The Hop Hooligan takes over, world ends
Thursday, 06 December 2012 16:48

Describing Luke Nicholas as “a bit of character” is akin to characterising the Great Wall of China as “quite a large construction project”.  The head honcho at Epic Brewing Company is internationally renowned for his big flavours and bigger personality.  Luke is also one of my first and best friends in the beer industry. Using just two words, I summed him up, many years ago, dubbing him the “Impish Brewer” on the grounds he was small, evil and made beer. It is an epithet which has well and truly stuck [1] and the now famous impish icon appears on most bottles of Epic beer if you look closely enough.

This week, I decided to find out how other beer people would describe Mr Nicholas in two words (no more, no less) so I crowd-sourced [2] the story using Twitter and Facebook. The responses tended to focus on the hops and the evil with entries including Hoptastic Dude, Hop Zombie, The Hopitimzer, Hop Drunk, Top Hops, Hop Enhanced, Lupulin Junkie, Hop Hooligan, Irrepressible Lupuphile, [3], Hop Fiend [4], Beer Imp, Impish Brewfiend, Devilish Imp and Impish Brewer. [5] Perhaps the most literal was the suggestion of Epic Brewer.

The more creative alternatives included Fun Drunk, Ale Wizard, More Please, Tastebud Saviour, Inquisitively Thirsty, Air Guitar, Amazingly Talented, Alpha Male, [6] Gin Drinker and Flavour Wrangler.  From left field came Hell Pizza (because he looks like the chap in the television ads) and Peter Pan in a Hop Suit. [7] One person, soon to be culled from my Facebook friends list, suggested Some Guy.

Luke Nicholas is many things – brewer, salesman, traveller, scoundrel, chemist, social media guru and air guitar enthusiast – but he is hardly just Some Guy. Could some random guy come down to Wellington and take over a dozen taps at Malthouse with a dozen different beers? Well, at 12:12pm on 12/12/12 Epic Brewing Company will do just that with their Epic Tap Takeover – also known as the Repocalypse.

On tap will be Epic Lager, Epic Pale Ale, Epic Coffee and Fig Stout, Epic Double Stout, Epic First Batch, Epic Orcon Ale, Epic Message in a Bottle, Epic Mayhem, Epic Armageddon, Epic Larger, Epic Hop Zombie and Epic Repocalypse. That final beer is an 8.2% hop maelstrom crafted with new season American hops which were air freighted to New Zealand at considerable cost. That will be the first beer into my glass then I might slow down with a couple of quiet Hop Zombies.

The Epic Tap Takeover: Repocalypse will sadly be the last major beer event in the history of Earth. As many alert and perky readers will be aware, the ancient Mayans reputedly prophesised that the world will end on December 21 in the year 2012. Of course, that prediction has been disproved by mathematicians, disowned by descendents of the Mayans and despised by everyone who had to sit through the tiresomely over-wrought disaster movie 2012. [Spoiler Alert} I felt sorry for the survivors on the arks – I would not want to live in a world where Morgan Freeman died but John Cusack lived. 

It is my sad duty to confirm that the world will indeed end on 21 December 2012, not because of Mayan maths but because of Korean dance sensation Psy and his insanely catchy party anthem Gangnam Style. The source is no less than Nostradamus himself. He predicted that “From the calm morning, the end will come when of the dancing horse the number of circles will be 9“. 

Let the internet explain: Korea is known as 'The land of the Morning Calm', Psy’s trademark dance moves mimic the motions of a horse and, on 21 December, his YouTube video is expected to reach 1 billion view – that is a 1 followed by nine zeros (or circles). It’s officially game over man, game over. [8]

Before Repocalypse and before Armageddon is this week’s Firkin Friday. That said, there is no firkin this week. It has been usurped by something rather special from Aro Valley’s favourite sons at the Garage Project…

Next time, we drink the finest ales known to humanity, we drink them here and we drink them now.

[1] Primarily because it is true.

[2] This is a technical term for “even lazier journalism than usual”.

[3] The submitter lives in Hamilton and they make up a lot of words in the City of the Future. It’s a sad indictment on the education system up there.

[4] This must be a typo as there are very few hops that Luke has pushed away from his beers over the years.

[5] That sounds extraordinarily familiar.

[6] Apparently a pun on the alpha acid in hops.

[7] This was certainly the most creative interpretation of “two words”.

[8] This is the first Aliens reference on this blog in 196 posts. 


Beer Writer
Beer and Brewer Magazine


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