EPIC CAROLINA – Wellington Release

Auckland Airport


THURSDAY 6th March

Thursday was Culley’s Epic Hot Wing Eating Competition at the Malthouse in Wellington, as well as a beautiful morning for taking a flight.







Epic Carolina Launch

Greeted with the sign out front letting everyone walking by know that the competition was happening.











Stone Brewing Co Beer Arrives

Once inside the door, we were surprised to see the front half of the bar filled with 20 litre kegs from Stone Brewing Co. So many different types of Stone beer. It was all the beer for next the City Tap Takeover next Thursday 13th. As well as the beer for the Epic / Stone stand at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch on the 29th March.











Hot and Sweaty Beer Tap Badge We were ready for a hot and steamy time. There were 17 people willing to enter the competition of eating really really hot wings covered in Culley’s Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce. Half the crowd didn’t make it to the second round. Second round took another big toll on entrants. The final round it came down to a couple of guys who were dealing with the extreme pain.

Check out the final round in the video below…







FRIDAY 7th March

Do you like it hot - Skysports Grill

The following day we did another Epic Culley’s Carolina event at Skysports Grill. This was a little more low-key which suited the location. It was still a bit of fun.

For $25 you got a pint of Epic Carolina, and 1kg of chicken wings which you could add the Culley’s Carolina Reaper hot sauce to.









1kg of Hot Wings and a beer for $25


It was worked out pretty quickly that a 1kg of hot wings was alot. So groups of people were only buying one bowl between a group. Which was a good move as most people could only eat one hot wing with the Carolina Reaper sauce as it was too hot for them.

SkySports Grill even busted out a final keg of Hop Zombie which added to the attraction of the evening. Not sure how well the Zombie went with the hot sauce. I think it made the hot sauce even hotter.

Friday was a pretty impressive day for Auckland #CraftBeer as there were also two other special events on. Galbraith’s Alehouse had a new beer release, and Brothers Beer had an IPA special on. Therefore if you were a #CraftBeer fan, you had some tough choices to make.

NEW BEER – Return of Hopocalypse

Thursday evening saw a quiet little beer launch at a place with no name on the door. Three of the Horsemen gathered for the 2014 release at Golden Dawn in Ponsonby.  A handful of the craft beer purists turned up to taste the new batch

horseman logo The 2014 return of the Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse

Hallertau Brew Day The Four gathered again about a month ago to brew this rather large beer

hopocalypse On tap

2014-02-27 19.15.36 the beer turned out pretty nice from the new brewhouse. We only netted 900 litres from the 2400 litres in the kettle, guess a little too much late kettle and dry hopping.

2014-02-27 19.16.12 always a bit dark during the day

2014-02-27 18.24.26 I brought a bottle of the XXX version of Culley’s Carolina Reaper hot sauce


 Joe really wanted to try it, as did Steve. They agree its hot. Yes I poured some into Steve’s hand as we didn’t have any corn chips or delivery mechanism.

2014-02-27 18.37.49 It was really cool to finally meet Hiro in person

2014-02-27 19.53.41

2014-02-27 19.53.51

2014-02-27 19.53.53

Was a bummer the other horsemen could make it up from the Naki. We missed you Kelly. See you next time.

QUICKIE – Before Time Eats This Stuff (Stag Do)

Thursday 20th Feb, we did our first Stag Do at lunch time at Epic Beer HQ It was kind of one of those thing you say yes to like three months ago, and then all of a sudden the day is upon you, and you aren’t really sure what it all means. My head was thinking about the Epic Carolina release in Hamilton later in the day but I had to get stuff stored.

Epic HQ Stag Do So a keen group of homebrewers / craft beer lovers from Melbourne

Very Lucky They got very luck with the beers they got to taste

Once I had assessed how made keen they were not only on craft beer, but Epic Beer, I decide I would pull out the rare beers.

The arrangement was pretty cool. We put on the beers and they brought the meat. So while I was doing the beer tasting , Sten was madly cooking on the BBQ for 15 people.

stag do 2 Yup we got them to try some Carolina Reaper chillies

For some reason it is quite funny watching people eat extremely hot chillies, and experiencing an amazing amount of pain.



Friday 21st Feb, headed to the Auckland Art Gallery for the opening of a new exhibition – Five Maori Painters

We were the beer for the opening event, and it is always cool to be first to get to see a new exhibition.

2014-02-21 18.48.28

5MP Invite


Auckland Art Gallery - Five Maori Painters - Exhibition Opening
Auckland Art Gallery – Five Maori Painters – Exhibition Opening

2014-02-21 19.26.08

Think I am caught up from last week now…

EPIC CAROLINA – Hamilton Release

I am a little behind in posting my content from last week, so here are a few photos from House on Hood, Hamilton when we released the Epic Carolina and Culley’s Hot Sauce ran the hot wings competition. Scroll to the end to see the video of the winner, and his winning round of eating hot wings covered in Carolina Reaper.

2014-02-20 18.11.14 New beer – Epic Carolina Amber Ale

2014-02-20 18.11.21 It was hot, humid and busy

2014-02-20 18.11.25

2014-02-20 18.13.08 First round, look at those cold beers, ready to soothe

2014-02-20 18.16.41 Culley himself, is that a devious little smirk, knowing what is to come

2014-02-20 18.16.49 the prize pack…

2014-02-20 18.18.29 and the people are ready

2014-02-20 18.19.21 first round of hot wings

2014-02-20 18.19.30-2

2014-02-20 18.19.36 round two, needs a little more hot sauce

2014-02-20 18.23.04 GO!

2014-02-20 18.23.05 eat it fast before the heat gets ya

2014-02-20 18.23.26 next wing…

2014-02-20 18.23.28 gee Greig, you are looking a bit hot there…

2014-02-20 18.23.33  counting down… 3…2…1,,,

2014-02-20 18.23.52 done

2014-02-20 18.30.52 wings and beer…

2014-02-20 18.30.56

2014-02-20 18.33.09

2014-02-20 19.10.37 gee I reckon I could eat on of those chillies…

2014-02-20 19.15.07 beer and chilli

2014-02-20 19.27.30 Eat a whole Carolina Reaper get a free botltle of Culley’s Carolina Reaper

2014-02-20 19.27.24 The pain!!! But it was worth it for a bottle of Culley’s hot sauce



Missed out on eating the hot wings?

6th March – Malthouse, Wellington

7th March – Sky Sports Grill, Auckland

[CHANGES] New blogs coming soon

This has been a pretty massive week, including I have changed blogging platform from Blogger to WordPress.

Since “Tasting Tuesday”….


Wednesday 19th February – Sam Snead’s House of Whiskey – Single Barrel Bourbon Tasting (special appearance by Epic Carolina)

Sam Snead's House of Whiskey - Bourbon Tasting
Sam Snead’s House of Whiskey – Bourbon Tasting


 Thursday – 20th February – Our first stag do tasting at Epic Beer HQ

Stag Do Tasting - Epic Beer HQ


Thursday – 20th February – Epic Carolina Hamilton Release – House on Hood (including hot wing eating competition)

Epic Carolina Hamilton Release


Friday – 21st February – Auckland Art Gallery – Five Maori Painters Exhibit Opening (beer supplier for the event)

Auckland Art Gallery - Five Maori Painters - Exhibition Opening
Auckland Art Gallery – Five Maori Painters – Exhibition Opening


Saturday – 22nd February – blanc Brew Fest (most popular beers for us, Epic Carolina and Coffee & Fig Stout)

350 people, drinking craft beer at blanc in Henderson - Brew Fest 2014
350 people, drinking craft beer at blanc in Henderson – Brew Fest 2014


I’ve found it hard to find the time to write blog post over the last few days. The spare time I could have spent blogging has been spent on moving the domain, setting up WordPress, and importing the old blog posts. There is still a bit of fine tuning to do on setup (and learning about WordPress), but I expect to be back into it in the coming week.

2 Million Scoville, Epic Carolina, Trademarks & Blogs

If you are attending the launch of Epic Carolina at Brew on Quay this Friday, and are brave enough to enter the hot wings eating competition, then this is the outfit you will be required to wear for safety reasons (plus gloves, not shown).

5pm – Beer Launch
6pm – Hot Wings Competition
7pm – Putting out the fire with gasoline

Carolina Reaper chillies are 400 times hotter than Jalapeños



A great follow up to Get Radler Back by Jono Galuszka, this time with guest writer and IP Lawyer Paul Johns – Radler recycled?

I haven’t followed up very well with the IP lawyers that contacted my after my post
Craft Beer Trademark Wars in New Zealand just haven’t had the time (sorry). I was lucky enough to have the Epic IP lawyer Emma McBride from AJ Park write Introduction to trade marks for craft brewers in New Zealand, hopefully it is a good starting point for those new to trademarks.

There have been a couple of offers to do presentations to groups of brewers if interested. Email me if you are interested in attending a presentation of trademarks for craft brewers.


Sweet post Dylan – Craft Beer On The Street. Loving the creativity and photography of this blog post. I love seeing craft beer as litter on the streets, and also am curious to see what beers the neighbours drink as I walk past their recycle bins.

It’s awesome when people find a fresh way of looking at craft beer.


An update of articles that have frustrated me recently due to quality of reporting.

Competition puts a cap on beer prices by Hamish McNicol
I would really love it if some one could read this article and tell me what the purpose of it is.

– with one analyst suggesting New Zealand has a “beer glut”.  Why not name the analyst?
– price static
– the only thing that stands out that is of “within the beer category there was a “story within a story”, as premium and craft beer segments continued to grow.”
– over all it says prices are a little lower and there isn’t much growth. Therefore no story here?

Landscape gets rival in craft brews by Che Baker

It said there were 1500 people, this pic seems to show a few less than that number. (original photo from a punter who said it was more like 500 people)
Interview with Irish dude who says “the beers taste different to Guinness”
Finland dude says “more fruity and a bit lighter”
The coolest thing from the event must be this photo of a lot of the brewers that attended the event. Very jealous I couldn’t join them.

Website should be updated in the morning http://www.carolinareaper.co.nz
Also win Culley’s Prize Packs


Today was exceptionally busy.

Started the day with trialling out our new still, and distilled some Message in a Bottle. Unfortunately we ended up with a few cases left over, after its best before date. So we can’t sell it anymore. Even though it is tasting as good as it ever has. So I thought it might be a bit of fun to make some spirit out of it.

Then I had the privilege of meeting and having lunch with Richard Shirtcliffe the new CEO from Tuatara Brewing Company. What a great guy, and so super positive about craft beer and also New Zealand. I am excited to have Richard as part of the craft brewing industry in New Zealand.

I asked the waitress what the most popular item on the menu was, she said the steak sandwich so I had it. It was average to fair, I did find the small steak pieces a bit chewy. Overall a little dry, could have used some mayo or sauce.

OK Lumsden what is the idea of having an amazing “Build Your Own Salad” that no one knows or talks about? This is incredible and its only $9, I am totally trying this next time.

You get to build your salad from the ground up.

It looks incredible.

Stop keeping this a secret.

On returning to the office, it was time to bottle a couple of batches of beer, that were trial recipes from the ePICO Brewery. One was an Old Ale and other a small beer.

The Epic Team as usual loves to get involved and learn and experience new stuff with brewing and beer. I ended up just being the guy taking photos.

Next we had a meeting with our friends from Culley’s (makers of chilli sauces)

They have just produced a new hot sauce, their hottest yet. This time using the hottest chillies in the world “Carolina Reapers”

We said a sauce that hot needs a cold beer to put out the fire. So we have brewed something up, a one off limited release beer to go with this limited release hot sauce.

Our new beer is Epic Carolina. It is an Amber Ale 7.2% abv, Hopped with Centennial and Chinook (sorry Niels)

No we didn’t use any chillies in making it. It is to help put out the fire.

The launch party is from 5pm on Friday 14th February at Brew on Quay. There will be tastings of the beer and hot sauce. There will also be a hot wings eat competition.

We also have a date for Hamilton at House – 20 Feb.

There will be other dates and locations announced next week where we will be turning up and tasting the hot sauce and beer.

After the Carolina meeting I did an ageing tasting on the most current batches of our Epic Pale Ale. Just to make sure the aroma and flavour in each of the batches in stock are holding up OK. 330ml batches are all good. I am going to revisit the 500ml again on Friday just to double check, with the brewsheet in hand. One seems to be a little low on aroma, so need to work out what was done differently. But nothing you should worry about.

(I was told I should blog about doing these tastings)

End of the day, we did some tasting of the new hot sauce and some beer. It went well. These are some crazy hot chillies. I took a half of the Carolina Reaper in the photo and just touched it to my tongue (didn’t eat any) and it burned like crazy, lasted like 15 minutes. Just a touch, man thats some hot stuff.

Yes and we had some BBQ’ed bacon, because that is how we roll.

Some times things just happen. It started with “hey the purple of your dress is the same as the Armageddon label” and ended up as an Armageddon bottle Angel.