Blogs can polarise readers perhaps more than any other medium. John Jay Hooker, veteran political gadfly, is on record as saying “I sincerely believe blogging can save America.” 

National Business Review publisher Barry Coleman does not believe it will even save New Zealand.  He has railed against the spawning (his word) of a “huge band of amateur, untrained, unqualified bloggers who have swarmed over the internet pouring out columns of unsubstantiated ‘facts’ and hysterical opinion.”

He was just warming up. “Most of these ‘citizen journalists’ don’t have access to decision makers and are infamous for their biased and inaccurate reporting on almost any subject under the sun (while invariably criticising professional news coverage whose original material they depend on to base their diatribes),” he concluded.

Here at the Overt Overground Headquarters of the Malthouse Blog, we are confident that Barry was not talking about us.  We are at all times professional, trained, unbiased and accurate.  Occasionally, we indulge in ‘hysterical opinion’ but that is because we have defined it as ‘funny stuff we think about.’  Of course, this is probably not a real blog.  The consistent use of punctuation, the absence of a comments feature and the lack of exaggerated claims of prowess with ‘the ladies” seem to ensure our on-going exclusion from official blogger’s drinks. 

Such is the nature of life in the blogosphere. One thing we can hopefully all agree on is that Twittering is for people who are so attention seeking that blogging is too slow and too long (See: Kutcher, Ashton.)  That nice man David Cameron was onto something with his recent comments.

Blogging does allow diverse voices to be heard.  Many blogs have guest bloggers or a range of commentators.  The Malthouse blog has made the executive decision to begin a semi-regular feature where we ask staff and customers about their favourite beers.  In the interests of accuracy we won’t claim it as a world first or a Malthouse exclusive.  Colin the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Proprietor saw it done on the Devonshire Cat website though their version is based solely on staff votes and has not been updated since September 2008.

Here, we are going to ask people for their two favourite Malthouse beers and provide a paragraph of justification for each.  First up is Mike who describes himself as a “part-time beer drinker and full- time Solution Architect.”  He sets the bar pretty high as he retells his inspiring story:

“For years, I would pretty much drink any cold, fizzy ‘beer’ but on a trip to The Malthouse just after it opened, Ben suggested that I try some of the wonderful Pale Ales on tap.  After some extensive research, I decided on the lovely Pale Ale by Epic.  What I really like about EPA is the flavour – how they manage to cram so much hoppy goodness into one glass is beyond me but long may they continue.  It’s not too bitter and has some lovely sweet moments plus it doesn’t leave your mouth all ‘furry’ and each mouthful is a crisp as the last one.

When, on the odd occasion I feel like a change, I grab a Budvar.  While this is a completely different style of beer from EPA, it is still full of flavour, light and crisp.  It’s a little more malty than the EPA but the hops are still there for enjoyment.  Vastly superior to its poor cousin (twice removed) Budweiser, it’s a refreshing wee drop that is quite quaffable.”

The second commentator is Mr Russell M Barbour, a consultant, a tegestologist (look it up *) and a beer lover.  He is also a Canadian but this blog has (only just) resisted replacing his actual answer with something like “beer, what’s that all aboot, eh?”  We would never ever stoop to such levels.  Anyway, here is how Russ answered our simple question about his two favourite Malthouse beers:

“Where do I begin?  There are so many great beers at the Malthouse.

I suppose my favourite beer isn’t really a beer in and of itself but rather the idea of the ‘ever evolving new and exciting line up’ (ie. whatever Colin brings into the mix – even if it’s just a one off).  I see the Malthouse as a microcosm of the New Zealand (and global) craft brewing industry… reliable yet highly innovative (eg. the annual Hop-off!).  I always look forward to imbibing something special that is hard to source elsewhere.

Again, confining me to just two beers is like going back in time when all there was on offer was DB and Lion. If I had my druthers, I would waffle on about the Tuatara Ardennes, Invercargill Pitch Black, G Schneider & Sons Aventinus, Epic Pale Ale or the grandiose 2009 Three Boys Oyster Stout! I am lost for words.”

A philosophical answer there and, for those trying to keep track at home, “druthers” means “choice” or “preference.” 

This is the merely the first instalment of the People’s Blog.  If you would like the opportunity to tell the world about your favourite Malthouse beers, drop us a line on

* Oh alright.  It means someone who collects beer coasters.  He has over 9,000.


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


Devonshire Cat –
Epic –
The Impish Brewer –
Budvar –
Tuatara –
Three Boys –
Invercargill Brewery –
Malthouse Facebook Group –
Real Beer –
Beer and Brewer Magazine –