A taste of Belgium – from Paraparaumu
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 15:41

The traditional metal associated with 25 year anniversaries is silver. Not that many couples or business reach that figure these days. Malthouse has. 2018 marks the 25th year of Malthouse. To celebrate, Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor has unveiled a truly ambitious schedule of beer launches. There will be one every month and it will feature the country’s best brewers.

Memorably dubbed “Project Silver”, the time is near for “Silver 2.0 – Tuatara”. It will take place at Malthouse (obviously) from 4pm on Saturday 10 February 2018

The theme is distinctly Belgian-style beers, a style which has become more prominent in the Tuatara range in recent years. However, it is worth remembering that they made Tuatara Ardennes, one of my first Belgian ales. I recall drinking it at the old Malty on Willis Street and because of its strength (6.5%) it was only served in stems. [1] Ardennes is gone but here the range of Tuatara beers for “Project Silver 2.0).

Tuatara Table of 25 (3.6%) – This is the special birthday beer. "Table for 25" is a 3.6% Little Belgian Ale, probably better known as a table beer. It was brewed for this event by Tuatara brewers Carl Vasta and Sam White, and Malthouse’s own Colin Mallon. It was brewed at The Third Eye brewpub so it has not travelled far. There is plenty of Brett fermentation producing Colin describes as “yummy”! [2]

Tuatara Kolsch – Kolsch is a very smooth take on this smooth German style. It started as a “Summer Ale” seasonal in 2011 but Kiwis soon loved its refreshing finish.

Tuatara Margaretville – This is a 5% Kettle Sour from Tuatara Third Eye. As the name suggests, it has been soured in the brewing kettle rather than later in the process. It is quite mouth puckering which is great – if you like that type of thing of course.

Tuatara Dubbel Barrel – Dubbel is Tuatara’s take on the classic big dark Belgian Ale style. It is a very famous and popular style in Belgium and now increasingly around the world. At 7.5% it is pretty big and full of rich flavours of chocolate, Belgian yeast, plums and spice.

Tuatara Triple Barrel – Honestly, my favourite Belgian beer style and I remember enjoying many beautifully carved goblets of it. However, the Tuatara version was not necessarily to Kiwi tastes in 2001 and was put on hold. Thankfully, the recipe was kept and beer tastes can now savour this dry, spicy, fruity and surprisingly drinkable addition to the Tuatara range.

Tuatara Coastin – I could be wrong but I think this is the latest addition to the Tuatara range. It is a refreshing Session IPA at 4.6%. Mango and tropical fruit dominates from the use of Galaxy and Motueka hops – a rare example of Trans-Tasman friendship at the moment.

Tuatara Hi Res – One of my favourite styles of beer full stop is American IPA. Here, the brewers use a “sticky” and “slick” amount of American hops to produce a bouncy, dank, fruity (tropical fruit and orange), and frankly bitter beer. I love it clearly.

Tuatara Sanctus Apricot Ardennes – The name is clearly a nod back to the classic Tuatara Ardennes but with a twist. Predictably in this case the twist is the addition of apricots and the resulting apricot flavours are strong even in this strong beer (7.5%). Other flavours sneak around in the background including banana, citrus zest and spicy nutmeg.

Tuatara Mot Eureka – This is the beer previously known as Tuatara Pilsner with a few tweaks. If you have never had a Tuatara Pilsner (either version) you are probably going to find Malthouse quite intimidating, especially on Saturday because there are going to be bar games. If I have to explain the flavours of Tuatara Pilsner (either version) you may have some issues too. Well made, refreshing and it has introduced a lot of people to the world of craft beer.

Tuatara Iti – Iti is proudly a Little Big Hop APA. At 3.3% it is very responsible but also very flavoursome. A surprisingly firm malt body supports surprisingly big fruity hops. I guess it does live up to its name. I have been known to drink this beer... on purpose

Malthouse will also be hosting some traditional pub games. [3] This month is a mix of new and classics.

Pin the bald spot on the Brewer – This one is definitely new – to me at least. In light of the Belgian themed beer line up, Malthouse is putting up a large print of Tuatara founders Carl Vasta. Punters have to try pin a monk’s bald spot (correctly known as a Tonsure) on his head. [4]

Free the Tuatara – Possibly inspired by recent commercial events, Malthouse will have a paddling pool painted in DB branding. In the paddling pool there will be a block of ice with mini Tuatara toys frozen inside. Punters will need to 'free' the Tuatara's by melting the ice with SuperSoakers full of warm water. I’m confident this has not happened before.

Beer Pong – This is now officially a tradition at Project Silver events. It should be noted that I was playing beer pong long before it became cool in New Zealand. I am still not very good but fortunately that just means you have to drink more beer.

As if all that was not enough, but wait! There is more! Malthouse will also have a slushy machine filled with beer cocktails, and a $30 Pizza and Jug special


Next time we drink to computers who actually do what they are told and not just what they want to do. Apparently, some other people do have them.


[1] 6.5% is the new 5%. It is not considered unusually strong these days.

[2] Confession – It took me nearly to the end of the post to figure out the reference in the name...

[3] They did them last time so it is totally a tradition.

[4] It had better not be a life sized Carl or ordinary sized people are going to struggle.


Cheers


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

DrinksBiz Magazine


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