The Lost Podcast Archive, Part II

Clearing out the second half of the Lost Podcast Archive, I can here finally present our musings on “Wellington in a Pint”, Beervana 2012 — and, I’m sure most contentiously, on the acquisition of Emerson’s Brewery by the sprawling conglomeration best-known locally as “Lion”.

The W.I.A.P. four-pack provided an incredibly-varied set of Beers Of The Week and an opportunity to ramble through significant upsides and niggling downsides of each. Then, in the much-more-recent past, George and I were re-determined to get back into the podcasting habit, and wound up — relatively accidentally — talking through our reactions to the completely unexpected sale of Emerson’s; the much-loved gateway craft brewery for both of us. I found myself in the middle of the “debate”, such as there was, which was unfamiliar and strange although probably inevitable given the nonsense on both sides.

Next up is our 2012 Year in Review episode — and then we’ll see about rebooting ourselves for Season Three. Meanwhile, as always, direct downloads are available (here and here, respectively), 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.

s02e07: Wellington in a Pint & Beervana

— Show notes:

  • (1.15) Beer of the Week #1: Tuatara / Glynn Foster ‘Bye Bye Blanket Man’
  • (3.40) Drinking order is a tricky discipline, sometimes. Usually, the rule is to go mild to strong, light-ish to dark-ish, easy-going to fully-flavoured — or some negotiated compromise therebetween. But some beers will muck you up, usually through the presence of some freakish element. And three of those (i.e., a majority) did that.
  • (6.15) Ben Hana was famous / notorious enough to warrant a detailed Wikipedia page.
  • (7.55) Mike Neilsen (with whom we once casted podhas since moved on to other pastures (i.e., setting up his own brewery), but I’m sure that’s unrelated.
  • (13.20) Beer of the Week #2: Garage Project / Kolja Schaller ‘Kawakawa Cable Car Classic’
  • (14.20) There still isn’t a filter at work, but there are a few other Clever Tricks in effect. So the Garage Project Haze has lessened considerably.
  • (14.30) Bright Brewery’s delicious ‘Resistance Red’ is gloriously red indeed.
  • (18.00) Seriously — to re-repeat myself — Beastwars kick arse. Get acquainted.
  • (27.00) Beer of the Week #3:ParrotDog / Nathan McEwan ‘Cooked Strait’
  • (30.30) It looks like George was as spot on about cold smoking as he was about Theseus. Full cooking-and-classics marks, that man.
  • (33.10) Beervana 2012. I put up a bloggish version of my “seminar” here, earlier. And — in one of those many odd coincidences of timing that gravitate toward me, here — I just got back from Christchurch and the Great Kiwi Beer Festival, whereat I did a version of same. (Final attendance was apparently ~8,000 people at Beervana; the G.K.B.F. was ~10,000 at once. It was huge, and awesome in many ways. But more about that properly, soon.)
  • (36.55) If you’re just joining us — or even if you aren’t — George v Rex is still very much worth listening to.
  • (38.55) People really do get slightly freaked out by our newfangled digital recorder. If an Englishman starts waving a breathaliser-looking-thing at you at your next beer festival, he might just be podcasting.
  • (48.15) George’s favourites: Three Boys Best Bitter, Cassels Milk Stout, Renaissance ‘Great Punkin’, Yeastie Boys ‘Her Majesty’, Garage Project ‘Ziggy’s Carrot Cake Ale’.
  • (53.20) See? These awards need a memorable / pronounceable acronym.
  • (56.00) The origins of the Llama pie are completely lost to me, now. (Help?) The beer was a Bridge’s Target, though, definitely. And it was great.
  • (58.20) Beer of the Week #4: Yeastie Boys / Andrew Childs ‘Celia Wade-Brown Ale’. Wade-Brown ran with Green Party affiliation, so George’s trivia streak finally breaks, here. From memory, the other ‘spammer’ was the man behind the nearly-up-and-running Baylands Brewery.
  • (1.02.55) My best-effort at an “acceptance speech” went up here not long after.
  • (1.03.40) The (Awkwardly-named) Beer Awards. If you haven’t seen Jo Wood’s chili-eating videos (which occasionally masquerade as beer reviews), seek them out.
  • (1.09.10) Well, we can say that Three Boys Best (for example) is the greatest blahblahblah. We just have to do so at our own Year In Review. (Online soon!)
  • (1.09.20) I did indeed have a bit of a ramble about beer award categories back in season one. Having just done the paperwork on Garage Project’s A.I.B.A. entries for this year, I’m sorely tempted to do so again.
  • (1.10.30) Beervana, again. (Despite me saying I didn’t have anything to say.)
  • (1.12.10) Beer News, which is horribly outdated now, of course. But still: Good George is still going good. And we really will need to roadtrip. A few kegs of their stuff made it to Malthouse for the IPA Challenge, but I’m keen to try their general run. Garage Project’s 24 More (or “24+”) is still going, but much slower than 24/24 did, due to the Extreme Busy-ness of the brewery at the moment.
  • (1.15.10) Recommendation: Harrington’s Anvil. About which Alice did indeed rave, a while back.
  • (1.17.45) We failed, then. We’re still trying. Meanwhile, cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

s02e08: Emerson’s Joins the Lion / Kirin / Mitsubishi Megaconglom

— Show notes:

  • (0.40) Belatedly, this is us explaining where we’ve been all this time.
  • (1.45) Beer of the Week #1: Langham ‘Hip Hop’. We may be slow getting these online — well, I am — but their website hasn’t caught up with the modern world, still.
  • (4.10) For those with hyper-acute hearing, we did actually change rooms, here.
  • (4.50) The “terrible, terrible, terrible” beers were the Crafty Beggars ones
  • (6.30) Beer News: Beer “olds”, by now. But still, I haven’t had my ramble about the issue, here. So here I am. Boundary Road has since bought Founders, and the rumour mill is spinning so fast as to be audible, but no other news has broken, yet.
  • (11.50) As much as I habitually recommend Beastwars, I endorse Cryptonomicon — and the Stephenson corpus more generally — even moreso.
  • (13.00) I still don’t know. I should set up a secure PGP-laden email account for beer-related leaks from insiders. (BeerLeaks? HoppyLeaks?)
  • (13.50) There is some bad news on the West Coast front; almost all the small-deal investors got shafted and lost everything. (Including my long-vaunted 31¢ share!) The fact that the original managers / directors are still running the place and completely fine — despite the precipitating fuck-up being very much theirs — really raises my middle-class hackles. But that’s a matter for another time, perhaps.
  • (14.10) 1) They don’t owe you anything.
  • (16.00) 2) Reacting to new facts ≠ “knee jerk reactions” ≠ a bad thing.
  • (18.30) 3) Lion have form in both directions.
  • (20.40) 4) Optimism is not inherently worthy.
  • (21.20) 5) Selling out eventually isn’t mandatory.
  • (22.00) Speculation on future sell-outs now surrounds Tuatara. That’ll be interesting to see. They’ve wanted a cash injection for a long time. Who’s offering..?
  • (24.20) Beer of the Week #2: Garage Project ‘Trip Hop’.
  • (26.30) Scratch is a totally worthwhile documentary, if you haven’t already seen it.
  • (28.30) Crafty Beggars really pissed me off — though I was indeed grateful for the counter-example to the appallingly-saccharine Pollyanna / Pangloss holier-than-thou piously-optimistic goo that was been paraded around at the time.
  • (29.40) Boundary Road’s “The Resident” caused me some consternation at the time, and they are — interestingly, and to link in to a previous note — thought to be a prime suitor for Tuatara / Whoever Is Next…
  • (31.50) I think this — let’s call it Heimaey v Eldfell — is the story I’m talking about. The blessed YouTube turned up a video, too; an awesome case of overcoming disaster.
  • (34.50) 6) Lion are investing in Lion. That’s all. (To which I’ll return.)
  • (36.10) Lion and Coromandel have apparently settled, in a way that makes Coromandel pretty happy. So good on them. I hope they got a decent cheque, and have fun with it. It’s still kinda summer, too. You still have time. We didn’t make it that far, in our New Year’s roadtrip, but close. I waved, from the Bay of Plenty.
  • (39.10) 7) Winners and losers.
  • (42.10) Lion investing in Lion, again.
  • (43.20) Recommendations: Coromandel ‘Good As Gold’, which is hopefully okay, and Garage Project ‘Aro Noir’, which has since basically entirely run out, unfortunately.
  • (46.20) On the Beer List: George R.R. Martin. I’m sure he’d like a beer. (And maybe Ian McKellen.)
  • (48.20) Hobbit is definitely more weaponised, but it was still damn good fun.
  • (50.40) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both. We really will get back on the horse. Or the Prancing Pony. Whatever.

17 thoughts on “The Lost Podcast Archive, Part II”

  1. So the fact that the Macs beers got drastically more characterful and interesting after Lion took over is outweighed by the fact that the brewery moved? For me the beer in the glass is always more important. I think Macs is the big success story of Lion acquisitions.

    1. What I mean, there, is more like: Mac’s-as-Mac’s was radically changed under Lion’s ownership. I’ll agree with you that the beers are better — but why couldn’t Lion just make those better beers as Lion? If you had any attachment (emotional and/or irrational and/or otherwise) to Mac’s-as-Mac’s (not just as liquid in a vessel), Lion trampled that.

      The payoff may be a worthy one, sure. That’s up to everyone to decide for themselves, but people love Emerson’s as more than just the beer in the glass. And for all that other stuff, Lion have form both ways — the Little Creatures-ish model, and the Mac’s-ish dismantle the brand and use its component parts in various projects around the body of the megaconglom.

  2. I don’t think I’m going to touch the Big Beer vs Craft debate again. I’ve said everything I need to say, and I think Phil does a pretty good job of summing up the best and worst of both sides of the argument. I still fall with Kieran on “the beer in the glass is what matters”, but then, much like Dominic at Hashigo Zake, if a company did something which crossed any of my personal lines in the sand, I’d be fairly passionately agin’ ’em.

    On the topic of Hobbit vs LoTR though, and the urge to hate when something becomes popular, that is most definitely “a thing”. In principle, I don’t think anyone would consider it reasonble to hate something merely because now lots of other people (now) love it. There’s just no real justification for doing so. That said, the urge is there in us all, and maybe it’s because so often there’s a real change in the thing which has become popular. I guess it is much like a craft brewery becoming a publicly traded company. All of a sudden, they must consider the needs of shareholders in every decision. In that case, it’s not longer primarily about the beer, and whether the beer actually suffers or not, that can be enough of a change for people to mistrust/dislike/get their hate on.

    Oh $deity, I’ve now used an analogy which is pretty much the thing I said I wasn’t going to touch! Sod it, you get what I mean, I hope. 🙂

  3. Might I suggest a little foam cover for your H4n? That’ll cut down on the rumble 🙂 You should be able to get one from a music/sound equipment shop.

  4. Phil, you are my hero, we have a bar that owns it’s own beer lines and think you make GREAT points. Is it true that Tuatara has sold a 50% stake to Independent? A rep down here in Dunedin is saying that and that they got a share in 8 wired, PLEASE tell me this all mind games not true stuff…

    1. All still just rumours so far… (And after almost everyone was blindsided by the Emerson’s sale, maybe our local rumour mill just isn’t very good. You never know! Yet.)

  5. If you’re living in Christchurch, Harringtons is by far the best value for money beer in the city. At their outlets you can get a 2L flagon/growler of Anvil for ~$15. Rogue Hop is even better value at $11.80. Thankfully there’s one a 5 minute drive from my parents’ house, right next door to a good Indian takeout place.

  6. Man. I sound weird. I get why people sometimes say I sound American now.

    Jen says she could hear me smiling. Maybe I sound more international when I do that. Maybe that’s why Americans sound like Americans…

  7. Really nice show on Wellington in a Pint (just listening to the Emerson’s show now)… great balance of how things kicked off and panned out.

    Clemengers were always clear, from my point of view, about what they were getting out of it… it obviously wasn’t money, so they needed brand recognition. This gig would have cost us tens of thousands each to have been involved in if we had paid.

    The one thing I’d say is that we, the brewers, dropped the ball on getting the beers out to an audience beyond the supermarkets. The project was about 9 months old and, like a pregnancy, I think we all just wanted the baby out by the end…

    Cheers
    Stu

    ps. on the trip hop thing… you got to listen to Tricky’s ‘Maxinquaye’. It’s one of my favourite albums of all time.

  8. Enjoyed the Emerson’s show too fellas… disagree with Phil on that one, as I see nothing but positives in the deal (for the owners and beer consumers), but half the reason I enjoy the read and listen is because your opinion is sometimes wrong 😉

    Keep up the great work.

  9. And then you have the Jay’s of the world…

    When you end up with lists of 50+ beers to try, 25-50ml samples to find favourites to buy later are a necessity 🙂

    Tim I never noticed the American accent before 😛

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