Equal parts hope and dread

Mount Taranaki at Sunset, on the way home (7 August 2016)
Big Friendly Geology
The days are just packed.1 This is always a weird time of year to be a beer geek who works in the beer business; the combination of so much going on and so much to do warrants one of those legendary compound German words. I am exhaustixhilarated. This is terrificifying. So, naturally, Emma and I nicked off for a fifteen-hour one-day road-trip to see the final days of an exhibition and that freakin’ gorgeous mountain. There wasn’t even any beer involved. It was great. Bring on the week ahead, I say.

The ‘Road to Beervana’ has matured / metastasized impressively. It’s on right now (he says, Monday afternoon) and includes frankly too many things to even attempt a Best Of. Work will keep me busy most evenings, but Golding’s being Golding’s, that’ll include a little fun anyhow: we’re hosting a Junk Food Degustation tomorrow night and a Cocktail Night on Wednesday. For the latter, comrade Dylan and I were flown up to Hallertau2 last week and I can attest to the cleverness of their beer-and-cocktails person; it should be an interesting mix of two domains of nerdiness that really should get together more often. (I was already convinced of the soundness of the marriage between beer and junk food, unsurprisingly.)

Galbraith's Brown Ale (cask edition), on my Hallertau junket for work (2 August 2016)
Brown ale break
On Thursday, we’ve got the Great Beer Debate. Megan from The Thirsty Bitches3 and I have assembled a panel of people from various corners of the beer business to dissect the question of ownership in the beer business: never an out-of-date topic given the never-ending parade of headlines and murmurings about buyouts and mergers. We’ll hear from some die-hard independents and some from the… integrated side of things (he says, searching for a suitable non-pejorative), and it should be a fun airing-out of a contentious and complicated issue about which there’s no shortage of Give A Damn. Tickets for this one are limited, but super cheap (just enough to cover the venue cost) — and the theatre sells good beer from breweries of various ownership models, so you can drink your politics and be a happy non-hypocrite in the audience.

Friday and Saturday are Beervana Itself At Last. We’re at the edge of weather-forecasting feasibility, and it looks somewhat grim. But that’s just a return to tradition, right? And you all own a jacket, yeah? Be not afraid. There’ll be beer. And food. Plenty of both, I swear. This year, we’ve rejigged the seminar-stuff I helped host last year and we’ll instead be staging small rambles / tours on the festival floor itself. So you can hear about sour beer at the Pucker-Up Bar or about or be introduced to the visiting international brewers right at their stands. There’s a different theme each hour, and they’re running in every session. Come along, or send your more-bewildered friends. We’ll look after them.

On Sunday, I sleep.4

I hope y’all have a great week. If you’re a) in Wellington, and b) even moderately fond of beer, it’ll frankly be difficult not to. Just pace yourself and be nice to your (exhaustixhilarated) service staff. They’re probably knee-deep in FOMO from being stuck at work and watching you all enjoy yourselves. And (speaking of FOMO) if you’re out of town, remember to recalibrate your f-word, and contemplate coming next year. The weather’s crap, but everything else is pretty neat.

Len Lye Centre and the clocktower (New Plymouth, 7 August 2016)
Wibbly architecture

  1. In the more-literal sense, rather than the sarcastic Calvin-and-Hobbesian one I usually prefer.
  2. And by Hallertau, I should say (#junket) though it was a work trip that just happened to have a 100% beer-writer roster. We’re a strange pub. These things happen.
  3. And who you may recall from the Beer Diary Podcast a while back.
  4. Well, at least until I have to go to work.

Have at it: