Beer, power, rates push up prices

Those winter staples, electricity and beer, fuelled price rises in the June quarter.

Inflation figures out this morning from Statistics New Zealand show the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% for the June quarter, and 1.9% for the year to June 30.

That is well within the 1-3% annual inflation target band, but drill down into those figures and they tell a more disturbing story.

Food prices grew 0.9% – beer and vegetables being the main contributors. Household utilities rose 0.4% – with electricity prices, up 1.6%, being the main reason.

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How can a company own a style?

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.

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Beer Style – Radler – Trademarked in New Zealand by Heineken

There is some heated debate currently on the 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)

NEW BEER – Epic Mayhem

2nd February 2009
6.2% acl/vol
26 hops per bottle

Beer Awards
Best in Class – Festive Brew – BrewNZ 2006
Gold – Festive Brew – BrewNZ 2006

Available at the following festivals
14 Feb – Kumeu Beer Wine & Food Festival
28 Feb – NZ Beer Festival – Wellington
14 Mar – NZ Beer Festival – Auckland

Available On Tap
The Malthouse
Regional Wines & Spirits

Available in 500ml bottles
Outlets to be announced via Twitter
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Brewed with
UK Pale Ale, Munich and Crystal malts
US Cascade & NZ Riwaka hops

Official Release can be read here

More on Epic Mayhem here

Brew recalls drop which spruced up Cook’s crew

During a visit to Dusky Sound in Fiordland I found the creek from which Captain James Cook’s crew drew the water for the first beer made in New Zealand shortly after the Resolution sailed into the sound early in 1773.

Cook had 7300 litres of that aboard on his first voyage. He took a supply of the leaves away with him from Dusky Sound to make spruce beer during the rest of his voyage.

His beer was thus not only the first in New Zealand but the first to be exported.

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How Fringe is Becks? (love the irony)

There is little more an artist loves than to see their work plastered all over the city and there’s a chance they can do so with this year’s Fringe Festival.

But wait, there’s more! The winner also gets a Beck’s-tastic prize pack courtesy of Beck’s, including 4-dozen Beck’s, a Beck’s shirt, Beck’s hat, Beck’s bag, Beck’s USB stick and a Beck’s bottle-opener to crack into the delicious beer.

Participants need to conjure up their own original poster design for the 2009 New Zealand Fringe Festival. It can be anything their imaginations spit out, as long as it also includes the Fringe 09 and Beck’s logos, which can be downloaded at

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Price war flattens beer profits

The price war for packaged beer has become so intense that between them, brewers and supermarkets missed out on a whopping $66 million in the past year, DB Breweries says.

The two big brewing companies DB and Lion are now planning price rises this year of five percent and up to 10 per cent respectively.

Despite significant inflationary pressures, primarily raw material costs and wages, the price of supermarket stocked beer has stayed stagnant for well over a decade, with DB’s promotional price range for mainstream beer the same today as it was 15 years ago.

In theory, a brewer needs to increase its price by a percentage that recovers input cost increases and protects existing margins, but at present input costs are rising much quicker than selling price increases.

Mr Blake estimates that raw material costs for malt, sugar, glass and aluminum have risen between 10 percent and 70 percent in the past year alone, while rival Lion has pencilled in a seven percent cost increase for 2009.

DB’s beer prices went up by 5.5 percent in July, partly due to the annual excise tax increase, although many supermarkets absorbed the rise.

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12 Most common beer myths exploded

Myth #2: Lite beers will help you lose weight

On average, a lite beer will have 90-100 calories, while a regular beer might have under 200. In the grand scheme of things, lite beers will contribute very little to your dietary goals, and considering their typical lack of taste, you’d be better off drinking one or two regular beers.

Myth #6: Beer should be served ice-cold for best flavor

This is an unfortunate myth perpetuated by the major commercial breweries – especially for their lite beers. The fact is, flavor typically diminishes when beer is served ice-cold. It may make for a thirst-quenching, refreshing beverage, but often bears little resemblance to traditional beer. Several beers are, in fact, best served much closer to room temperature or slightly cool and are considered undrinkable when icy cold – such as Guinness and many of the traditional English ales.

Myth #9: You can’t get a hangover from drinking organic beer

If only being eco-friendly was this rewarding! This myth is based on the idea that organic beer is cleaner or purer than other beer, but there’s no existing proof that it manages to avoid giving hangovers when consumed in sufficient quantities.

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The best job ever – Breakfast at Emerson’s Brewery

Everything one could hope for, good food, good company and a breakfast beer!
The Weissbier Breakfast laid on by Emerson’s Brewery for their trade clients in Dunedin was very enjoyable. Well I enjoyed it.

The menu was a delightful cheese and parsley omelette accompanied by Weissbier sausages, speck, onion marmalade, asparagus and hollandaise sauce.

My new, and very able assistant, Shell-Boy, performed brilliantly.
We are now available as a double act for all of your breakfast requirements!

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Kirin Sparkling Hop

Alerting New Zealand! You have wasted your hop on a terrible beer-like beverage that is currently on sale in Japan. (The beer advertising says “New Zealand Hop Included” on the can.)

Ah, another season and another new seasonal Japanese beer. Guess what? Yes, it’s a lager. Actually, “Sparkling Hop” isn’t even beer. It’s happoshu, a beer-like beverage with low malt content. It’s popularity is primarily driven by the fact it falls under a different taxation law than beer and is thus about 30% cheaper than the usual mediocre real beer lagers.