There is no other way to explain why Budweiser labels depict long hops garlands.  It would be far more accurate to have a rice paddy pictured on the front and a test tube on the back.

Sometimes however, a new logo just nails it.  The latest such instance of this phenomenon that I observed was when I clicked onto the new Hallertau website.  Dominating the rather minimalist front page is an image of a Roman-type chap in a chariot drawn by two rather eager horses.  Desperately reaching back to my own rather minimalist knowledge of Classical Studies, I want to say the image is done in the pottery style known as “relief.”

At first glance, it is a historical, almost serious piece.  Until you notice that the charioteer is grinning evilly and doing the hand signal generally known as the “goat” or the “horns”. **  Additionally, his chariot is decorated with hops rather than barbarian skulls and both horses appear to have Mohawks.  Oh, and when you hover the mouse over the graphic the Roman dude says “How’s now for a Hallertau?” *** – always a dead give-away.

Founder, owner, brewer and bearded chap Steve Plowman set up the Hallertau Brewbar with his wife Hayley in 2005.  Initially, his beers were really only available at their most excellent Riverhead brew pub.  Increasingly however, they are being bottled and Malthouse is currently serving pretty much the entire range.  It is the largest selection of Hallertau beers they have ever offered.

Steve has dubbed his foundation beers “The First Four”, mainly because they were the first beers he made consistently and, instead of names, they are better known by their numbers.  Here is how he describes each of them:

1 – Hallertau Luxe (Kolsch, 4.5%):  “Some say she’s the luxe life.  Exuberant.  Snappy.  Bright.  Chatty.  Sunlit.  Lush.  Passionfruit.  Blueberries.  Sparkling.  Refined.  Considered.  Dry.  And frankly, refreshing.”

2 – Hallertau Statesman (Pale Ale, 5.3%): “Yowza!  This character’s outspoken.  Bursting with opinions.  Arrives with a floral bouquet.  Hoots.  Honks.  Hops.  Leaves. ****  Charismatic.  Honey.  Bombastic.   Citrus.  Distinguished.  Tang.  Then closes the deal guaranteeing your thirst thoroughly quenched.”

3 – Hallertau Copper Tart (Red Ale, 4.2%): “Substantial.  Satisfying.  Deserved.  Malt.  Forged.  Caramel.  Bitter.  Chocolate.  Rich.  Worthwhile.  Smooth and dry, earner of a knowing smile.”

4 – Hallertau Deception (Schwarzbier, 5.1%): “This number is not what he seems.  A bit of a trickster really.  Smooth.  Firm.  Dark.  Light.  Bitter.  Sweet.  Coffee.  Intricate.  Chocolate.  Subterfuge.  You’ve been warned.”

Then there is the “Heroic Range”, available in implausibly stylish 750ml bottles.  This is how Steve “The Sensual Brewer” Plowman describes them:

Hallertau Stuntman – A Fearlessly Hoppy Imperial India Pale Ale, 9%:  “Best not attempted by the fainthearted.  Ten hop additions make this an utterly rambunctious thrillseeker of an ale.  Brace your senses for the ride.”

Hallertau Maximus Humulus Lupulus – India Pale Ale, The Gladiator of Hops, 6.8%:  “The fiercely floral and fragrant hop, known as the earth wolf by the ancients, has been cunningly tamed with a soft, rich maltiness.”

Hallertau Porter Noir Pinot Noir – A Deftly Balanced Barrel Aged Porter, 6.6%:  “Brewing draws on winemaking traditions for this finely composed arrangement of soft tannins, forest fruits and chocolate, all completed with an elegantly long, dry finish.”

To round out the range, there is a rare sighting of Minimus on tap:

Hallertau Minimus – Super hoppy breakfast pale ale, 3.8%:  “All the hops with half the alcohol.  Perfect for those long afternoon sessions in the sun.” *****

The final word today is actually a number: 426,323.  Yes, this is rather cryptic.  Yes, it is supposed to be.

* Partly from university but mainly from reading Obelix and Asterix books.  I put Obelix first there because he was the heart and soul of that team.  Asterix was such a show pony
** If your town or city has ever hosted a heavy metal concert, you will have seen this hand signal before
*** This sentence is probably much better grammar in Latin
**** I added “leaves” because it makes me laugh in this context
***** Apparently they have breakfast in the afternoon up in Riverhead…


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


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