rs from Nigerian princes to give me millions of dollars (no), repeated Tinder invites from Rhonda Rousey (I said “no” Rhonda) and seventy three offers of free New Zealand Herald subscriptions for life (look, if I said no to Rhonda you have no show, tiger) I did actually find the six biggest stories in New Zealand craft beer this year. [2]

Here they are in no order of importance:


SOBA introduces dress code and grooming requirements

Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) President David Wood stunned members today with his unilateral declaration that SOBA would immediately be introducing a dress code and strict minimum grooming requirements. The new rules for “at least a decent collared shirt and preferably a jacket”, a ban on “ironic ties”, facial hair to be “no longer than Don Johnson on Miami Vice” and “no ponytails unless you are female” are bound to be controversial.

A freshly shaven President Wood was unrepentant. He asked assembled media at an undisclosed underground location that “is a shirt with a collar really so hard people? We need to stop looking like the Annual General Meeting of Hipsters against the World, Man.” If re-elected, he promised further action against anoraks and tight pants that leave nothing to the imagination.

The response from members was generally negative but there were some supporters of his controversial stand. Drinks writer and published author Jules van Cruysen agreed with the President saying “some of the beards and moustaches out there are flamboyant and simply outrageous.” It is not thought he was being sarcastic.

North End Brewery comes out of Das Kloset

In a shock move, North End brewer Kieran Haslett-Moore has finally admitted he has long admired German pilsners and has wanted to brew one since his sideburns were just 10 years old. The Waikanae based brewer intends to make that dream a reality in 2016. He concedes his long-standing scorn for German lager has been a publicity stunt designed to promote his image as a cloth cap wearing, ESB drinking, whippet fancier.

In an emotional press conference held in a cheese fridge, Mr Haslett-Moore tearfully admitted “I love lager and particularly German lager – I always have. Today I am being true to myself and swapping my cloth cap and whippet for lederhosen and a schnauzer. This is the day I proudly declare ‘Ich bin ein stolzer Brauer des Lagers’.” [3]

Beer blogger slams new beer from Moa

Beer blogger The Beer Dairy has sensationally slammed a new Moa beer over six months before the Moa brewers have even thought of it. Responding to questions on social media about how one could hate a beer before it was even invented, the blogger tersely replied “I hardly think that matters. The beer (whatever it ends up being called) has the colour of child labour, the aroma of Donald Trump, the mouthfeel of climate change and the bitter aftertaste of capitalism. I’d rather personally sign the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) than drink this beer… when they get round to making it…”

Wellington City Council removes special treatment for Sevens

Despite widespread criticism, Wellington has secured the rights to the New Zealand Sevens for the next three years on the grounds that “absolutely no one else wanted it.” The Sevens have come under fire from the hospitality industry for tolerating behaviour which would see everyday establishments fined or closed.

The Wellington City Council, in a secret vote, agreed. However, rather than having the Sevens obey existing liquor laws, they have decided that all venues in Wellington will have the same relaxed conditions as the Sevens during the weekend in question. Yes, instead of tightening up on an increasingly unpopular event they have surprisingly decided to liberalise laws for all existing bars and clubs.

A Council spokesperson clarified the situation saying “the excuse ‘they were drunk before they got here’ will be acceptable (as it is at the Sevens) rather than an offence (as it is everywhere else). Police will not turn a blind eye to nudity and lewd behaviour but will instead record it on their phones like everyone else. Over half the Crimes Act (up to but not including manslaughter) will be suspended if, and only if, the accused is in a group of no less than fifteen (15) people wearing matching costumes.”

It is not all good news for fans though. A new offence of “actually watching the rugby” will be introduced. Patrons found reacting to or even viewing rugby Sevens action must be immediately evicted from any licenced establishment. A Police spokesperson said “there is simply no room for that kind of behaviour during Sevens weekend.”

P is for beer

In 2014 (then) Beer Writer of the Year Neil Miller joked that Garage Project’s brewer Pete Gillespie “could pee in a barrel, throw in some Brett yeast, age the beer in a port barrel with smoked kippers for a year and people would throw money at him to buy a magnum of the stuff.”

It was briefly funny until current Beer Writer of the Year Jono Galuszka revealed that the Aro Valley brewery had stolen Miller’s suggestion and was currently selling said beer under the name “Garage Project Whizz Bang Hop Rocket IPA.” [4] Confronted with disturbing video evidence, Gillespie admitted “it’s a fair cop. We actually thought people would notice but it has been selling well with hardcore craft beer drinkers and also those that enjoy the taste of DB Export Citrus.”

Galuzska report that the controversial drink’s popularity with the later group has seen Pete Gillespie check himself into Wellington Regional Hospital for precautionary urine tests.

Martin Bosley finally gives in

Taking time away from his full time role as “sexy beast”, celebrity chef Martin Bosley has finally conceded that he is indeed playing Luke Skywalker in the new Star Wars films.

Cornered by hundreds of Star Wars fanboys and fangirls, a clearly frightened Bosley blurted out that it is a little known fact that Mark Hamill is actually now acting under the name Mark Harmon and did not want to risk his lucrative NCIS television gig for 18 seconds work at the end of the Force Awakens film. He revealed “I went into makeup and they were like ‘you are already perfect’ and then to wardrobe where they said ‘did you bring your own robes and cloak’? To be honest I had not had time to dress and was wearing my pyjamas – what a stroke of luck!”

Mr Bosley has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Next time we drink to satire as a defence against libel or defamation. [5]

[1] Good luck with that one spammers!

[2] As a professional beer journalist, I probably should check this account more often.

[3] Translation: “I am a proud brewer of lager.”

[4] This beer exists.

[5] Whichever ever of the two I committed most today




Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine



Hopstock –

Malthouse Facebook –

Malthouse Twitter –!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter –!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter –!/beerlytweeting