For our first podcast ‘on the road’ (or at least ‘out of the house’), we went to visit the Garage Project in Aro Valley (on 26 August 2011, for the record — this blog has an obscure and confusing, but ultimately meaningful, system for dating its posts…). We sit down with Jos and Pete, have a few beers — though none of their own, far-too-rare as they are — and have a bit of a ramble about who they are, what they’re planning / have done so far, and what has inspired them.
Since it is quite a long conversation, George made vaguely chapter-sized chunks of it that you can listen to separately, though they don’t come with their own whiz-bang embedded media player thing: #0 (introductions, beers so far), #1 (Hot Rocks, the Plan, feedback), #2 (missing out), #3 (Gubna, cans), #4 (future plans, creative freedom), #5 (beer-and-music analogies, experimentation), #6 (the rat race versus time to play), #7 (breaking free of existing structures), #8 (feedback and online presence, Judgment Day, midstrength beer), #9 (recommendations, things to look forward to).
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 both be reached on the Twitterthing, and you are (naturally) more than welcome to leave comments, here.
- (0.10) Hear that echo? We were actually in a garage. There’s zero brandwank / myth-making in their name. We really must again give great thanks to Audacity, the open-source audio editor George uses, for cleaning up the audio a lot.
- (1.00) Beer of the Week #1: Port Brewing ‘Hot Rocks’ Lager. My Malthouse-colleague and friend Jono Galuszka wrote a piece on the Garage Project for the Dominion Post. It was the photographer for that who was frustrated by the lack of “prop beer”. He was probably just miffed he didn’t get any “sneak peeks”.
- (3.50) The Consumer report is out now, evidently, in what is presumably the September 2011 issue. There’s a little summary online, which does include an equally-little photo of our tasting panel — that’s me in the grey shirt; I was the only guy who didn’t show up with his own branding emblazoned upon himself.
- (5.05) Beers so far: #1 ‘Trip Hop’ (pale ale), #2 ‘Manuka Dark’ (smoked beer), #3 ‘Pernicious Weed’ (pale ale), #4 & #5 were A and B variants of ‘Hazy Daze’ (new-hop-variety pale ales), #6 ‘Lord Cockswain’s Courage’ (oaked, Belgian Porter) & #7 ‘V.P.A.: Venusian Pale Ale’ (multiply-infused pale ale), #8 ‘Hapi Daze’ (pale ale), #9 ‘Golden Brown’ (brown ale). And, since recording: #10 ‘Bière de Garage’ (cherry bière de garde), #11 ‘Red Rocks’ (American amber ale).
- (8.00) Pete’s previous gigs: Malt Shovel Brewery (a.k.a James Squires’), Hepworth & Co., Brakspear.
- (8.59) And here, a fridge switches on, sounding for all the world like a massive Tesla Coil or something else mad-sciency. Since it wasn’t constant, the audio editor wasn’t able to scrub it out very well.
- (10.40) Yeah, we’re a little ramblier, this week. We are four people with beers in our hands, after all. Back to ‘Hot Rocks’, I did manage to find the video that I mentioned which documents the making-of; it’s pretty damn cool stuff. Stone & Wood have a write-up for their version online, as well; I’m mad keen to try it. Also, Turkey fryers have their own Wikipedia page — and are therefore totally “a thing”.
- (13.10) The comparison with software releases — particularly the difference between open and closed “beta” — is massively apt.
- (15.50) “This beer is good shit” is a great review, in both senses. Jos compiled a ‘word cloud’ of the sum-total of feedback; it’s an interesting way to see public opinion in a snapshot and they’ve been doing more, specific to different beers.
- (16.50) George was wondering, last time, whether my casual use of “shitfaced” in a discussion of midstrength beers (i.e., those that can help stop you becoming so) was our first expletive. Pete’s nervous enthusiasm for brewing here really does put me to shame. We’ll have to figure out how to activate the “language” tag on iTunes.
- (19.00) Brewjolais really is sadly missed. A 2011 edition was planned, but brewing operations had shifted from Wellington to Christchurch, and the earthquake intervened. I spoke candidly to someone (who shall remain nameless for their protection and because my memory is, as you may know, rather rubbish) from Lion / Mac’s who assured me that enthusiasm for it as a beer remains among the staff, and that those of us in the public who miss it should write in and say so to help convince the marketing and accounting departments.
- (25.20) A “corny keg” is apparently (and charmingly) more-properly known as a Cornelius Keg. Those are them in the photo of the entire batch of #10, above.
- (26.20) Beer of the Week #2: Oskar Blues ‘Gubna’ IIPA, from a can (as you could probably guess from the awesome sound effects).
- (26.30) If you’re a new listener, and haven’t heard George’s reactions to Yeastie Boys ‘Rex Attitude’, you should probably go visit Episode III, next.
- (27.00) I am all in favour of canned beer, and had little rants on the subject as adjunts to my Diary entries for Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter and ‘Big Swell’ IPA.
- (29.30) “You could have [a vending machine] on your back!” is a reference to the seriously-awesome costumes the boys donned for the launch of their Dr. Grordbort-themed releases. Jos was all Safari Suit Explorer Type, but Pete was very much the Adventurer Mechanic, and had two corny kegs strapped to his back, with a dispensing hose in each hand.
- (31.50) Martin Craig did a nice write-up on ‘The Chosen One’, after our blind tasting session with all three candidates and a few controls.
- (36.30) I’ll admit (and have done, on here); I love the Steampunk aesthetic. But you can’t have rayguns in steampunk, and Grordbort has rayguns aplenty.
- (45.20) Portal is an absolute masterpiece (and really cheap, these days), and when you look back to Narbacular Drop (the student project from which it developed, which I’ve also played), you really have to be impressed at what a small group of clever and committed people can do.
- (45.50) Scott Boswell and I, when he still worked at Malthouse, spent quite a while one night reading about the legendary elBulli. Unfortunately, we were motivated to do so by the release of a collaboration beer they did with Estrella, called ‘Inedit’ — which was total pants. Jos and Pete’s points aren’t affected by that, though.
- (52.50) Beer of the Week #3: Lost Abbey ‘Judgment Day’. That peculiar sound was Jos working the cork out of the bottle; so we had three beers, with three different enclosures.
- (53.10) Garage Project online: @garage_project on Twitter, and website and occasional bloggery at garageproject.co.nz.
- (54.10) The word cloud here is the one I mentioned and linked to in the note at 15.50 — we really are setting records for picking up abandoned threads of conversation after long tangents through other stuff.
- (58.00) @BeerGlassphemy is on Twitter.
- (58.40) Midstength News: Liberty Brewing’s ‘T.S.B.: Taranaki Session Beer’ slipped my mind in the Midstrength Beer episode, but proved a huge hit at a similarly-themed beer tasting at Weta Digital. Garage Project’s ‘Hapi Daze’ was mis-labeled as “Session IPA”, and Jos — ever-handy with the digital gadgets — did indeed whip up the taplist for Hamilton’s Tavern on no notice at all. Go take a look, yourself.
- (1.03.20) Recommendations: Liberty Brewing’s stuff, in general. And Townshend ‘Sutton Hoo’ (which was a collaboration with / recipe borrowed from 666 Brewing) — its namesake historic place is well-worth reading about, too. Emerson’s Dunkelweiss.
- (1.07.00) The collaborative ‘Peoples Project’ was announced online and in Jono’s Dominion Post article. Given my experience with the coffee-tastic ‘Batch 18’ from 8 Wired and the loopier ideas Pete mentions, I’m very keen.
- (1.11.10) The Pacific Beer Expo will be October 22 & 23 in Wellington; tickets and a little write-up are available at Hashigo’s ‘Cult Beer Store’ online shop.
- (1.12.45) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.