Recently I enjoyed a quiet snifter of Jack Daniels in my Opulent Overground Lair and used one of my favourite movie quotations:

Me on the Couch of Apathy: “Ah… John Daniels.”

Rick on the Couch of Somnolence: [3] “Don’t you mean Jack Daniels?”

Me still on the Couch of Apathy: “Son… when you have known him as long as I have, you can call him John.”

It is an absolutely brilliant quote from the highly talented Al Pacino (Lt. Col. Frank Slade) to the much less talented Chris O’Donnell (Charlie Simms) in the 1992 film “Scent of a Woman.” Of course, the slight problem is that he did not actually say that, no matter how many times I tell the same story. [4] Here is the actual dialogue and, before you ask I found it on the Internet so you know it must be true: [5]

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: “Clear them little bottles off. And when I get off the phone here, call up Hyman and tell him I want it wall to wall with John Daniels”.

Charlie Simms: “Don’t you mean Jack Daniels?”

Lt. Col. Frank Slade: “He may be Jack to you son, but when you’ve known him as long as I have… that’s a joke.”

So, ironically, Rick, who had not seen the movie, was the only person in the conversation to actually get his line right. I take some solace in the fact that many famous quotable quotes never happened. Here are my top seven in no particular order:

(Queen) Victoria: “We are not amused.” (She was perpetually grumpy but never uttered this phrase.)

Tarzan: “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” [6]

Jimmy Cagney: “You dirty rat!”

Niccolo Machiavelli – “The Ends Justify the Means” [7]

(Captain) James Tiberius Kirk: “Beam me up, Scotty.” (In fact, the closest My Favourite Canadian came to uttering this immortal line was in 1968 when he said “Beam us up, Mr Scott.)

Rick Blaine in Casablanca: “Play it again Sam.”

(Not President) Al Gore: “I invented the Internet.” (This writer is no fan of Mr Gore but he never said this. However, he did say “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet” which is pretty darn close…)

There is actually a reason I referred to “Scent of a Woman” and it relates to the “olfactory advertising” I referred to last week in my Charcoal Chicken story. Alert readers will recall the owner of said establishment would pour chicken fat on hot coals to lure customers in with a smoky poultry aroma when business was slow. I thought about the power of smell this week as I nosed and sipped my first wet hopped beer of the year.

The beer was just days old but it already had a fresh pine and mango salad nose, with just a hint of sourness from some burgeoning Brettanomyces which normally I would rail against but here just brought things into balance. It was a “Star Wars” moment. It is no secret I adore fresh hopped beers, the more sticky and resinous the better. The beer I tried was at Fork & Brewer and was poured from the tank by its hirsute creator, Kelly Ryan, increasingly known in social media circles as #brewjesus.

Using 20 kilos of freshly picked Nelson Sauvin hops he has created something special which he will doubtless ruin by naming it after a 17th Century French crocheting society – or however he comes up with beer names. Actually, it is called Fork Champagne Supernova (7.1%) which is a really cool name because I love Oasis. In related news I have had that song stuck in my head for two days.

My first sip was a timely reminder that Hopstock is approaching. I should have known given the deluge of brewers posting photographs of themselves posing with Nelson hops on the vine. One, who I will call the Beer Giraffe, [8] appeared to be, as the young people say today, “pashing” the poor plant.

Hopstock 2016 runs from 13 April to 18 April 2016 with 21 fresh hopped beers being served at venues around Wellington craft beer bars. Breweries are randomly allocated to various venues though brewpubs such as the Fork & Brewer, Black Dog and Tuatara Temple of Taste will (not surprisingly) serve their own. In addition to the usual and beloved plethora of pale ales there is a sour, a Helles and a few funky twists.

Malthouse has drawn 8 Wired Fresh HopWired IPA (2016) (7.3%) which also uses piles of fresh Nelson Sauvin. The only time I like a beer more than 8 Wired HopWired is when it is 8 Wired Fresh HopWired. It is like motorboating a magical hop bale while riding a unicorn. It is seriously that good.

However, in sadder news, Malthouse will be closed on Friday and Sunday because of laws and stuff. It will be open on Thursday and Saturday but only until 11am so people can get home before they start sinning or the Easter Bunny comes out. I get confused.

Next time we drink to Presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders who recently published a picture of himself holding up a “Trump Likes Nickelback” sign. Well played you loopy 74 year old socialist. Sadly you are not even close to being the craziest candidate in the race. America – you might think this is an election but it is more of an IQ test. You are not doing well so far.

No wonder those kooky Canadians are building a wall/dam to keep the Yankees out… [9]

[1] It is complicated.

[2] It is amazing how much more television time you get when you have insomnia… This is not necessarily a good thing.

[3] I call him Rick because that is his real name.

[4] Up to four times a night if Scotland is losing in the rugby.

[5] I went to a public meeting last Friday about free trade agreements. During the course of said meeting a woman, describing herself as a “public good advocate”, asked about the “Internet of Things”. Then a man calling himself a “Self Employed Free Trade Opponent” spent ten minutes of Question Time talking very quickly without coming close to asking an actual question.

[6] This would have been better dialogue than the actual script.

[7] As a former parliamentary operator and hopeless political junkie I’m ashamed to admit that I thought this one was true.

[8] I call him “the Beer Giraffe” because that is his real nickname.

[9] My suggestion is that the wall/dam is named after Stephen Beaumont, forever fated to be my second favourite Canadian after William Shatner. Bill (as I call him) already has “International Talk like William Shatner Day” (it was Tuesday for the record) so I think Mr Beaumont (as I call him) should get the wall/dam. As Bill himself would probably say “It’s. Only fair. To name this wall. Slash… Dam. After such… a great Canadian. As Mr Beaumont… KHAN!”




Neil Miller

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