Interestingly, he starts his final crowd funding plea with this observation on the situation in Britain – “Crowdfunding is a thorny topic in the beer industry just now, so it was a ricky [1] experiment to try crowdfunding a book about beer. But the experiment has paid off – we’re almost there.”

 Since this paragraph was published, Brown has announced that his financial target has been met, which is great news, but that is not the reason his comment is so interesting. Always very precise with his words, he described crowdfunding in British beer as both “thorny” and “risky.”

However, New Zealand is a much smaller market but has witnessed a series of successful crowdfunding beer ventures, including Renaissance and the Yeastie Boys, and, most pertinently, Jules van Cruysen’s crowdfunded book “Brewed” (which I have finally started reading.) [2] Brown is literally one of the world’s foremost beer writers and it would be interesting to find out precisely why he found the process quite so difficult.

His new book is provisionally titled ‘What Are You Drinking?’ and is, again provisionally, an exploration of the four key ingredients in beer: hops, barley, yeast and water. He notes “books on these exist, but they cater for the professional brewer rather than the general reader. They get discussed in many books on beer, but I want to do an in-depth exploration of them for the first time. I’m looking at their history, how they ended up in beer and what they add. I’m also looking at them holistically – the cultivation and agriculture, the people who grow them, their link with terroir and place. It’s a narrative of my journey of exploration – harvesting Maris Otter barley, picking hops in Kent, drinking well water in Burton on Trent… today I’m in Washington’s Yakima Valley, rubbing and learning about American hops.” [3]

The context for this discussion is that Pete Brown, beer writer, global pub crawler and all-round bearded bloke, supplied the inspiration for the title of today’s blog with his famous argument that “fancy a pint” is about the most appealing invitation you can get which involves remaining fully dressed. [4]

He wrote a rather marvellous book called “Three Sheets to the Wind” which charted his global pub crawl of 400 bars as part of a personal quest for the meaning of beer. On the very first page, he begins to muse about the phenomenon of fancying of a pint and I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the key section:

“Every time someone asks me if I fancy a pint, it seems like a remarkably good idea, one that never loses its sheen as an original, inventive, exciting concept. But often there’s more to this little phrase than meets the ear. Usually, when we ask someone if they fancy a pint, we’re asking if they would like more than one. Sometimes, the pint proposer will make this clearer by inserting an important extra word, asking “do you fancy a quick pint?” which seems to imply that your companion only wants to spend a brief time in the pub but of course it means the exact opposite.” [Pete Brown]

Now, alert readers of the Malthouse Blog will be aware that I have used this quote before. The first use of it was so long ago my blog post in question ruminated about the possible use of footnotes but did not yet contain any. For those counting at home, [5] it appeared 308 posts ago in relation to the launch of Tuatara Helles.

The quote is brilliant in its own right but is particularly applicable to Malthouse’s popular Session Beer Session. This nine day celebration of flavoursome beers under 5% is currently underway and runs through to close of play on 22 November. Sixteen moderate strength beers star in this “avalanche showcasing the lighter side of beer life.” I profiled the beers last week.

Session beers are experiencing a huge growth in popularity, particularly among those who “fancy a quick pint” but have other responsibilities later. Around two years I correctly predicted the rise of session beers but, if anything, under-estimated how strongly they would grow. Certainly, the change in drink driving limits has had a massive impact, but a growing number of Kiwis were already moving towards lower strength beers for family and health reasons too.

This is an appropriate time to highlight the new resource from our friends at Hospitality New Zealand who have launched a guide to help drivers “Know Your Limit.” Hospitality New Zealand says “We don’t recommend drinking alcohol and driving. But if you do choose to have a social drink, “Know Your Limit – A rule of thumb guide” should help you stay on the right side of the 250mcg legal limit. This rule of thumb guide is suitable for most adults and was developed in consultation with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR). The link is in the usual spot at the bottom of the post.

Finally, Malthouse is gearing up for a full Tuatara Tap Takeover on 5 December 2015. There will be 29 taps involved, the launch of the new Tuatara Founders Brew, fascinating speeches from some of the key Tuatara staff over the years, and Carl Vasta may wear a tie. [6] It is a private function from 4pm to 6pm then the doors are thrown open to the public. It should be an epic event. [7]

Next time, we drink to Jonah Lomu, the big winger passed away today after a long battle with illness. It is a sad loss to world rugby and New Zealand, as Jonah remained involved in good causes right up to the end. It is fitting he got to see the All Blacks raise the World Cup for a third time. Like most Kiwis, I still get chills watching Lomu in his prime rampaging through hapless opponents, and I could watch him run over Englishman Mike Catt for hours. In fact, I might just do that tonight. RIP big guy.

[1] I hope the book has a better proof reader than this post. And yes, I’m fully aware of the irony of me making fun of a simple typo and I’m fully aware that I have almost certainly jinxed myself to make a typographical doozy later in today’s post.

[2] Having my name appear in pretty much the third paragraph does not guarantee a glowing review, but it is certainly not going to hurt. Seriously, I’m really enjoying the book so far. If you don’t have a copy, buy one. The Internets probably has it.

[3] Although I love my job very much, Mr Brown keeps finding new ways to make me jealous.

[4] If you read nothing else, this sentence should demonstrate why I enjoy his writing, professionally and personally, so much.

[5] Or more likely at work if our site usage stats are to be believed…

[6] Usual legal disclaimer about how speeches may not actually be fascinating and that Carl Vasta may turn up in a mankini.

[7] With less air guitar and Def Leppard than an actual Epic Event.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine



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