Faced with this jaw-dropping slobber knocker of an event concept, bar managers and punters alike started asking probing questions such as:

  1. You want to put how many beers from the same brewery on tomorrow?
  2. What customer is possibly going to try all these beers in one night?
  3. How many days should I take off work after mastering the Tap Takeover?
  4. Wait, can we go back to exactly how many beers are going to be on at once?
  5. Will anyone actually turn up to sample the range?
  6. Will too many people turn up to sample the range?
  7. What would Doug Sellman do? [2]
  8. Could the featured brewer actually turn up and talk directly to people about their brewery and beers?
  9. Any chance of persuading Tap Takeover breweries to give away some sweet merchandise? [3]
  10. If not, will they at least sell some?

Over time and after many repetitions, the answers seem to be:

  1. Lots and lots – but definitely at least one more than their last Takeover. (Particularly if it was at that other bar down the road…)
  2. You know who you are. So do the bar staff.
  3. None – enjoy in moderation. That is why there is the option of small tasters. [4]
  4. See answer 1 above. Actually, better make it two just to be safe.
  5. Oh yes.
  6. Sometimes – especially if the featured beers are adored, if the featured beers are new, or if the brewer is particularly sexy. [5]
  7. Call for taxpayer funding to denounce Tap Takeovers, before doing any research. It is entirely possible he has not even heard of them but if he has I think he would it dubbed it “binge drinking” and a “threat to youth.”

Tomorrow on July 14 2017 Malthouse will be hosting the Deep Creek Tap Takeover and Beer Launches. Remember, Deep Creek were those talented guys who were recently crowned Champion International Small Brewery at the Australian beer awards. Featured attractions include virtually all of their beers on tap, the launch of some new brews, appearances by brewer Scott Taylor and his hard-working brew crew.

The beers were fully and sometimes inaccurately described in the last blog. In summary, they are:

Deep Creek Undercurrent Pilsner (5%)

Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale (4.5%)

Deep Creek Redwood APA (5.9%)

Deep Creek The Leprechauns Belle Irish Red Ale (4.6%) [6]

Deep Creek Pontoon in a Monsoon IPA (6.9%)

Dusty Gringo IBA (6.8%)

Deep Creek Lupulin Effect Double IPA (8%)

Deep Creek Lupulin Effect Double Red IPA [6]

Deep Creek Lupulin Effect New England IPA (6/5%)

Deep Creek Steam Funk Raspberry Chocolate Berliner

Deep Creek Steam Funk Black Tamarillo Gose (4.9%)

Deep Creek Nero Robust Porter

Nero Chocolate Chipotle Stout

The Malthouse Deep Creek Tap Takeover and Beer Launches is going to be a huge and enjoyable event. Remember to take a paddle. Actually, I meant remember to get a tasting paddle.

Exactly two weeks later on Friday 28 July 2017 is the 10th Annual Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge. This is literally the biggest single day on the Malty calendar (and balance sheet). The virtue of age means that I was also there when it became a Certified Thing. Basically, Luke Nicholas from Epic and Steve Plowman were taunting each other over a few beers about which of them could make the better USA-style IPA. Obviously, each was picking themselves for the knockout win.

A very sober Colin the Handsome yet Softly Scottish Malthouse Proprietor was also at the table, listening in a very sober manner. He said “well, let’s do it!” In retrospect, I am now convinced that at that moment I saw dollar signs flashing in Col’s eyes, just like Scrooge McDuck.  My personal reaction was a quiet murmur of “I think I am going to really like this…”

A decade later I am about to be proved right. The first contest was between two beers – Epic Armageddon and Hallertau Maximus Humulus Lupulus – both of which went on to become commercial stars. This year, there are a record 28 breweries creating West Coast IPAs in an attempt to win (and then drink out of) the coveted Golden Gumboot Trophy for the winner.

Judging this event was the first event put in my diary and I stand by my decision.

There will be more Challenge details to come over the next few weeks– probably in my patented “annoying but intriguing teaser format.” (Patent Pending)

Next time, we drink to Auckland. The city which loves me so much I am about to make my third attempt in two days to actually fly out of it. Stupid weather bomb…

[1] They were undoubtedly already a Certified Thing in other markets such as the United States and United Kingdom. It may well be where we got the idea from.

[2] WWDSD – #WWDSD: Let’s get it trending on Twitter. Sellman’s commentary is usually very useful. It generally confirms that I should do the exact opposite.

[3] The snail mail is terrible – I still have not received the Deep Creek t-shirt I subtly alluded to last week. Honestly, I think the $1 for a stamp is now 25 cents for delivery and 75 cents for storage.

[4] I have been assured that small taster is a real drinks measure.

[5] Looking at you Dr Ralph Bungard from Three Boys. Disclaimer: This is not so much a footnote as a summary of my browsing history.

[6] I am particularly proud of my flavour descriptor for this beer – “This beer is more red than Ed Sheeran after a hot shower.” I just felt it should be shared again in a transparent bid to boost Google searches. Additionally, I just noticed it should really have been “redder”. DAMN.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine


Deep Creek Tap Takeover and Beer Launches – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=deep%20creek%20beer%20launch%20%26%20tap%20take%20over

10th Annual West Coast IPA Challenge Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/375675949500881/

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

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

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

Neil Miller on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/#!/beerlytweeting