However, it is far too early in the blog to start talking about actual beer – even over two dozen specially created red, amber, copper, burgundy, maroon, crimson, scarlet, vermillion or even rufescent brews. [2] Instead, I want to discuss submarine films some more.

The Hunt for the Red October (1990) is almost certainly the most successful commercially. Das Boot (1981) is generally regarded as the classic sub flick (certainly by German film critics) while Run Deep Run Silent (1958) is its closest competitor for iconic status (particularly amongst British movie writers).

There is broad agreement that the worst sub film ever is U-571 (2000) where they took a great historical story often considered the turning point of World War Two (the capture of the German Enigma code machine) and COMPLETELY CHANGED THE SCRIPT so the Americans did it. It makes Pearl Harbour (2001) and Braveheart (1995) look like historical doctoral theses by comparison. I’ve seen Michael Moore films with more factual content – Honest to God… Michael Moore films! [3]

I want to add in two additional personal nominations for best submarine films not called The Hunt for the Red October. First, Under Siege (1992) which stars (Sir) Steven Seagal, Tommy Lee Jones in full nutcase mode, and Gary Busey doing his best to upstage Mr Jones in the crazy stakes. It is a close run thing. During the film, Gary Busey gets blown up in a North Korean submarine, Under Siege was nominated for two Oscar Awards in 1993, [4] and Erika Eleniak may or may not have jumped out of a cake – I don’t know, I was so focussed on the plot.

Second, Beerfest (2006) is a classic tale of American underdogs triumphing over… well, it is the Germans again, this time in drinking games. However, there is an extended submarine scene as the German team (implausibly) travel from their homeland to an American town (which does not seem to a have a shoreline in real life), in just weeks to try and steal “the greatest beer in the world!”

Prepare to have your collective minds blown – the American underdogs angered the Germans (“the best beer drinkers in the world”) at… Oktoberfest. And the captain of the German submarine and leader of the German group in Beerfest was played by… Jurgen Prochnow – the critically acclaimed actor who was the submarine captain in Das Boot. Let that sink in…

In one paragraph I have tied the entire introduction into a Gordian Knot. This is not necessarily a positive result as the Gordian Knot in classical literature was a rope knot so famously complicated that no one could unravel it. The Knot was eventually undone by Alexander the Great who simply chopped it in half with his sword and lo! It was unravelled. [5] I shall have to Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts after this is published.

The first Hunt for the Red October brewery to be hosted by Malthouse tomorrow is Wild and Woolly Brewing. I want to say for the record that I knew Wild and Woolly before they were so famous. In fact, I knew brewer Llew Bardecki when he was not very woolly, and was a mild mannered attendee at several of my beer tastings. Of course, the fact that he asked so many good (read: difficult) technical questions meant I was not astonished when he started a brewing business in 2015.

I had presumed Llew would contract brew for a while so I was surprised and impressed that he quickly opened a nano-brewery in partnership with Annika Naschitzki of Tiamana Brewery. They joined (formidable) brewing forces and (likely strained like the rest of us) corporate finances to create a shared nano-brewery in the suburb of Mount Cook. [6] Together, they billed themselves as jointly Wellington’s smallest brewery. However, both breweries punch well above their weight.

For Beervana, Wild and Woolly said their beers “feature non-traditional ingredients such as fruit, herbs, spices, oak, wild yeast and souring bacteria.” They also alleged that this was “Super Yums!” Thousands of punters agreed. To demonstrate the many layers of the brewery, Wild and Woolly had the weakest beer (by ABV) at Beervana – the Basilisk Fruit Berliner-Weisse at 2.5% – but also the Hop Mess Imperial IPA at 8.50%. That second beer made me wish I had read my programme in more detail first.

In terms of their Red October brew, I have seen the tap badge but not much more. This is what I know:

Name: Wild and Woolly Chelonii Roja

Style: Unknown – presumed maroon or burgundy

Alcohol: Unknown – probably somewhere between 2.5% and 8.5%

What does the name mean, dude: It means the “red turtle”, man. [7]

On tap: 30 September 2016 at Malthouse.

For the record, the Red October bars are: Malthouse, Little Beer Quarter, Rogue & Vagabond, Bebemos and Bin 44.

The Red October breweries, assigned at random to the five bars above, are: Panhead, Baylands, Tuatara, Beer Baroness, Eagle Brewing, 8 Wired, Hallertau, Rocky Knob, Wild & Woolly, Lord Almighty, mike’s Organic Brewery, Deep Creek, Behemoth, Good George, Townshend’s, Invercargill, Renaissance, Croucher Brewing, Hop Federation, Moa, Choice Bros, Three Boys Brewery, Zeelandt Brewing, Double Vision and Funk Estate.

Today is also the launch of the new Epic Gods of War IPA (6.7% and 55 IBUs). It is the second Epic beer to be named after a Def Leppard song after Epic Armageddon. I will put my hand up on naming that though I was more inspired by Dungeons and Dragons than the D-Lep. [8] Things are about to escalate as Gods of War is the first in the “Epic Hysteria Series” of beers. For those who don’t know, Hysteria was a 1987 Def Leppard album. I refuse to answer about if I own said album on the grounds that I will incriminate myself. [9] Malthouse also has Epic Armageddon (6.66%) and Epic Hop Zombie (8.5%) on tap until they run out. This will probably be shortly after I arrive.

Next time, we drink to the giant rubber duck which, due to high winds, escaped the confines of the oppressive car sales yard and terrorised Glasgow this week. Go for it ya braw big bird! You are truly living the dream (of destroying Glasgow).

[1] I have a lazy fiver on Garage Project entering a purple beer into a red beer contest – just to cause chaos… because they can.

[2] Rufescent is not only a real word but it is a real word for red-ish. This blog has always prided itself on being a teaching blog.

[3] One for the classic Simpson’s fans and/or people who do not like Michael Moore.

[4] Admittedly both in sound editing related categories.

[5] Actually, I just wanted to get “Gordian Knot” into this blog because the rest of the day has been spent reading a 402 page Government report which uses “Gordian Knot” as the central policy simile.

[6].As a former resident of Mount Cook, I must stress that it is not Newtown.

[7] In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the red turtle is Raphael – the party guy. This bodes well.

[8] Google suggests no one has ever called them “D-Lep” before, at least not anyone who ranks on Google.

[9] That is how it works right? I may need to consult a lawyer over a few pale ales.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


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