On Friday 25 November 2016, Malthouse is hosting the Pirate Life Tap Takeover. This is a new-ish Australian brewery which was recently ranked number two in a study of 6,500 Ozzie craft beer drinkers commissioned by craft beer retailer Beer Cartel. Commenting on the results, Beer Cartel Director Richard Kelsey said that Pirate Life’s high ranking means “I think it really shows that it is still a very young industry and young segment of the market.”

I think he meant to say “they be totally awesome, yarr!”

Because that is what pirates do.

Here is a list of the beers on tap at the Malthouse from Friday and some tasting notes (not mine sadly):

Pirate Life Throwback Session IPA (3.5%) – Session ales are so hot right now. Pirate Life claim this beer was “designed for intelligent and sexy humans who’d like to be able to throw back a few cans of zealously hopped ale, endowed with an ample malt chassis, and still get on with their day.” [2]

Bonus points for the “Pairing suggestion: Cooking, eating, camping, sailing, lawn mowing, home brewing, in-law visiting, hiking, riding and doing.” [3]

Pirate Life Hopco NZ Pale Ale (4.7%) – Ciaran, the sensuous, exhilarating, take your breath away, gorgeous Malthouse Unit Manager says this beer is “tasting awesome”. [4] You can trust him because he is Irish and works behind a bar.

Pirate Life Pale Ale (5.4%) – The brewers call this their “ubiquitous Pale Ale – the workhorse of pretty much any modern brewery.” It uses a lot of US hops because it is a West Coast Pale Ale and their flagship beer. Extra credit must be given to their beer pairing note:

“Beer pairing: Everything, all of the time.”

Wish I had thought of that.

Pirate Life Double IPA 8.8% – Actually, I have had this beer. Admittedly, it was in a can and not on tap. Equally admittedly, it was sensational. My Pirate Chums wrote “simplistically, to achieve a big flavourful IIPA you need: Big Malt + Big Hops + Big Fermentation.” [5]

They add “the malt provides the complex spectrum of sugars for fermentation as well as the main structure and body of the beer. The hops contribute bitterness to balance the malt sweetness as well as resinous, piney flavours and juicy fruity-citrusy aromas. The fermentation provides us with a big hit of fun juice (ethanol) [6] and the vast array of incredibly important characterful aroma and flavour compounds. Pirate Life IIPA is a big beer with big delicious fresh flavours that we hope you will enjoy by sticking it in your big mouth.” [7]

Pirate Life IPA 6.8% – This beer gets a free pass from me because the brewer’s notes mention legendary Australian cricketer David Boon and he is untouchable in my universe. I would certainly never dare to touch him – the plucky five foot two Tasmanian in the flared trousers. [8] He may have also drunk 50 beers+ on an international flight but the Malthouse could never, ever endorse that.

Pirate Life describe their IPA as “sitting nicely between our Pale Ale and IIPA at 6.8% ABV – the IPA has a gentle orange hue and a round, full bodied malt character care of Pale Malt, Munich and Crystal. With our Pale Ale and IIPA having withdrawn most of our funds from the dank bank we thought it was time to make a beer that brought something a little different to the table. Chock full of Centennial, Riwaka and Simcoe our IPA is bright, fruity and full of liquid fun.” [9]

Pirate Life Export Stout 7.1% – This appears to be a stout that is exported from its country of origin.

The large frame of Behemoth brewer Andrew Childs looms over Malthouse this week and he is going to be joined by the svelte frame of Jason Bathgate from McLeod’s Brewery. Many readers will be aware that the two were badly injured by scalding wort in a brewery accident. A helicopter really helped.

Monica Mead (correctly) wrote on Facebook “this Friday in Wellington, two lovely men – Andrew Childs and my Jason Bathgate – launch their brew in aid of Westpac Rescue Helicopter. I am personally grateful for the WRH team’s efforts after 10 September 2015 but also for the invention of the helicopter. That is all.”

I would like to add a thank you to the lovely helicopter people. Free Ride (8.3%) is a double red IPA and all proceeds go to Westpac Rescue Helicopter. If you do not buy this, you officially have no soul – good beer for a good cause saving good people.

Also on tap at the end of the week is Behemoth Tasty Beverage Extra Pale Ale (4.5%) which I recently matched to a cheese burger in potentially the most clichéd beer/food match of all time. That did not stop it from working. Behemoth Hop Buddies (6.3% and 55 IBU) uses Simcoe and Riwaka hops meaning you should not drink it because I want to have it all. Behemoth Triple Chocolate Milk Stout (6.5%) is infused with chocolate malt, Dutch Cocoa powder, Cocoa nibs and Vanilla. You should totally drink this instead of Hop Buddies.

There is also another beer and cheese event coming up. On 6 December 2016 there will be four Brooklyn Brewery beers (US) matched with five artisan cheeses (NZ). It starts at 7pm on that day and the more than reasonable price tag ($50) covers a pint of Brooklyn lager on arrival. Phone or email events@themalthouse.co.nz for bookings, remembering that the last beer and cheese event sold out early. Here is the list of beers and their respective cheese matches.

  • Sorachi Ace 7.6% Saison – matched with Saint Felicien dauphinoise & Ossau Iraty
  • K is for Kriek 10.1% Barrel Aged Sour – matched with Valencay Jacquin
  • Intensified Barrel aged Coffee Porter 11.8% – matched with Moliterno al Tartuffo
  • Improved Old Fashioned 13% – matched with a  Rochefort Blue

Next time, we drink to sausage rolls. Because it is a long way to the top if you want to sausage roll. [10]

[1] Boarding a ship without permission is the very definition of piracy. Even the United Nations Law of the Sea knows that.

[2] I’ve never seen the term “ample malt chassis” used in a beer review before. Well played to the Pirate Life webmaster rogue.

[3] It is unclear if “doing” applies to cooking, hiking and/or in laws.

[4] This sentence is largely to check if Ciaran reads the blog before posting it. But he is pretty foxy… off the record of course.

[5] Maths = Happiness (in this context – maths is not generally fun).

[6] Some brewery should trademark “fun juice” because that is totally something you can totally legitimately do right?

[7] Pretty sure they are talking about me here.

[8] This is a Twelfth Man reference and (hopefully) not legally liable.

[9] They used “dank” which will annoy some bloggers even though it is totally accurate.

[10] My Bogan readers, of which there are a surprisingly high number, will now want to kill me more now than ever.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


Pirate Life Facebook Event – https://www.facebook.com/events/1787780564794034/

Free Ride Double RIPA – https://www.facebook.com/events/349709858726387/

Malthouse Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Malthouse/7084276173

Malthouse Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter – www.twitter.com/#!/MalthouseTaps