The first step on the Road to Beervana is to say you can
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 14:50

I have taken my first steps on the Road to Beervana - they were glorious and smelled like bacon. Last night I had the privilege to run the second Baconation event at Fork & Brewer, Malthouse’s sister establishment. The concept is simple yet fiendish. [1]

Chef Kevin designs six dishes all starring bacon (including at least one dessert), and Fork Brewer Kelly then matches them with his latest batches of wonderful beers. It is like a degustation but with bacon and beer. My role was just to tell the sold out crowd about them for a couple of hours. [2]


Attempting to justify my exorbitant appearance fee, I quickly dubbed the occasion a “Porcine Pleasuredome” (which I was quite pleased with), but this promising moniker was quickly upstaged by a Malthouse regular coining - on the spot - the far superior term “The A-Baconing”. I want to be mad at him... but just can’t.

For the record, the most popular dish was the “Prosciutto wrapped sushi with smoked monkfish, bacon, nori, cucumber and carrots, with a dusting of spent hops paired with Fork Parlez Allez Belgian Pale Ale.” It was followed in the voting by “Bacon Ranch Meatloaf served with Bacon Balsamic Brussel Sprouts paired with Fork Tainted Love Passionfruit and Juniper Sour Ale.”

I don’t like sour beers (I may have mentioned this in previous blogs once or twice) and have never liked Brussel Sprouts, yet I adored this combination. Well played Fork & Brewer. I would also like to give a shout out to the “party table” which had a round of tequila and lime shots with hop salt DURING the Baconation. Respect. I cannot believe that I did not think of that combination first. Again, everything is always so evident in retrospect. It was a great night.

My only regret (apart from not trying tequila and hop salt obviously) was missing the Brooklyn Brewery beer and cheese tasting night at Malthouse which was on at the exactly the same time. Because of the sheer number of events during the Road to Beervana even the most dedicated punter is forced to make tough decisions sometimes. I wish I could have enjoyed both as the rare beers and fine cheeses on offer at Malty really appealed.

Beervana also greatly appeals to me and, fortunately, it happens on 11 and 12 August 2017 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. As part of the week-long Road to Beervana series of events, Malthouse is hosting two further functions this week.

Wednesday 9 August 2017 – Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse tap take over.

Each year, brewers from Liberty (Bogan Joe), Fork (#brewjesus), Epic (The Imp) and Hallertau (The Utterly Naked Brewer) get together and brew the Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse ale. The brewers will be on hand, the latest version will be pouring, and there will be vintages of this legendary beer from 2013, 2014 and 2015 on tap.

I have not heard a response from WorkSafe about the deep concerns I expressed last week as to the safety or even wisdom of letting those fours brewers (also known as “The Brett Pack”) loose in the same room, far less the same brewery. It probably would have helped matters if I had actually written to WorkSafe rather than just blogging about it (twice now). However, that is just the way of the world these days. [3]

Saturday 12 August 2017 – Epic Brewery’s gin is the new IPA party!

The only thing better than (the rather excellent) Epic’s Hidden World gin, various gin and tonics, a blended gin IPA and gin cocktails is all of those things… on tap at the same time. That is what will happen here. Via social media I was complimented by Epic Brewing Company about my blog description last week that there “ain’t no party like an Epic gin party.”

This is most flattering. Except I am pretty sure I was quoting Epic Brewing Company!

There is an exciting new beer coming on tap on Thursday (or “Tursday” as Ciaran, the Hoptimistic, Hop Scotching, Hoplite of a Malthouse Unit Manager, writes in emails and says in real life). It is a collaboration brew between Burning Sky (“from the beautiful and inspirational South Downs in the United Kingdom”) and Fork Brewery (from “Struggle Street in Te Aro, known on most maps as Bond Street”).

The beer is Les Amis Due Brassage and it's a 3 year old oak aged Saison blended with an English fruit lambic. Burning Sky brewer Mark Tranter and Fork brewer Kelly Ryan are both well known for their love of wild yeasts and crazy Belgian style ales. Alert readers will recall that Burning Sky also worked with Wild Brewing (UK) and our own Good George (Hamilton - City of the Future) to produce the highly acclaimed Shnoodlepip sour and wild ale.


As previously alluded to, Friday will see a number of the top GABS beers on tap. These include:

Batch Brewing Currant State of Infusion (6.1%) – From Sydney, a sour ale flavoured with blackcurrants and cold-steeped coffee from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. [4]

Bad Shepherd Bigsi's Baltic Porter (8.1%) – From Melbourne, a Baltic Porter which apparently pushes the boat out on the style.

Burleigh Hefster (7.5%) – From Burleigh Heads, a Weizenbock full of bubblegum, cloves, rum, raisin and plums.

Little Creatures Chocolate on Rye - From Freemantle, and surprisingly mysterious. Almost certainly has chocolate and rye in it though.

Little Creatures Festoon IPA (7%) – From Freemantle, their festival White IPA.

The title of this week’s blog is adapted from a quote by urban poet and noted thespian Will Smith.

Next time, we drink to the reboot of Death Wish, one of my favourite movie franchises. It is fair to say it is getting horrible reviews and they have only released the trailer. [5]


[1] Although the format appears so obvious in hindsight, I can claim no credit for it.

[2] It is hard to justify this as work sometimes.

[3] No Green Members of Parliament resigned during the writing of this paragraph.

[4] No explanation needed.

[5] I recently read the list of the five worst films on Rotten Tomatoes. Surprisingly I had not seen, far less own, any of them. But now I want to watch at least three of them...


Cheers


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

DrinksBiz Magazine


Links


Beervana – http://www.beervana.co.nz

Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse tap take over - https://www.facebook.com/events/325769997852764/

Epic Brewery’s gin is the new IPA party! - https://www.facebook.com/events/1938169809759095

Malthouse Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/Malthouse/7084276173

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

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

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

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