Beer Diary Podcast s02e03: Jo Wood & Mike Neilsen

George and I ventued into the (not really) wilds of Upper Hutt to have a chat with Jo Wood (of Liberty Brewing) and Mike Neilsen (of Tuatara); two homebrewers turned professional brewers (in very different capacities) who still love to get together on a weekend and knock up a random batch of something. We talk about how they got in to brewing, how they each ‘monetised’ it, their favourites and the recurring pains in their respective asses.

We do apologise for the difficulty you might have in hearing us all (well, not me; I’m loud), but we are definitely lacking a bit of Jo Volume and there are booming intermittent glass-on-the-table thumps. Our on-the-road setup is still fairly rudimentary and George had to do the editing quickly before heading away on holiday (though he’s hoping to grab some nicer gear while overseas). Demand-dependent, we might have another crack at the audio when he gets back; let me know how you get on. Cheers!

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, or you can leave comments here or on the Bookface.

Part of Mike's brew kit
(Part of) Mike's brew kit
Yakima Monster badge
Yakima Monster badge
Three Boys Best Bitter
Three Boys Best Bitter



Show notes:

  • (0.05) Our first venue change since we were in Wellington’s Southern suburbs. George is planning on buying a neat little portable DAT-thingy, so hopefully we’ll be ‘on location’ more often.
  • (1.20) Beer of the Week #1: Rogue ‘Brutal IPA’, bought at New World Thorndon, who really have been massively upping their already-rather-good beer game lately.
  • (4.00) “No Beer Before Yeast” does sound like a sensible maxim, but last I heard the beer was in okay shape, despite our recklessness. Mike said it was ticking along happily, and should be fit for sampling soon.
  • (11.20) I do keep referencing Liberty’s Imperial oatmeal stout, ‘Never Go Back’; I’ve done it twice already in ten minutes, and I often mention it in recommendations here and elsewhere. If I need to underscore the point further: have some. It’s amazing.
  • (12.30) ‘Darkest Day’ doesn’t seem to’ve made it into my Diary, which is damn-near inexcusable. It was much lighter than the above-mentioned ‘NGB’, but that just made it stupidly drinkable (as opposed to worryingly so).
  • (12.40) Liberty’s ‘West Coast Blonde’ series got a special mention — under Best Experimentation — in our 2011 Year in Review episode, and the Amarillo-hopped edition was the first Liberty beer to make it into my Diary. And the series-concluding ‘10’ IPA from Mikkeller was in the book a little-way before that.
  • (16.20) Jo definitely has a love-hate (or hate-hate) relationship with C!tra. George, on the other hand, named it his Favourite Beer of 2011 — and it was a Beer of the Week for the previous episode on Strong Beer (fittingly enough).
  • (20.40) The secret to Liberty being able to offer free milling: Child Labour.
  • (20.50) Beer of the Week #2: Raindogs ‘Deadwood IPA’. The vexed question of Gray Market Imports was our first-ever podcast topic, but Mike’s point is even prior to that: there’s often not a reason to go looking for imports — the local scene can keep you going longer than you might think. “Imported” doesn’t equal “fancy and worthy”.
  • (24.50) I have no idea why brewers talk in terms of “hectolitres” — one hundred litres, for those of you who have forgotten your more-obscure metric prefices — other than it making for manageably-nice round numbers when talking about most kit sizes.
  • (27.20) Welcome to the World, GoldenDog. You’re in good company, with: Golden Bear, Golden Eagle, ParrotDog, Black Dog, Raindogs…
  • (30.20) Great big name drop: Barry Hannah, who does the design work for Liberty and can be found on the Twitters, and on the Intermanets.
  • (31.00) My notes from last year’s IPA Challenge are almost entirely absent, owing to my being struck-down with a particularly-bad Man Flu and propped up by the dregs of Wellington’s last legal supplies of blessed pseudoephedrine. George and I hope to be at this year’s edition, recording-gizmo in hand.
  • (32.20) I should add, on the mention of my friend and former colleague Jono Galuszka, that he’s re-taken-up the blogging.
  • (32.50) Recommendations: Brewaucracy / Three Boys new session beers. Inbetween recording and notesing, we did have a chance to try the Three Boys release, and it was exactly what I wanted; allow me (as if you have a choice) to upgrade it to Highly Recommended. And if Jo ever re-brews Taranaki Session Beer, get some.
  • (38.30) Jo’s perfect pints: Westvleteren 12 and Russian River ‘Pliny the Elder’, I’ve had both — I loved the former, and was certainly impressed by the other, but thought it was more “lovely” than “legendary”.
  • (41.15) Beer of the Week #3: Liberty ‘Never Go Back’.
  • (47.20) Jo’s Recommendations: Epic, especially ‘Armageddon’ and Pale Ale. The years-old, game-changing Epic Pale Ale is totally worth another look. I’ve had heaps of fun with it, too — and the ‘Reboot’ write-up deserves a read.
  • (50.50) ‘The Thing in the Sunday Star Times’ George refers to was an excellent recent piece by Michael Donaldson.
  • (51.30) Mike’s Recommendations: ‘Armageddon’, which prompts Jo (and me) to add: Tuatara Pilsner, especially since its ‘reboot’.
  • (54.30) Jo and Mike both quickly start throwing large molecule names around when they’re talking about brewing’s minute details. Given their comfort and enthusiasm with them, it just makes me want to learn more chemistry.
  • (59.30) George’s memory is spot on: Alice Galletly did call Jo the “darling of the craft beer scene”, in her write-up on the Cask Yakima Monster launch at Galbraith’s, fittingly-enough. I (typically) haven’t quite gotten around to posting my notes from the pint I had at Hashigo, but I totally agree with her praise for it.
  • (1.00.30) George’s Recommendation: Yeastie Boys ‘Pot Kettle Black’, which he made with pretty spectacular timing, given that dear old PKB just picked up the Champion Beer gong at the Asia Beer Awards in Singapore.
  • (1.01.05) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

One thought on “Beer Diary Podcast s02e03: Jo Wood & Mike Neilsen”

  1. Brewers talk about Hectolitres because we like having a language that is hard to decipher by lay ppl. When you lot get a hang of HL we start talking barrels BBLs. If you get a handle on Lovibonds we start talking EBC, or even SRM. It’s like the masons I tell ya! 🙂

Have at it: