Beer Diary Podcast episode 7: At the Masons Arms with Kieran Haslett-Moore

After a Garage Project beer at Hashigo, George and I ventured out to the quiet outer suburbs to join Kieran Haslett-Moore in his in-house pub, the Masons Arms. Over a few of his beers (accompanied by a platter of delicious things he’d largely also made himself), we talked about the many roads to being a satisfied beer geek, pondered the idiosyncrasies of the Wellington craft beer scene and the wider industry at large. Towards the end, we picked up on the topic George and I had talked about last time, and discussed a few weirdnesses of beer award shows.

Kieran’s got a blog, which helpfully reproduces his Capital Times columns, and has quite-recently joined the Twitters. As always, a direct download is available, there’s a podcast-specific RSS feed, and you should be able to get us on iTunesGeorge and myself can also both be reached on the Twitterthing.

The Masons Arms
The Masons Arms' totally-accurate signage
Berhampore Best Bitter tap badge
Berhampore Best Bitter tap badge
The top of the pint shelf, with an RSB bottle
The top of the pint shelf, with an RSB bottle
RSB's silver medal
RSB's silver medal
Merchant of the Devil
Merchant of the Devil
Bar with post-podcast mini-carnage
Bar with post-podcast mini-carnage

Show notes:

  • (0.40) The Masons Arms, among its many charms, has a Pub Dog. Which makes for interestingly-challenging podcast recording, but adds to the ambience. As always, George was greatly helped in smoothing out the worst of it by the cleverness of Audacity, the open-source audio editor he uses.
  • (4.10) Not yet. Things are a little in-the-air in that neighbourhood, given a moderately-controversial proposed roading redevelopment.
  • (5.30) Beer of the Week #1: Kieran’s own ‘Berhampore Best Bitter’. We liked it so much that we took a photo of our lovely microphone in front of it, so it could be our “logo”, such as we have, on iTunes and whatnot.
  • (8.20) I am chronically Auckland-phobic, but feedback on a recent podcast pondering has me determined to make the trip up in January. Let’s see if it changes my mind.
  • (9.30) For completeness’ sake: here’s me in the paper, admitting exactly that.
  • (10.10) Frasier Crane once said it well: “If less is more, imagine how much more more would be.”
  • (17.00) The Emerson’s ‘JP’ we mention here has popped up in my Diary at least twice before. It’s reliably- and appropriately-interesting stuff, each year.
  • (23.00) Beer of the Week #2: Emerson’s ‘RSB: Regional Special Bitter’. A video of the brew day has since shown up on YouTube; it’s an instructive watch, if you haven’t seen this kind of thing, especially at this kind of scale, in action.
  • (26.50) Recent ramblings on collaborations can be found in my Diary entries for ‘Rescue Red’ and ‘Taranaki Pale Ale’. Long may the trend continue.
  • (34.00) The Wassail Brauhaus in Taranaki looks as awesome as their website looks retro and clunky — they are, one assumes, too busy doing more interesting things. I’m totally going to get myself there later this summer, hopefully on the way to / from a brew day at Liberty.
  • (36.50) Fuller’s 1845 gets two entries on here (so far), because there was that occasion when a customer insisted I have oneand the time I’d had it before but completely forgotten about, because my memory is complete rubbish.
  • (38.30) It doesn’t feel overly plug-ish to note that Regional’s website is now positively groaning under the weight of beers from all over. If you’re not familiar with them, you really should pay them a visit online and/or in person.
  • (41.20) I really am surprised that the ‘Craft Beer Capital’ website hasn’t really kicked up much controversy. It’s being kept quite neutral and ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ in its approach, so far, and that must be helping. I should disclaim that I know the people working for it, and that it does share some owners with the pub I work at — but I do think it could mature into a genuinely useful resource.
  • (42.20) General Practitioner (which Kieran does mention as I talk over him a bit; sorry) is a shining example. Always a Monteith’s-branded DB-tied venue, they’ve recently arranged for a dozen-plus lines of craft beer in their fridge.
  • (46.30) Renaissance ‘Stonecutter’ is totally my bet for greatest, most unexpected Gateway Beer — Episode III was partially a love-song thereto. And I wasn’t kidding: ‘Chick Beer’ really is a thing. Or hopefully merely was a thing; their own website seems dead. Good riddance.
  • (50.00) Recommendations: Moa Imperial Stout, for its inherent goodness, and its one-or-two counter-trend aspects. (And because it’s nice to say something nice about them for a change.)
  • (57.30) The History of IPA is so myth-ridden that Martyn Cornell really has turned it into a nice little cottage industry. Being wrong about this stuff is an exhilarating and delightful experience; myth-busting history is the best kind.
  • (1.01.00) Beer of the Week #3: Kieran’s own ‘Merchant of the Devil’ Imperial Stout. Which is us pausing Midstrength News for a week quite emphatically indeed. It was stupidly good.
  • (1.05.00) Further to my ramblings in the last episode, I still do think there’s room for another kind of beer awards (whether or not as part of the existing structure), but the Beer Cup, with its head-to-head setup, isn’t what I see as the way forward — barrel of fun though it did appear from here.
  • (1.08.00) This difference between medal classes and trophy classes is massively under-explained, to the public. Something definitely needs to be done about it; we’re definitely agreed on that.
  • (1.11.30) It’ll be a while yet before I’m done singing the praises of Steve Nally and his Invercargill Brewery. Most recently, on here, it was his ‘Sa!son’ that inspired me. I’ve also had that 2008 Vintage ‘Smokin’ Bishop’, since recording this, and it was pretty damn tasty — though still enjoyably peculiar. Consider it another Recommendation, just suitably late to the table.
  • (1.14.35) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.

Podcast episode recorded: 6 September 2011. Appallingly-belatedly uploaded: 4 December 2011

3 thoughts on “Beer Diary Podcast episode 7: At the Masons Arms with Kieran Haslett-Moore”

  1. Really enjoyed this… great to hear from people in different parts of the industry.

    Keep it up guys.

    One bit of criticism though – the sound levels are dodgy as. One minute I can’t hear and the next minute my ears are bleeding!

  2. Very true. And there was a dog.

    The bits where Kieran gets particularly quiet are when he pops up briefly to attend to the dog, fetch beer, or something similar. Cranking the volume on those occasions probably would’ve made my voice destroy many speakers. Sorry about the patchiness; George does a bang-up job cleaning it up, but there’s only so much you can do. We’re looking at getting more-sophisticated gear together, which will help.

Have at it: