Archive for September, 2009


It’s nearly Hoptober!

September 25, 2009

In the tradition of naming months after good causes – Rocktober, Movember – I though beer fans could refer to October as Hoptober. Those with some spare hops could even donate them to their local food bank. I’m sure some poor home brewer will be delighted to open their food parcel to find some tasty Super Alpha or Cascade hop pellets. Hoptober is still a week away however, so I’m going to fill this post with my week in review.

It’s been a good week for beer with the 7th Nelson beer Fête, though I’ll admit I was feeling a bit jaded on Sunday morning after upgrading from the standard half to a full pint glass, not eating enough and almost being overwhelmed by Marmalade-esque New Zealand hops.

Hangover reading material of the week: The New Yorker talks to Dogfish Head. An excellent Sunday morning read.

Bargain of the week: After dutifully collecting 15 stamps – one for every $20 I’ve spent, I got my $5 discount at Bin Inn (the only place to buy specialist home brew supplies in Nelson). Wow – that’s almost 1.7% discount if you spend exact multiples of $20 each time. Thanks.

Conspiracy of the week: This is the second week I’ve craved Brew Moon’s Hophead IPA but someone or something just doesn’t want me to have it. I looked forward to having a pint at the beer Fête – I did,  but it really didn’t taste anything like it – lots of banana and no Cascade. Maybe they got the taps mixed up? So this week I thought I could make up for it with a Friday bottle from the Supermarket. But no, after being in stock for several weeks it’s now all gone!

Great beer of the week: Founders Show Hopper at the beer Fête – they ran out early but put on another keg just in time for my last beer. Wow, what an amazing, unique and intensely  hoppy beer – it smelt just like a certain herb I may or may not have encountered before I discovered the superior cousin Humulus Lupulus.

Overrated beer of the week: Emerson’s Bookbinder. NZ craft beer drinkers adore this beer – I don’t get it!  I get the idea of a mild session beer but this just doesn’t light my fire. I may be drawn and quartered by my beer loving brethren but so be it.

Food of the week: Narrowly beating Monday’s Tempura Prawn Sushi was the Cornish Pasty I had at the beer  Fête – I haven’t had one of these simple, yet delicious pastries for years. It’s a shame I only had one, had I spent more money on food instead of beer I might have felt better at the end of the night.

Taunt of the week: “Got a bottle of 120 min IPA. Last one in shop” – Brother and new resident of Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the week: “Barrrrrrrrffffffffff, arrhhhhhkkkkk, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrffff ” – me conversing with the toilet after the beer Fête.

Song of the week:


Steinlarger’s Revolutionary New Beer

September 8, 2009

Note that this post is completely fictional – all companies, brands, products and people are completely fictional and should not be confused with real-life counterparts with similar names.

In a parallel Universe somewhere…

Following on from the successful launch of its Purer and Edgy beers, Steinlarger today announced the release of an innovative new beer called Pure H Squared Zero (H²0) – an additive-free, zero alcohol beer set to revolutionise the brewing industry. Steinlarger Brands Manager Jim Smith explains, “We wanted to combine the qualities of Purer with it’s reduced additives with our new mid-strength Edgy and came up with the concept of a beer containing no malt, hops or alcohol. Malt and hops can be good additions to beer but they’re not everything – some of our market research suggested some people find flavoured beer to be too rich for their palate. The German purity Law was a great start but it didn’t go far enough. One of our competitors has recently released a 33% better beer because it’s been brewed 33% longer – H²0 is brewed by an extremely natural process and is millions of years old so you can only imagine how much better it is”.

Another factor in the development of H²0 cited by Steinlarger is the increased production costs of advertising. “The Hollywood stars in our Purer ads may be washed up but they’re still not cheap, we also had to go to any country other than New Zealand to film a real nuclear warship. Going forward, we really want to focus on where we add the most value to our consumers – producing slick advertisements”.

On the other benefits of H²0 Smith enthuses, “With its reduced flavour profile, this is a really great session beer – you can get through a lot of these in a night and with no carbonation there’s none of that bloated feeling. The zero alcohol also makes it a great option for Business lunches – I had three yesterday and when I got back to the office, I didn’t stare blankly at my PC or make witty jokes at all. Being Carb and Gluten free are also great benefits for those on special diets – it’s such a great product, I can’t believe someone didn’t think of it sooner”.

Those with a tolerance for malt and hops can rest assured that their old Steinlarger favourites will still be available – “Sure, we’ll still be brewing the classic but we’ve redesigned the packaging to be so ugly that you wouldn’t be caught dead with it. Much cooler is H²0 in our funky 300ml slim-line cans – our market research indicates that customers feel at least 15 – 20% cooler when drinking from these modern cans. This summer crack one open, drop in a wedge of lime, crank the Fat Freddy’s Drop and you’ll be the life of the BBQ”.

The new beer is also winning favour from unexpected quarters. Self-confessed Neo-prohibitionist, finger-wagger Joan Wallace from the the Think of the Children Trust says, “though we generally regard Beer Barons as evil Puppet Masters and a curse upon our communities, Steinlarger are showing real leadership with this product. We await the day when all pleasure has been removed from the demon drink and H²0 is a great step in that direction”.

Sir Jeff Hand from the Lawyers for more Laws Commission is also supportive of the new beer – “This is the type of beverage that we are trying to encourage with our proposed new staggered excise tax. Under the proposal, those devious craft brewers pushing their 5% abv European style beers will end up paying the tax bill for responsible producers such as Steinlarger. 5% abv is half-way toward double-digits – where will it end?”

Inspiration from BeerMatt

Spring Fever

September 2, 2009

It’s time for a post after over a month off – I’ve basically been on a month long beer bender due to my birthday, a friend visiting from the USA and my bro home from overseas. You might think that would make for good beer blogging material but it turns out drinking beer is actually more fun than beer blogging.

While unfortunately I didn’t make it to last Weekends Beervana in Wellington, I can take comfort in the upcoming 7th Nelson Beer Fête. While my liver is currently resting, it is definitely in peak condition for this event. Which is just as well as there’s going to be quite a line up. The theme is ‘new to Nelson’ and will be featuring brews from Founders, Monkey Wizard, Brew Moon, 666, Arrow, Green Man, Mata and Invercargill.

Not to be missed in my opinion are Brew Moon’s Hophead IPA (had a bottle of this on Friday – packed full of smooth, sweet and spicy NZ Cascade hops); 666’s Gabriel & Roulette (been waiting to try a beer from this Marlborough brewer for a while – a showcase of NZ hops) and any of the five beers from Monkey Wizard (picked up some very nice Riggers from their Riwaka brewery earlier in the month). Plus, I’m sure all the other offerings will be top notch. Saturday 19th September @ Founders Park, 5 – 10:30pm.

And just in case you thought Nelsonians were missing out, The Moutere Inn is holding an Invergargill Brewery Showcase  from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September. On tap will be the consistently excellent Biman, Pitch Black, Smokin’ Bishop, Stanley Green, Wasp and Nally’s Cider, plus possibly some bottles of Boysenbeery. Check out the Inn’s new website here.