Tower of Beer Giraffes - Behemoth Tap Takeover
Thursday, 18 May 2017 19:05

Last week I confessed that Behemoth Brewing Company's founder and head brewer Andrew "Beer Giraffe" Childs was a bit of a hero of mine. I stand by that.

 In this post, I must further declare that I have an ever growing "Beer Giraffe Shrine" on a coffee table in my living room. There are (currently) nine Behemoth cans and bottles, along with three carved wooden giraffes. A wooden turtle sits in the middle but he is totally out of canon. To put my obsessions in context, the giraffe table is roughly the same size as my Star Wars Shrine living room table. [1]

On Friday 26 May 2017 Malthouse will be hosting the Behemoth Birthday Cake Bake Off to mark the fourth birthday of Behemoth. There will be eight Behemoth beers on tap and customers are encouraged to bring in a slice of birthday cake for Andrew Childs to judge, with the eventual winner receiving the highly coveted $200 bar tab.

In the last blog I insinuated that the innovative BYO birthday cake scheme was a cunning plan concocted by either Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor of Malthouse, or the Beer Giraffe himself, simply in order to get lots of free desserts. [2] Subsequently, I have been informed by numerous sources (some of whom are vaguely reputable) that the idea actually originated from Ciaran Duffy, the calorific, candy-coated and bombastic Malthouse Unit Manager. He is a sly one, that one.

The Six Foot Five Beer Giraffe Andrew Childs will be bringing eight beers to Malty for his fourth birthday bash on Friday 26 May 2017 starting at 4pm. To explain the headline, a group of giraffes is called a "tower" or a "herd". Herd seemed really boring so I went with tower.  

Here is the full Behemoth beer list with my comments (for what they are worth):

Behemoth Lid Ripper Hazy IPA (6.9%) - This will be the official launch of this brand new beer. Obviously, I have not tried it as it is not yet available even to very important beer writers (patent pending) but I am presuming it will be a very cloudy IPA in the US East Coast style. It is such a polarising style that people that people will either love it or hate it. Some, like me, oscillate between the two extremes on a near hourly basis. However, if it is anything like Ben Middlemiss' wonderfully manic Lunatic Soup IPA - count me in and take my money.   

Behemoth Hop Buddies IPA Hallertau Blanc and Taiheke (6.2%) - The latest in a series of pale ales pairing hops which have probably never hooked up before. It is basically the Tinder of brewing and the results are equally unpredictable. Judging from Untapped reviews, however, this one was a "swipe" in whatever the good direction is. [3]

Behemoth In Ya Face Double IPA (9%) - This beer makes my mouth sing and my eyes get a little teary. It is a bittersweet brew because the first batch badly injured my friends Andrew Childs (Behemoth) and Jason Bathgate (now McLeod's) in an industrial accident. They released it anyway. It is big - pine, grapefruit and caramel - yet extraordinarily drinkable for 9%. My first can of this was the first totem on my Beer Giraffe Shrine. It was for a good cause. 

Behemoth Sauvin Slayer (8%) - Packed full of Nelson Sauvin hops, this bold beer is bristling with notes of orange, gooseberries and grass. Featuring an even more bogan looking than usual Churly on the packaging, Sauvin Slayer rocks. Throw Those Horns Up - responsibly of course. Behemoth Grape Drank Fresh Hop Pale Ale (5.5%) - This is their second fresh hop beer of the 2017 season. Grape Drank is made with fresh Nelson Sauvin Hops and Hallertau Blanc hops from Germany. Given their unexpected prominence in the line up, I think there may have been a very good special on Hallertau Blanc hops... [4] The brewer also wishes to assure drinkers that this brew is not actually purple. It is unclear who thought it would be.

Behemoth Chur NZ Pale Ale (5.5%) - Pouring a light amber colour, Chur is balanced and smooth with notes of orange, grapefruit, lemon and sherbet before a firm bitter finish. It is a hoppy but approachable ale. Again for the benefit of overseas readers, Chur is a Kiwi slang variant for cheers. In reality, not many people say it without being ironic. 

Behemoth 6 Foot 5 IPA (6.5%) - An American inspired IPA with a Kiwi twist - quite a common theme these days in New Zealand brewing. It is popular for a reason though. It is a delicious mix of grapefruit, pine, orange and honey followed by a firm but not overpowering bitterness. The name is a reference to brewer Andrew Childs' actual height though it must be noted that he appears much taller in person. Dude has his own gravitational field.

As a bonus there will additionally be some supplies of the Behemoth/Emerson's collaboration brew Chur to Brett, a Double IPA with added brettanomyces because... well just because, that is why. This one is an extremely limited edition because Richard Emerson's time is extremely valuable. [5]

There is the possibility - only the possibility mind you - of some bottles of the rare but award winning Behemoth Triple Chocolate Milk Stout (6.5%) doing the rounds. Super smooth and super slinky, just like the brewer. 

On that topic, Mr Childs will be in the bar and is always happy to talk about any or all of his beers. It is actually physically impossible to stop him doing so. He is easy to spot - he will be the really big guy at the bar with strong opinions about beer. Give him cake and hugs. He likes both. Save the Beer Giraffes!

Next time, we drink to Donald Trump because the poor man firmly believes has been the worst treated US President in history. Of course, some would strongly argue he has been the worst performed US President in history and should just harden up, cupcake. Being famously non-political, I could not possibly comment.

[1] The Star Wars table contains a marvellous collection of action figures, mini-dioramas and collectables. There are no "toys". None whatsoever. 

[2] This is one contest that no one will be able to accuse me of organising for personal benefit. I do not eat cake. At all. I am perfectly content with my current number of vices without adding sugar  

[3] I honestly do not know. And given my record with technology and geography, I would probably get it wrong anyway. 

[4] As a Scotsman, I approve of such frugality and low cunning.

[5] Richard Emerson thought he was wrong once, but it turns out he was mistaken.


Neil Miller
Beer Writer
Beer and Brewer Magazine
Cuisine Magazine
TheShout Magazine


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