Beer roundup

June 11, 2009

Scientific American reports on a 9,000-year-old brew hitting the shelves this summer. Unfortunately it’s not a robust brew that has aged been aged for this ridiculous length of time (by which point it would probably be nothing more than oxidised dirt anyway) but rather an ancient recipe consisting of an intoxicating blend of rice, honey and fruit – sounds like a breakfast cereal ad!

The article discusses Dogfish Head Brewery and their penchant for crazy beers. I haven’t yet had the privilege of trying any of their beers but have enjoyed a library book called Extreme Brewing by brewer Sam Calagione. The book is great inspiration for the home brewer looking to experiment. While some of the beers look out-of-reach for the beginner, the recipes provided are at an intermediate level and should be easy enough to try, once the basics have been mastered.

Geoff Griggs continues the great standard of beer articles featured in the Marlborough Express with his introduction to NZ beer. He features the Dux De Lux’s Nor’wester Pale Ale – ironically I spent around 8 years in Christchurch sipping on Dux Lager and only discovered how great this beer is now that I no longer live there. Luckily you can now purchase it in bottles here in Nelson.

Speaking of Pale Ale, I had an afterwork pint tonight and think I’ve had my first craft beer failure. I took a lucky dip and tried Tuatara’s APA.  Aroma was like a boy’s changing rooms after PE class and the taste was packed with phenols – for the unfamiliar, these taste like delicious burnt plastic and sticking plasters. I’m not trying to rag on Tuatara – this is only the second beer of theirs I’ve tried and I really like their Hefe. Rather, I had previously been suspicious when people say they’d had a bad NZ craft beer as all mine to date had been fine.



  1. I’m so glad I’ve finally seen someone mention Dogfish Head…their brews are always a privilege to taste. If you’re looking to enjoy a phenomenal IPA, I suggest Dogfish’s 90-Minute IPA. I’m almost positive the theory behind this great brew is hops continuously added over a period of 90 minutes. This brew is absolutely strong, yet has a flavor to die for. I am not one who favors IPAs, but this one takes the cake. And if you want to get really crazy, they also bottle a hard-to-find 120-minute IPA…just imagine how divine! Their brews are definitely worth the hunt to taste their mere excellence.

    • I’m really facinated by Dogfish Head from what I’ve read – though I haven’t actually tried their beer yet. You can get it here through mail order but apparently shipping to New Zealand isn’t so kind on the hops. My brother has just moved to Colorado and is loving all the US beer – told me yesterday that he just picked up the last bottle of 120 minute IPA at the local bottle shop. I better start planning my holiday!

  2. Erm…. Unless it is NZ’s best kept secret, Tuatara dont have and never have had an APA….

    • That’s what the blackboard at the pub said – they could have got it wrong of course – it might have just been their IPA.

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