Beer Haiku Friday and Diddly Dee (Potatoes) – The Saint Patricks Day Post

Today’s Beer Haiku is for those who perhaps “over-drowned the shamrocks” on Saint Patrick’s Day. It is called “Ouch“:

Can someone please stop
All the frickin’ leprechauns
Dancing in my skull

Unsurprisingly, Paddy’s Day is also the theme over at the Malthouse blog where I examine invented Irish connections, why nobody pretends to be Australian, share Pete Brown’s take on our love affair with the Emerald Isle and finish with a quick look at Murphy’s Stout. The title “Diddly Dee (Potatoes)” is explained in the article:

It is perhaps ironic that the English celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day more than they do Saint George’s Day. Certainly, here in New Zealand, Paddy’s Day parties tend to be better attended and more fun than the corresponding Waitangi Day shindigs. People will happily invent a mythical great-aunt from County Cork for March 17 but no-one seem to make up a great-uncle from Wagga Wagga as an excuse to celebrate Australia Day.

Glass Tips – Those excellent imbibers at Beer Haiku Daily and the most excellent peeps at Malthouse

Beer Haiku Friday and the Nanny State

Today’s Beer Haiku is a salutory lesson for Friday nights. It is called “Tragic”:

Cocktail temptation
Lures him from his faithful beer
A tragic mistake

The latest Malthouse blog takes a look at Geoffrey Palmer, Maurice Bennett, Brew Dog, an 18.2% beer, a 1.1% beer, alcohol prices and Townshend No.9. It is called “Who’s Your Nanny?”:

As New Zealand inches towards a hospitality environment regulated by the whim and fancy of Sir Geoffrey Palmer, it is worth considering the situation in the United Kingdom which, if anything, might be even worse.

Here, Maurice Bennett Esq, a noted man around town (unlike Sir Geoffrey), got in the most minor of trouble a few years back for his advert which dared to insinuate that a beer called “Bennett’s Strong” was, in fact, quite strong. The ‘offending’ ad was quietly pulled.

Glass Tip – Those excellent chaps at Beer Haiku Daily

Epic Journey recreates beer’s most famous voyage

Forty litres of fresh India Pale Ale from Auckland will spend up to six weeks at sea on the Interislander Ferry looking to recreate a recreation of beer’s most famous voyage.

In the 1880s, pale ale from Burton-on-Trent in England took around six weeks on tall ships to reach its thirsty customers in India. British beer writer Pete Brown recently retraced the long journey which helped create this iconic style of beer. He chronicled his adventures in the newly released book Hops and Glory: One Man’s Search for the Beer that Built the British Empire.

After a sleepless night finishing the book, Malthouse proprietor Colin Mallon had the ‘crazy idea’ of replicating the experience in New Zealand. “I had met Pete Brown in England recently and just loved the book. First, I needed some beer. My first thought was Epic Armageddon, a limited release double India Pale Ale brewed by Luke Nicholas from Epic Brewing Company. He agreed immediately. Then I needed a boat. The Interislander Ferry agreed immediately. I tasked Luke with finding appropriate barrels,” says Colin.

“I sourced two 20-litre new oak barrels and filled them with fresh Armageddon,” Luke explains. “I recently brewed a real ale in England for a huge British beer festival so I knew Armageddon was not a million miles away from what a traditional pale ale would have tasted like. For a beer to stand up to the kind of treatment we have in mind it has to be pretty robust. Armageddon is definitely big, strong and hoppy. The idea is to see what effect changes in temperature and constant movement has on beer stored in wood. Most pundits believe India Pale Ale’s benefitted from the conditioning they received during their sea voyages.”

Colin and Luke jointly christened the beer ‘Epic Journey’ while the barrels are affectionately known as Pete (after Pete Brown) and Melissa (in honour of British beer writer Melissa Cole). Pete and Melissa will spend up to six weeks on the ferry before being ceremonially tapped at Beervana at the Wellington Town Hall, 28th & 29th August.

For the full background story see http://armageddon.epicbeer.com

Beer Haiku Friday, Beer Battles and Beer Journeys

In the 1,001th post on this fine blog, Beer Haiku Friday continues its ratings dominance with “big foamy head

Just some good ole boys
Talking beer, blues, barbecue
And living the dream

The TAB is offering long odds on Neil “Haiku” Miller becoming a more popular nickname than Luke “The Imp” Nicholas.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the 30th post there looks at the West Coast Challenge, brewers talking like professional wrestlers and the Dux de Lux. It is titled “Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the hoppiest beers in the world run wild on you?”

Over a quiet pint of Epic one evening, the Handsome and Softly Spoken Scotsman had the crazy idea of recreating Pete Brown’s IPA voyage recreation right here in New Zealand. He asked the Impish brewer to procure some wooden barrels and fill them with Armageddon. The Impish brewer immediately agreed. He asked the Interislander ferry if the barrels could go on their ship for up to six weeks. The Interislander people immediately agreed.

Glass Tip – Beer Haiku Daily

Beerly Blogging – Toasting Great Beer and Great Pubs

Over at the Malthouse blog, my latest post looks at Maurice Bennett, Bennetts Beers, toast art, Beervana and alpine-dwelling, hollow-horned ruminants of the genus Capra from the family Bovidae. It is called “A toast to great beer“:

On his websites Maurice has been listed variously as the Toastman, the Toast Master, the T-Man and “New Zealand’s most renowned artist”. That last claim may be somewhat contested by Goldie, Colin McCahon and perhaps the Right Honourable Helen Clark.

Legendary beer writer Pete Brown blogs an insightful review of the Pub du Vin concluding:

So there you go – great food, great beer, pretty good surroundings, and moronic, ill-informed conversation conducted with great conviction. Everything you could want from a pub.

Beerly Writing – Bears that Hug and Fisking the Anti-Beer Bias

From the Malthouse blog, the latest post which, for a change, talks entirely about a brewery and its beer. This time, it covers Steve “Huggy Bear” Nally at Invercargill Brewery. It is called “The Adventures of Huggy Bear“:

There have been small, poorly-designed classified advertisements in The Listener magazine for as long as I can remember. There were always rumours that people actually ordered those odd products, herbal remedies and dodgy holiday packages but there was never any solid evidence. For most of my lifetime, real-life purchasers from The Listener classifieds were a myth, they were as real as card-carrying members of the Social Credit Party or people who found David Spade funny. Then I met one.

Following up from Greig’s earlier post on anti-beer bias in the media, my favourite beer writer Pete Brown does a complete demolition job on the offending article in the Independent. His post is called “National newspaper in anti-beer bias shocker“:

In the main paper, 24 pages after the “extreme beer” feature, there’s an article entitled ‘War of the rosés’, about a scheme to make French rosé wine more popular. Here is a direct quote from that piece: “If we are forced to put the word ‘traditional’ on our bottles, people will think, especially young people, that it is a fuddy-duddy wine, an old-fashioned kind of drink. That will ruin everything we have achieved.” That’s from a winemaker. And here’s the journalist himself: “Young people, especially, have taken to rosé as a fun drink, which is refreshing, uncomplicated and relatively cheap. (Anjou rosé sells in the UK at between £5 and £8 a bottle. Other French rosés sell for as little as £3 a bottle.)” Despite the clear admission that rosé winemakers are targeting younger people, despite the fact that rosé wine is being sold cheap and marketed in a contemporary fashion in order to lure these drinkers, there is no worried quote from Alcohol Concern. No sensationalist headline. No mention of the ABV of rosé wines. The attractive illustration of three glasses of rose – unlike your illustration of extreme beers – carries no bold starbursts. The inference is clear: when winemakers admit that they are selling cheap wine (12-14% ABV) and actively targeting young people with 750ml bottles for as little as £3, that’s OK. But when a brewer creates a beer (6-12% ABV) and sells it in a 33cl bottle that retails from £4 upwards, and tells you it is emphatically NOT targeting young drinkers, you run the piece with a ‘health fears’ headline and a subhead that claims the beers are, in fact, targeting younger drinkers – despite the fact that this is a lower ABV drink, being sold at a higher price.

Beer on a Monday Morning – Cellar Vate Tasting and the Porter Story

Regular tastings have resumed at Cellar-Vate with the first of this year called “The Best of the Best for 2008

The first Cellar Vate beer tasting of 2009 was the always coveted “Best of the Best” session. Forty-five tasters gathered to sample eight beers which were voted first or second in each of the eight tastings I ran last year. Our aim was to select the Cellar Vate Beer Tasting Club Champion Beer and Champion Brewery of 2008.

Over at the Malthouse blog, the latest post talks about beer and storytelling, the best beer story in the world and Tuatara Porter. It is called “The Porter Story“:

Beer and storytelling have a long, interwoven history. The ancient Sumerians, sipping their beer through long straws, probably whiled away the hours with exaggerated stories of hunting prowess and how they totally could conquer Egypt but just didn’t have the time these days. That tradition has continued unabated.

Glass Tip – The Malthouse Blog and Pete Brown’s Blog

Beer Blogs

My second Malthouse blog is now up and is titled “From the Ivory Tower to the Brew House.” It covers Croucher The Hef and Three Boys Wheat:

Brewers are, on the whole, remarkable creatures. From just toasted grain, the flower of a vine, ordinary water and a single-celled organism, they can produce delicious, sweet, life-giving beer. Given those same ingredients, most people would end up with soggy muesli which smelt of wet grass and tasted vaguely like bathroom mould. Or worse – Mash beer.

Also on his second post, Mr Colin Paige, former head brewer at Mac’s, is blogging about his mission to establish a brewery in Saigon. His blog is called Colin Paige in South East Asia:

Of course, getting into the Bia Hoi! (Bia Hoi is the cheap locally produced, unfiltered and unpasteurised beer – most of it is OK, not going to win any awards, and occasionally some diacetyl issues, However the dispense is usually an unpressurized keg with a hose and a womans hand over the end of it, holding beer in with her thumb until someone makes an order) Found a great place about 100m from Apocalypse Now (Saigon CBD) , night Club, that has a fixed rent and so can still offer 2 litres of beer for 16,000 VND, or about NZ$1.20.

Finally, one of my favourite beer writers, Pete Brown, has a blog with many more than two posts. His new book is called Hops and Glory and is due out next year:

This book has ruled my life for two years – I was heavily into it by the time I first started blogging. I can’t wait to get the bastard finished and unleashed on the world. I’ve finished the first draft and it’s now with my editor, but it’s far too long and we’re going to have to cut about a third of it out – expect lots of IPA-themed blog entries to appear on here as they’re slashed from the book (a process Steven King refers to as ‘killing your babies’).