Tuesday afternoon (according to Vatican Scientists).

Whatever the date, there have been some good times including – but not limited to – the invention of beer, [1] the invention of pizza [2] and the invention of Game of Thrones. [3] 

However, there have been many dark days too: the flooding of the entire planet, the extinction of the Tyrannosaurus Rex with it’s cute little arms, the Dark Ages, [4] bubonic plague, every war apart from the one when the Abyssinians beat the Italians, Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Yoko Ono, famine, birth of Justin Bieber, global warming/climate change/global cooling, Michael Moore, MMP, the invention of Crocs and Len Brown.

All of these dark days (with the likely exception of Justin Bieber’s spawning) will fade into insignificance compared with Malthouse’s Darkest Days celebration which starts tomorrow. 

Darkest Days is a two day (20 June and 21 June) showcase celebrating stouts, porters and dark beers at Malthouse.  It kicks off at midday on Friday and, while technically two full days, there are limited supplies of these specialist dark ales and some might not last all the way till Saturday night. 

Through diligent wheeling and dealing, Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor has managed to procure, in his own words, “around two dozen black gold delights from here and abroad.” [5] Here is the provisional list and my comments:

Coopers Stout –tastes a bit like leftover roast beef (in a good way)

Coopers Dark – always dependable as an introductory beer for those who fear the dark

Renaissance Tribute 2012 – one for the expert malt monsters, this bad boy started big and has been working out in the bottle for a few years

8 Wired Big Smoke – like pashing a heavenly ash tray

Three Boys Oyster Stout – so sweet but everyone thinks they taste salt because it was made with oysters

Yeastie Boys PKB – a beer made, or so they say, to bring me over to black beers by making them hoppy

Epic Coffee & Fig Stout – terrible beer.  Oh wait, a bottle of Hot Zombie hot sauce just arrived.  I heartily endorse this beer or product

Hallertau Joppa Stout – if this turns up, it is the commercial version of Barb Joppa’s winning home brew which took out the SOBA New Zealand Home Brew Competition with the highest ever points score

Tuatara Dubbel – Tuatara’s moreish take on a classic Belgian style

ParrotDog Otis – plenty of oatmeal in this full bodied brew from the Matts [6]

Epic’s new stout – ask the bar staff because I have no idea

Tuatara Black Light Stout – only a craft brewery could describe a 7% stout as “up the middle”

Sunshine Black Magic Porter – it will be interesting to see how the new Sunshine beers are tasting

Golden Bear Dark Dude – trust Californians to call a beer “dude” but they do make some fine ales

Liberty Darkest Days – Joseph never takes any prisoners with his recipes – this is no exception

Stone 2013 Espresso R.I.S – I’m sure they would tell you that you are not worthy. They may be right…

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale – a beer brewed to celebrate the non-end of the world which may have been created four quadrillion years ago if you believe Tom Cruise [7]

Good George Stout – lots of coffee and chocolate notes, and served at the Green Dragon pub in Hobbiton on occasion

Invercargill Pitch Black Stout – the highest ranked dark beer in the history of my annual Top Ten Kiwi Beer lists

Sunshine Brewery Bulls Brew – I’m presuming this is not like Oyster Stout and there is no bull (far less “Bulls Brew”) in there…

Chances are, they may be a few surprises and a few changes but that list should give gentle readers a taste of the dark espresso, leather and oak flavours of Darkest Days.

Next time, we drink to the Wellington City Council for endorsing and supporting Beervana (albeit it with my money as a ratepayer).

[1] The invention of beer was greatly improved by the discovery that you can (and should) put lots and lots of hops in it.

[2] The invention of pizza was greatly improved by the discovery that you can (and should) put lots and lots of anchovies on it.

[3] Spoiler Alert: Those are also my plans for the evening.

[4] Obviously.

[5] I’ve taken the liberty of translating his comment for all those who have trouble with the accents in Trainspotting, a Billy Connolly show or Andy Murray when he is crying.

[6] Shouldn’t you boys be making more Pitbull?

[7] Before we snigger too much, the second ever Scientology “church” was established in Auckland in 1955. 


Neil Miller
Beer Writer
Beer and Brewer Magazine
Cuisine Magazine

Facebook: Darkest Day – https://www.facebook.com/events/699925956730960/
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 – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting
Beer and Brewer Magazine – www.beerandbrewer.com/