I can honestly say I have never read any of them and have absolutely no intention of ever doing so.  Frankly, if I want to be scared silly by something written on a page, I can ask for my bar tab to be printed out.   However, Mr King is considered the author of the famous quote “I work until beer o’clock.”  It is an erudite philosophy which I certainly adhere to.

Of course, beer o’clock is not a set hour of the day.  It simply means the time for beer is upon us.  This can happen at literally any time, though it occurs most commonly at the end of work as Mr King alluded to.  Some anonymous netizens [1] have put up a useful webpage to let anyone quickly check if it is beer o’clock in their location.  Simply click on www.isitbeeroclock.com and the site will do the rest.

The website Urban Dictionary, taking a short break from offending several local Maori groups, has published a number of definitions for beer o’clock.  These include the generic but accurate (“Can be used at finishing time of work, at the end of a sporting event [2] or any time that ‘time for a drink’ would be most appropriate”), the high-brow (“the time at which one gathers with others to libate”), the specific but wrong (“9:30pm”) and the just plain wrong (“the time when it is no longer legal to sell alcohol”). [3]

Beer O’Clock is also the name of a new event which will be held at Malthouse from 5pm on Thursday 7 June 2012.  It will showcase beers from Epic Brewing Company and West Coast Brewery.  Impish brewer and air guitar specialist Luke Nicholas will be representing Epic while West Coast will have a far more decorous champion in Darryl Sweeney.  They will both be on the premises from 5pm (probably earlier) until later (probably much, much later if previous events are any indication). 

Each hour on the hour, a new tap beer will be unleashed.  Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor has purchased a “shiny new toy” which he promises will make it very clear to everyone, even at the busiest times, when the next beer is tapped.  Even though he told me this snippet of information on the phone, I know he was smiling evilly when he said it.

The beers on offer will include West Coast Brewery Mash Up, Epic Mash Up, Epic Hop Zombie and West Coast International Pale Ale.  That is not necessarily the order in which they will be unleashed however. 

Beer O’Clock is a rare opportunity to try two versions of Mash Up pale ale, both brewed from the same collaboratively developed recipe, side by side.  Hop Zombie has been hard to find of late and will make welcome (if slightly dangerous) return to the taps. Colin reckoned this might well be the last keg of Zombie around and Luke has just confirmed this sad fact.  It would seem the Epic zombies are much easier to dispose of than those lumbering undead we see on the big screen. [4]

West Coast International Pale Ale, with English malt, American yeast and Kiwi hops, is a beer which has really come on in recent years.  It picked up a Gold Medal in the highly competitive pale ale class at last year’s Brew NZ Beer Awards.   Details remain classified but it also seems likely that Luke and Darryl may be bringing in something a little special for the event…  Details as they come to hand.

There are two more dates to put into the beer diary.  The 5th Annual Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge will happen on Friday 13 July 2012.  As usual, it will be a hop-fuelled extravaganza proving that while Friday the Thirteen is very unlucky if you are a hop, it is very lucky if you are a hophead. 

Finally, tickets for Beervana go on public sale from Friday 1 June 2012.  New Zealand’s premier beer event will be held over four sessions on 17 and 18 August 2012 at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.  There are some new ticket categories available this year so make sure you read all about them before purchasing.  The link is listed below.

[1] This is totally a real word.  It even has a page on Wikipedia so it must be true.

[2] Such a statement worryingly implies that it would be unacceptable to consume a beer during a sporting event.  Clearly they have never supported the erratic Hurricanes or tried to watch test match cricket.

[3] Cue the legendary Inigo Montoya quote: “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

[4] I’m starting the completely false rumour right now that Luke’s next beer will be called “Epic Twilight” and it will be low-alcohol, cherry flavoured and have sparkly glitter in it.


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


Beer O’Clock event – http://www.facebook.com/events/274751879290886/
Epic Brewing Company – www.epicbeer.com/
Epic on Facebook – www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001306327427
West Coast Brewery – www.westcoastbrewing.com/
West Coast on Facebook – www.facebook.com/groups/249034385891/
Beervana – http://beervana.co.nz/blog/tickets-sale-1-june
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/