I see red, I see red, I see red: Hunt for the Red October
Thursday, 22 September 2016 11:36

I see red, I see red, I see red: Hunt for the Red October

It is fair to say that I have a complicated relationship with the colour red – not least because, as an extremely colour blind gentleman, I often mix it up with green and brown. This is one of the many reasons I am a terrible at snooker. [1] It also explains, but does not excuse, some of my more questionable fashion decisions.

My political colours are true blue, but my favourite soccer/football club (Liverpool) is bright red (except for their away strip which is yellow, teal, and/or polka dots depending on what week it is). I am terrified by the sight of blood, but love black pudding. Simply Red is simply annoying, but the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are just awesome. [2]

Hunt for the Red October is a pretty good film... but it requires a certain suspension of disbelief. It is hard to take Alec Baldwin seriously as a poor man’s Harrison Ford (Ford turned down the role of Jack Ryan) but even more difficult to accept Sean Connery as a Russian. He does not even try to do an accent. Mind you, he kept the Scottish brogue while playing an Egyptian in Highlander. Yes, the same film they cast a Swiss/French guy as the title character Connor MacLeod the Highlander.

Apparently Mr Connery’s hairpiece in Hunt for the Red October cost $20,000 – and initially included an implausible ponytail. Several scenes had to be re-shot when Mr Connery finally conceded that a Russian submarine captain was unlikely to have a ponytail – particularly if he was a bald Scotsman.

This film was previously discussed over several adult beverages by five Wellington bar managers. They were talking about submarine movies and red beer and came up with the concept of the Hunt for Red October Red Beer Showcase.  Last year, the five bars launched five new red beers over the course of five weeks. This year it is similar but slightly larger. Five bars are launching 25 red beers over the course of five weeks.

Ciaran, that spry leprechaun of the taps, broke out the Malthouse abacus and calculated that means five new beers from five different breweries at each bar. Well, that escalated quickly!

In 2016 the Hunt for Red October will start (ironically) on Friday 30 September, Ciaran, that spry leprechaun of the taps’ Birthday. The first five beers will start pouring on that day. Each Friday, a new red beer will be tapped at each of the venues. Speaking of venues, the Hunt for the Red October bars are:

Malthouse: I am familiar with their work. Don’t sit in my spot.

Little Beer Quarter: Small but perfectly formed.

Rogue & Vagabond: Brings out my inner Bohemian. I miss Bruce.

Bebemos: One of the few good reasons to go to Newtown. [3]

Bin 44: So classy it makes me feel vaguely sophisticated and grown-up.

The breweries will be allocated to the five participating bars at random – literally drawn out of a hat. Details will not be made public in advance in order to encourage people to “hunt down” [4] the five beers that week. However, this blog can reveal the breweries involved and a short description/slander of them:

Panhead – Some of my favourite Bogans. [5]

Baylands – Managed to make Petone cool.

Tuatara – Scaly yet loveable.

Beer Baroness – Always pushing the envelope.

Eagle Brewing – Turning tradition on its head.

8 Wired – Can’t read their poker face.

Hallertau – Brewer is usually naked.

Rocky Knob – Thank you Rocky’s Mum and Rocky’s Dad.

Wild & Woolly – Most apt name in brewing.

Lord Almighty – Praise the lord!

mike's Organic Brewery – Pants are optional.

Deep Creek – Needs more Hoppy McHopFace! [6]

Behemoth – Chur to the Beer Giraffe of my Heart!

Good George – Sorry you are in Hamilton. Otherwise awesome.

Townshend’s – Cheeky chap and brewing superstar.

Invercargill – The most huggable brewer in New Zealand.

Renaissance – Champions.

Croucher Brewing – Science meets art.

Hop Federation – Got out of Auckland and into excellent.

Moa – Current holder of the Golden Gumboots (West Coast IPA Challenge).

Choice Bros – “Occasionally Mad”: Their words, not mine.

Three Boys Brewery – Dr Bungard is quite dreamy.

Zeelandt Brewing – Backing the Bay!

Double Vision – I think I might have two.

Funk Estate – Keeping it real, like Coffy. [7]

Next time, we drink to Indian cricket. Could you not at least pretend to prepare a proper pitch?

[1] I once did an absolutely perfect “jump shot” – on purpose and sunk the ball I was aiming at. Of course, no one was watching at the time and no one believes me now. But it really did happen...

[2] For a change, that is not a typo. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a bagpipe band and they certainly rock my sporran and related areas.

[3] Along with the zoo and the duck pancakes at Beijing resteraunt.

[4] See what we did there?

[5] I have not forgotten you Liberty Brewing.

[6] This is actually my motto for pretty everything these days.

[7] I was previously unaware that Pam Grier appeared in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Pinky and the Brain. I learn so many things writing this blog.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


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