, I still feel the world would have been a better place if Pinky and The Brain had ever succeeded in taking it over, and I forever held out hope that one day Johnny Bravo would actually get the girl instead of a handbag upside the head.

Captain Planet confused me. While it was nigh on impossible to side with the evil polluters and planet plunderers, it was equally difficult to empathise with a sanctimonious eco-freak sporting a bright green mullet. [1] There was, however, one long running classic show where I think the world has steadily rallied behind the bad guy – Mr Wile E Coyote.

Over many years, the Coyote’s totally legitimate plan of eating that pesky Road Runner (of the genus Greater Road Runner) was constantly thwarted in increasingly elaborate ways. The Road Runner was repeatedly saved by his tremendous speed, mastery of cartoon physics and the dangerously poor quality of products made by the ACME Corporation which, despite the epic failures and painful maimings, inexplicably remained Mr Coyote’s favoured supplier of hunting goods.

ACME became such a part of pop culture that it even has a long entry on Wikipedia. This is my favourite sentence:

“The company name in the Road Runner cartoons is ironic, since the word is derived from the Greek acme – meaning the peak, zenith or prime – and products from the fictional Acme Corporation are both generic and tend to fail.” [2]

I think I speak for everyone when I say that if there had ever been an episode where Wile E Coyote caught the Road Runner, slowly cooked and then ate him, it would have received record ratings. Personally, I would watch it every second day.

This slightly blood-thirsty introduction was inspired by news that Malthouse has received shipment of four highly-regarded American beers, including ACME IPA. The North Coast Brewing Company has revived the ACME name with the original brand one of the early icons of brewing in California.

Weighing in at 6.9% and 55 IBUs, this IPA is described as “profoundly hoppy”, “deliciously dry” and “eminently drinkable in spite of its apparent strength.” A reliable medallist at the World Beer Championships, ACME IPA promises to be everything AMCE Road Runner hunting supplies were not.

Next up are two beers from the Deschutes Brewery in Oregon where they have been making craft beer since 1988. Their website begins with the slogan “the meek shall inherit, well, some pretty dull beers.” There is certainly nothing meek about Mirror Pond Pale Ale or Black Butte Porter. Mirror Pond (5% ABV and 40 IBUs) is “not for the faint of hop.” It is made with lashings of US Cascade hops which happily frolic over a robust malt base.

The brewers describe it as “aromatically complex, multi-layered, and unmistakably right.” Black Butte (5.2% ABV and 30 IBUs) was the brewery’s first beer and has been their flagship since day one. The complex chocolate and roasted notes are produced by the interplay of five malts (Pale, Carapils, Chocolate, Crystal, Wheat) and three hops (Cascade, Bravo, Tettnang).

I first encountered these two beers as a young steward at a Brew NZ Beer Awards many years ago. The Deschutes brand was not well known in New Zealand at the time but all their beers made a huge impression. Me and the other hopheads waxed lyrical about Mirror Pond and its big brother Inversion IPA, while the malt monsters lurked in the shadows supping and praising Black Butte.

Deschutes is a fantastic brewery. Finally, there is some Smoked Porter from the Alaskan Brewery, an environmentally friendly craft brewery located – unsurprisingly –in Alaska. [3] Made each year since 1988, this 6.5%, 45 IBU beer is broadly in the style of a “rauchbier” (German Smoked Ale).

It is often credited with starting the popularity of the style in American brewing and has won swags of medals at prestigious beer awards. Local alder wood is used to smoke the malt just before brewing. [1] It is so green even the very colour-blind will never mistake it for red or brown. [2]

Also from Wikipedia: “Occasionally Acme products do work quite well (e.g. the Dehydrated Boulders, Bat-Man Outfit, Rocket Sled, Jet Powered Roller Skates, or Earthquake Pills). In this case their success often works against the coyote. For example, the Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large when it crushes him, or the Coyote finding out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label’s fine print states that the pills aren’t effective on road runners, right after he swallows the whole bottle, thinking they’re ineffective.” [3]

No, you cannot see Russia out the window.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Real Beer New Zealand

Beer and Brewer Magazine


Acme (North Coast Brewing) – www.northcoastbrewing.com/beer-AcmeIPA.htm

Deschutes Brewery – www.deschutesbrewery.com/

Alaskan Brewery – www.alaskanbeer.com/

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

Real Beer – www.realbeer.co.nz

Beer and Brewer Magazine – www.beerandbrewer.com/