks, which is pretty impressive for a big corporate like us.”

Former senior Lion executive Doug McKay is now Independent’s executive chairman and Kean’s predecessor as head of Lion Breweries, Julian Davidson, is working with McKay in a senior financial role.

One of Kean’s main challenges is dealing with a price war Lion is locked into with rival DB, a battle that led to beer prices hitting a 20-year low last Christmas as the companies jostled for market share.

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Beer 102

It’s a bit of a grab bag of goodness today with two new columns, a piece of on-line vandalism and a “joke”.

First up is my column from Salient on legendary drinkers:

“Yet another worthless series of Dancing with the Stars has started and sadly hundreds of thousands of mindless drones will be glued to the screen to see who is crowned New Zealand’s least worst amateur dancer.

As part of my personal struggle against the continual dilution of what passes for popular culture, this column is about some people we should actually admire – the legendary beer drinkers of the world!”

Already popular, this weeks column laments the Worst Beers of the Year:

“For the first time ever, my unofficial tasting panel complained bitterly about getting free beer.

These beers are probably best drunk cold, but no fridge I know gets it cold enough.”

Speights are busy promoting their competition to travel on a ship to England with their new pub but I was alerted to their listing on Wikipedia which (for about 40 minutes) read:

‘Speight’s’ is a brewery in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is famous for tasting like sheep urine fermented in a car radiator and its promotional branding based on being ‘a real southern man’ and being ‘the pride of the south’.

The vandalism was quickly fixed but whoever did so neglected to also correct the description of Speight’s Old Dark as “an English Porter”…

Speaking of jokes, this one is doing the rounds:

Nelson rings his boss first thing monday morning.

Nelson ‘Boss I can’t come to work today’

Boss ‘ Why not? ‘

Nelson ‘ I’ve got the bird Flu’

Boss ‘ How in the hell did you get the bird flu?’

Nelson ‘ Too many Tuis!’

Lion Nathan Gives Beer Drinkers the Ability to MASH

[Will MASH go the way of Hopper?]

Their new line up, dubbed “MASH”, offers three new brews that will be introduced in the New Zealand market shortly. The MASH lineup consists of MASH Golden Lager, MASH Citrus Lager and MASH Energy Lager. MASH Golden Lager is a smooth and refreshing beer, MASH Citrus Lager is similar, yet offers a hint of lime flavor and MASH Energy Lager contains guarana, a supplement used as an energy boost.

If this is the first and last time you hear about MASH, I’ll bet Lion Nathan gets a new marketing manager.

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