As Patsy would say in pretty much every episode of “Absolutely Fabulous” “Let’s start with the gin darling”. This week’s Malthouse Pipe Wrench is the Lola Deville by Panhead and the River Rose from Mississippi Distillery. Think Roses, hibiscus, cucumber and a bloody good time! I have also been made privy to next week’s awesome combo which has been described by Ciaran – the bacon-loving, Bayesian [2] and basidiosporous Malthouse Unit Manager – as “a deconstructed Black Forest Gateau.” The current combination is Lord Almighty Ursus Imperial Stout (12%) (think chocolate, prunes, Christmas pudding, caramel and just a “touch” of alcohol) with Monkey 47 Sloe Gin.

Now Monkey 47 Sloe Gin is a most interesting libation. The key flavours are juniper (obviously), but also red berries and a late hint of almond. This particular gin is actually distilled in the Black Forest region of Germany which ties all the elements of this particular Pipe Wrench match together quite nicely. This is a combination that may appeal even to people who do not like dark beer and/or gin, because it does not taste like anything they would have ever had before. It strikes me as a perfect first date drink. [3]

The list of beers for the Darkest Days celebration of porters, stouts and dark beers is close to being finalised. It starts on Friday 17 June 2016 so there is time for a few late additions but this is the current line-up:

Baylands Brewery & Brewing Supplies Knight Ryder (5.8%) – Aged Cocoa Stout

Brewaucracy Night Shift 2014 (8.9%) – Bretted Porter

Funk Estate Super Afro-Disiac 2016 (8%) – Imperial Aphrodisiac Stout [4]

Funk Estate Afro Gato 2015 (8.5%) – Imperial Coffee Stout

Garage Project Cabbage and Kings 2015 (12%) – Imperial Oyster and Horopito Stout

Hallertau Brewery 2014 (8.8%) – Whisky Barrel Aged Double Stout

Hop Federation 2014 (7%) – Barrel Aged Stout

Panhead Custom Ales Hardtail Henry (8%) – Oaked Stout (on tap for the first time)

ParrotDog/Two Birds Brewing Collaboration 2014 (9%) – American Stout

Renaissance Tribute 2013 (10.7%) – Barley Wine

Renaissance Woodsman 2016 (6.6%) – Belgian Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout

Fork Brewing Skywalker (9%) – Oaked Imperial Stout (poured from American Oak Barrel)

Fork Brewing Parallel Importer (4.9%) – Porter [5]

Fork Brewing Divine Brown (5.3%) – Mocha Brown Ale (served on nitro)

North End Brewing Iron Sands (6%) – Oatmeal Rye Stout (served on hand pull)

Liberty Brewing Company Darkest Days (6%) – Oatmeal Stout (served on hand pull)

Renaissance/Liberty/Fork Brewing Rangipur 2015 (9%) – Hoppy Stout

Lord Almighty Ursus Stout (12%) – Imperial Stout (as mentioned earlier while talking about pipe wrenches)

Sunshine Brewery Czar Bomb (9.6%) – Russian Imperial Stout

Magic Rock Brewing Common Grounds (4.5%) – Coffee Porter

Magic Rock Dark Arts (6%) – Stout

Thornbridge Brewery Cocoa Wonderland (6.8%) – Cocoa Porter

It is also worth noting that from Thursday 16 June 2016 Malthouse will be hosting a tap takeover with four beers from Stone Brewing (California, USA) and two from Nomad Brewing Company (New South Wales, Australia). A surprising number of details are in last week’s blog. [6]

If that was not enough, Tuesday 21 June 2016 is the Winter Solstice which basically is an excuse for Ciaran and Colin, the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor of Malthouse, to dance around naked but legally claim it is for “cultural reasons”.

Next time, we drink to the late Maurice Bennett. There will be a function for The Toast Man (a pioneering contract brewer) at the Fork & Brewer from 1pm on Saturday 18 June 2016. All are welcome – the link to the Facebook Event is below.

[1] Spoiler Alert: We are awesome. You are Wales. This does not end well…

[2] This previously respected term in statistical analysis ran into some recent trouble over “Chinese sounding surnames” of house buyers. Mike Lee, an Auckland city councillor since 1992, was doubtless surprised to be on the list.

[3] Disclaimer: I’m not very good at first dates unless they involve the movie “Sharknado”.

[4] Actual aphrodisiacal results may vary.

[5] One of the few beers to use insider free trade terminology in the name.

[6] Said blog has apparently prompted some social media criticism but the author in question did not think to copy me into their posts. Because that is how social media works generally…


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

New Zealand Liquor News Magazine


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