“Mmmm... Beer. My one weakness. My Achilles Heel, if you will.”
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 09:32

The title of this blog is an iconic quote from one of my role models – Homer Jay Simpson. He has been (among his at least 188 jobs according to the creator) an astronaut, food critic and, in one memorable episode, the Beer Baron of Springfield.

That last episode (“Homer versus the Eighteenth Amendment”) saw my personal hero take on a modern-day Prohibition tyranny by initially bootlegging beer from the tip. [1] Then he indulged in some inept home bathtub distilling, which created several explosions in the basement.

He did however eventually win the alcohol battle because the local Prohibition law was actually long repealed. While Doug Sellman may hate the overall message, it is my third favourite Simpson’s show after the Australia one (“Bart versus Australia”) and the boy band one (“New Kids on the Bleech”). [2]

Malthouse will be pouring the brand new collaboration beer between Fork Brewing and Cryer Malt. It is a hoppy mild ale called Mmmmmild (3.4%) which stands for Madams’ and Mallon’s Magical, Malty, Modern Mild – English Style Dark Mild Ale. [3]

It is low in bitterness overall although there is a late dry hopped bite. There are notes of caramel, chocolate, toffee, wood and herbal bitterness. The official description says there are “hints of dandelion root and calendula flowers” but thankfully I do not know what either of those are. Mmmmmild is a balanced drop which has far more hops than expected from a traditional bitter.

The name appears to be a riff on both the great Homeric quote above and the beer “Mmmmhop” which was launched by the brothers from the former boy band Hanson. They sang the infamous, even if catchy, “Mmmmmbop” song. There are rumours that it is not actually a bad beer, but no self respecting beer nerd wants to be seen supporting Mmmmhop because it is associated with Hanson. I’d totally drink it.

On Friday 23 March 2018 Malthouse will be part of a nationwide launch of a new fresh hop beer from the fine people at Hop Federation. Hop Federation Storm (6.5%) is an India Pale Ale made with freshly picked local hops. This beer is a herald for the rapidly approaching Hopstock green hop beer festival in Wellington. There will be more details in upcoming blogs. Now here’s the story. As most of us are aware last month New Zealand was struck by cyclone Gita and while most of the country experienced howling winds, a state of emergency was declared in Riwaka in Nelson. With people being evacuated in military trucks and preparing for an almost biblical amount flooding Mr. Simon Nicholas (Hop Federation’s Brewer) was brewing beer. Specifically, this beer. As the story goes Mr. Nicholas refused to be evacuated and stayed in his brewery because there was ‘still three hours left on the brew’. As the flooding rolled in and wind whipped the west coast Mr. Nicholas was in the brewery 100% dedicated to his fresh hop IPA. Hence the name Storm.

Other beers joining the taps include:

Behemoth/Gigantic IPA Too Big to Fail (10.6%) – This is a collaboration between Behemoth Brewing (the brewer is 6 foot 5) and Gigantic Brewing from California (the brewer is 6 foot 3) who have produced a rare Triple IPA called (appropriately enough) Too Big to Fail (10.6%). It is brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin and Lemon Drop hops, the last of which does not visit these shores very often.

Hop Federation Rakau IPA (5.7%) – Made with a relatively new hop from their own region, Rakau brings a tropical fruit flavour coupled with a deceptively bitter finish to the glass.

Epic Thunder APA (5.8%) – Part of the infamous Stone Hammer range of Epic beers, Thunder uses Columbus, Chinook and Mosaic hops from America. The resulting beer is juicy with notes of orange, passionfruit, grass and pine needle resin. I recently referred to it on social media as “Epic Thunderstruck” but only landed a couple of trolls with that rather obvious subterfuge.

Fork Brewing Zeus Juice Mythological IPA (6.5%) – Here are the tasting notes from Fork brewer Kelly Ryan (#brewjesus):

Aroma: Candied stonefruit, juniper and a hint of kaffir lime. Peach Melba.

Flavour: Sparkling and luscious on the front palate with a hint of nuttiness. Resinous hop oils throughout with hints of pine needle and preserved peaches. Mouth coating bitterness with firm malt texture at the back and a warming, tingling after-bitterness.

Zeus Juice is currently my favourite Fork beer, until the new Game of Cones fresh hopped beer comes on of course... [4]

Malthouse is also hosting the first birthday of Boneface Brewery from Upper Hutt. It starts at midday on Saturday 24 March 2018.It has been dubbed the “Boneface Kitchen and Tap Take Over” because Boneface will be taking over the kitchen and many of the beer taps.

The food menu includes:

Confit Duck Poutine (My favourite Canadian dish)

Southern Fried Buffalo Chicken Chips

Smoked Hoptron Hot Dog (including Boneface Hoptron sausage and Boneface Hoptron beer relish)

Smoked Beef Cheek Burger

Beer Donuts (Homer Jay Simpson also famously said “Mmmm... Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” He is truly a Renaissance Man.)


The beer menu is:

Boneface Hoptron APA (5.5%) (My favourite)

Boneface Outlaw IPL (5.2%) (An India Pale Lager which is apparently a thing now)

Boneface India Stout (5.8%)

Boneface The Juice Dry Hopped Gose (4.5%)

Boneface The Unit IPA (6%)

Boneface Ace of Spades (7%)

Boneface Sabotage (Literally just out of the tanks)

Boneface War Machine Rye Pale Ale (5.8%)


From 4pm on Saturday 24 March 2018 Malty will be running a “Boneface Merch and Brewery voucher give away”. Basically, buy a beer and get a bottle cap. 1 in 10 of said caps have a chance of winning cool prizes.


Next time we drink to the Green Party. They gave virtually all of their Parliamentary Questions to the National Opposition. The rationale is that their questions as a Government support party would simply be elaborately scripted patsy questions which would not hold the Government to account. They campaigned on accountability and transparency. As someone who spent six years drafting such questions and someone who is totally a Parliamentary nerd, I applaud the Green Party’s principled and unprecedented stand.


[1] There are rumours that Victoria Bitter sued on the grounds of copyright infringement.

[2] This show was so good it briefly made me like New Kids on the Block who provided the song vocals. YVAN EHT NOIJ.

[3] Bravo for the correct use of not one but two apostrophes in that description.

[4] Usual disclaimer – I own a small part of the brewery, and Kelly makes far too many sour beers.


Cheers


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

DrinksBiz Magazine


Links


Boneface Kitchen and Tap Takeover - https://www.facebook.com/events/1784000814989629/

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

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