I will be going to a very special place with a very special person – I’ll be at the Basin Reserve with Australia cricketer David Warner. [1]

In a random act of kindness, a spectator at the recent One Day International at Westpac Stadium gave me his tickets to the Test Match at the Basin because he was going to be out of town. It was at this game that I debuted the now infamous “David Warner Likes Nickelback” sign. Some have expressed surprise that, given my hand writing, I could have produced something so legible and even professional looking. The short answer is – I couldn’t so I hired the excellent MSO Design who most certainly can.

Anyway, the sign created quite the stir with a number of people asking for photographs and selfies. The Sky camera woman loved it so it appeared on the television several times, [2] TV commentator Simon Doull described the message as “a bit cruel”, [3] and social media loved it. It quickly became my most favourited and retweeted post out of 10,233 tweets. I even got to go on Radio Sport the next day though, to be fair, I called them rather than the other way around.

About 85% of people seemed to get the reference or meme that it was based on, or at least understood the sentiment behind it. One person who did not, and claims to still not do so, was Mr Warner himself. I had subsequently taken to Twitter to let him know I was going to the Test and would like to give him a bottle of local craft beer. [4] It was a good will gestures. He declined as he does not drink anymore and I totally respect that.

Warner then asked what the sign actually meant and I tried, twice, to explain it in simple terms. Here is the exact exchange:

Me: “It’s a reference to being successful yet controversial with many.”

Warner: “Over my head mate. No idea that’s why I’m playing cricket and you’re making banners”. 

Well, I was going to be nice but now you’ve gone too far…

Me: “Maybe you could get someone to explain the joke while you drink a no-alcohol beer out of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. #toosoon”.
Warner: “That’s a good come back bro. You want me to get you more followers, looks like you need some haha”. [5]

Now it was time for me to go too far…

Me: “Apart from batting, only advice I’d take from you is how to grow a mo that looks like a 70s porn star playing a traffic cop.”

This entire exchange appeared a “news article” on Stuff today accompanied by a fairly ancient but not too terrible photo of me. Appropriately, I am pictured leaning on the Malthouse bar with what looks like a pint of Epic Pale Ale in hand. The journalist refers to me as a “beer aficionado” which was nice but interestingly made no attempt to contact me for comment. Not sure if Mr Warner was called but all the material in the article appeared on Twitter.

For those not going to the Basin to risk being chased by a professional athlete with a large wooden club, Malthouse will be open for romance. There will be a special food menu, a little mood music on the sound system and the annual relaunch of Funk Estate Super Afrodisiac (8%). This sensual brew is an Imperial Stout with a whole lot of exotic and potentially aphrodisiacal ingredients. [6] If you want to ensure a special table for Valentine’s Day it might be prudent to ring the bar and make a booking. Or just pop in and do the same thing in person.

Speaking of persons, Ciaran, the bearded, bouncy and bacchanalian Unit Manager, revealed he is “going to do something that has never been done before.” There were a lot of worried faces at the end of this sentence. However, once he explained his actual plan it all became clear and it is going to be awesome. Next Wednesday, the 17th of February, he will be hosting the first “Meet the Delivery Guys” event.

He describes it as “kinda like a meet the brewer only it’s the boys in the vans.” The hard working delivery guys from Garage Project, Panhead, Tuatara, Kereru, ParrotDog and Baylands breweries have all been invited. Ciaran notes “we’ll have beers on tap from all of the breweries and the boys will be out wearing their respective brands and having a few beers for anybody who wants to come meet some of the main “drivers’ of New Zealand craft beer.”.. Get it?” [7]

Beer does not get magically from the brewery to the tap. Come and meet the men who make it happen. It’s a tough job – buy them a beer to thank them for their service.

Finally, keep an eye out on the Malthouse taps for Fork Brewing Godzone Beat (Champion Pale Ale), Emerson’s Bookbinder (Booky is back!) and Baylands Zythra APA (hippity hoppy). And will someone please drink all the Belgian Red and Sour Ales so we can free up some taps for more pale ales?

Next time we drink to the cancellation of New Zealand Family Feud hosted by Dai Henwood on 14 February. It would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift as this “show” is scheduled to launch on 15 February. Talk about hitting these pop culture phenomena at the height of their popularity…

[1] And a few thousand other people too I expect.

[2] I received one message pleading for me “to stop hogging my television screen.”

[3] He’s obviously never had to listen to his own commentary…

[4] For some reason I was thinking of the bright shiny new Fork Brewing Godzone Beat Pale Ale.

[5] Technically he is correct – 1.1 million is considerably larger than 3,424.

[6] Please note the key word of “potentially”. Actual performance may vary depending on consumption.

[7] This event was originally scheduled for November 2015 but it took this long for Ciaran to develop that pun.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine


Stuff article: David Warner doesn’t get it, misses joke and turns down Kiwi offer of a beer – http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/76727224/David-Warner-doesn-t-get-it-misses-joke-and-turns-down-Kiwi-offer-of-a-beer?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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