Tag Archives: Ale

Badger ‘Tangle Foot’

Badger 'Tangle Foot'
Badger 'Tangle Foot', where the beer-photography habit started

So here we are again with the dear old Tangle Foot. I’ve put the fuller story earlier in these pages, filed under the date of its original entry in the physical Diary. For now, the point is that once I started taking photos of my beer, I couldn’t resist the temptation to show them off. I started by uploading them to Facebook, where I started an album called ‘The Beer Nerd Diaries’ which eventually expanded out to include two sequels (‘The Beer Nerd Diaries 2: Eclectic Brewgaloo’ and ‘The Beer Nerd Diaries 3: Episode III: Revenge of the Pisht), before I got lazy. As I do.

I’ve classed those non-written-down-on-paper records as ‘Lazy Facebook diary entries’; though the photo-taking had finally started, it took a while before it and the Diary-writing habit synched-up with it properly.

Verbatim: Badger Tangle Foot. An old favourite, first discovered at King & Godfree’s in Melbourne, and re-discovered in the Malthouse fridge.

Emerson’s ‘Taieri George’

Emerson's 'Taieri George'
Diary entry #44, Emerson's 'Taieri George'

Verbatim: Emerson’s Taieri George. 14/4/08, 500ml, $7.5. At home, with leftovers from Moth’s birthday dinner. Dark, dark ruby. Surprisingly clean nose on a nice big warm ale. Not scary at all, I think. Very smooth.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: “Moth”, by the way, means “my mother”; we’re an odd family for nicknames. And many other reasons. (My father is usually referred to as “Grim”.)

And there was another four Mysteriously Blank Months, just there.

Orkney ‘Dark Island’

Orkney Dark Island
Diary entry # 43, Orkney 'Dark Island'

Verbatim: Orkney Brewery Dark Island. 10/12/07, $6ish, 4.6%, 500ml. Watching House. Very black, but the bubbles don’t hang around. Smells of the usual dark ale stuff, but quite light. Feels almost foamy, aerated. All this isn’t negative, it’s just less full-on than expected. Good dark ale, with zestiness and not too much bitterness.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: RateBeer.com has it as an ‘old ale’, and BeerAdvocate.com has it as a ‘scotch ale’. You can see how these things get tricky. I had it pegged, in my relative ignorance as porter-ish, but hey. I really should get to Orkney one day; I’ve had a few good beers from there, and it’s home to my beloved Highland Park whisky.

And, damn, that’s a scanner-friendly pen, isn’t it?


Diary entry #41, Ivanhoe (A Very English Pale Ale)

Verbatim: Ivanhoe (A very English pale ale). 18/11/07, $7ish, 5.2%, 500ml. Note sure why I started a new page. Watching Dr Who. Nice reddy-brown. Say it’s well-balanced, and it is. Geat beery beer. Proper stuff. Nice round hoppy and malty note.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: Every now and then, I’ll mess up something seemingly-simple about my Diary; like here skipping a page (which you can’t discern from the scan, obviously), or not having a black pen, as with Duvel. It worries me more than it should. I just have that kind of brain. But still, I get over it, and make the notations anyway. That’s a relief.

Meanwhile, I’ve never read Ivanhoe. Perhaps I should. Or perhaps it’ll just join the long list of classics that I’m not even ashamed to’ve not read. (I have vague recollections of having a comic book version when I was little, but don’t think I ever read that, either.) I can’t tell if that’s wrong of me, or if that’s just very ‘English’ all the moreso.


Fraoch Heather Ale
Diary entry #40, Fraoch Heather Ale

Verbatim: Fraoch Heather Ale. 500ml, $7ish, 5%, 29/10/07. Watching Dr Who, and having been randomly given a sprig of heather on Lambton Quay. Heather instead of hops. Apparently old school Gaelic. It’s good. Flowery, very slightly peaty (less than they say). The only fault would be that it’s not different enough, or as you’d expect. Oh. Surprising kick, though. And grows on you. Better when less cold.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: The timing really did weird me out, here. I’d bought a bottle in the previous few days, and had it sitting on my desk at my place on the Terrace. Then, when wandering home, some very peculiar chap was walking down the street handing out sprigs of heather. How the hell could I not take the hint? I did wish that the beer was as peculiar as the chap — but I also know these unhopped beers would hardly be commercially-viable if they were as utterly freaky as I (for some reason) wish they would be. But this, like the Spruce Beer not-too-long before it, was good fun.

Atlas ‘Three Sisters’

Atlas 'Three Sisters'
Diary entry #39, Three Sisters Scottish Ale

Verbatim: Three Sisters Scottish Ale. 500ml, $7ish, 4.2%, 27/10/07. Watching Top Gear and having a beer to normalise after going to a mad Christian thing. Bubbles vanish. Smells very dark / burnt coffee and choc. Decent dark ale, but.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: The “mad Christian thing” was the big (and creepily-named) ‘Harvest’ thing that evangelical bigwig Greg Laurie threw here in civilised old Wellington. It was pretty strange. Though, admittedly, I was there specifically to witness the strange. Even the few Christian friends (I have plenty, actually) I bumped into there were pretty weirded-out, too.

Hofbrau Munchner Weisse (et. al.)

Hofbrau Munchner Weisse
Diary entry #37, Hofbrau Munchner Weisse

Verbatim: Hofbräu Münchner Weisse. 500ml, 5.1%, 20/8/07. Reward for fixing the German flatmate’s ‘puter. Nice cloudy straw wheat. Not overfly fruity or flowery. Clean and smooth.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: Oh yeah, in addition to being a Beer Nerd, I’m something of a Regular Nerd too. Sometimes, the two “talents” come together nicely.

The Schneider Aventinus will crop up much later in its (gloriously mad) ‘Eisbock’ form, but that’s my first confirmed Malthouse Diary entry. For rather-obvious reasons, it’s destined to be the site of a ludicrous chunk of the book from here out.

And there’s Renaissance ‘Stonecutter’. Also set to turn up later with a lovely photo. So, so tasty. Just go get one, now, if you’ve never had it.

Wigram ‘James Cook Spruce Beer’

James Cook (no relation)
Statue of James Cook, Newmarket, Auckland

Verbatim: James Cook Spruce Beer. 500ml, $5, 5%, 18/5/07. Made by the increasingly-appreciated Wigram. Good solid beer, flavoured with spruce and manuka. Tried on suspicion that it’s what ‘Te Kawa’ should be. And it is. This is very nice, unique, and interesting. Still accessible.

Afterthoughts, on the occasion of taking that photo, September 2009: Lion Breweries put up a statue to Captain Cook outside their Megaplant in Auckland. Because, as you may not know, he brewed New Zealand’s first beer. That does give me a bit of Shared Last Name-y Glow, so I snapped a photo while I was up in town for a bit of an after-birthday roadtrip.

If you’re curious, Wigram Brewery make a ‘James Cook Spruce Beer’ which is a rough approximation. New to the country, Cook mistook Rimu for Spruce, and Manuka for Tea Tree, and had a crack at an old (pre-hops) method of English brewing.

The result is, well, woody. It’s like licking an absolutely stunning piece of antique furniture. If you’re going to be licking cabinetry, then this is the way to do it, the best possible of that particular set of peculiar circumstances — but however good it might be, you’re still licking cabinetry.

Still, it’s definitely one to have for Uniqueness Points.

Wigram 'James Cook Spruce Beer'
Diary entry #36, James Cook Spruce Beer

Afterthoughts, October 2010: Odd that I didn’t find this, well, more odd. Because it really rather is. Still, I do like unhopped beers. Certainly much more than most Beer Nerds do. The other beer — actually spelled “TaaKawa” — is another unhopped beer made with native plants instead, in that case Kawakawa, but I just found it too… normal. Not special and different enough, maybe out of commercial caution, but still. Oh, and the mention of it — in the absence of an actual entry — also suggests that I was still pretty lousy at remembering to take notes.

Young’s ‘Special London Ale’

Young's Special London Ale
Diary entry #34, Young's Special London Ale

Verbatim: Young’s Special London Ale. 500ml, $5, 6.4%, 14/5/06. Bottle conditioned, and it shows; gorgeous bubbles. Dark amber color, big round taste, malty + with hops for, well, England. All-around wonderfully beery. Brilliant, but definately not for everyone.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: Everybody ready? We’re about to fall off another cliff of Ridiculous Slackness…

Black Sheep ‘Monty Python’s Holy Grail’

Monty Python's Holy Grail
Diary entry #30, Monty Python's Holy Grail

Verbatim: Monty Python’s Holy Grail. 500ml, $5, 4.9%, 21/10/05. Reading random astronomy-stuff. From the Black Sheep Brewery, and allegedly official — also “tempered over burning witches”. Big English ale, really. Little bit fruity, not overly bitter or blunt. Good stuff.

Afterthoughts, October 2010: Definitely official, it turns out. Commissioned for the Pythons’ 30th anniversary. ‘Gimmick’ beers are always tricky, but this was enjoyable enough. And that’s eight entries / six months where all the Diary entries are British (all English, bar one). Odd, but it does make up for the initial flood of Continental stuff.