[1] He is also the author of the quote which headlines this blog post: sanity calms, but madness is more interesting. It is the third month of the year and at Malthouse that means the latest instalment of March Madness, a full calendar month of special offers, is underway.

The Malthouse March Madness tradition began last year and this year it has been upgraded and improved. A couple of favourite promotions remain but there are plenty of new events for people to enjoy. After all, Irish writer and wit Jonathan Swift wrote centuries ago that a tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle. That may have been true of the pubs he went to, [2] but at Malthouse there is indeed a method to their madness.

Basically, there is a different special on every day of the week for the entire month of March. Allow me to review the agenda:

Monday is $5 Chicken Wings night. The spicy wings were a real hit when the Super Bowl was shown to a packed out bar in February. They make their triumphant return because there is something fundamentally beautiful about the pairing of beer and wings.

Tuesday is now Tuatara Tuesday with $7 ‘pints’ of Tuatara beer from 5pm through to 7pm. That is a significant discount and has the very real potential to save me more money than last two rounds of tax cuts.

Wednesday is the weekly House Wine Deal. This means it is $5 for a glass or $25 for a bottle of the house wines – Festival Block Sauv, Omaka Chardonnay and Stoneleigh Merlot. In this instance, I am talking about a topic I know very little about. This must be what it is like when Michael Laws talks about modesty. [3]

Thursday is $10 Pizza Night. The range of pizzas is made fresh in the small but functional Malthouse kitchen and my pick would be the Malthouse Classic – it is a little bit of everything. In terms of beer and food matching, the undoubted virtues of beer and pizza have been extolled by everyone from Homer Simpson to Dave Barry to John Key on election night.

Friday has the hugely popular Free Buffet. Free food, usually from the deep fried snack food group, has long been a hit with Malthouse punters as well as a sign of host responsibility. Trays of snacks will circulate from 5pm until the food runs out. The Surgeon General has warned that it may be hazardous to your health to get between me and a plate of wontons.

The madness continues through the weekend. Saturday is a Free Beer Tasting – the chance to try some less familiar beers with no risk and no cost. Like the Buffet, it starts at 5pm and will go until the beer runs out. This is one event it definitely pays not to be late for.

Sunday sees the famous Cooper’s Pale Ale available in jugs for $20. The Pale Ale has always been my favourite Cooper’s for quaffing and I enjoy the socialability of sharing a jug of decent beer. A far cry from my student days where there was no decent beer and very little sharing.

It will be interesting to see if jugs continue when the Madness lifts at the end of the month. That decision will doubtless be influenced by customer reaction and feedback. The staff will also be checking the availability of jugs does not attract the ‘wrong’ sort of customers who are already more than adequately catered for on Courtenay Place.

As always, March contains the Maddest Day of the Year – Saint Patrick’s Day. [4] Malthouse will be coming to the party with one of New Zealand’s best ever stouts on tap and specials on a very famous Irish whiskey. Details will be in next week’s blog and on social media.

This post opened with a quote and will end with a quote. I was tempted by poet and angel haired hipster Allen Ginsberg when he wrote follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. Then I recalled that he took that advice a little too literally, including – but by no means limited to – advocating the widespread use of LSD and his admiration for Fidel Castro.

In the end, I decided to go modern though the author of this quote is not known: [5]

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Angry Birds is proof that Albert Einstein was wrong.

[1] A prize role he only landed when his predecessor James Montgomery Doohan left Jason of Star Command to play Scotty in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. On balance, that was probably a wise career move for Mr Doohan who is, ironically, Canadian.

[2] By most accounts, Swift himself would be the instigator of the majority of said madness.

[3] I’m kidding of course. Michael Laws has never attempted to talk about modesty.

[4] The Sevens are making a serious bid for this title but there is more beer drunk on Paddy’s Day and a lot less rainbow vodka coolers or whatever the blazes it is that the kids are drinking these days.

[5] Plenty of people are claiming it though.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Real Beer New Zealand

Beer and Brewer Magazine


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