|PR / Media|
|Gregor Stronach - Aus|
|Neil Miller - NZ|
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Last week, I blogged about a local pub – The Backbencher – which had gone from pouring a standard big brewery selection to being a place which offered a swag of award-winning beers from Emerson’s and possessing two genuine guest beer taps. This week we head to a historic pub located a full 179m walk from the Backbencher – The Thistle Inn – which has undergone a similar beer transformation. ; more info
I live very near New Zealand’s Parliament – in what I like to call the Mean Streets of Thorndon Town which is only funny because it’s a decidedly bourgeois suburb. Prime Minister John Key (nominally) lives here, so does the American Embassy and Katherine Mansfield used to. Setting aside the vast oasis of craft beer that has consistently been the Thorndon New World supermarket (current over 500 beers), it used to be pretty hard to get a decent pint at a local pub. In the last couple of years, that has all changed. more info
One of the features in the next issue of the award-winning Beer and Brewer magazine will be about festive/festival beers. In the course about writing about the sky-rocketing popularity of these brews in New Zealand, I came across a piece I had written in mid-2011 which set out the extended history of festival beers from the dawn of civilisation through to Oktoberfest. more info
Moa Group, the ambitious Marlborough brewery with global aspirations, this week had to issue a trading and performance update warning its full year 2014 loss could reach $6 million, significantly higher than their own October estimate of $4.5 million. Predictably share prices dropped sharply (around 6%) and a number of commentators are questioning whether the company, which recently listed on the NZ Stock Exchange (NZX), will be able to deliver on the promises made during the share float and in subsequent announcements. more info
News that a small Scottish brewery has produced the strongest beer in the world should theoretically make me happy. After all, I was born in Scotland, I think Scottish craft brewers are doing very fine work and I am not averse to a few strong ales myself. However, Brewmeister Snake Venom – weighing in at allegedly 67.5% ABV – leaves me cold without even trying a drop of the stuff. more info
In 2007, Invercargill Brewing Smokin’ Bishop burst onto the New Zealand scene and simply blew people’s minds. This 7% smoked bock was the first modern New Zealand smoked beer (based on Rauchbier and similar European smoked styles) and the showcase ingredient was locally made manuka smoked malt. At the time, there was commercial access to German beech smoked malt, Scottish peat smoked malt and liquid manuka smoke in a bottle, but none of these fitted the bill for the brewers. more info
On Friday evening, I braved torrential rain to head down to the windswept Wellington waterfront in order to attend a beer festival in a tent. Right off the bat it should be noted that this was not an average tent or even an average marquee – it was huge and, fortunately given the inclement conditions out, very robust. Through the open doorways you could see the rain teeming down, but it was dry and warm inside.
Craft beer is an important part of my life and my job. I write about it, I talk to people about it, I try to get them to drink it. However, we should never lose track of the fact that beer is a sociable beverage and, fundamentally, should be fun. After a couple of serious, fact-filled posts, in this one I've decided to highlight two of the best pieces of craft beer humour I've seen in recent months. more info
On 29 September, the highly talented Kelly Ryan announced on his blog that he was leaving the brewing industry after 13 years in order to move to New Plymouth (Taranaki) to be closer to his family. Kelly described it as “a tough decision” but “jobs come and go but we all only have one family. It's going to be great to be living around the corner from Mum, Dad and my brother and his family so we can spend loads of quality time together.” more info