Last week’s Malthouse blog covered burgers, brocolli, the Lucky brewery debacle, the three greatest Canadians of all time, “Spiderman” Emerson and Chimay White. It was called “A spirited defence of brand loyalty“:
We would tend to portray the person who eats only corporate burgers and fries as unsophisticated, a little odd and probably quite large. However, the person who drinks nothing but – say – Heineken is seen as a loyal and informed drinker. I simply cannot express the absurdity of this notion any better than noted beer writer and my third favourite Canadian Stephen Beaumont…
In “Rugby, racing and beer“, I take at looking at the baffling appeal of the Melbourne Cup, the cultural theft of Phar Lap, the attempted shooting of Phar Lap, the alledged similarities between American lager and horse by-products, West Coast humour at the expense of DB and Monteith’s Summer Ale:
At 5pm today, millions of otherwise normal and usually horse-racing agnostic Australians and New Zealanders will stop what they are doing, turn on the television, put a silly hat on their head, throw buckets of cash at the TAB and cheer wildly for a large four-legged animal who, yesterday, they had never heard of.
Glass Tip – Malthouse Blog
Every year, the Capital Times asks readers to vote in their extensive “Best of Wellington” survey. Obviously, there are some rogue results (Blanket Man described as a character again) but the beer related placings were:
Best Beer Brand
1. Tuatara (3rd last year)
2. Monteiths (2nd)
3. Emerson’s (-)
1. Mighty Mighty (1st)
2. Matterhorn (2nd)
3. Goodluck (3rd)
Best Outdoor Bar
1. Southern Cross (1st)
2. St Johns (2nd)
3. Matterhorn (3rd)
Also out recently are the finalists for the HANZ Awards which make slightly depressing reading for beer fans:
Four Kings, Wellington
Frederic’s, New Plymouth
Sale Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland
Best Sports Bar
Four Kings, Wellington
Grosvenor Hotel, Timaru
The Right Track Sports Cafe, Auckland
The Tote Pub & Super Liquor, Trentham, Upper Hutt
Beer and food matching is fun. The most fun about Beer is your not bound by a bunch of pre-conceived wine matches everyone seems to accept like, “Gewurztraminer goes with Asian food” not only is this stupid it also very boring.
The hurdle to beer and food matching in NZ is the lack of character in the mainstream brands. The real challenge for the chefs the Monteith’s Wild food challenge is making the dishes bland enough to match the beer. Hallertau has set about changing that with a range of beers bursting with delicious food matchable flavours.
From the dusty archives of Beer Haiku Daily, a poem from – and I am not making this up – Creepy McGritts called – and I am not making this up either – “Contribution Friday“:
The kettle boils
Hops aroma fills the air
New life has begun
From The Wellingtonian, my latest column gives a much maligned bar another look in “The pub with no (Loaded Hog) beer“:
It’s a fantastic-looking venue but ultimately disappointing. I left feeling like Jeremy Clarkson if he had been admiring a beautiful new Jaguar only to find the V8 engine had been replaced with the motor from a Tickle Me Elmo.
Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and The Wellingtonian
The May Cellar Vate beer tasting looked at “Winter Warmers” in appropiately wintery conditions:
The theme of this beer tasting – Winter Warmers – was selected as the last vestiges of autumn still lay snugly over the Capital. By the time the anointed time arrived, the weather had conveniently provided a week of cold, gales and rain to really set the scene for a selection of darker, stronger, warming beers. Forty people tried a range of dark lagers, porters, stouts and dubbels in the Cabinet Room at the Backbencher.
Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post, “Lets talk about beer“, looks at the subtle art of beer writing and Cooper’s Stout:
Liquor aficionado Frank Kelly Rich once penned a thoughtful piece on why beer appreciation (or “beer snobbery” as he called it) was superior in virtually every way to wine snobbery. Of course, Mr Rich considers anyone who drinks out of a glass rather than a furtive paper bag to be a bit of snob really. Fundamentally, he argued that beer snobs had it better because the dress code was more casual, there was no need to learn French and you could basically make everything up because no-one really knows what they are talking about when it comes to beer.
Glass Tips – The Backbencher and The Malthouse
In response to the frustrations expressed by the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) Inc about DB Breweries trade marking and preventing others from using the generic term “radler” in relation to their beer, James & Wells Intellectual Property has offered SOBA Inc the services of its specialist intellectual property litigation group on a pro-bono basis to invalidate DB Breweries’ trade mark registration for RADLER.
SOBA campaigner Greig McGill says “We greatly appreciate James & Wells’ involvement. As a young organisation, we couldn’t have afforded to challenge this cynical misuse of trade mark law without their assistance. We look forward to justice and common sense prevailing, and the return of radler to a generic term defining a style of beer, as it should be.”
DB Breweries seems to have made a habit of trying to monopolise generic terms for beer styles and along with Radler, has also sought to register “Oud Bruin” and “Saison” with mixed success.
Wine lovers, ask yourself how you would feel if there was only one brand of sauvignon blanc allowed to be sold in New Zealand.
What if one winery was allowed to trademark a varietal name and, in so doing, prevent anyone else from using it?
You might think it’s unbelievable, but it’s precisely what’s happened in the case of a beer style. DB Breweries, producer of the Monteith’s range of beers, has been granted a trademark on the name Radler and is now preventing other brewers from using it.
Things at the Real Beer Blog have been a bit quiet of late with Luke working in England, me being in Melbourne and Greig living in Hamilton. However, with the Impish Brewer back on board with 1,374 photos and 877 tweets about his brewing and quaffing exploits still to post, there should be a lot more activity here in coming weeks.
To kick things off, my latest Wellingtonian column looks at the unlamented demise of POD and the new Green Man pub which comes complete with moose shooting mayhem:
POD was a restaurant which never suffered from self-confidence issues but perhaps should have. It was pretentious without actually being any good and had so little atmosphere you may as well have been dining on the moon or, even worse, at Eden Park.
Finally, a write up of the recent Cellar Vate tasting of English beers where 4 proper English beers went up against 4 antipodean pretenders:
As much as it may pain us to admit it, New Zealand owes much of its beer culture and beer history to England. It was Englishman Captain James Cook who brewed the first beer in Australasia and for many years our breweries produced their own colonial takes on classic British beer styles.
Glass Tips – The Wellingtonian and Cellar Vate
There is some heated debate currently on the RealBeer.co.nz Forums regarding the trademarking of the beer style ‘Radler’ by Heineken/DB/Monteith’s in New Zealand.
Back Story Here by NBR
Should a company be allow to trademark a beer style?
Should you be allowed to trademark beer styles? i.e. Radler?
( online surveys)
This Salient magazine column casts an Eye Over the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge results:
Over at the Southern Cross, their wild boar loin was guarded by a “jelly which will stare you down.” Like a scene from Lord of the Rings, the plate was crowned by a single all-knowing sheep’s eye encased in Pilsner jelly. Suspending the eyeball exactly in the middle of the Pilsner cube is apparently no mean culinary feat. There may well be a thesis in there for a science student with a particular interest in jelly.
Next, an in-depth look at Beer and Politics in the most intelligent electorate in the country:
Politics and beer go together like VUWSA and financial mismanagement. With the general election approaching, it seemed timely to put the genuinely tough questions to the candidates standing for Wellington Central. This column is not distracted by peripheral issues like tax cuts, mysterious trusts or secret agendas. No, the key issue is what beer the candidates like and where they like to drink it.
Lastly, a glimpse of the Beers of Asia:
An unkind critic once claimed that saying that your country’s beers were better than Japanese beer was like saying your country’s food was better than English food. That is a tad unfair. The Japanese do make very drinkable pale lagers and many of them reach our shores (albeit with hefty price tags).