Hardly rushing in to things, we here present our 2011 Year in Review, recorded mid-February and published in the first few days of March. The Oscars for 2011 releases only happened this week, after all, and we don’t have their kind of budget — or Billy Crystal. Instead, we took vague inspiration from the “Golden Pints” lists that popped up around New Year’s, and take the chance to look back on the year past to pick out some themes and some favourites.
- (0.55) Admittedly, the gap between this episode and “s02e01” is probably going to be rather-shorter than many of the inter-episode gaps within ”season one” — but please, allow us our (many) oddities.
- (1.35) Beer of the Week: Garage Project ‘Aro Street Pale Ale’ (a.k.a. ‘Phil Cook Touring Presents: Angry Peaches’) which was vaguely-birthed from our conversation back in the days of Episode V – when we had Oskar Blues ‘Gubna’.
- (3.30) If you weren’t already up with it, there’s a world of difference between Peaches (the musician), and ‘Peaches’ (the song). Worth knowing.
- (5.30) How could we — particularly, how could I — not be late with a Year in Review?
- (8.00) Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Crowshaw is rapidly amassing a brilliant body of work (this, of course is what happens when you post regularly — he says, chastising himself). He’s largely dropped the ‘Awards’ pretence, but they were great fun. Flash all the way back, for example, to 2008 or 2009 to see for yourself. 2008’s opening rant, particularly, helped me justify to myself the more-freewheeling nature of my Diary entries.
- (8.50) Greg Norman was ‘The Great White Shark’, apparently. Points to neither of us.
- (9.00) Blog of the Year: Alice Galletly’s ‘Beer for a Year’. We were actually recording, serendipitously enough, the very day she hit halfway. And, speaking of year-long projects worth knowing about, the throw-away reference I made was to the genuinely-entertaining A. J. Jacobs — his The Year of Living Biblically was a Christmas present to me from George and his wife Robyn one year.
- (11.30) Website of the Year: craftbeercapital.com.
- (15.50) The “growler” story is developing rapidly… Doubtless I’ll get back to it.
- (17.00) 2011, Year of the x: The Beer Bar. I really need to get myself to Auckland and Christchurch to catch up with the scenes, there. It says a lot that, as a Wellington beer geek, I’m starting to get seriously jealous and frequently struck by the “damnit, I’m missing out” feeling. Weirdly, the local new bars didn’t spring to my mind as we were recording, but 2011 saw us blessed with the arrival of The Hop Garden and LBQ (Little Beer Quarter), as well — and not-quite-so-blessed with a few other… shall we say… craft-beer-themed bars.
- (23.00) Adrien Brody’s speech really, unfairly irritated me. It’s a thing, with me — but that might also partially be down to some Roman Polanski-related grumbles.
- (23.20) Beer of the Year: Matilda Bay ‘Fat Yak’ (for George) and Hallertau ‘Minimus’ (for Phil). We drank Fat Yak for Episode II, and I said nice things about its reliable Gatewayability in my Diary. I’ve had a long-running love affair with Minimus, and it helped inspire Episode IV.
- (29.20) Favourite Beer of Year: Garage Project ‘Day of the Dead’ (for Phil) and Liberty ‘C!tra’ (for George). And it seems I’m not alone —not that that thought worries me, in this field, or many others — the guys at the Garage Project released a little ‘report’ on feedback for the 24/24 series of beers, and “DotD” came out on top. ‘C!tra’ was beer of the week last time, for Episode VIII, and it really was crackingly good fun stuff.
- (32.30) George really did (eventually) get this right; he got married in late 2005.
- (33.30) Pleasant Surprise: Golden Ticket ‘Black Emperor’, with an honorable mention for Moa Imperial Stout (for Phil) and This Very Podcast Itself (for George). I’m a grumpy bastard in many ways, but I’m no dogmatist; I genuinely enjoy the cleansing feeling of changing my mind, and Black Emperor did exactly that.
- (38.40) Best Experimentation: The Yeastie Boys ‘Blondies’, with an honorable mention for the Liberty ‘Blondes’ (for Phil) and The Garage Project itself (for George), with particular nods for their green bean saison and the Grordbort beers. And seriously, flip back to George’s “live” tasting of Rex, way back in Episode III; I think it remains a classic.
- (46.30) Best Beer Moment: A three-way tie between Day of the Dead, The Trappist Dance Card, and ‘Angry Peaches’ at the Town Hall (for Phil) and quietly re-discovering ‘Discovery’ at Brühaus (for George).
- (52.00) Midstrength News is that I didn’t do my midstrength-related homework. George here is channelling the Thrilling Adventure Hour, a favourite of his.
- (52.30) Recommendation: Stone & Wood ‘Pacific Ale’. Pure gorgeousness.
- (56.30) Or, you know, two months. (He says, chastising himself again.)
- (56.45) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.
Podcast episode recorded: 7 February 2012. Uploaded: 1 March 2012. Er, Happy New Year!