As a result, I like books. Books do not crash, they do not need constant upgrades or access to your credit card number. They do not suggest that I should date Russian seniors. Thankfully, it seems I am not alone in tilting at electronic windmills. I adore the (historical but still relevant) response of car company General Motors (GM) to comments from Microsoft founder Bill Gates who said “if GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

Whoever wrote the official GM press release in response to Billy Boy is my new personal hero. The release noted that if General Motors had indeed developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.

4. For some reason you would simply accept this. [1]

5. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation” warning light. [2]

7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

I also like magazines – and not just the ones that I write for. [3] Browsing through my extensive paper based archives, I recently came across a September 2009 letter to BEER magazine (produced by CAMRA in the UK) which I wish I had seen way back in 2009. In it, correspondent David White from Oxfordshire provided a detailed system as to why a “quick pint” never means an actual quick pint. Mr White writes about his dad and his brother:

“After a long day’s work they would occasionally go for a quick pint. This quick pint ended up being several. Eventually they would have a last ‘flyer’ before going home. This was inevitably followed by a Double F or Final Flyer. Many times this was then followed by an LFF (Last Final Flyer). On occasion there was then a DLFF (Definitely the Last Final Flyer).

The erudite words of Mr David White and the proud tradition of a DLFF sprung to mind when I popped in Malthouse on ANZAC Day for a quick pint. I had a Golden Bear Hooligan IPA. Then I imbibed a Liberty Alpha Lord as a “flyer”. After that it was a Tuatara Third Eye So Fresh and So Green Green Single Hopped IPA which must have been the LFF (Last Final Flyer).  The DLFF (Definitely the Last Final Flyer) was Baylands Supersonic Waifly IPA made especially for the Malthouse. [4]

After that, much to everyone’s surprise – including my own – I left. However, I have to note a “Wellington Bar Moment”. The table next to me comprised of a newspaper editor (who I used to write for), a Member of Parliament and a legendary rugby commentator. It is great living in a city where that sort of thing can just randomly happen. I probably should have listened to their conversation and sold the dirty politics to Cameron Slater… [5]

So – Hopstock is finished and the Malthouse Fresh Hop Showcase is winding down. Both events were hugely popular, proving the theory of certain beer writers that while you can brew a wild coffee infused double stout fermented in a weasel’s scrotum, Kiwi drinkers still love hops and lots of them.

Despite my best efforts, there are still a few fresh hop beers still on tap. These include Choice Brothers Petrichor (the one that smells like grass after a rain shower), Fork Brewing Champagne Supernova (the one that smells like Noel Gallagher on the lash), Zeelandt Pulling Cones (the one that smells like the art teachers jacket) and Liberty Alpha Lord (the one that thankfully does not smell like brewer Joseph Wood).

The Babylonian, barbaric and butch Malthouse manager Ciaran Duffy has compelled me to say that “the characteristics of fresh hop beers change from day to say.” [6] You are welcome.

Apart from being turned on by grammar, I am also a huge fan of beer and cheese. On 11 May 2016, Malthouse will be hosting brewer Carl Hayes from Te Aro Brewing who will be presenting Te Aro beers with cheese. This will involve six Te Aro Brewing beers on tap (including some never before tapped barrel-aged beers), lots of matching cheese and a little bit of history. [7] It is $30 for a taster tray of six beers with those matching cheeses. And because Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Malthouse Proprietor is currently heading to the United States to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ciaran has decreed that Malty loyalty card holder will get triple points on this event and/or any Te Aro beers. That is cheese and cheers!

Next time we drink to Chyna – the Ninth Wonder of the World. She was an exceptional professional wrestler, the woman first to compete in the Royal Rumble and the first to win the Intercontinental Championship. She had her demons certainly, and passed away recently. However, she paved the way for a new generation of women wrestlers and I will never tire of watching her punch big tough guys in the groin. RIP Chyna. #IdratherbeinChyna

[1] This is so true. We complain about everything else under the sun but simply accept that computers take us for fools on a daily basis, just like the sheep that we are.

[2] This is also so true. I once tried to open “Microsoft Word” and my computer crashed. The error message asked me to consider what I may have done to create the adverse situation. Apparently “I simply asked you to do your freaking basic programming” was not an available answer.

[3] Although I particularly do enjoy magazines that I write for.

[4] There is quite an Oasis theme going on in New Zealand beer at the moment.

[5] Just kidding. Whale Oil would never pay for such minor league gossip.

[6] This may be the closest ‘my man’ has come to a whole written sentence without a spelling error. Apart, from the last word obviously… And the first part of his sentence which I did not include… Just lucky he is so damn charming…

[7] As the holder of an Honours degree in History, I am obliged to say that history is really, really important in real life.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine


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