Beer Diary Podcast episode 3: Stonecutter, Winter Beers (and Rex Attitude)

The weather took a serious turn for the freezing-cold just as we were contemplating our third episode, so something on Winter beers seemed suitable and sensible. It also gives us a chance to talk a bit about how breaking habits, taking chances, and paying a little more attention-to-situation in general can do a beer drinker a world of good.

I bought a bottle of Yeastie Boys ‘Rex Attitude’ to have after the recording, too, but when it turned out that George hadn’t actually gotten around to having one yet, we decided to ‘start rolling’ again and capture his reaction.

A direct download is available, there’s a podcast-specific RSS feed, and you should be able to get us on iTunes.

Show notes:

  • (1.20) Somewhat slack and distracted and (most recently) under-the-weather, I haven’t set up any such email yet. My bad. But obviously you should feel free to comment here, contact me via Twitter (@phil_cook), or whatever.
  • (2.30) George and I were frantically busy with another project between the recording-of and posting-of days for this episode. I do hope you excuse the confusing dates with which these things are officially tagged — it’s mostly a fiction to keep them in the correct running order with the actual Diary entries. Anyway, last Thurdsay (i.e., July 14), the Radler ‘verdict’ came down. In D.B.’s favour, depressingly.
  • (4.15) Beer of the Week: Renaissance ‘Stonecutter’, which I’ve loved for ages, and definitely not just because of the Simpsons reference, although that counts as pretty awesome gravy. We had this as one of several ‘Winter Beers’ at a tasting I hosted last Friday, and when I mentioned the reference, one of the attendees revealed that he was wearing a tshirt with the Stonecutter’s logo. Just brilliant.
  • (7.40) It won’t just be the strength; there is apparently a small amount of peated malt used as part of the varied-and-enormous grain bill.
  • (8.20) Yeah, “Banoffee” is a straightforward portmanteau of ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’, rather than its own thing. Which is almost disappointing, but the occasion to use the word ‘portmanteau’ does make up for it.
  • (12.50) There are few things more frustrating than an upset English customer telling you that the beer here is too cold, and not ‘warm’ like at home. Room-temperature consumption is a myth — at least as a general practice, some oddballs notwithstanding.
  • (22.10) Yeastie Boys ‘Her Majesty’ this year is utterly, utterly different from last year’s — though you can’t feel too bad when those guys go and ruin your preconceptions; they do that all the damn time. I liked this year’s a lot, but it’s not remotely in the camp of beers I’m talking about, here, it turns out.
  • (23.30) I will never stop recommending the imperial stout ice-cream float. It’s divine and such a weird experience. I’ve converted a few people, and you really should add yourself to that list.
  • (27.10) Beer is widely-varied enough that there are always exceptions to everything. Since a run-in with an off bottle of Peak Brewery’s ‘Monkey Point IPA’, strawberry (particularly strawberry yoghurt) has been a running-joke stand-in for offness and horror. But now Taranaki’s Liberty Brewing have put out a ‘High Carb Ale®’ which uses big doses of New Zealand-grown Chinook hops that lend it a distinct strawberry-ish flavour — in a good way, this time.
  • (33.05) Rex Attitude is a track by Laurent Garnier. Go have a listen; it’s suitably odd. Apparently the tune just came on Stu’s iPod as he was contemplating the beer, so the two were fused together in his head.
  • (33.50) Jed’s photos from the launch party are awesome. And his website is indeed thebeerproject.com.
  • (34.40) Nope; I still can’t quite make that joke work.
  • (36.00) Midstrength News, with a 7%-er in hand. Because everything in moderation — including moderation. As they say. Hallertau ‘Minimus’ is glorious, and its Winterised Cousin is just as lovely — not massively modified, just darkened up from ‘gold’ to ‘bronze’.
  • (38.50) NZCraftBeer.tv is definitely worth a look, although it seems in need of an update. New episodes do pop up on their YouTube channel. Kelly’s big-long blogpost about ‘Mash Up’ is a great read, and I thought the beer was pretty lovely, too. Hop Zombie IIPA — a.k.a. “One Trick Pony” — turned out marvellous.
  • (43.20) ‘Re: Your Brains’ by Jonathan Coulton really is a masterpiece. JonathanCoulton.com has samples and downloads and a store and everything.
  • (43.50) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.
  • (44.05) Special Bonus Extra Beer of the Week: Yeastie Boys ‘Rex Attitude’.
  • (45.50) You really should watch The Trip. Seriously. Check out the trailer.
  • (51.00) It was simply called ‘Speight’s Harvest’, and George and I tried it with our friend Aran, who had just gotten a delivery of “bacon salt” from the weirdly-wonderful BaconSalt.com (tagline: “Everything should taste like bacon”). Hating the beer, we threw in the salt for a laugh. It didn’t help.
  • (52.10) It’s known generally as ‘Overtone singing’, and there are various traditions around the World; all of it fairly freaky to my ears, too. Check out Tuvan or Inuit examples, if you doubt us.
  • (55.40) Cue the music, again: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.

8 thoughts on “Beer Diary Podcast episode 3: Stonecutter, Winter Beers (and Rex Attitude)”

  1. I have a craving for Rex. I do sort of feel like the rex tasting should have been a video podcast though…

    Also, another fine episode! This podcast thing is going well!

    1. Since I mentioned the concept of a video podcast for Rex tastings… Here is my girlfriend Jen sniffing/tasting Rex for the first time.

      http://tjn.co/r9ekIF

      I’m so surprised this is the first of its type on youtube.

  2. I have always liked Rex, but didn’t truly become a fan until I tried a bottle at about 12C. I also poured it directly into the bottom of the glass to knock some carbonation out of it, and then let it sit for a few minutes while the head subsided. I drank it over about 45 minutes, and it was lovely. I would really like to try a cask conditioned, or at least handpump dispensed version. I think the chill from keg dispense takes away some of the balance of the beer.
    Interestingly, I thought I would like Rex more at first, as Islay whisky is catnip to me, but perhaps the tyranny of expectations got in the way.

  3. interesting. I was the first port of call for Rex advice for many people through that first release period. I kept advising people to drink it at room temp, but then I tried it chilled and it was a revelation. I like it both ways but lightly chilled the massive awesome pineapple fruit from the Willamette hops really comes out.

  4. Sounds interesting Kieran – next bottle I will try at around say 8C, and look out for that Pineapple flavour.

  5. I’ve had it both chilled and room temp and I can honestly say that it’s great both ways. I find that you have to make sure you taste through the peat-smoke to ensure you taste more than that. It’s like a needle in a haystack – just hunt for the shiny part!

  6. great podcast…”sizzlers that have been burnt on the bbq” “my brian is saying put it down, put it down, put it down.” “the boys dont cry of beer”..LOL great podcast, should be on radio.

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