The beer is called Tuatara Barrel Aged Paddy’s Pinot Porter (5%) though an order for a “pint of Paddy’s” or “some barrel aged Tuatara” may well work too.  Basically, around six months ago, Malthouse’s Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor Colin Mallon decided he wanted to have a go at barrel aging a beer.  Inspired by the success of Pete and Melissa, the famous kegs of IPA which rode the inter-island ferry for six months (ish…), he wanted to offer a tasty variation on that theme. 


Colin decided to use a different barrel (pinot noir) and a different style of beer (porter), though both IPA and Porter were popular at the same time historically.  The first task was sourcing a suitable barrel.  When asked how he got Paddy Borthwick’s famous winery in Gladstone to donate a new French oak, pinot noir barrel last used in 2008, Colin explained “I just asked him!”


As it turns out, Colin and Paddy met several times on wine trips. * “I had stocked his wines for the last four or five years and he is a jolly nice fellow.  Paddy agreed to give me the barrel in return for two flagons of the finished product.  Unfortunately, he is not going to claim those flagons as he is currently in China.” Colin says.


The barrel was filled with standard Tuatara porter and then left largely alone for the wood to work its magic over four months.  Malthouse has 100 litres of low-carbonation Porter for the hand pull (currently pouring) and 100 litres of fully-carbonated Porter for the tap (later this month).  That is all there is.


I tried the barrel-aged Porter for the first time yesterday on a stunningly hot Saint Andrew’s Day.  It was a silky, soft, smooth ** drop with notes of dry chocolate, plums and cherry stones, coupled with a subtle vinous undercurrent.  It was surprisingly refreshing in the unseasonably sunny weather.  We tend to forget (or simply don’t know) that there is often a dark beer culture in most hot countries – it is just usually swamped by the ubiquitous prevalence of golden fizzy lagers.  A quick scan reveals Nigeria (Guinness), Namibia (Hansa Urbock), Japan (various black lagers), Singapore (ABC Stout) and Sri Lanka (Lion Stout).


Currently, Malthouse is already more than halfway through the hand pull version of

Tuatara Barrel Aged Paddy’s Pinot Porter and stocks are obviously strictly limited.  On a related note, if anyone is in the market for strawberry planters this summer, please contact Mr Colin Mallon immediately on   


Speaking of yesterday, Malthouse was one of the few New Zealand venues to mark Saint Andrew’s Day, the National Day of Scotland.  This joyous event was celebrated with the serving of whisky flights and, most notably, the debut of Deep Fried Haggis on a Stick with 8Wired Smoked Porter Chili Sauce.  This unique sauce came with “an extra kick of heavily peated distilling malt” and, according to the label, was “excellent with #deepfriedhaggisonastick.”  


8Wired Head Brewer and General Sauce-Meister Soren Erikson used the #deepfriedhaggisonastick Twitter hashtag *** deliberately as the entire event was mainly promoted only on Twitter.  There was a big crowd in to try the haggis **** and so many people started tweeting about #deepfriedhaggisonastick (particularly after it was served) that it became a trending topic on Twitter for both Wellington and New Zealand on 30 November 2010.  There are even some vague rumblings that haggis may become a permanent part of the Malthouse menu…  Its rival for top Kiwi trending topic spot was #ivegotalovelypair – a breast cancer awareness promotion by NZGirl website.  *****


Colin has indicated that there will be more Twitter-only promotions in the New Year. ******  This means it is a good time to join the 876 people currently following @malthouse on Twitter to keep right up to date. 


* Any resemblance to wine junkets is probably entirely accurate

** We are talking Ricardo Simich smooth here people

*** Basically a subject so you can easily check what others are tweeting about the same topic

**** Which was described as a “culinary triumph” and which did go very well with the 8Wired sauce

***** NZGirl is today facing a significant backlash against that promotion from some  but has also received so many hits that the server has crashed

****** He claims that his comment “the price is certainly right Jimmy, och aye the noo” had been “taken out of context.”




Beer Writer

Real Beer New Zealand

Beer and Brewer Magazine



Paddy Borthwick’s –

Tuatara Blog –

Tuatara on Twitter –

Saint Andrew’s Day Official Site –

Haggis Appreciation Group –

8Wired Brewing Company –

8Wired on Twitter –

Malthouse on Twitter –
Malthouse Facebook Group –

Real Beer – 

Beer and Brewer Magazine –