Category Archives: Podcast episodes

Episodes of the Beer Diary Podcast, featuring detailed Show Notes of references and corrections and such

Beer Diary Podcast s04e02: Dry July

An episode with no beer. Well, none were consumed — out of a vague nod to Dry July, but more a result of us both being in losing phases of the age-old battle of Monkey v Microbe. We ponder Dry July, as a charitable enterprise (we’re unconvinced) and (much better) a way for people to test and/or manage their relationship with one of humanity’s favourite drugs. Meanwhile, we drink some worthwhile non-beers,1 and I have a little ramble on the social history of tea and coffee and whatnot. And an episode this time of year wouldn’t be complete without a looking-forward toward the beer awards and Beervana.

Speaking of which — we’re going to be recording two episodes at Beervana itself, and you’re more than welcome to join the audience as we talk beer with some special visiting guests. Attendance is free and there’ll be Beers Of The Week for all. We’re on at 8pm on Friday, 7pm Saturday.

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. Cheers!

— Show notes:

  • (0.10) You can hear the Lingering Winter Lurgy right away.
  • (1.20) A fortnight-and-a-bit delay isn’t that bad, in the grand scheme of things.
  • (3.20) Twitter’s trending algorithm is apparently really suggestible.
  • (4.00) Botswanan of the Week: Mma Rmotswe. The books are formulaic but enjoyable, and I thought the TV series was particularly well done. I’m sure I’m slightly biased because the author is also a big name in bioethics, but still.
  • (4.30) Beverage Of The Week #1: Gingerella. Tasty stuff indeed.
  • (5.50) Dry Julyits official organisation, and its general gist. Pete Brown’s musing on his personal annual abstention ritual was a big influence on me going from Bystander to Somewhat Militant Ally for such things.
  • (8.30) Bars really do need to sort out their non-boozy options.
  • (13.30) A.U.D.I.T. — the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, an online version of which can be found here (ironically festooned, for me, last I visited, in Beervana ads).
  • (16.50) CGP Grey is a pretty good evangelist for caffeine, another favourite drug. Philip J. Fry’s legendary experiment in overconsumption is also worth watching.
  • (17.50) Beverage Of The Week #2: T Leaf Tea Blue Flower Earl Grey.
  • (19.30) Recommended: A History Of The World In Six Glasses. Plus Quicksilver and its sequels, if you’re in need of a few thousand pages of fiction.
  • (21.00) There’s a lot of myth-making in regards water and the historical popularity of beer. In Industrial Revolution era cities, though, the problem was a real one.
  • (22.40) CrashCourse World History was great fun. And a second season just started.
  • (22.50) The Beer Diary Podcast: Live! Friday at Saturday evening, no cover charge, with guests and beers-of-the-week for all. Should be a lark. Come along, if you’re in town and attending Beervana — and tell your friends.
  • (23.40) Beervana exhibitors. Australians aplenty, plus lots of new faces. But absolutely no Boundary Road / Independent / Asahi, for an apparently-hilarious reason. And a reminder about Beer Festival Economics.
  • (28.40) RTDs, a sidebar. There’s your Problem Child, right there, if you want one. And don’t believe a damn thing you hear about the popularity of “cider” these days — it’s mostly just RTDs in drag.2
  • (32.00) The rich ecosystem of festivals. You do see a few people wondering if Beervana isn’t for them anymore. To which I say 1) it’s possible that your tastes have changed more than the festival has, and 2) that’s not really a problem; there’s still so much for you to go to and go bananas about.
  • (33.00) The new ‘beer manufacturer’ award — overdue, and missing the point.
  • (38.00) Bouquet & Brickbat / Tip o’ the Hat & Wag o’ the Finger: We really do need a name for this segment; suggestions welcome. I keep getting stuck on ‘Cheers & Jeers’, but there’s probably something better lurking somewhere in the æther. But anyway — Yay Tuatara, for doing Interesting Things. (The new CEO is Richard Shirtcliffe, but he’s formerly of Phil & Ted’s; same industry, broadly, better name.) They’re obviously looking to restore their ‘Wellington’ cred and their ‘cool’, but that’s not a bad goal. And — Boo Dominion Breweries / Heineken global for using the same (bad) joke on two different billboard campaigns, and for the world’s worst mixed pack.
  • (48.50) Recommendations: Tuatara ‘Black’ — I’ve still only had the ‘Toasted’ one, but hear good things about the coffee and chocolate incarnations. It is worth noting, though, that they haven’t “re-brewed” Delicious Neck, it turns out; they’ve re-blended it — whether for reasons of deadline and schedule or just lack of inspiration, I hear the What We Do In The Shadows tie-in wasn’t a custom brew, but a blend of existing stock. Tasty, all the same, but still. Also Big Awesome Trappist-y Things, and Hallertau Funkonnay. And: #freshisnotbest; build a cellar.
  • (52.00) Friend Of The Show: As noted in the last episode, it seems Wil Wheaton did get his beer from us, which is awesome. For this week: Warren Ellis — creator of a bajillion things, almost too numerous to list, that we’re mutually hugely fond of.
  • (56.10) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

1: It took me forever to find a non-beer photo in my collection. That coffee was me on my way to the Winter Ale Festival, last year, which I photographed on a ‘real’ (i.e., film) camera for the first time in years. Hence the terrible shot. Despite being an avid consumer of tea and coffee, I guess I don’t make an ‘occasion’ of it often enough. I should get out more — and take my camera with me. 
2: On a hunch, I did actually contact Roy Morgan Research concerning the above-linked paper wherein ciders allegedly ‘overtook’ RTDs in popularity / consumption. And yes, the data was purely unmoderated self-reported numbers from asking people “Have you bought a cider?” in the relevant time period. The real lesson — since Rekorderlig, Wild Side, etc., etc., are all thought of as ciders by most people when they’re anything but — is that the industrial manufacturers have been successful in their bid to ‘re-brand’ their RTDs. 

Beer Diary Podcast s04e01: Friend of the Show

Back for our fourth season — which promises to include several Very Special Epsiodes, but more on those in due course — George and I quickly re-tell our Origin Story for new listeners, return briefly to the topic of our first-ever show (so-called “grey market” imports), before catching up on the beer festivals that happened while we were on hiatus. I also rave about keeping a Beer Diary (since it turns out I’ve been doing so for a decade), and we finally formalise what it means to be a ‘Friend of the Show’.

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 also both be reached on the Twitterthing, or you can leave comments here or on the Bookface. Cheers!

Beers Of The Week (My house, 16 June 2014)
Beers Of The Week plus fancy glassware
Semi-professional Beer Enthusiast (My house, 26 July 2014)
Semi-professional Beer Enthusiast (and big dork)
Rogue 'Brutal' Bitter (Hashigo Zake, 25 August 2009)
Rogue ‘Brutal’ Bitter — way back in 2009
Diary entry #159: Rogue 'Brutal' Bitter
Diary entry #159: Rogue ‘Brutal’ Bitter
The Royal Exhibition Building (Melbourne, 3 June 2012)
The Royal Exhibition Building, site of GABS
Behemoth's 'The Tits' & ¬Matariki Programme (Hunter Lounge, 14 June 2014)
Behemoth’s ‘The Tits’ & ¬Matariki Programme
Non-free-form Beer Diaries (My house, 26 July 2014)
Non-free-form Beer Diaries
Vicki Treadell's bookcase (Homewood, 5 June 2014)
Vicki Treadell’s bookcase
Billy B's Golden Apple Beer (Two Row, 26 May 2014)
Billy B’s Golden Apple Beer

— Show notes:

  • (0.45) It has been a while. George has a better excuse than I do.
  • (1.50) I really did make my own ‘business cards’, colossal dork that I am. They’re really mostly for festivals and such, and created in the spirit of never assuming anyone’s memory to be less crap than my own.
  • (4.10) Beer of the Week #1: Rogue ‘Brutal’ IPA. Imported by Tuatara, an arrangement they announced here with some fanfare, but which has since lapsed.
  • (5.00) Hashigo is coming up on five years old, having opened September 2009.
  • (5.50) For easy access to nostalgia: here’s our first episode.
  • (9.00) ‘The vampire film’ — i.e., What We Do In The Shadows — was buckets of fun when I saw it, in a nice coincidence of timing, last night.
  • (12.40) Festival Roundup: GKBF — a great big lovely day in the park.
  • (17.10) Cont’dGABS — just “GABS”, a genuinely Australasian affair.
  • (19.00) Hugely recommended: Storm in a Teacup.
  • (22.50) Cont’dThe Festival Formerly Known As Matariki — which shows you that we recorded this a while ago, per tradition.
  • (29.30) Yeastie Boys’ Spoonbender series is described here. Predictably, I rather mangled the winemaking technique details. (Meanwhile, I can’t help but be reminded to recommend a dose of James Randi.)
  • (30.10) I still haven’t made it to a wine tasting, despite good intentions.
  • (32.00) Beer of the Week #2: Oscar Blues ‘Ten Fiddy’. (Thanks, Tim!)
  • (36.30) Beer Diaries, themselves. Please excuse the clumsy foley.
  • (41.00) If we were going to switch themes, I’d only ever suggest that we go for the insanely catch one Last Week Tonight uses. But they got to it first. And Coconut Monkeyrocket’s track really does suit us somehow. Yay for Creative Commons.
  • (41.30) Friend of the Show, defined. We now have reason to believe that Wil did get his beer, meanwhile; I’m still working on a few of the others.
  • (44.10) Cont’d, and awarded to: Vicki Treadell — the departing British High Commissioner to New Zealand, beer lover and exemplary party hostess.
  • (46.00) SOBA’s Pursuit of Hoppiness is available online as well as in the pub.
  • (49.30) Recommendations: Er… We’re at a bit of a loss. You should read Scott’s Buzz and Hum blog, though. And try ParrotDog ‘DevilBird’. Then — after surreptitiously checking my Diary — I completely fail to do the beautiful madness of Billy B’s Golden Apple Beer any real justice. But generally: Smith Street.
  • (57.40) The Beer Diary Podcast: Live! — at Beervana, twice: Friday evening from 8pm and Saturday evening from 7pm.
  • (59.30) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

Beer Diary Podcast s03e09: 2013 Year in Review

It’s time again, at last, for our Year in Review: a look back at 2013, a pondering of its best beers and beer-related-things, and contemplation of what kind of ‘theme’ the year developed as it went. Our traditionally unhurried approach to these things (we’ve recorded all these episodes in March) met a few additional delays this year, but here we are. Plans are already underway for some Very Special Episodes in season four, but first let’s wrap up our third year — and thank you all for coming along for the rambles.

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. Cheers!

Tuatara Helles / Lager (New World Chaffers, 11 Jan 2014)
Tuatara Helles / Lager
Moon Dog 'Black Lung III'  (Hashigo Zake, 31 August 2013)
Moon Dog ‘Black Lung III’
Panhead 'Blacktop' — the first, inexpertly photographed on actual film (Matariki at the Hunter Lounge, 20 July 2013)
Panhead ‘Blacktop’
Yeastie Boys 'Gunnamatta' (Golding's Free Dive, 17 October 2013)
Teacup Gunnamatta
Bridge Road 'Aurora Borealis' (Tallow's Beach, 15 March 2013)
‘Aurora Borealis’
Rex Altercation (Table Top Day, 30 March 2013)
Rex Altercation

— Show notes:

  • (1.40) ‘The Flat of the Axe’ is George’s Cold Chisel cover band, he informs me.
  • (3.30) Apparently, it is officially Ride of the Valkyries, but “Flight of ~” seems a common-enough mistake / mutation that I forgive myself.
  • (3.50) Beer of the Week #1: Almanac Honey Saison. My apologies for the lack of a photo. You’ll all just have to seek out an Almanac, Left Coast, or Speakeasy beer (all imported by the nice folk at Beer Without Borders) to see the gorgeousness.
  • (6.20) Blog of the Year: The Beerhive, says George, and The Bottleneck, says I — with a mandatory Read More Pete Brown caveat, and an honorable mention to Jason Gurney’s two efforts. Also, I have submitted my bin for judgment; please hold.
  • (10.40) Useful Digital Thing of the Year: Feedly, because there really is a ridiculous wealth of good (and of interestingly / usefully not-good) beer writing in the world. My intermittent Sunday Reading posts try to keep up.
  • (12.50) George lasted nine minutes with a saison; easily a new record.
  • (13.50) 2013, Year of the x: The Homebrewer, says George, which possibly ties into my less-elegantly-phrased Commercial Realities Settling In, in several different ways, ranging from subtle to not at all subtle.
  • (23.20) Beer of the Week #2: Moon Dog ‘Black Lung III’.
  • (26.20) Beer of the Year — which one day we won’t have to explain in such detail anymore, but until then: Panhead ‘Quickchange’ XPA, for George — with honorable mentions for Baylands Red Ryder, and 8 Wired’s ‘Semiconductor’. And for me — after a fair amount of (now traditional, but this time with a vague evidence base) faffing around — it’s ParrotDog ‘Otis’. (Meanwhile, I wonder if the Panhead ‘Days of Thunder’ George remembers from Beervana has morphed into ‘The Vandal’, an IPA of notably-similar style and strength.)
  • (31.00) Year of the x prediction for 2014: Moral Panic. (Maybe with fringe benefits.)
  • (34.30) Glass of Beer of the Year: Yeastie Boys ‘Gunnamatta’, for George, which we shared over some Big News — with a silver medal (“Tasting Glass of Year”, perhaps) to Garage Project’s Triple Day of the Dead. My shortlist stretches into a longlist: my (one) Crafty Beggars ‘Wheat As’, Moon Dog ‘Black Lung III’ sitting in as Antipodean Gonzo, Bridge Road / Nøgne Ø ‘Aurora Borealis’, Renaissance ‘Elemental’, and Yeastie Boys / Lobethal Bierhaus ‘Wendy’. But: Yeastie Boys ‘Rex Attitude’, on the inaugural Table Top Day, playing Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs. Accidentally.
  • (41.00) Seriously, though: Planetary. And Transmetropolitan. George and I couldn’t recommend each highly enough.
  • (47.30) My apologies for not getting this up in time to warn you of Table Top Day 2014. Join in for 2015, maybe. And anyway: play more games. Meanwhile, the Call For Help is sincere — if any one can be a Beer Mule to California for us, get it touch.
  • (48.50) Stone’s “City Tap Takeover” was buckets of fun, as previously reported.
  • (52.00) Beer of the Week #3: Rodenbach Grand Cru. Easily “Recommendation of the Year”, if we had one; Jono’s suggestion for this and fish ‘n’ chips has changed lives.
  • (54.00) Pleasant surprises / Miscellaneous bouquets: A surprise ParrotDog ‘Otis’, and a Garage Project ‘Beyond the Pale’ — though Em points out that if it’s just hibiscus flowers, it’s more tisane than “tea”. A mutual shout-out, also, to Luke and Dave’s ‘Ale of a Time’ podcast — Alternate Universe Us, perhaps. And a bribe / beer, for Tim Foster who provided some excellent feedback and earned himself a Yeastie Boys ‘Her Majesty’, which I should get into his possession any day now.
  • (1.01.15) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

Beer Diary Podcast s03e08: What We Did On Our Holidays

For our first recording of 2014 and the penultimate episode of Season 3, George and I sat down for a post-holiday catch up over two beers he’d brought back from his travels and one we’d been meaning to share for a while. Somehow, we also talked about Canada a lot. We offer our traditional recommendations and observations — and also take the chance to make a more-explicit-than-usual call for listener feedback (and suggestions for Year In Review gong-winners), backed-up by a sincere offer of a bribe in beer form…

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. Cheers!

Mash Collective 'The Old Persuader' (Sydney, 26 December 2013)
‘The Old Persuader’
Celis White (Emma's house, Sydney, 26 December 2013)
Celis White
Muskoka bottlecap (George's house, 19 January 2014)
Muskoka bottlecap

— Show notes:

  • (1.00) Lore Sjöberg’s current site is Bad Gods, and there’s a working archive of his early Brunching Shuttlecocks (from the golden age of When I Learned To Internet).
  • (1.30) Alternate titles: End Of Year Clear-out, What Survived Christmas In My Fridge, We Got Canada All Over the Place & Yay The Wombles For Not Being Parochial.
  • (2.00) Beer of the Week #1: Dave Wood’s ‘Beetnik IPA’. Which is also one of very-few homebrewed beers ever to appear in my Diary. And a full-size batch is in the works, Baylands-brewed indeed, and set for a Hashigo launch February 18 soon. (Updated Feb 13: In his weekly email for the bar, Dave noted — with understandable regret — that Beetnik’s first public outing has been delayed due to a technical hitch in the brewing. It’s been re-brewed, and so should be out in a month or so.)
  • (7.50) Super-slick Coromandel tourism website for foreigners. Or just use the Googler.
  • (8.40) Hot Water Brewing. Turns out George and I fittingly had ‘The Artist’ (his West Coast Brewery era barleywine) as part of this season’s opener.
  • (13.40) Good George’s localism is funny enough not to bother me. Much.
  • (15.10) Beer of the Week #2: Hot Water Brewing ‘Walker’s Porter’Beer in cans, in general, kicked off s03e04 — and the naffness of the Boundary Road one we had haunts me still.
  • (20.20) The LCBO (and The Beer Store) are deeply weird things. I bungled the history a bit, but the sense of confused outrage is about right.
  • (23.10) Steam Whistle brewery looks seriously bike-friendly, which I like.
  • (24.40) The Wombles are more awesome than you remember. And Orinoco pre-dated the Fourth Doctor by a half-dozen years.
  • (27.10) My small-bar infatuation was written up here, but is now giving way to Moral Panic rage — he says, shaking his head at NSW, and NZ.
  • (30.10) A perfect grade on his homework for Adrian Pua (one of the Sessionable Podcast team), who followed Jono’s suggestion from last time to the letter — while watching the aforementioned tennis.
  • (31.50) Apparently, Neil Finn himself considers Crowded House “a Melbourne band”, so I’ve softened my long-held stance on this point.
  • (33.20) Pre-emptive recommendation: Kererū ‘Moonless’ Stout.
  • (34.40) Call for submissions: As well as your own nominations for (Glass of) Beer of the Year, per our now-cemented tradition, we thought it high time to explicitly invite just general feedback. You can do so here (in the comments below), on Twitter (I’m @phil_cook, George is @GeorgeLanglands — his more-obscure surname not needing an underscore), on the Facebook page, or via the Contact Form Thing on here.
  • (35.40) I’d link to the Sherlock run-down, but it’s so very spoiler-ific indeed.
  • (38.00) Beer of the Week #3: Muskoka ‘Twice as Mad Tom’ IPA. The chairs are apparently better-known by their American name — and the beer must be strong, because neither of us correctly pronounced “Angelina Jolie”.
  • (41.30) This is another instance of Matt Kirkegaard and I spookily synching up.
  • (43.05) xkcd’s ‘What if?’ on the lake of tea. And my trivia fu was strong: in Star Trek there indeed was / will be a prison and a journalism school here. The Queef Of Queen Street seems to’ve been splatted by the copyright police or similar. Sigh.
  • (45.00) Beer news / events: Hashigo’s X-ale refuge from the madness of Sevens is this weekend and is genius — though the prospect of getting there and back through the throng is a little stomach-turning. Session beers continue to appear with delightful regularity. And “little bars who do something interesting” are doing well. Huzzah.
  • (48.30) Recommendations: The Moonless, again; Gunnamatta, always. And Cassels & Sons Pale Ale. And (further in): Northend Hoppy Wheat. Music recommendations, just because I have to: The Tragically Hip — maybe start with ‘Bobcageon’, and see how you go. And cross-train; The ‘7 Steps’ article is here, though the last tip is obviously way over the top. You can see three of my various diaries, here, too.
  • (54.30) Canada all over the place. Anyone else nostalgic for Due South? No, just us? Oh, and I gardened instead of putting down the homebrew. Sorry, Jono.
  • (55.40) We’ll buy a beer for: Kieran Haslett-Moore. Friend of the show, and Wizard of Fermentation. He’s on the Tweets, and blogs for (one of) his job(s) (see, for example, his nice little “I make beer for drinking” introduction of his Amber Ale — Capital Times columns are archived at his (other) blog, but the Magazine isn’t properly online. His Stone-&-Wood-Pacific-inspired Hoppy Wheat is just bloody lovely, too.
  • (58.30) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket.

Beer Diary Podcast s03e07: Jono Galuszka

Just before the holidays — so apologies for the delay but, you know, holidays — George and I sat down for a ramble with Jono Galuszka, journalist, beer-and-music nerd, former bartender and barista, and occasional drummer. We discuss the many and varied joys of homebrewing, the at-last semi-reliable appearances of good beer in unexpected places, and (inevitably) a bunch of music. We had a venue change for this episode, so the background dog-shuffles have been replaced with regular overhead airplanes.

You may also note that B.O.T.W. #4 is a (non-boycott-breaking) Moa Sour Blanc. It prompted a predictable little side-ramble into their current situation. We’ve excised it from the main episode and present it below as a DVD Extra / after-credits scene. I allude a few times to a work-in-progress catch-up with post-IPO Moa, and I’ll try to get that done this week. (Meanwhile, I still really miss the Imperial Stout.)

As always, a direct download is available (plus one of the Bonus Bit), 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; feedback is absolutely always welcome — I’m also about to start working on providing a few more subscription and download options so any input on such mechanical details is extra-welcome. Cheers!

Yeastie Boys / Jono Galuszka 'Screwtop', with super-appropriate newspaper (Hashigo Zake, 28 August 2013)
Yeastie Boys / Jono Galuszka ‘Screwtop’
Wellington's closing time announcement (Cambridge Terrace, 18 December 2013)
Wellington’s new closing time announcement
Liberty's Bhuty Choc at SOBA's "¬Matariki" (Hunter Lounge, 20 July 2013)
Liberty’s Bhuty Choc at SOBA’s “¬Matariki”


— Show notes:

  • (0.50) I do say this every week, but still. Check out the Coconut Monkeyrocket.
  • (2.30) Beer of the Week #1: Jono’s own [un-named] Belgian golden ale. The other-yeast variant apparently turned out okay, too.
  • (12.30) Friends-of-the-show cross-referencing: Stu McKinlay and Jo Wood.
  • (15.00) Geoff Griggs’ regular Marlborough Express column. ‘Beer minimum of respect’ is the column that Jono and I had particularly in mind.
  • (17.00) Michael Forbes and Shane Cowlishaw’s Beerhive blog.1
  • (19.00) The gear’s all here, but I haven’t yet managed to fire it up. I’ve been gardening.
  • (19.30) Beer’s recent ‘normalising’ turn — session beers and four/six-packs. Also, the Hallertau-Liberty mini-conglom is officially The Beer Fountain.
  • (23.10) Beer of the Week #2: Stewart Brewing ‘Top Of The Hops’. Which was definitely tasty, but that extra (accidental?) point of booze counts against, in context.
  • (27.00) Good beer outside the main centres — and getting around big-brewery-lockdown contracts. And good beer in “non-beer” bars.
  • (29.30) Further friend-of-the-show cross-referencing: Hadyn Green.
  • (30.10) Neil Miller’s Beer & Brewer blog, which does indeed include the Backbencher and Thistle pieces Jono mentions.
  • (33.10) The Beer Diary Podcast basically started with Emerson’s Pilsner. It probably really is time to revisit it in detail. (He says, making a mental note. And a real note.)
  • (34.20) Beer of the Week #3: Jono’s own [un-named] Chili Pale Ale.
  • (45.40) Jono’s day jobhis blog (and its original incarnation, so you can trawl the back catalogue), and his Twitter account (to save you spelling it).
  • (47.00) The WilliamsWarn, the (super-slick) bread machine of homebrewing.
  • (51.40) Beer of the Week #4: Moa Sour Blanc.
  • (54.30) Spiegelau glass de-brief. And I’m having a PKB in the IPA one, now.
  • (1.00.30) Recommendations: Session IPAs (the aforementioned Semiconductor, XPA, etc.), good cider (not the RTDs in drag which are flooding the market). Rodenbach Grand Cru and/or Vintage. Drinking “out of season”. Summer Sommer — which has actually run out in the meantime, but will be back. And try Export Citrus.
  • (1.10.00) Also: play more games. Tabletop Day is coming up, again, too.
  • (1.11.20) Music: Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’, Richard Hawley, and BBC6. Plus Beastwars and the All Seeing Hand.
  • (1.19.00) Beer Thanksgiving: 1) Dave Wood (overlord of SOBA and Hashigo, and open-hearted beer geek), 2) Martin Craig (Pursuit of Hoppiness editor and former blogger), and 3) George Langlands himself, lovely chap that he is.
  • (1.22.30) Belatedly happy holidays! I still owe you all a fuzzy-microphone photo.
  • (1.22.50) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

1: Interesting that Fairfax / has so much good beer-related content online, and increasingly good stuff, yet is still an offender in the Use Beer To Illustrate Moral Panic cliché stakes. 

Beer Diary Podcast s03e06: Stu McKinlay, Yeastie Boy

George and I recently had the pleasure of sitting down — for a record number of Beers Of The Week, amidst all the banter — with Stu McKinlay, notorious pants-wearer, and one half (give or take) of the Yeastie Boys. We crash-tested whether fresh is best, sampled some ill-fated beers from the Great Drought era, and heard the origin story for several individual beers and for the unique operation itself — before turning to industry-wide issues like collegiality in the beer business and the culture of consuming alcohol. (Some local wildlife joined in as Special Guest Stars, with Zola the dog providing various thumps and scuffles, and myriad native birds adding a backing track.)

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; feedback is absolutely always welcome — I’m also about to start working on providing a few more subscription and download options so any input on such mechanical details is extra-welcome. Cheers!

Yeastie Boys handpull
Yeastie Boys handpull, my view on ‘Daughter Porter’ night
Yeastie Boys 'Golden Perch', during Dioramarama
Yeastie Boys ‘Golden Perch’, during Dioramarama
Firestone Walker's utterly fucking marvellous 'Double DBA'
Firestone Walker’s utterly fucking marvellous ‘Double DBA’


— Show notes:

  • (0.38) Get the coloured-pants references out of the way right out the gate, and welcome friend of the show Stu McKinlay, Yeastie Boy.
  • (1.55) “Bagonza” is way better than “Suhguhbuhguhnnnn-zah”, to which I resorted in previous episodes, when sponsor’s initials were awkwardly appended to the acronym.
  • (8.50) Beer of the Week #1: Pot Kettle Back, 2ed. #freshisnotbest
  • (18.00) I’m trying to find the link to Yeastie Boys’ explanation of the Great Yeastie Drought — which set the bar for open and honest communication from a brewery — but it seems to’ve been splatted when Posterous closed down. These are the perils of the modern internets, I suppose.
  • (19.45) Moments of Zola are just wonderful, and I say this as a committed Cat Person. If superadorable puppies are you thing, follow George on the Tweets for a daily dose.
  • (22.55) Beer of the Week #2: Digital IPA, plus microbial guest(s).
  • (24.55) I spent a good part of the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out clever ways to rescue these beers, from a retail point of view. They would’ve been worth it.
  • (25.40) Beer of the Week #3: Gunnamatta, likewise accidentally remixed.
  • (28.40) I’ve learned a lot about music by Googling beer names from Yeastie Boys.
  • (29.45) I loved Hud-a-wa’ — and the confusion its name caused.
  • (32.30) At time of writing, ‘Perch’ is my third most-checked-in beer, claiming a place in a crowd otherwise populated by predictable freebies I get from work. And Gunnamatta.
  • (40.50) Stu’s probably here anticipating a friendly-but-philosophical debate on “origin-fudging”, which we never really got around to in this episode. Another time, for sure.
  • (41.20) Beer of the Week #4: Firestone Walker ‘Double DBA’, which truly was face-meltingly awesome. Seriously mind blowing and delicious.
  • (44.20) John Palmer’s website (and book) is admirably simply-named How To Brew. The entire first edition is online for free, which is just awesome.
  • (46.20) Shit Beer Geeks Say: “…but in a good way.”
  • (49.30) Tea. So much tea.
  • (55.10) Untappd ratings’ inappropriateness was on my mind as I uploaded this, too.
  • (56.55) Prison Brew sounds amazing. Let’s stage this again, someone, please.
  • (58.30) Beer of the Week #5: Rex Attitude, vaguely vintaged, which George bravely re-tries after his ordeal way back in s01e03. I love its origin story, and hereby apologise for perpetuating the not-quite-right one for ‘Men’n Skurrts’.
  • (1.10.40) Five Yeastie Beers for Five Yeastie Years, a.k.a. Dioramarama, really does deserve a post of its own. But I am, as always, appallingly far behind with such things.
  • (1.11.45) Yeastie Boys Tea Party / Yeas-tea Something. Mere days away! Wellingtonians, mark your calendars; non-Wellingtonians, book travel. George and I have quiz-related duties on the night, but will make sure to stop by before and/or after.
  • (1.15.30) Beastwars were unsurprisingly awesome. Get familiar with them a.s.a.p..
  • (1.18.40) Recommendations: The original ‘G.A.o.B.’, by Rowland S. Howard, and A Tribe Called Quest, probably on Rdio. And any steaming service is welcome to my tip-jar idea. I just want it implemented.
  • (1.22.45) Beer of the Week #6: Townshend ‘Flemish Stout’. We did have this a few episodes ago, and I’m entirely on board with Stu’s generalised praise for Martin. I don’t have a photo of the 750s, sadly; I should grab some for my stash.
  • (1.28.00) In praise of sessionability, for all sorts of reasons.
  • (1.31.00) The various ways PBE encouraged sensible drinking are a real factor in its loveliness as a festival. I also owe you all a festival-roundup. (A non-podcast one, at least, our surprisingly-balanced assessment of Beervana was our last episode.)
  • (1.33.30) Pete Brown on alco-pops, a.k.a. “ciders”.
  • (1.38.40) See, e.g., Victoria Bitter and Crafty Beggars.
  • (1.40.10) 90% of the random thumps, and 100% of the slurping noises, were Zola.
  • (1.40.30) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

Beer Diary Podcast s03e05: Licensing wrangles and Beervana afterthoughts

Requiring more We Do Not Here Represent Our Day Jobs than usual, George and I recently had a little ramble about a few potentially-controversial topics in the Beer Business: the ongoing shitfight-with-a-side-order-of-handwringing that is the Licensing Laws Debate, and the continuing evolution of the nation’s most-senior beer festival, Beervana. My apologies — again!; you are an understanding lot — for the delay in posting, though there is something appropriate about getting my Afterthoughts out on the eve of the next (much littler) festival.

There are plenty of contentious little angles in both topics, and I find myself taking unusually-middle-ground-ish positions on each to which I might have to return in fuller detail some day, but here — off the cuff, in good company, and over a few beers — are some initial thoughts, at least…

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; feedback is absolutely always welcome — I’m also about to start working on providing a few more subscription and download options so any input on such mechanical details is extra-welcome. Cheers!

Black Isle's Rosetta Stone label
Black Isle’s Rosetta Stone
Mor Braz 'La Biere Cidree'
Mor Braz ‘La Biere Cidree’
Black Isle's white label
Black Isle’s white label

— Show notes:

  • (1.10) We’ve had a roaming dog before, when we visited Kieran’s wonderful little in-house pub. And George’s #momentsofzola really are worth it.
  • (2.00) Beer of the Week #1: Speakeasy ‘Prohibition Ale’.
  • (4.00) Repeal of the Licensing Laws, from first principles rather than down in the weeds of the details. This might be my best-ever excuse for not doing my homework, but it really is my main point here.
  • (6.30) The usual disclaimers, and all that.
  • (10.00) Don’t get me started on the soft discrimination against nocturnal people unless you’re ready for a long grumpy rant. It’s a sore point, for obvious reasons.
  • (14.50) And yes, I did mean John Morrison. Wellington really dodged a bullet, there.
  • (17.30) Just when I was feeling depressed and anxious, ‘Prohibition’ saved me.
  • (18.30) Dominic’s blog is always worth a look, and his two rants were right on point.
  • (19.20) Beervana happened, but mostly to Other People, because I’m clumsy. And it’s changed a lot, about which I’m about to get even-handedly philosophical…
  • (22.06) That was Zola, not some spooky re-enactment of me flinching at curing glue.
  • (27.05) It was ‘Taylor Grabs the Goose’, a kind-of-collaboration between Taylor’s on Jackson (a Petone restaurant) and the Goose Shack (a food truck).
  • (34.30) [SPOILER ALERT]: It’s time for Beervana to open its books.
  • (37.20) Beer of the Week #2: Black Isle ‘Hibernator’ Oatmeal Stout.
  • (47.20) Rye, en Français, is apparently “seigle”. But George never gave me the photo.
  • (47.40) Beervana, as a visitor. The WilliamsWarn is a pretty cool piece of kit, and now there’s a second generation of nerdier, often-Kickstarter’ed, successors coming. And the Beervana “tasting notes” are truly useless — except when the breweries take the time fuck with them.
  • (1.04.00) I mean Bank’s Brewing Hardware. Also, read more Jono and eat more baking.
  • (1.08.40) Beer of the Week #3: Black Isle ‘Black Run’, which is evidently an Imperial Stout, and Tomatin (which should rhyme with “satin”) is a nearby distillery.
  • (1.12.50) Recommendations: The resurrected Limburg beers / recipes / notions, in their “Bach Brewing” guise are proving very tasty. They really were the Temple Of The Dog of their day, I very vaguely recall. And drink a bunch of Yeastie Boys stuff. Golding’s Free Dive needs to be added to my Usual Disclosures, since I’ve now done them a few cameo shifts, but the praise pre-dates that and is sincere. And Blacklight.
  • (1.20.30) Speaking of cans, I just had a Hot Water Brewing one today and it was rad.
  • (1.22.00) Three minutes of Moa News, which meanwhile wound up mentioned in a Sunday Reading — and besides, they were being silly in the paper again just today.
  • (1.25.30) Neil Cross deserves a beer, for (among other things), Luther. George gave the nomination, and is chasing up the beer-delivery — since my luck’s been so bad.
  • (1.30.45) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.
Garage Project 'L'il Red Rye' in France
Proof of George’s bottle of Garage Project ‘L’il Red Rye’, somewhere in France

Beer Diary Podcast s03e04: (Postponed) pre-Beervana Hostful

And we’re back. Though we’re not quite as back as we intended. This happens to us, sometimes. George has been abnormally busy, post-holiday — though often with new-puppy-related duties about which he’s not remotely about to complain — and I was diverted, in the actual around-Beervana-itself days, by ingloriously falling off my bike.1 But at last, we’re back. Much (though by no means all) of the conversation was looking-ahead to events now past, but we’re presenting them here mostly unvarnished and uncorrected so you can test how prescient and/or very-very-wrong we were. More generally, we ponder beer in cans (and drink one) and the burgeoning (but still finding-its-feet) world of the beer documentary.

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; feedback is absolutely always welcome. Cheers!

Boundary Road 'Cantainer'
Boundary Road’s shiny new ‘Cantainer’
Townshend's Collaboration Series
Townshend’s Collaboration Series
Richard's portrait
‘Deafinition’ — Richard Emerson’s portrait

— Show notes:

  • (1.05) Whoop-ass always makes me think of Maya Angelou, strangely.
  • (1.35) Beer in cans (and the Usual Disclaimer), launching off from Beer of the Week #1: Boundary Road ‘Mumbo Jumbo’. By ‘New Yorker poster’, I mean the View of the World from 9th Avenue. I saw re-launched cans of Leigh Sawmill at Beervana, and spied the re-branded Harrington’s bottles in the supermarket (beside the old ones, which now rank highly on the list of Starkest Contrasts, Ever), but am still eagerly awaiting a Hot Water Brewing can (but he is brewing, now). Churchkey is so fucking hipster, but also utterly, utterly gorgeous (but is from the US, not the UK). I had great fun with Maui’s porter and IPA. The Monteith’s black bottle, I must admit, looked really cool — but they couldn’t non-absurdly promote it, given their premise (a point to which we return). Meanwhile, Mumbo Jumbo turns out to be pants.
  • (10.10) George is keen to point out — after near-interminable school-age forced re-watchings of Hypothermia: Such a Stupid Way to Die — that you’re not supposed to take alcohol camping. </PSA>
  • (12.30) There is only one i in Aluminum (see footnote 3).
  • (13.00) My BrewDog / Boundary Road (/ Batman reference) rant is here, if you need it.
  • (15.00) Beer of the Week #2: Townshend ‘Last of the Summer Ale’; ESB, but weirdified, and in a much-sexier new bottle, speaking of judging a beer by its label.
  • (22.30) Outmoded previews, for the West Coast IPA Challenge and ¬Matariki. My post-match for the latter should be up later this week, just to pile on the skewed timing.
  • (24.50) pre-Beervana speculation, including the Lion sponsorship announcement and the tricky issue of disclosure. I’ll have to have my full-on debrief very soon, but it’s going to be a doozy… Choice Beer Week also felt happily felt like more of “a thing”.
  • (29.00) Beer documentaries (which the a certain part of my brain really wants to call “malty-media”). Hashigo actually showed the new Beer Hunter film, rather than the original TV series. Both are totally worthy of your time, though the great modern nonfiction beer epic is still waiting to be made: Beer Wars and Beertickers are both seriously flawed and recommended viewing. But seriously, Scratch shows how the ‘sub-culture’ genre is done (though King of Kong is a contender for runner-up, too, though with a conflict — rather than history and/or overview — focus).
  • (36.40) Beer of the Week #3: Emerson’s ‘Deafinition’ Old Ale. Which is utterly pun-tastic and gorgeous and fun and goes a long way towards allaying the fears / quiet bits of reserve / healthy skepticism expressed in the post-buyout podcast episode, unless it’s all a double-bluff. (The wire cage, by the way, is apparently a muselet.)
  • (49.20) Boundary Road’s ‘Blind Taste Test’, just to depress myself again, since looking back at the can unexpectedly reminded me. Sexy need not be sexist.
  • (51.20) Recommendations: Croucher Ethiopean Coffee Stout (at Hop Garden, or indeed anywhere else), and Schipper’s ‘Scallywag’ (likewise), which puts George in mind of Peabody’s Improbable History. Tuatara ‘Blacklight’, the only fault in which is the boozier-than-is-evident punch — and the UV-reference isn’t obvious enough to count as a warning. Liberty ‘Darkest Day’, as well, and ParrotDog ‘Otis’ since I bloody loves oatmeal stout, I do — #oatsforawesome! Garage Project L’il Red Rye gets the non-conflicted nod from George, too (but is all gone, sorry).
  • (1.02.20) On the Beer List — ironically, as it turns out — Tom Scott. Not the local one, the London one; who is on the YouTube, the Twitters, and the General Internets. George loaded up a bottle of Yeastie Boys ‘Digital IPA’ (which felt appropriate) into his luggage, and I emailed Tom to tell him it was on its way if he would like a beer from the Antipodes. He seemed genuinely chuffed, but it turns out he doesn’t drink. So the Beer List’s streak of Incompletes continues — and if anyone else finds themselves in a position to buy Tom something else as a replacement, please do so on my behalf; he’s more than earned it. For a damn good start, I most-heartily recommend his pieces on gender-neutral pronouns, a scary-brilliant demonstration of modern privacy — and his digital-age pondering of beloved stuff.
  • (1.06.50) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.
  • (1.07.14) Has anyone noticed these post-credits Easter Eggs George manages to find on the cutting-room floor? Because that’s probably the best one yet.

1: More proximately, I meant to get this posted (at last) last night (and did get all the show notes done, at least), but was rendered less productive than usual by Engelbert Pumpernickel — so some tiny-tiny fraction of the blame lies with Stu and Matt and Mike. 

Beer Diary Podcast s03e03: Beer Names (and Festivals, again), with Hadyn Green

Catching up for the first time in a while, and not long after a now-notorious kerfuffle over the ‘Death From Above’ beer put out by Garage Project (site of my day job, if you haven’t already noticed), my friend and fellow red-bearded beer writer Hadyn Green and I were about to have a ramble about potentially-offensive beer names when George leapt in and suggested / insisted we save it for a podcast. And here, perhaps obviously, is the result.

As it perhaps would’ve in the pub, conversation looped around the place — frequently bouncing back to the “beer names” theme, with detours for recent and upcoming festivals among other more-random topics (and no shortage of videogames).

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; feedback is absolutely always welcome. Cheers!

Beers of the Week, s03e03
Beers of the Week, s03e03
'Death From Above' bottle label
‘Death From Above’  label
Hadyn and I, 'Matariki' 2012
Hadyn and I at ‘Matariki’
Yeastie Boys 'Golden Age of Bloodshed'
‘Golden Age of Bloodshed’, and a beetroot tattoo
Golding's Free Dive motto
Golding’s Free Dive motto: Beer is Love
Samuel Adams 'Boston Lager'
The original Diary and Sam Adams ‘Boston Lager’

— Show notes:

  • (0.45) George feels he undersold Hadyn, here, and now offers “writer, announcer, gamer, raconteur” — which is all definitely true — as a tagline. You can find Hadyn, on the Twitters and occasionally on Public Address, among many other pursuits.
  • (1.20) Beer of the Week #1: Regent 58 Stout. I’d link to the relevant column in FishHead, but the magazine stubbornly hasn’t properly joined the internets.
  • (3.50) Beer names and ‘offense’ versus good form, with the usual heavy disclaimers about my day job: I’m here strictly on my own time and not even remotely speaking on the brewery’s behalf. The seminal article on the Death from Above ‘nontroversy’ is worth a re-read, along with its comments and (in particular) Dom Kelly’s two blog posts thereafter — one pointed, one parodic. Moa’s ‘Black Power’ got Diary write-up, and ‘Bye Bye Blanket Man’ was one of one of the Wellington In A Pint beers we got through in a podcast episode last year.
  • (8.20) Apparently George cut out a lot of Apocalypse Now exegesis around here.
  • (9.20) I’ve had Murray’s (unrelated) ‘Heart of Darkness’, and it was great. By the way.
  • (10.10) People may notice my uneasy relationship with ‘open secrets’. I tend to want to make them more open. Which might get me in trouble, but I honestly think all sides of the Hopocalypse Now saga — as it could be called — are readily understandable; but clusterfuck inadvertently sparked by bad timing was unfortunate.
  • (12.50) There do exist a great deal of Hopocalypses.
  • (15.00) It’s entirely irrelevant to his point, but if you haven’t had the pleasure of the ‘Smoke & Oakum’ Gunpower Rum, you should. It’s sublime and fantastic. (But it is also fair to say that piracy isn’t free from controversial references, either! Moa are learning that the hard way, and while I think it’s obvious they didn’t intend to make the connection — they’d never be so subtle — they shouldn’t be at all surprised people could think so little of them. I just wish the media better-covered their actual nonsense.)
  • (17.10) The general feathered-wings motif is pretty common among U.S. Airborne logos and badges and whatnot, and you can find (weirdly childlike) versions with skulls and/or the slogan around the place, as well.
  • (18.30) Seriously, though, Spec Ops: The Line is a masterpiece.
  • (20.50) Oh look, there’s me still saying positive things about BrewDog.
  • (21.20) Blatantly sexist themed beers are left as an exercise for the listeners. Write in!
  • (22.20) Pumpclip Parade makes me equally sad, angry, and amused.
  • (23.10) I do hear of B.O.T.Y. #1 having consistency issues, as is par for the course for such small operations, so Y.M.M.V.. But I liked mine, and it wasn’t my first.
  • (24.30) Apparently the status of Haile Selassie vis-à-vis Rastafarianism is a little murkier than I suggest, here, but still. The philosopher in me always also asks how come cannabis is a sacrament, but people still shy away from hemlock tea?
  • (25.30) Beer of the Week #2: Townshend ‘Flemish Stout’.
  • (28.50) I notice that George didn’t edit this. So he’s probably mostly right.
  • (29.30) Blasphemous local beers are also left as an exercise for the audience.
  • (31.40) GABS debrief → Beervana preview. Last year’s posts, for comparison’s sake, form a good chunk of the May & June 2012 sections of the archive. Short version: tonnes of fun. And just awesome to see how the whole of Melbourne gets in the beery swing all week. I’ve got heaps of notes from this year; I’ll have to do a proper post. Dom’s write-up, just to throw you in his direction once more, is pretty-much bang on.
  • (39.30) The Hundredth Monkey Effect is, of course, bollocks. But still an apt analogy.
  • (42.20) From memory, it was Sam from Hashigo Zake who told me, and the beer was ‘Palate Wrecker’ (a.k.a. ‘Hamilton’s Ale’), from Green Flash. I’ll get some for B.O.T.Y..
  • (43.20) George fell into the double-negative trap and just meant “clarified”, here.
  • (45.45) Beer of the Week #3: 8 Wired ‘Bumaye’.
  • (48.50) The black market beer barter economy is a wonderful, unexpected thing.
  • (51.40) Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge is today, in fact. This has taken me a little while to get online, evidently. Their Darkest Day was tonnes of fun, and hopefully becomes an annual thing. ‘Matariki’ falls outside, you know, Matariki this year and I suppose therefore reverts to simply being the Winter Ale Festival. Meanwhile, to return to the theme, Garage Project’s entry is ‘Love From Above’ — a straight-APA version of ‘Death’, without the unusual ingredients (chili, lime, mint), and rather-obviously referencing the aforementioned clusterfuck.
  • (53.10) The ‘Tribute’ trademarkThe Glengarry-Hancock’s video is, I repeat, utterly marvellous. You should watch it (again), and heap scorn upon them for that and for the trademark application. In an uncharacteristically-wise move, they’ve withdrawn their application. But seriously, fuck them for even trying.
  • (57.30) Recommendations:ParrotDog ‘BloodyDingo’, their GABS festival beer, arguably a potentially-slightly-controversial name, and surely the spiritual successor to Hadyn’s mighty BitterHound blend. Yeastie Boys ‘Golden Age of Bloodshed’, which is a reference to a kick-ass track, and was another potential source of ignition for a good old-fashioned moral panic (which never eventuated). Dave Wood’s ‘Beetnik’ is one of the only home-brewed beers in my Diary, and it’s utterly marvellous. Baylands American IPA, which narrowly avoids being an offensive style name.
  • (1.10.00) Hadyn’s Heineken lessons, with Franck.
  • (1.20.50) More Recommendations: Three Boys Oyster Stoat.
  • (1.22.25) Here Be Dragons: Sam Adams ‘Boston Lager’, says George. Now imported by “Independent”, about whom I rambled recently in the BrewDog context. In the end, I did write to them. BrewDog forwarded me to the Boundary Road chaps, who straight-facedly said they don’t mind how their whole business model is roundly and routinely ridiculed by the Scots they now import. But yes, I have a soft spot for Boston Lager, since it is Beer #1 in my Diary.
  • (1.26.10) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.
GABS taps, late in the Festival
GABS taps, late in the Festival —  a great weekend that warrants a full post

Beer Diary Podcast s03e02: Baylands Brewery

Not too long ago, George and I headed out to Newlands (which wasn’t as far away or as, you know, rural as my City-boy brain had somehow assumed) to sit down for chat with Aidan and Nikki of the new Baylands Brewery — a fully-fledged commercial brewery built on tiny-tiny scale in their garage.1 We talk about turning a hobby into a business, juggling the many responsibilities involved, plans for the future — and how the whole enterprise very-nearly fell apart right at the outset. Since we recorded, the official launch night took place at Golding’s Free Dive here in Wellington — to apparent smashing success — so keep an eye out for more Baylands beer popping up around town; I definitely enjoyed my glass of American IPA, and (as you’ll hear) our two Baylands-brewed Beers of the Week.

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; feedback is absolutely always welcome. Cheers!

Baylands Brewery, almost in its entirety
Baylands Brewery, almost in its entirety
Baylands English ESB
B.O.T.W. #1: Baylands English ESB
Baylands Vanilla Imperial Stout
B.O.T.W. #2: Baylands Vanilla Imperial Stout
Baylands' three-tap kegerator
Super-awesome three-tap kegerator
Fermenter and ancient DB taps
300L fermenter and ancient DB taps
Lots of shiny steel, not much space
Lots of shiny steel, not much space
A bin of good omen
A bin of good omen

— Show notes:

  • (00.45) I’m an appalling City Boy for thinking that Newlands is “the outskirts”.
  • (03.20) The extra ‘Hello!’ from George & I is, from memory, us greeting Aidan & Nikki’s daughter, who wandered in from time to time. Unexpected recording session guests are something of a tradition, that started with George & Robyn’s cats.
  • (04.55) Beer of the Week #1: Baylands English E.S.B..
  • (07.50) Nikki’s blog, ‘Wife of a Brewer’, is definitely worth a look, and here’s the beer-as-baking post I was talking about, specifically.
  • (11.00) People often lament the lack of interaction between neighbours in the modern world. I hereby propose using the contents of various houses’ recycling bins to triage potential people worth introducing yourself to.
  • (19.30) A clever addition, this year, to the annual hop-fest that is Malthouse’s West Coast IPA Challenge was a kind of amateur / wildcard round. Since recording, it’s been and judged and gone, with Ryan Crawford taking the gong. He now gets the chance to brew (this weekend) his beer on Baylands’ kit to enter into the Main Event.
  • (24.55) Baylands’ debut beer was indeed a big American IPA — but not quite the batch they intended. We’ll get back to that in a bit.
  • (25.30) Beer of the Week #2: Baylands Vanilla Imperial Stout.
  • (37.40) Recommendations: Black Dog is the first thing to Aidan’s mind, and I have to say — as a fairly strident Big Brewery skeptic — that it really is a pleasant surprise; outright D.B.-owned, but apparently still operating with near-total creative control in the brewers’ hands, and a nicely-presented little bar / tasting room / off-license. And, in a weird coincidence, I was just talking about iStout Floats the other day on Twitter — you all really, really, really should have one.
  • (39.20) If you follow Nikki on Twitter — and you still should — you’ll see a lot of competition-related stuff, admittedly. It apparently pays off.
  • (40.30) George’s recommendation: Gunnamatta, still. (And fair enough!) Mine: Renaissance ‘Scotch on Rye’, a kinda-sorta mini-Stonecutter; lovely. I’ve had it a few times since, and stand by the recommendation, though George did recently try it and wasn’t so taken by it, so — as always — YMMV.
  • (42.10) 8 Wired Grand Cru is totally worth trying, and worth hoarding.
  • (44.20) And it might be time for a Central North roadtrip, since we do hear such nice things about Good George and Brew.
  • (50.50) Well, not at Hashigo on the 16th, in the end. The story goes that the queued-up first batch wasn’t quite as it should’ve been, and Aidan decided to postpone the launch until the next was ready, a few weeks later. The launch night — at Golding’s Free Dive, instead — seemed to be a cracking success, and the beer was pretty damn good. (It also coincided with Hashigo’s New-Zealand-launch of ParrotDog’s ‘BloodyDingo’, their GABS beer, and so gave Wellington another awesome night of Plural Beer Things On.)
  • (51.00) Baylands’ Facebook page, Twitter profile, website — and homebrew supply.
  • (51.50) Cue the music: ‘Shopping for Explosives’, by The Coconut Monkeyrocket. Audio editing done in Audacity. Habitual thanks to both.

1: For completeness and/or nostalgia, it’s worth pointing out that this is our second episode from a garage in which operates a very-little brewery. s01e05, way back when, was recorded at Garage Project — long before I worked there and long before it was (nearly) full of great big shiny steel tanks.