And now, a brief interlude for a long-lost podcast episode. We recorded shortly before I went away to GABS in Melbourne — and immediately before George and I went along to Hashigo Zake’s marvellous little ‘X-Ale’ festival in the still-empty ParrotDog brewery. I did intend to post it while I was away for bonus location-and-subject-confluence points, but those plans of mine never seem to work out.
We take the chance to catch up a little on the Australian scene, and also celebrate the return of fresh-hop beers, the prospect of new employment (for me, and a certain someone else), offer a few recommendations — and an uncommon word of warning.
As always, a direct download is available, there’s a podcast-specific RSS feed, and you should be able to get us on iTunes. George and myself can also both be reached on the Twitterthing, or you can leave comments here or on the Bookface.
- (2.00) Matt Kirkegaard of BrewNews.com.au had an excellent piece on the ‘portfolio’ approach to marketing a stable of pretty-damn-samey products in Australia.
- (3.30) Asahi seem to be the Big Conglom, in this case. Independent Liquor, the Asahi-owned operator of pretend-brewery ‘Boundary Road’ have just done a wank-tastic revamp of their corporate website. They don’t shy away from the fact that their owners are their owners, which — coupled with their name, and the “brand story” for Boundary Road — amounts to a masterclass in suppressing Cognitive Dissonance.
- (4.30) If you did need more, my fuller rant on Boundary Road is a few pages back in the Diary, reporting from back in time when we did a ‘Chosen One’ blind(ish) tasting.
- (5.40) Post-GABS, allow me to put even heavier emphasis on that “maybe”.
- (8.30) KeyKegs are nicely explained on their mysteriously-fancy website.
- (9.40) Beer of the Week #1: Black Heart Belgian Blonde (6.8%) And I really did mean to sound more complimentary when I compared it to Tuatara ‘Ardennes’.
- (12.35) Dale, of the eponymous Brewing Co., is Dale Holland, indeed.
- (14.30) Moon Dog’s website hasn’t been updated in a while, but I think you’ll get the idea. And if you’re reading about Moon Dog, you should read about weirdo-genius Moondog, especially if you do so while listening to ‘Lament I, Bird’s Lament’ — familiar to most of us, these days, as the basis of a Mr. Scruff track. I’m not sure if the brewery was named after the man. I should ask. It would suit. </musicaldiversion>
- (21.55) Best thing I had while I was over there: Bright Brewery Fainter’s Dubbel. Bright is indeed in country Victoria, and this podcast is sammiched between two posted Diary entries that include their beers. So that’s a happy coincidence.
- (24.10) My favourite bar in Australia, still: The Local Taphouse in Melbourne. But there are plenty of other lovely pubs, which was marvellous. Hart’s Pub in Sydney and pub night at Mountain Goat in Melbourne are definitely also worthy mentions.
- (27.10) Obviously, talk of GABS is a little outdated, now. Sorry about that. Hopefully my various dispatches from there will convince you to join me next year.
- (29.50) The 2012 AIBA round was indeed held concurrently.
- (32.40) Beer of the Week #2: Kooinda Black IPA (7%) Geographically, we were both pretty abysmally off. Heidelberg isn’t where either of us thought it was, but we’ll wear our error proudly and
- (35.40) Fresh-hop beers are back! Hopwired IPA mostly leverages Nelson Sauvin and Motueka — not Riwaka. My (minor) bad. And here’s me showing my slackness, again. Garage Project’s ‘Oldham’s Farm’ wet-hop ale has almost all run out, by now.
- (39.00) A bine is distinct from a “vine”, it turns out. It’s a matter of how your twisted plant-bit adheres to the thing its climbing upon. Vines use tendrils or suckers of some sort, and bines rely on extra friction from twisting and/or downward-spiking hairs — the word seems to be a portmanteau of bind + vine.
- (40.30) The post (and video) about Garage Install Day is worth a look, for sure.
- (43.20) I’ve got a post from way back about ‘Brewjolais’, which coincidentally also laments the now-nearly-fixed lack of brewing here in Wellington. And Hashigo did indeed do a night of fresh-hop beers. It was a lovely evening at the pub. Again; sorry for the delay.
- (44.30) My retirement still hasn’t been overturned, officially. I’ll let you know.
- (45.30) Recommendation #1: Go to a beer festival! X-Ale was a great (boozy!) day, and everything I heard about The Auckland Hop was very positive. And Beervana 2012 tickets are selling fast already…
- (47.20) Recommendation #2: Epic ‘Zythos’ IPA. I think the actual constituent hops in the mix is still a proprietary secret. Epic ‘Mayhem’, way back, was a real turning point for me and Luke’s beers. My “one trick pony” reference occurred in my write-up of the Epic / Dogfish Head ‘Portamarillo’ — then the thing that saved them from that status.
- (53.00) My first thought was Vinnie Jones, but just because he crossed into the world of Guy Ritchie movies and things and so non-sporty me knew who the hell he was. Robbie Savage – once the ‘dirtiest player in history’ — does seem pretty apt, too.
- (54.00) A cautionary note: Stoke Bombers. My first run-in with Stoke and their beers did not go well, and they just haven’t notably improved since, sadly. If you get George and I thinking back to the time we dosed a fucking-horrible Speight’s “Apricot” (scare-quotes mandatory) beer with bacon salt — in a vain attempt to do something to make it less bad — then you’re not in a good way. And the filing does seem to confirm the dickishness of their trademark move; they went for “bomber”, not anything brand-specific, despite it being a long-standing word for pint-plus sized bottles.
- (57.40) On the Beer List: Kelly Ryan. (The guy from Stereophonics is Kelly Jones – which makes sense, given his Welshishness, of course.) Now I think I’ve got just the thing for him, and since Kate Jordan happens to be in town, I’ll get her to mule it back towards that end of the island.
- (1.02.00) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.