We are about to roll into the single biggest week on the New Zealand beer calendar so it is timely to take a look at what the official bar of Beervana – Malthouse – will be doing during this most auspicious time.

“Round the Bars” is currently underway.  Thirty three bars are listed in the Beervana Passport and punters are encouraged to gain twelve stamps by drinking the featured beer in twelve different bar.  This process should, of course, be played out over several days or weeks. 

The featured passport beer at Malthouse is Tuatara APA.  This is the second batch of the APA and, after some dedicated research on Monday, I have to say that it is tasting even fresher, juicer and punchier than before.  It is well worth a try.

During Beervana week, the Malthouse opening hours will be 3pm to late (Monday and Tuesday) and noon to whenever (Wednesday to Sunday).  Various brewers, judges and media types from around the country and around the world have already been spotted in the bar. 

Yesterday, my favourite Canadian/Dutch beer technician Derek Walsh was tapping on the Malthouse portal at 2:59pm.  Over a couple of APAs and Hopwireds, he confirmed he will be running the hugely popular beer and cheese seminars at Beervana (27 and 28 August) again this year.  Due to popular demand, he has prepared a PowerPoint presentation and a tasting matrix.

Speaking of Beervana, Malthouse has secured a large stall in a slightly more prominent location this year.  They will be serving up a wide range of keg and bottled beers from Australia, America and Britain, some which have never been commercially available in New Zealand before. 

At least three international brewers are rostered on to be ‘working’ at the stall over the course of the festival.  Exact details of the beers will be announced next week when, in an exciting twist, we will be looking to do daily blogs. **

Coming on tap tomorrow is the award-winning Monk’s Habit (7%).  According to rumour, a Scottish-born Wellingtonian who writes about beer for a living has been pestering Steam Brewing and the Handsome Scotsman so much about getting this beer back that they finally decided it was easier to give in and put it on tap.  Modesty prevents me from naming this local beer hero but he knows who he is.

Monk’s Habit is simply an iconic beer.  Brewed for the Cock and Bull pubs around Auckland and Hamilton, *** it started out rather Belgian then went quite American under the influence of an Impish Brewer.  It is still listed as an IPA on the Steam website but here is the official word from Shane the brewer: 

“Monks Habit is styled as an Imperial or Double Red Ale.

It is brewed with a combination of Vienna, Munich, Crystal and Pale malts with New Zealand and American hops.  This 7%, 65 IBU beer has a balance of high hop levels backed up with a good caramel malt body, lingering bitterness and high fusel alcohols.  The combination of New Zealand and American hops with British malts help produce a well-rounded yet complex beer.”

It is not just me and Shane who are fans.  Monk’s has won 60 medals in beer competitions since 1997, including Gold in the American Double Red Ale category at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA).  It has been lauded as New Zealand’s most decorated beer and is a multiple winner of the Champion Beer award.  Your Kiwi beer experience is not complete without trying Monk’s Habit.

Speaking of beer experiences, Malthouse is counting down to a very special milestone which will be reached sometime after Beervana.  The exact details will be revealed in time but suffice to say that the count is currently 422,701.  That means there are just 77,299 to go…

How very, very cryptic indeed.

* Open to all teams, so long as they are from the USA or Canada and play in the MLB
** Yes we are fully aware that some bloggers post more than twice about what they had for breakfast but this is quality stuff people
*** I am contractually obliged to add “City of the Future” otherwise I am attacked by angry Hamiltronians.


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


Beervana – http://brewersguild.org.nz/beervana2010/
Cock and Bull – http://www.cockandbull.co.nz/
Steam Brewing – http://www.steambrewing.co.nz/
Malthouse on Twitter – http://twitter.com/malthouse
Malthouse Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wellington/Malthouse/7084276173
Real Beer – http://www.realbeer.co.nz/blog/blog.html
Beer and Brewer Magazine – http://www.beerandbrewer.com/