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Wow - “Gin is the New IPA” – my word, what a bold prediction to begin the Malthouse Blog in 2019.

 

Except that this phrase was actually written by Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing Company in July 2014. Seriously. He was absolutely right about this - albeit way ahead of the rest of us who have only recently jumped onto the hot power couple bandwagon of craft beer and boutique gin. They can be drunk in the same session (with the gin usually at the end) or, as I prefer, mixed together in the spectacular beer cocktail known as a “pipewrench”.

 

I never really drank gin in my younger hedonistic days. In fact, it was one of the few alcoholic beverages to last more than a couple of days in the liquor cabinet of my laddish flat.

 

However, I do recall spending a civilised afternoon in the back yard sitting on folding chairs drinking gin and tonics until it was dark – solving the problems of the world with my good mate Flash. Turns out the biggest problem we really had was that we had been sitting and drinking so long the chairs had sunk 30cm into the lawn and had to be dug out. That was my last G&T for a while.

 

Luke, the Impish Brewer, wrote way back in 2014:

 

“The parallels between IPA and Gin are fascinating. They were last both very popular in the 1700-1800’s and both very popular in India, but also the rest of the world. The aromas and flavours are very similar with citrus and pine characters, as well as an array of other intertwined characters. There is also bitterness with both drinks, gin’s bitterness being delivered from tonic water and the compound quinine.

 

With some speculation it would seem that Gin is the next logical step for craft beer drinkers that have climbed the ladder of Pale Ale, IPA, and Double IPA, looking for bigger and bigger hop driven flavours and aromas. Good gin can deliver similar aromas and flavour, as well as increased level of complexity due to the extended range of potential botanicals.

 

Gin is the new IPA.”

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Malthouse played a key role in Luke’s gin epiphany. In a February 2015 article he noted:

 

“One night, I’m going to say it was at the Malthouse, it was suggested that we take a break on this round [of big IPAs] and have a cleansing G&T. Everyone gasped, it was though we had heard a blasphemous comment. Then again, everyone was curious to try something new. Who would have thought to try something other than another IPA? [1]

 

The round was purchased. BAM! What a revelation.”

 

I must confess that I finally discovered the joys of gin and IPA under the tutelage of said Luke Nicholas at said Malthouse. On Friday 18 January 2018 Malthouse will become Ginhouse to honour this historic libation which is making a tremendous comeback after gaining a rather dubious reputation including  the moniker “Mother’s Ruin” and the era of deeply tawdry “gin palaces” of yore.

 

Malthouse is none of those things (being only vaguely tawdry and that is usually just me). At the Ginhouse event, Malthouse will be serving:

Ginhouse gin – This is a brand new gin created for the event. The ingredients have been voted on and selected on social media. I cannot wait.

 

Epic Gin and Tonic (14%) – Start or end with this floral wonder piece from the taps. Epic has made a gin believer of me.

 

Negroni – This classic cocktail is a combination of gin and campari.

 

Malty will also be serving up the famous and perfect Hidden World gin and tonic matches. Hidden World is a joint venture between Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing Company and Anthony Sexton of Vaione Gin. “Both with a passion for Gin” it seems.

 

There are also many beers from Epic which may be familiar:

 

Epic Armageddon IPA (6.66%) – A desert island beer for me. Get your own island...

 

Epic Hopshine (5.5%) – A lovely beer (described as a “sunny IPA”) but I am not sure how long it will be around. I recommend you try it before I get there.

 

Epic Heavy Hop IPA (6.3%) - This is a Scottish IPA brewed specially to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Malthouse. The brewers say it is “a bit of hat tip” to the “courageous leader and our good friend Colin Mallon.” It uses some of the most recent releases of US hops, including Loral, Mosaic and Ekuanot (previously Equinox),

 

Epic Lager (5%) – Luke actually makes good lagers despite being known as a hoppy pale ale guy. [2]

 

Epic Pale Ale (5.4%) – Classic for a reason. It was a revelation when released and still stands up today. Tasty malt base, with just the right balance of Cascade to bang it home.

 

Epic Shotgun XPA (4.8%) – This is a lighter, fruity, extra pale ale which is named after yet another Def Leppard song. [3]

 

Next time we drink to my late mullet. It passed away on the floor of Maggie’s Hair Design on the mean streets of Thorndon. It was then swept away. Tell you what, I got value for money on that haircut!

 

[1] I was not there but would have voted at the time for another IPA. Now, I would have a soon to be classic pipewrench – Epic Hop Zombie and Hidden World gin.
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[2] And rightly so.

 

[3] Currently unused Def Leppard song titles which might be good beer names include (but are not limited to) – “Miss you in a heartbeat”, “All I want is everything” and “Four letter word”.

 

Cheers

 

Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

 

Links

 

Malthouse become Ginhouse Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/events/276678873201224/

Luke on Gin is the new IPA - http://www.luke.co.nz/2016/04/gin-is-the-new-ipa/

Malthouse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/malthouseNZ/

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps 

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting  

Friday, 21 December 2018 20:05

2018 – The Year that Was (Beer Edition)

This time of year is called “the silly season” for the media and politicians. This is because most people’s minds, whether they are still working or not, have already turned to presents, parties and hospitality. As a result, papers get thinner with even less hard news than usual. Equally, politicians often announce big but potentially controversial polices in an (often successful) attempt to minimise public scrutiny.

 

The media is full of “top ten” lists and declarations of various “people of the year”. In fact, the Herald even did an epic “Top 50 Rugby Players of 2018” piece. I agreed with about two of the placings. Political pundits are judging their “politicians of the year” and there is fierce debate among them whether it should be Jacinda, Winston or Jacinda and Winston.

 

Speaking of Mr Peters, after Parliament had risen, he announced that New Zealand would join the UN convention relating to migration and refugees. Right to the end he was denying any decision had been and then, once Parliament had risen – boom – we are going in.

 

In my contribution to the “silly season” I’ve been asked to offer some reflections on craft beer generally and Malthouse specifically. Here we go with six reflections:

 

A year of tap takeovers

 

Malthouse has hosted many excellent tap takeovers over the years. They were doing them way before they became popular. In 2018 Malty out-did itself with 12 monthly beer launches and tap takeovers from some of New Zealand’s best breweries. Dubbed “Project Silver” (as in Silver Anniversary) it was a huge success. I attended several and those who read last week’s blog will not be surprised that my favourite project was Epic. There were a slew of beers there that even I had not tried before.

 

Upper Hutt is Beertown

 

I never thought I would write so much about Upper Hutt, far less be so overwhelmingly positive about it. However, Upper Hutt has dragged itself from a virtual craft desert to Beertown with four craft breweries and their cellar doors. They have been strongly supported by the Council which also helped Upper Hutt secure Greater Wellington Brewday, my third favourite beer festival of the year. [1]

 

It is hard to find a bar in Wellington that does not have an Upper Hutt beer pouring. Malthouse has had a fair few available over 2018 and that looks set to grow in 2019.

 

It’s not all good news though

 

While the craft business is strong, there are of course issues including growing competition, tight margins, scarcity of ingredients, and declining brand loyalty amongst drinkers. [2]

 

My personal bugbear is activism in licencing decisions.  In many areas, virtually every application is opposed by the public health officer, the Police, academics (usually from Otago University) and local busybodies. In some cases, all of them. Yes, some venues deserve to have restricted hours or cancellations because of repeated bad behaviour.

 

The issue for me is the use of problems that don’t exist (“New Zealanders are drinking more than ever:” Not true.) The use of policies that have not been proven (one-way door policies), and the invention of problems that have not happened yet and might never do.

 

A prime example is a new Wellington supermarket that had to accept very short hours over fears – I am not making this up – students would take the Cable Car halfway up and then go drinking in the park. Quite a prediction – but sadly it worked.

 

Rising quality of pub food

 

While there are still pubs offering the standard old menu to go with their standard beer list, other places are serving diverse dishes ranging from street food to gourmet meals. The incredible popularity of the Wellington on a Plate burger and beer contest is a testament to this.

 

Malthouse food has also improved considerably with the addition of chicken wings, some new deep fried favourites, development of the pizza menu, and, vitally, the continued retention of the iconic ugly bread. It was one of the very first items out of the tiny Malthouse kitchen.

 

Seriously, the kitchen is tiny. If you ever see it [3] you will wonder how the staff manages to pump so much food, usually while working behind the bar. My hat is off to you all.

 

Style Wars

 

Beer tastes are always evolving. Sour beer accelerated its rise in the market with plenty of new and innovative creations. I am pleased that we have not reached “peak pale ale” as some predicted with glee. In fact, pale ale seems to growing in popularity. It is still top of my style list.

 

It might be the company I am keeping but pilsner seems to be coming back into fashion as drinkers discover or re-discover the joys of a well-made crisp Pilsner. Barrel-aged beers are in demand. These styles are time and labour intensive so brewers must plan months or even years in advance. I do not know they do it – I barely know what I’m doing on Monday.

 

A final plea

 

Malthouse is the proud owner of the Modus Hopperandus – a wonderful, magical machine which can infuse flavours from other ingredients into the beer when it is poured. 2018 saw all kinds of ingredients from coffee to chocolate to fruits to herbs and even once (I think) flowers.

 

One thing I did not see in there this year was actual hops. Hence my regular plea in the blog for Malty to “actually put hops in the Hopinator”. I guess hops are in high demand, hard to get and relatively expensive, but just once in 2019 would be awesome.

 

Next time we drink to (and almost certainly on) Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. So, I’d like to wish seasonal greetings and good cheers to all the readers of this blog. Thanks for your support and feedback over the course of 2018. Hope to see all of you again in 2019. Cheers.

 

[1] Before anyone asks, the other two are Beervana and Beers at the Basin. I don’t count Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge as a festival. If I did, it would be number one.
.

[2] I think this is also a good thing in many ways.

 

[3] And you are probably in trouble if you do...

 

Cheers

 

Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

 

Links

 

Malthouse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/malthouseNZ/

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps 

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting  

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 16:41

Pushing the Boundaries – That is Just Epic

The dictionary definition of Epic is:

 

“Noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centred upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: or

 

Heroic, majestic, impressively great: or

 

Slang: Spectacular, very impressive, awesome.”

 

My definition of Epic is:

 

“My favourite brewery in New Zealand,”

 

This is a big call as the country has dozens of spectacular, very impressive and awesome beer makers. However, for another article for another publication I was recently tasked with naming my three desert island beers. This is a seemingly simple question that I have asked a number of hospitality people over the years during interviews.

 

Only when it was turned back on me did I realise how hard the task actually was. After much agonising I proffered up the following trio:

 

  1. Epic Armageddon IPA
  2. Russian River Pliny the Elder IPA
  3. Epic Hop Zombie IPA

 

That list made it kind of obvious that I am, and always have been, a majestic fan of Epic Brewery, helmed as it is by the Impish Brewer Luke Nicholas. Heck, I was on board way back when Luke was worrying that Epic Pale Ale was “too hoppy” for the local market. [1] That was a quite while ago it should be noted.

 

On Friday 7 December 2018 Malthouse will be hosting the final Project Silver beer launch and tap takeover. With an estimated 25 beers on tap, this one is truly going to be Epic. The Project Silver – Operation Epic will feature the following beers:

 

Epic Heavy Hop (6.3%) – This is a Scottish IPA brewed specially to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Malthouse.  The brewers say it is “a bit of hat tip” to the “courageous leader and our good friend Colin Mallon.”

 

They add that Epic “used a special Scottish Ale yeast which is believed to have come from the historic McEwen’s Brewery in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. We have had some fun with some of the most recent releases of US hops, including Loral, Mosaic and Ekuanot (previously Equinox), a great beer to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Malthouse.“

 

Epic Thirteen (15%) – Malthouse is not the only one celebrating a milestone. Epic is turning 13 and to celebrate has made a 15% Quadruple Brut IPA which they claim is the “World’s First Quadruple Brut IPA” (likely) and the “Biggest IPA Epic has ever made” (true). However, making a 15% beer for a 13th birthday seemed odd to this beer writer and the brewery agreed saying:

 

“How did it come out 15%? We put in so much effort to make sure the beer was high alcohol as well as a super dry brut style, we overshot the mark. As it turned out the beer is actually pretty good at 15%.”

 

It is also double dry hopped – because Luke can.

 

Epic Lupulingus (8.8%) – I adore this beer. It debuted at the Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge and took home a medal, it boasts being 101 IBUs (International Bitterness Units), and has 40% more hops than Epic Hop Zombie.

 

Shut up and take my money.

 

Epic Coffee & Fig Stout 2018 (8%) – The Impish Brewer has brought back the beer I swear he makes simply so I cannot say that I adore ever brew he makes. This imperial oatmeal stout has Brazilian Toffee Coffee Beans from L’Affare, there are also notes of coconut and berries.

 

Epic Hop Shine (5.5%) – The first beer I recall being described as a “sunny IPA”. This one has notes of mango, passionfruit and citrus.

 

Epic Shotgun XPA (4.8%) This is a lighter, fruity, extra pale ale which is named after yet another Def Leppard song.

 

Epic Animal IPA (6.2%) – A version of Epic Armageddon using an implausible amount of Simcoe hops, this delicious beer is also named after a Def Leppard song. It is a far more catchy and groovy song than Shotgun in my humble opinion. [2] In unrelated news, I will be playing it for the rest of the time it takes to write this blog.

 

Epic Dankomatic IPA (7.6%) - “So dank it should have alligators in it.” A tagline attributed to me but actually uttered first by my lovely partner. Not entirely sure what it means, but do know this is a sticky, resinous IPA with notes of pine, citrus and caramel.

 

The other beers are:

 

Epic Lager (5%) – Luke actually makes good lagers despite being known as a hoppy pale ale guy.

 

Epic Awakening Pilsner (5.2%) – Luke is also a Star Wars fan and this dry crisp pils was launched at the same time as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

 

Epic Pale Ale (5.4%) – Classic for a reason.

 

Epic Thunder APA (5.8%) – Drop the hammer.

 

Epic Armageddon IPA (6.66%) – If I could only ever have one beer in the world, it would be Armageddon.

 

Epic Hop Zombie (8.5%) – If I could only have three beers in the world, this would be one of them.

 

Epic NZ Pilsner (5%)

 

Epic DDH Dust IPA (6.5%)

 

Epic Magic Dust IPA (6.9%) – I see what you did with the ABV there...

 

Epic GINIPA (6.9%) – Luke and the Epic team have been making gin for some time now so it seems logical to mix the two together. It is a match made in heaven – much to my surprise. GINIPA is one of my favourites.

 

Epic Hop Party NZIPA (6.4%)

 

Epic Hop Picker NZIPA (6.5%)

 

Epic Love & Affection IPA (6.5%)

 

Epic Triple Alpha IIPA (11.1%) – This one is top of my tasting list even though 111 is considered an unlucky number in cricket. It is the dreaded “Nelson”. [3]

 

Epic Run Riot IPA (6.7%) – Pretty sure this is another Def Leppard reference..

 

Epic Big Hop Double IPA (8.8%)

 

Epic Beer Blanket Stout (6%)

 

Epic Gin and Tonic (14%) – Start or end with this floral wonder piece from the taps. Epic has made a gin believer of me.

 

Next time we drink to Phil Hughes, an Australian cricketer who passed away four years ago after being struck on the head by a bouncer. My cricket bat still rests in the corner to honour his memory.

 

[1] Epic Pale Ale is a fine beer – I am drinking one right now. However, these days it is hardly scary on the hop front. It is a juicy sessionable American-style pale ale which really introduced New Zealand to the joys of US hops.
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[2] I have a mullet. My opinions on Def Leppard are therefore definitive.

 

[3] Not to be confused with the Lord Nelson pub and hotel in Sydney which is awesome. Have a Three Sheets IPA and a pork pie. Perfect.

 

Cheers

 

Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

 

Links

 

Malthouse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/malthouseNZ/

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps 

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting  

To celebrate 25 years in the business, Malthouse will be hosting the penultimate Project Silver beer launch and tap takeover on Saturday 24 November showcasing our old friends ParrotDog Brewery.

 

Award winning beer scribe Michael Donaldson noted in his recent “A Beer Lover’s Bucket List” article that “ParrotDog is the most reliably good brewery right now. As a go-to six pack I can’t go past their Falcon APA. Check out their retro-cool bar in Lyall Bay too.” There is no higher praise than that from the great man – it is a real shame that it was his last column in that newspaper. [1]

 

However, some of us knew ParrotDog before they became so freaking cool.

 

ParrotDog BitterBitch IPA was my number 1 beer of the year back in 2011. That was the same year that “Gnomeo and Juliet” was an inexplicably popular animated film, the television show “Fairly Legal” hit US screens (but sadly did not feature Hon Steven Joyce), John Key became Prime Minister of New Zealand, and “Party Rock Anthem” was topping the charts. [2]

 

In 2012, I conducted my first grown up beer writer interview and it just happened to be with the three Matts from ParrotDog. The definition of “grown-up” in this context is that I actually had some questions prepared, conducted it face to face at a bar, and recorded it on my trusty cassette Dictaphone. The result was a feature article in Dish magazine which remains to this day one of my favourite pieces of work.

 

It helped that Matt Warner, Matt Kristofski and Matt Stevens, the ParrotDog founders, had a great story to tell about their rapid move from home brewing to contract brewing to owning a brewery in their mid-twenties. I remember visiting when they opened. They had so much space that they parked their cars inside the Vivian Street brewery. Heck, they sometimes slept in the cars during a double shift day.

 

Fast forward to today and they have had to move in order to expand because the brewery – which they swore to me would last forever – had become way too small because of the growing demand for their beers. That demand, I believe, was led by the punchy BitterBitch pale ale but ParrotDog have also greatly expanded their range in recent years, as well as rebranding.

 

The Matts and the rest of team will be in attendance on Saturday 24 November 2018 when Malthouse pours 10 ParrotDog beers in Project Silver – Operation ParrotDog. Here are some short tasting notes:

 

ParrotDog West Coast Colin IPA (7%) – A dominant and deserved winner of the 2018 Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge. It did not initially have a fancy name but Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor of Malthouse now seems to be suggesting it is called “Colin”. [3] Breathtakingly fruity and heartbreakingly bitter. I loved it.

 

ParrotDog Lager (4.5%) – This is a simple floral lager with a quenching dry finish. If you are planning to try the whole range (and you should not in a single sitting), start with this one.

 

ParrotDog L.B. American Brown Ale (6%) - The L.B stands for Lyall Bay, the Wellington suburb which now hosts the ParrotDog posse. It is a combination of darkly toasted malt and fruity hops.

 

ParrotDog L.B. Pacific Ale (4.3%) - This juicy ale embraces New World hops with a bitterness that belies its relatively modest ABV.

 

ParrotDog L.B. Hefeweizen (5%) – There is no antipodean spin here. This is a classic German Hefe with notes of banana and spice.

 

ParrotDog Hawkeye Session IPA (4%) – Session IPA is very fashionable these days but they can tricky to make well. Here, there is a strong malt base allowing the fresh citrus hops to dance over the top in the exact manner that David Seymour MP thought he could dance on “Dancing with the Stars”. He could not.

 

ParrotDog Rifleman XPA (4.5%) – A clean crisp ale with a hint of grapefruit and an armed uprising against Donald Trump.

 

ParrotDog Pandemonium Pilsner (4.8%) – This is the Matt’s first commercial lager and it is proudly a modern twist (in terms of hops) on a classic base (in terms of malt). Very refreshing and sessionable as a result.

 

ParrotDog Falcon APA (5.4%) – I have to agree with Mr Donaldson because this is my new favourite too. [4] Lashings of grapefruit, lime and pine make this pale ale soar in my mouth.

 

ParrotDog BitterBitch IPA (5.8%) – The beer that really started the ParrotDog Brewery remains a classic even though it was initially brewed by a series of (fortunate) accidents. This tastes American (passionfruit and grapefruit) but the ingredient list is strongly English. That would explain the caramel and malt biscuit flavours underscoring this delicious drop.

 

Next time we drink to Ajaz Patel, man of the match on test debut. This 5’6 30 year old changed from a fast bowler to a spinner and then spun the Black Caps to a historic victory by just four runs. I watched the highlights today and right up until the end the commentators were only debating about how much Pakistan would win by. A great showing, tiger!

 

[1] Another of my most admired beer writers, Geoff Griggs, noted to me that it is getting harder to be a beer writer in New Zealand. We went through a phase when papers, magazines and websites were adding genuine beer content (not just press releases) but that trend seems – tragically – to be reversing in the last six months.
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[2] To be fair, the lovely Adele recorded the awesome “Someone Like You” to balance the musical scales somewhat.

 

[3] A quick Google search annoyingly confirms it is now actually called “Colin”. Well, colour me surprised.

 

[4] Also because he is right about everything apart from fruit beers.

 

Cheers

 

Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

 

Links

 

Malthouse ParrotDog Project Silver Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/2090499767933090/

ParrotDog Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/parrotdog/

ParrotDog Twitter - https://twitter.com/Parrotdog

Malthouse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/malthouseNZ/

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps 

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting  

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:31

McLeod’s Brewery – There can be only one

 

It is no secret that I am quite a fan of McLeod’s Brewery from Waipu, the beautiful

shiny heart of plucky little Northland. That has probably been revealed by my

previous expressions of devotion in print and on-line, and the fact that I am wearing

one of my two McLeod’s t-shirts while writing this, and drinking a McLeod’s Tropical

Cyclone Double IPA at the same time, though solely for research purposes of

course.

I have noted that McLeod’s is a brewery founded on “sand, surf and Scottish

heritage”. These are words which are rarely uttered in the same sentence. Since

2014 this growing and prolific brewery has been producing a range of award winning

beers. One of their best decisions was to hire the highly regarded Jason Bathgate as

head brewer over two years ago.

They won the coveted Beer of the Year award from the members of the Society of

Beer Advocates (SOBA), a discerning horde of brewing enthusiasts. In a huge upset,

McLeod’s Paradise Pale Ale beat perennial champion Panhead Supercharger. That

is no simple task. They also picked up a pile of bling at this year’s Brewer’s Guild

New Zealand beer awards. [1]

I have a strong link with the McLeod name as it is my mother’s maiden name and my

brother’s middle (clan) name. Me, I am a Campbell, a clan with the worst reputation

in Scottish history based solely on centuries of treachery, treason and double-

crossing.

The McLeod name has also been tarnished through no fault of their own. I am

referring to the character Connor McLeod in the multiple Highlander movies and later

animated series. Now, the first Highlander is a more than decent action film, greatly

helped by the soaring Queen soundtrack over well choreographed sword fight

scenes. They should have stopped right there. The other sequels fall away rather

dramatically and tragically in quality and star power, to the extent that I think they

were not even trying near the end. [2]

The seeds of destruction were however sown in the first and best movie. The

producers had hired Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, two major stars.

Somehow, they made the decision that Lambert (who is French) should play the

Scotsman, and Connery (who is Scottish) should play the Egyptian. To his credit,

Sean does not even attempt an accent but this simply serves to show up how bad

Lambert’s “Scottish” dialogue really is. [3]

McLeod’s Brewery’s Scottish theme is clear on the beer labels and tap badges with a

bold image of what is known in my homeland as a “hairy coo” (Highland cattle for the

you lowlanders). Sometimes mistaken for a yak, the coo is basically a waterproof

and hirsute bovine which survives in constant rain. To my cultural shame, I have

never eaten one.

 

McLeod’s is taking over Malthouse on Friday 19 October 2018 with ten taps of

genuine McBrew. Pouring on the night (subject to change) will be:

McLeod’s Longboarder Lager (5%) – The brewer does not mince words – this beer

is their flagship and it wins a lot of awards. Rightly so, as it is subtle and nuanced

with notes of peach evident near the end.

McLeod’s Heathen Session Pale Ale (3.8%) – A balanced session IPA with citrus

hops over a solid biscuit malt backbone.

McLeod’s Paradise Pale Ale (5.5%) – Paradise is my second favourite beer from

McLeod’s. The winner will be become obvious very shortly. It is a plump New World

pale ale with notes of orange, lime and lemon.

McLeod’s Tropical Cyclone DIPA (8%) – To the complete non-surprise of regular

readers, my prize tipple in this range is the Double IPA. Tropical Cyclone has a

veritable downpour of orange, papaya, grapefruit and glory.

McLeod’s Traders Scotch Ale (7.2%) – This is a strong Scotch Ale, a style often

known somewhat ironically as Wee Heavy. It is dark and rich with traditional notes of

caramel, peated whisky and honey. A dash of rye provides body and dryness, while

the New Zealand twist is the addition of a spicy Horopito tea after fermentation.

McLeod’s Lochaber West Coast IPA (7.5%) – How can I not adore a West Coast

IPA named after a historical Scottish axe? Well, the actual beer is a mix of citrus,

pine and sticky resin that really lingers.

McLeod’s 802 #12 Fresh, Unfiltered IPA – This is the very latest in their series of

fresh hopped IPAs. This one is particularly dank and cloudy in the East Coast IPA

style.

McLeod’s Smugglers Bay Belgian (9.4%) – A big Belgian style ale bursting with

notes of bananas, bread crust and barnyard. It is much more delicious than I just

made it sound. Sorry.

McLeod’s Smugglers Bay Red Sour Ale (6.6%) – Appropriately soured with two

classic wild yeasts - Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus – this vintage has been aged

for just over a year in French barriques (barrels) which once held Marlborough Pinot

Noir. The result is a deep and decadent brew.

McLeod’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Brown Porter (5.7%) - Head brewer Jason

Bathgate describes it as "like tearing into a freshly baked loaf of homemade

sourdough bread, a piece of chocolate and a glass of bourbon." I like two of

those three things.

Coming up Malthouse will be hosting beer events featuring Yeastie Boys,

Urbanaut, ParrotDog and Epic breweries. There will be more details in coming

weeks but it is going to be an exciting end to the year.

 

Next time we drink to the new book by my favourite author PJ O’Rourke. I can’t wait

to tuck into None of my Business. ‘[4]

[1] A pile of bling is hereby officially defined as “thirteen medals” in this context.

.

[2] The Highlander series fell apart worse than the Starship Troopers franchise or the

Star Wars prequels. Even Lethal Weapon films with Joe Pesci were better.

[3] To his credit, Lambert is a serviceable lightning god Raiden in the much

misunderestimated classic Mortal Kombat film.

[4] Thanks to my lovely partner who procured me one of the first copies in New

Zealand through a miraculous new invention called “interwebs shopping”.

Cheers

Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

Links

McLeod’s X Malthouse Facebook Event Page -

https://www.facebook.com/events/2053199428053151/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&n

otif_id=1539419099263965

McLeod’s Website – http://www.mcleodsbrewery.co.nz

McLeod’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/mcleodsbrewery/

McLeod’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/mcleodsbrewery

Malthouse Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/malthouseNZ/

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting

The year 1993 – or the year MCMXCIII as us classical scholars prefer to call it – was a momentous twelve months indeed. One of the global highlights was the opening of a groundbreaking craft beer bar upstairs on Willis Street called The Malthouse.

 

 

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