confirming they had won three categories in the annual Beer and Brewer Awards, including the supreme accolade of New Zealand’s Best Beer Venue for the second year in a row. [2]

The press release noted that the awards “recognise the very best in beer hospitality across Australia and New Zealand” across a wide range of categories as judged by “an international panel of industry experts.”  Malthouse won the New Zealand awards for Best Beer List (on and off-premise) for the first time, as well as both Best Small Bar/Pub and Best Beer Venue for a second consecutive year.  The release also recorded: 

“Proprietor Colin Mallon said the Malthouse was delighted and honoured at the back-to-back awards.  Everyone here works hard to consistently showcase beer at its very best.  We have one of the largest beer ranges in Australasia and our staff are just brilliant at helping customers enjoy quality Kiwi craft beers and the pick of imported brews.”

Director Sean Murrie said he was stoked Malthouse had managed to win the top prize again. 

“The craft beer scene in New Zealand and Wellington in particular, continues to get better and better.  There are a lot of great beer venues out there now and to receive this recognition a second time shows that we have managed to lift our game as well.”

Other worthy New Zealand winners included Beervana (Best Beer Event), Founder’s (Best Microbrewery/Cellar Door), Pomeroy’s (Best Beer Venue – Christchurch) and Mussel Inn (Best Brewpub).  Long time Malthouse friend Soren Eriksen continued his year of utter domination by picking up the gongs for Best Brewer and Best Beer (Hopwired). [3] Congratulations to all the winners.

As alert readers will know, Malthouse is very savvy when it comes to using modern technology.  This is evident because several of the staff have beards and plaid shirts. [4]

In this vein, there is a new Twitter account designed exclusively to provide regular updates about what is on tap on Malthouse and what has just run out.

The account in question is @malthousetaps on Twitter (link below) and their profile boasts they will cover the “Comings and Goings from the Taps (and the Fridge and maybe the Whisky Shelf) as they happen.”  Do not be put off by their recent witterings about strawberry infused beer. [5]

Last week’s political edition proved popular – certainly more people read it than voted for Andrew Williams in North Shore.  One candidate who clearly knows his beer but missed the deadline was personable Green candidate James Shaw.  Because he took the trouble to get in touch and also to say hello on election night, it is with great pleasure we present his favourite beer and favourite bar: “For the record, the Tuatara Pilsner and The Library.”  [6]

Speaking of fine literature and high culture, the Epic Brewing Company crew will be at Malthouse next week for the Wellington launch of their new Imperial Pilsner called “Epic LARGER.”   At 8.5% and 70IBU the tag line of “Because It Is” seems appropriate.  Here is what the Impish Label Writers had to say:

“Tigers.  Balls of Twine.  Waimea Bay waves.  Pyramids.  Ohakune Carrots.  Some things are meant to be big.  Flavours.  Aromas.  Beer.  The list is large but we think it should be bigger.  There is a time and place for subtlety, for a delicate touch.  This is not one of them. Turning the amplifier up to eleven?  Yeah, that’s it.”

Putting aside the troubling images of Kelly Ryan playing with a ball of twine or Luke Nicholas attempting to be subtle, I am looking forward to trying the mix of NZ Pacific Jade, NZ Kohatu, US Liberty, US Tettnang and US Santiam hops in this monster. 

The Epic LARGER Launch in Wellington will take place on Wednesday 7 December from 4:30pm and the star of the show will be on tap.  Promises have been made about a very rare drop from the Malthouse Library also being available for a limited time.  Quite what will be coaxed out of the dusty catacombs is a closely guarded secret but it is likely to be a libation which has not seen the light of day for quite some time.

And will there be haggis?  Currently no – but this could be remedied by a sustained nagging campaign on Twitter and Facebook.  The relevant links are below.

[1] Only golf which is only a hobby.
[2] Disclaimer: While I enjoy the title of “Editor at Large” of that fine publication, I had no role whatsoever in judging this year.
[3] I am vaguely surprised Soren was not elected to Parliament on Saturday.  Besides the Miss New Zealand pageant, it is about the only contest he has not won in 2011.
[4] This blog must deserve some credit for vaguely popularising the term “kegtris” which describes Malthouse staffer Professor Phil Cook’s ability to stack large numbers of kegs into unfeasibly small areas.
[5] Beer needs strawberries like Greece needs more Government debt.
[6] Presumably the one on Courtenay Place and not the Wellington Public Library.  I haveheard they take a dim view of people drinking beer there.


Neil Miller
Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


New Zealand Beer and Brewer Awards 2011 –

Malthouse Taps on Twitter –!/MalthouseTaps
James Shaw from the Greens –
Epic Brewing Company –
Epic Larger Wellington Launch –
Kelly Ryan writing far more intelligent things about Epic Larger –
Malthouse Facebook –
Malthouse Twitter –!/malthouse
Real Beer – 
Beer and Brewer Magazine –