Beer Diary Podcast episode 1: Emerson’s Pilsner and Grey Market Imports

An experimental offering from George (him of the original Diary) and myself, in which we enjoy a beer while pondering the history and various happenings that surround the stuff. We’re aiming to keep things accessible and conversational (hopefully with some guest conversationalists along the way), so have a listen, join in through comments or on Twitter or however — and pass it around to anyone you think might also enjoy it.

A direct download is also available, so you can throw this on the mp3-playing-gizmo of your choice — if listening at work would be a little obvious, or something. There’s also a podcast-specific RSS feed available that should get along nicely with Google Reader or iTunes or what-have-you.

Show notes:

  • (2.10) As the ‘About’ page explains, a “chilly bin” might otherwise be known as an “Esky” or “cooler” — depending on where you’re from.
  • (3.40) International Beer Law fail: the U.A.E. isn’t dry, just more heavily- and peculiarly-regulated than usual. The £10 bottle of Corona was lamentingly reported by Martyn Cornell.
  • (4.00) I tried to smuggle Emerson’s ‘Taieri George’ out from under its Easterish / hot-cross-buns-ish comparisons when recently uploading an old Diary entry.
  • (4.40) We don’t really mind that we just lost Speight’s as a potential sponsor.
  • (5.00) The marvellous ‘King & Godfree’ bottlestore / deli does still exist.
  • (7.30) Witness our delightful microphone.
  • (8.20) Beer of the Week: Emerson’s Pilsner, which we’ve both liked for yonks.
  • (8.48) The thud was me inadvertently hitting the table. Apparently I flail my hands around quite a bit. Luckily, George can edit most of them out.
  • (9.10) Please do send in suggestions for an “airquotes” jingle.
  • (9.45) Witness our delightful bottle opener.
  • (11.00) We bloody loves Emerson’s ‘Bookbinder’, we do. George and me both. It’s doubtless what started me on my Midstrength Obsession, too.
  • (13.15) Fittingly, “all I know” about Tangerines is wrong: they’re not from Tangiers, merely named so because they were originally imported from there.
  • (14.45) Pilsner is from 1842, so “mid” 1800s — not “late” as I often get wrong.
  • (16.45) My initial ramblings about Grey Market Imports caused a bit of a stir, but were buried within a Diary entry about Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
  • (18.00) “Dairy” might be a bit like “Chilly Bin”, I fear. Localisation of this term is particularly baffling, so: corner store / convenience store / milk bar / deli. You know what I mean, right?
  • (19.30 & 26.00) I had a Russian River ‘Pliny the Elder’ which I didn’t like as much as I wanted to like, so it’s become iconic of this problem, for me.
  • (24.40) “Tastes like strawberry” hearkens back to a beer that I first had at George’s house which had recurring infection problems (our bottle, mercifully, escaped).
  • (26.30) Brews News had the two key articles, here: Pete Mitcham on Sierra Nevada itself, and then Matt Kirkegaard on Grey Market stuff in general — arguing quite convincingly for a boycott.
  • (27.30) George — quite the Movie Nerd — is terribly embarrassed to note that it was Ice Cube, not LL Cool J, who featured in Anaconda.
  • (28.00) Film names do change around a lot, but seriously, the sequel to Piranha 3D looks like it might be called Piranha 3DD. Knowing this, however, didn’t make up for George’s shame at getting the James Cameron titbit slightly off: ‘Avatar Jim’ directed the original sequel (if that makes sense; you know, the one after the original original).
  • (31.10) George would like to point out that this is likely your one-and-only-one opportunity to hear me admit that I’m controlled by the Universe.
  • (33.00) Beer Store deals (only partially?) in the Grey, whereas Hashigo Zake’s online ‘Cult Beer Store’ traffics solely in the White. I’ve had bloody marvellous beers from both. As with literally everything, Your Mileage May Vary.
  • (35.00) Yeastie Boys ‘Pot Kettle Black’ is increasingly available. You should have some, if you haven’t — if you have, have more, or try one of its variant editions. I rambled most about the troublesome name for the style when I had a Deschutes ‘Hop in the Dark’.
  • (38.00) I lamented Invercargill’s ‘rebranding’ when I not-long-ago uploaded the from-long-ago Diary entry for ‘Biman’ — as I will keep spelling it, thank you.
  • (40.00) Midstrength News debuts here, though it’s yet to attract the name (it will, later…) — and the 8 Wired ‘Underwired’ reference shows you how long we’ve been meaning to do this.
  • (41.00) How the hell did I so-readily know that Angostura Bitters (which I don’t even like) is 44.7% ABV? That’s some worryingly-Rain-Man nonsense.
  • (41.30) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.

13 thoughts on “Beer Diary Podcast episode 1: Emerson’s Pilsner and Grey Market Imports”

  1. Well, I really enjoyed this, but then I enjoy talking about beer almost as much as you two chaps. Listening is nearly as much fun. But surely it should be called the Beer Diary Pubcast?

  2. Heh, we’re planning on doing a few pubcasts — maybe when George ‘levels up’ a few ranks of “Producer”; there’ll be some hellish background noise to contend with. We’d like to get a few publicans and bartenders and drinkers and brewers in on the conversation. Meanwhile: thanks for the kind words of encouragement!

  3. Was there a Brewjolais this year? If there was I missed it. That was Ally Clem’s baby and now he doesn’t brew for them anymore.

  4. Yeah, no Brewjolais this year. Sadface. We recorded this around the time that it should have been released, and it never eventuated. What a pity; it was always good stuff. I really can’t figure out why they moved the brewery out of their Brewery Bar on the Wellington Waterfront.

  5. George tells me we’ve been approved by iTunes’ Powers That Be to be a searchable thingo on their whatsitcalled. As you may be able to discern, I’m myself not a Macperson (neither, for the record, is George; he’s just better at playing nice with such people). A direct download should work, or maybe the RSS link into a feedreader doodad. I’ll consult, and get back to you, anyhow.

  6. Hi Guys – great podcast, well done. Interesting and informed discussion about beer…and movies.

    I hesitate to wade into the Grey Market debate again, but of course will.

    Firstly – no, never, ever legislate to deal with a problem like this. Legislation is ham-fisted and clumsy and is never without unintended consequences, generally bad. (

    But you’re spot on – let the consumer decide. If it matters to them, they won’t buy it. But they can’t decide if they’re not told. The fact that so many of the people who participate in the practice are adamant that they won’t clearly mark beers that are imported this way to me shows that there is some sort of dirty secret and I am suspicious of their motives. It is relevant to the provenance of the beer and relevant to what the consumer may or may not be getting. Interestingly, when some of these retailers do get legitimately imported versions – or import them themselves – they often make a song and dance about this fact because they see it as a benefit. To do both is a little like Monteith’s singing the praises of a black bottle while owned by one of the original lightest-of-light-green multinationals…you don’t get to have it both ways without being called a hypocrite.

    We don’t want legislation – but how to get the retailers to identify the beers if not voluntarily? I don’t know.

    In the end after all of the discussion on the issue, it became a purely philosophical decision and one that I don’t expect many to share. Having tried Stone and Sierra fresh, I really appreciate what these brewers do. They are passionate about their beers and take an uncompromising approach to what they are doing. There may be a marketing element to that – but, to me, that refusal to compromise on quality is wrapped up in their whole approach. It’s what makes their beers so desirable in the first place. If that approach also involves them not being willing to send their beers down here except in certain conditions – or at all – so be it. It’s not for me to tell them what compromises to make (don’t compromise on your beer because I want to drink great beer, but compromise on your shipping requirements so that I can get it when I want it) because where do you draw the line at compromising? The end result is a process that results in…well the sort of beer that none of us want to drink.

    I actually wish there were more breweries unwilling to compromise.

    Keep up the podcast.

  7. They’ll have to get Ally or Colin or both to join in next harvest season at the As Yet Un-named Bond Street Operation and make a Brewjolais Memorial Wet-hop Pale, or something…

  8. Absolutely marvellous, blah, blah, blah!! I clearly need a few more pints to COMPLETELY understand what you are on about. Keep it up! (Ed: not sure beer helps?)

Have at it: