More tastings with a view and Tactical Nuclear Penguins

At another beer tasting with a view, the MSO Design tasting last week generated the most extraordinary results in years:

The usual vote was anything but usual. There was a clear winner on the first ballot but a record three beers were initially tied for second. A further run-off vote failed to separate them with the beers again tied. The only option was to declare all three tied for second place – a first in over five years of these tasting sessions.

Delightfully deranged Scottish brewers BrewDog have claimed the world record for strongest beer with their new 32% leviathan Tactical Nuclear Penguin. The full release (including authenication of alcoholic strength is on their website:

The Antarctic name inducing schizophrenia of this uber-imperial stout originates from the amount of time it spent exposed to extreme cold. This beer began life as a 10% imperial stout 18 months ago. The beer was aged for 8 months in an Isle of Arran whisky cask and 8 months in an Islay cask making it our first double cask aged beer. After an intense 16 month, the final stages took a ground breaking approach by storing the beer at -20 degrees for three weeks to get it to 32%.

Beer Haiku Friday and Tasting at the Backbencher

Beer Haiku Friday exposes the best way to watch the fireworks with a poem called, unsurprisingly, “Fireworks“:

at my secret spot
with a wagon full of beer
watching fireworks

The October Backbencher beer tasting had the theme “Best of Brew NZ“:

The October Backbencher beer tasting had a “Best of Brew NZ” theme. A number of senior MPs were spotted in the immediate vicinity though they were probably present for the filming of “Backbenchers” (TVNZ 7) rather than the beer. There were over 370 entries in this year’s Brew NZ Beer Awards and only 23% of them received medals. This month’s selection showcased a range of medal winning beers accompanied by some fine food matches from the kitchen.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Backbencher

Beerly Tasting – Stats and Met Service

Here is the report from the recent tasting at Statistics NZ:

Over the years, Statistics New Zealand has been one of my most regular and favourite beer tasting clients. Last night, I ran my seventh tasting for their staff club. As usual, it was raining. That did not deter thirty two participants who seemed to enjoy trying a range of Kiwi craft beers. The offerings included some of the last Smokin’Bishop in the city. This year’s Three Boys Golden was also making its first appearance at one of my sessions.

That same busy week, I ran my first tasting up at the Met Service:

Last night I ran a beer tasting for the social club up at the Met Service. The venue was perched at the very top of the Kelburn hills and the room was filled with over 30 eager participants. I put together an introductory menu but it was only much later that it was (correctly) suggested to me that including Dux de Lux Nor’ Wester Pale Ale or Sou’ Wester Stout would have been both appropriate and tasty. However, this event did give me the chance to list my Facebook status as “off to run a beer tasting at the Met Service. The forecast is for ale storms.”

The results of the popular vote each night are in the reports.

Beer Haiku Monday and the People’s Blog Part Deux

While the seasons are wrong for this hemisphere, the poem still resonates. It is called “Winterizing“:

Taking the sails down
could go quicker without beer
but what fun is that

Over at Malthouse blog, the popular People’s blog returns with two more guest columnists and some considered reflections on bloggers and blogging. It is titled “The People’s Blog Part Deux“:

Ten years later, even hardened net geeks are giving up on trying to figure out how many blogs there really are. The answer is well over 100 million, almost certainly a lot, lot more. Blogging is not just for pyjama-clad Generation Xer’s who live in their parents basement anymore (though they are certainly still well represented on-line.) Now, rock stars blog. Beer writers blog. Businesses blog. Scientists blog. Even politicians blog.

Glass Tips – Beer Haiku Daily and Malthouse Blog

Beer Haiku Friday and A Beer Tasting

This Haiku combines ribs and beer which is more than enough to get it selected for today’s Beer Haiku Friday. It is titled “To-do List“:

As ribs cook slowly
The only thing left for me
Is to drink this beer

A full report from the MAF Beer Tasting:

This week I had the opportunity to run a beer tasting at the head office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. I brought a range of New Zealand craft beer and they provided gourmet pizzas and assorted chippies. It was a perfect match really. Filled with policy analysts, scientists and even someone who had studied brewing, it was a knowledgeable crowd with some great questions.

Glass Tip – The fine fellows at Beer Haiku Daily

Smokin’ Bishop back on tap

Invercargill Brewery’s first batch of Smokin’ Bishop hadn’t even finished fermenting before it was sold out this year – testament to the award-winning brew’s popularity.

Brewer Steve Nally promptly whipped up another 1200 litres of the seasonal full malt lager, which is now available at Invercargill Brewery’s Wood Street premises.

“Once again it’s in hot demand but we were expecting that this year – we’ve heard from numerous beer connoisseurs around the country that they appreciate the complexity of the beer and its uniqueness,” Mr Nally said.

“It’s not for the average beer guzzler who fails to appreciate the merging of flavours.”

Smokin’ Bishop was the first commercially available smoked beer in New Zealand. The perfect accompaniment to hearty winter fare, the smoked bock is made from manuka-smoked malt and has an alcohol content of 7 percent.

Available each winter as a limited edition, Smokin’ Bishop took the beer world by storm following its debut in 2007 with 600 litres quickly snapped up. Last year, Mr Nally increased production to 1200 litres but actually sold twice that.

“As a boutique brewer, I get a lot of satisfaction crafting a beer like Smokin’ Bishop which really finds its niche,” Mr Nally said.

Reinforcing its reputation as one of the world’s finest brews, Smokin’ Bishop has been selected to feature in a new publication, 1001 Beers You Must Drink Before You Die – one of just 15 New Zealand beers to get the nod.