a quick ‘best of’ column cut and pasted together by lunchtime and the rest of the working day spent in Malthouse – sorry, Meeting Room 1.  Unfortunately, Colin had other ideas.  He challenged me to provide 150 compelling reasons to go to the Malthouse. 

1. An oasis of quality beer in the middle of Party Central.
2. Perfect for special occasions including birthdays, anniversaries and being thirsty.
3. Consistently over 150 beers behind the bar, one of the largest selections in Australasia.
4. Soft drinks, low-alcohol beer and food available as you would expect from a Responsible Host.
5. Has served deep-fried haggis bar snacks on occasion.
6. Once made #deepfriedhaggisonastick the number one trending topic on New Zealand Twitter –  much to the bemusement of the serious tweeters out there.
7. Small samples of most tap beers to let customers try before they buy.
8. If you ask nicely, they will put the cricket on.
9. If you cry too much, they will turn the cricket off.
10. Best Beer Venue in New Zealand according to the judges in the Beer and Brewer Awards 2011.
11. Pizzas – hot from the oven and perfect to share.
12. Holding one of the Wellington Epic LARGER Imperial Pilsner launches on Wednesday from 4:30pm.
13. There are two traditional hand pumps.
14. No staff seem to have developed the dreaded ‘bar staff bicep’.
15. Stylish Malthouse caps, t-shirts, glasses, bottle openers and flagons make excellent Christmas gifts.
16. Used Malthouse beer coasters make excellent Secret Santa gifts for workmates you do not particularly care about.
17. Taxi rank conveniently right outside the front door.
18. A surprisingly good wine list.
19. There is a DJ booth but almost never a DJ.
20. You can request any song you like at any time.  Occasionally it may even get played.
21. The feature wall regularly changes colour but this often goes unnoticed because no-one can remember what colour it was before.
22. Endorsed by Mr Trump. [1]
23. Apparently located on a bus route if you are into that kind of thing.
24. Has an often imitated outdoor area for smokers, sun worshippers and those who just want to be seen.
25. When you order a “bowl of meat”, the staff know you are actually after the sausage platter.
26. The genteel Deputy Mayor of Wellington often drops in to add a bit of class.
27. It is the preferred venue for Mr Stuart McKinlay to debut his latest stunning trousers and to simultaneously introduce humankind to colours not previously seen in nature.
28. A plethora of hooks to hang bags and coats.
29. The Lonely Planet writer who helped Wellington get named the Coolest Little Capital in the World spent a lot of time in Malthouse.
30. If there is enough interest, Malthouse will even show election results – until it starts to scare off real customers.
31. It is extremely likely you will find a beer you have not tried before.
32. You can search for naughty words in the panels on the front of the bar. [2]
33. No confirmed sightings of Winston Peters.
34. Or Michael Laws.
35. Or Rico.
36. Recognised by the Society of Beer Advocates as a bar which serves good beer.
37. Founding member of the Craft Beer Capital project to promote quality beer outlets in Wellington.
38. A large selection of American imports help disprove the old “making love in a canoe” stereotype.
39. Plenty of Belgian beers, most with their specialist glass.
40. If placed under great pressure, staff will play Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” but only once.
41. An episode of NZ Craft Beer TV was shot in the bar.
42. The Malthouse blog has popularised the excessive – even gratuitous – use of footnotes in New Zealand beer writing. [3]
43. Managed to show the Rugby World Cup without falling foul of the Major Events Management Act.
44. @malthouse – Thousands of tweets of wisdom, one and a half thousand followers.
45. @malthousetaps – Just news for the Twitterverse about what is on tap.
46. First bar in New Zealand to get Coopers on tap.
47. Made Lady Marmalade IPA with the Yeastie Boys.
48. Always a reasonable chance to meet brewers, beer writers and bloggers.
49. A more than reasonable chance of finding an Imp in his natural habitat.
50. A fair to middling chance of spotting Colin the Handsome Yet Softly Spoken Scotsman.
51. Always Nuclear-Free.
52. Now attempting to be Air Guitar-Free. [4]
53. Not currently listed on the schedule of assets to be part-sold to Kiwi Mum and Dad investors.
54. Antiques Roadshow could easily do a couple of episodes about the contents of the secret staff cupboard. 
55. Six fridges set at different temperatures to ensure each beer is at its best.
56. A rare bottle of “Helen Clark’s Bitter” in the cabinet.  No word yet on when “Goff’s Quaff” will join it.
57. Open for lunch from noon Wednesday to Sunday. (And from 3pm Monday & Tuesday)
58. Late license. 
59. Large range of speciality beer glasses so that the world can see what you are drinking.
60. Selection of magazines, newspapers and newsletters, some of which may be more appropriately housed in the National Archives however.
61. Currently sitting at 999 “likes” on Facebook.  The 1000th may receive a prize! [5]
62. Has been known to take over part of the road for big events.
63. Celebrates important occasions such as Saint Andrew’s Day and Octoberfest.
64. Daily paper usually floating around though someone will have done the Sudoku.
65. Celebrates lesser occasions such as Saint George’s Day.
66. There is a Christmas tree made out empty beer bottles.
67. Christmas carols are rare and had better remain so.
68. Lots of fun with two moveable ladders and one fixed ladder leading up to the Staff Bat Cave.
69. Not related to loquacious Aussie Rules coach Mick Malthouse.
70. Excellent keg management and rotation policies helped no end by the application of the ancient art of ‘Kegtris’.
71. Surprisingly sheltered, albeit by Wellington standards.
72. The Herald’s Pub Spy said Malthouse was “magnificent” and “very hard to leave.”
73. The New Zealand Tourism Guide said Malthouse was “iconic.”
74. Friendly and beer-savvy staff.
75. A relative oasis of calm during the Annual Sevens frenzy.  [6]

Next week: Reasons 76-150.

[1] Bevan Trump – he owns a block of flats on the Hibiscus Coast.
[2] There are some but not nearly as many or as bad as the average line of hip hop lyrics.
[3] The inspiration remains Pete Brown Esq, Bearded British Beer Writer.
[4] There is a clear correlation with reason 49 above.
[5] Malthouse’s overly-paid lawyers wish to stress the term “may”.
[6] Said lawyers refer you to the footnote above except substituting “relative” for “may.”


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


Epic Larger Wellington Launch –  www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=241915709203203
Malthouse Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Malthouse/7084276173
Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse
Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps
Neil Miller on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#beerlytweeting
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