Backbencher Beer of the Year

Traditionally, the final Cellar Vate beer tasting of the year is a “best of the best” competition where the top beers from the preceding tastings are pitted against each other. This year, nine beers were tasted. Each beer had been voted first or second at the nine tasting during 2007. The full report – and results – is here.

In the course of a long, highly entertaining report of his trip to Auckland, Will from GoNZo Freakpower blog ends up judging a – how do I put this legally? – horticultural event on a boat. This is the paragraph which caught my eye:

About a dozen entries and there’s three outstanding ones. One bud, big as your fist, sits there begging to be scratched and sniffed. I feel like Neil Miller at the Beer Festival, or Jules at Toast Martinborough.

Beer O’Clock

As most people will be suffering a near terminal lack of work motivation at this time of the week, here are two quick links to beer items which may be of interest:

Over at Beer O’Clock on Not PC, a look at humorous beer advertising complete with links.

Glass Tip – Foreign Correspondent Belinda for the initial article

Secondly, a beer tasting report and results from last nights tasting at Thomson and Brooker.

Some light reading before beer o’clock

From the Wellingtonian, my latest column on the world’s largest fair, Oktoberfest:

German beer has a deservedly fine reputation around the world. Their voluntary adherence to the world’s oldest food standard (the Bavarian Beer Purity Laws of 1516) ensures that only malt, hops, yeast and water are used in their beers. Additive-free beers were not invented by Steinlager Pure in 2007.

Continuing the Oktoberfest theme but taking it a oddly magnificent direction, a report from the latest Cellar Vate tasting:

This month’s tasting at the Backbencher had a genuinely unique theme – Moa-toberfest!

Will Moa-toberfest be the next big thing? What is Moa-toberfest anyway?

Beer Tasting Results

The theme of the September Cellar Vate tasting was English beers:

The theme of the September Cellar Vate Beer tasting was English beer though there was one invader from Scotland. The beers selected demonstrated a number of current trends in British brewing including historic breweries under pressure, traditional recipes, centralization of ownership, the rise of organic beer and the creation of new styles designed to appeal to non-traditional beer drinkers.

The August Cellar Vate tasting was “All Hail Pale Ale, All Hail Pale Ale, All Hail Pale Ale!:

I just love the theme “all hail pale ale” and it has quickly become an annual tasting at the Cellar-Vate Beer Club. The August tasting saw a full house of 50 people try seven pale ales (a mix of traditional, IPA and APA) and the very rare smoked bock from Invercargill as a treat. There were two breweries making their debut and a special guest presenter!

There was also excellent tasting for the social club at Buddle Findlay:

Last week I ran a beer tasting in the panoramic boardroom of Buddle Findlay for their social club. The fantastic views of the Wellington harbor were matched only by the quality of food. Not many tastings these days serve chips AND peanuts! Thankfully, the snacks did not over shadow the awesome beer menu.

Friday Reading

From the Wellingtonian with kind permission, a column on beer lists, and beer and food matching:

I once bemused an impeccably dressed waiter in a fine (and expensive) Wellington restaurant by asking to see the beer list when ordering. “We do not have a beer list, sir. Why don’t you tell me what beer you would like and I will see if we have it?”

The latest Salient column details the on-going Bud war:

However, the mailbag was recently bulging with a plethora (“two”) of messages regarding comments made about the American beer Budweiser and the Czech beer Budvar in a law lecture at Victoria. The anonymous writers alerted me to the fact that Reader in Law Geoff McLay (known affectionately around the Law School as “Mr McLay”) had devoted part of a lecture to the global legal battles between Budvar – “the beer of kings” – and Budweiser – “the king of beers”.

Finally, the report and results from last night’s tasting at the Treasury:

The first ever commercial beer tasting I ever ran was on the May 22 in 2003. It was at the Treasury and there were eight people there. Last night I returned to the same venue to run another tasting to a crowd twice that size!

Recent Tastings

It’s been a very busy week for beer tastings so here are the reports from three recent events including the winners of the popular vote:

The big one was the Belgian beer tasting at Cellar Vate:

Sixty people at the Belgian beer tasting took solace in the famous sign near a Belgian monastery – “The good Lord has changed water into wine, so how can drinking beer be a sin?”

There was also a tasting for the active Statistics New Zealand social club:

The last time I had run a beer tasting for the Statistics New Zealand Social Club, the weather outside had been so stormy that a neighbouring wooden fence was completely blown over while I was trying to talk about Porters.

The third was the Centre for Public Health Research:

A fun little tasting involving beer, chocolate and singstar…