Tag Archives: beer

More New Zealand Beers.

Getting myself from Auckland to New Plymouth last year was a hellish mission. Think road works and foul weather and hairpin turns and four-cylinder engines and utter lack of cell signal. On the left-hand side of the road. Under the cover of night. I’m not sure whether I mined some value from the experience, or if the return journey was so fantastic that it masked the horror I felt while making that drive alone, but I thought it wise to once again hire an automobile this year. AND decided to shake things up by flying into Wellington in Auckland’s stead, a route that turned out to be nearly as lengthy, but a lot less nerve-racking.

Anyway, down to beer business. I added a few new Kiwi beers to the list while hanging ’round New Plymouth. Unfortunately, I still haven’t made it to Mike’s Organic Brewery. (I’m determined to go next year.) I did have amazing eggs florentine at Lahar in Okato, though, so it’s all good. When I arrived back in Wellington, the beer situation got really interesting. My friend Tully (of #TullysWellington Instagram fame) sent me to beer heaven, also known as Malthouse on Courtenay Place. I walked in, grabbed a stool, and said, “I would like a New Zealand beer that I’ve never had before.” Then this happened:

Tasters

The guy behind the bar, Van, was ah-mazingly knowledgable and keen to serve up all kinds of wonderful beers of which I’d never heard. My favorite was definitely Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black. The Yeastie Boys’ name didn’t hurt their case, but their beer was pretty much the best beer I’ve had in… well, a long time. This is what they say about Pot Kettle Black:

“Pot Kettle Black is our multi-award winning ‘Black IPA’ (that some call a ‘Hoppy Porter’). The different names convey the fact that this beer is a contradiction of styles: fresh and hoppy, yet dark and rich. Most importantly it is mindbendingly delicious and a complete original.”

Check the freshly alphabetized KIWI BEER LIST here.

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The Aussie Beer List Lives!

$12 Beer.

$12 Beer.

I’m in Margaret River, WA at the moment, where you can’t stumble over without landing in some fantastic winery or brewery’s car park, so I’m finding lots of great local beers. And also spending too much money in the name of beer snobbery. Please, make my “efforts” worthwhile and go check the latest.

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Pine Tree State Beerin’

While I was up in the hinterlands (Maine), I acquired a few exceptional new beers for the Yankee List. My favorite was Sunday River Brew Pub’s Alpine Porter, which tastes like pine trees. Seriously. It’s weird but amazing. Portland, M.E.’s Allagash Black (which I’d never seen before) is fantastic, as well.

Allagash. black.

Anddd I realize this is kind of annoying, but I’ve also added a very small-batch beer that you’re unlikely to come across… I feel it deserves a spot on the list: The Maple Brown Sugar Cranberry Xmas Ale was created by my friend Josh Hahn. Josh is probably not related to those Hahn brewers in Oz, but he has equal (if not greater) brewmaster skills. Thanks, Josh!

If you click on that link up there, you can see the entire list. As always, discourse is encouraged.

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Cheers!

Merry Christmas! Click here for the complete Yankee Beer List.

Merry Christmas! Click here for the complete Yankee Beer List.

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LDW

#MDW ushers in the party. The people. The unending well of booze. The chaos.

With summertime on the Jersey Shore comes, at once, free-for-alls and obligations. Work and play overload. Sleep deprivation. Heat, humidity, south wind, and ankle-biter waves.

#LDW ushers in the party. Whisks away the people. The chaos. The booze remains, but the flow is ever so slightly constricted. Beach jobs vanish, but sleep reappears. Kind of.

I’ve been anticipating autumn. My friend asked me why the other day, and I told her that I’ve been living in summer for a year. Which, believe me, is not a complaint. Jetting from last year’s East Coast apple cider season into Gold Coast spring, then from the earliest hints of Sydney fall to May in New York was wonderful, but I want to wear long sleeves. I want to sleep under blankets. I want to exist without a perpetual layer of grimy sweat on my skin. I need a couple of good hair days.

Technically, it’s still summer, but Labor Day weekend is the end of summer for us. I spent the weekend working, non-stop. I feel acutely aware of seasonal shifts after dodging them. On LDW, I juggled Summer Ales with pumpkin lattes, surfed without a wetsuit and then put on a pair of boots. On Monday evening, it was like a switch had been flipped. The rain blew in, the bennies ran out, and the beach remained deserted. The next morning, the wind laid out the sea, the sky turned silver, and we knew that sets weren’t far behind. So, here’s to local summer. To hurricane season. To flavorful beers and free parking and a lack of badge checkers. And waves upon waves upon waves.

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The Definitive (Maybe) KIWI Beer List

Malthouse in Wellington.

Malthouse in Wellington.

  1. Boundary Road Brewery The Chosen One
  2. Boundary Road Brewery Flying Fortress
  3. Boundary Road Brewery Jack The Sipper
  4. Dead, Twisted, and Good Black Forest Bitter
  5. Emerson’s London Porter
  6. Lion Red
  7. Mac’s Black Mac Dark Beer
  8. Mac’s Hop Rocker Pilsener
  9. Mac’s Sassy Red Best Bitter
  10. Mac’s Gold All Malt Lager
  11. Mac’s Shady Pale Pale Ale
  12. Mac’s Cascade Parade IPA
  13. Mac’s Ginger Brew
  14. Mike’s Organic Pilsner
  15. Monteith’s Pilsner
  16. Monteith’s Celtic Red
  17. Monteith’s Doppelbock Winter Ale
  18. ParrotDog Bitter Bitch
  19. Queenstown Brewers Steam Brew
  20. Speight’s Summit Lager
  21. Speight’s Gold Medal Ale
  22. Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark
  23. Speight’s Chocolate Ale
  24. Speight’s Distinction Ale
  25. Steinlager
  26. Stoke Lager
  27. Tui East India Pale Ale
  28. Tui Dark
  29. Winnie’s Ale
  30. Wild Buck
  31. Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black. (Best beer in history? Probably.)
  32. Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Tea Leaf IPA
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Beer!

It’s becoming trickier to find new ones. Any suggestions? (They’ve got to be Australian.)

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THE Scotland List

Beer. What else? In vaguely chronological order:

  1. Tennent’s Lager
  2. BrewDog 5 a.m. Saint
  3. Belhaven St. Andrews Ale
  4. Houston Barochan Chestnut Ale
  5. Stewart Holy Gr’Ale
  6. Williams Brothers Ceilidh Lager
  7. Tennent’s Ember
  8. Caledonian Deuchars IPA
  9. John Smith’s Extra Smooth
  10. Crabbie’s Ginger Beer
  11. Dark Island Dark Ale
  12. Latitude Highland Pilsner

See the AUSSIE list here.

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Maine. ly. And Fall Approacheth.

I could feel the thunder rumbling in the tires of my car. It was raining so hard that everyone was pulled to the side of the Parkway, which was, incidentally, flooded. I was still in New Jersey: 8 hours to go.

The weather turned 8 hours into 10, and then continued battering us, even after we reached Maine. Luckily, Maine offers lots of great outlet shopping and waffle cones of Ben & Jerry’s. (Two scoops: Chocolate Therapy and Coconut Seven Layer Bar.) Maine also happens to be home to many scenic, rushing rivers and precarious lookouts. (These are still there in the rain. And less crowded, though probably more dangerous.) When it’s not raining, evenings in Maine bring thousands of stars, and for my family, Scrabble tournaments. We supplement our wits with Shipyard and Smuttynose and Magic Hat and Sea Dog. On day four, the sun decided to join us for our trip on the Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington. Peaking at 6,288 feet, which isn’t even that high, Mt. Washington is infamous for its extremely fickle and hazardous weather. Partly due to my parents’ impeccable meterological judgment and partly due to sheer luck, it was brilliantly sunny and cloudless at the top.

Continue reading

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My Official (Ever Incomplete) Aussie Beer List

In vaguely alphabetical order, kind of. New brews are in bold.

  1. The Bimbo Blonde
  2. Blue Sky Cairns Gold
  3. Blue Sky Woody Ale
  4. Blue Tongue Lager
  5. Bootleg Brewery Toms Amber Ale
  6. Bootleg Brewery Raging Bull
  7. Burleigh Brewing Co. 28 70s Style Pale Ale
  8. Burleigh Brewing Co. Big Head
  9. Burleigh Brewing Co. FIGJAM IPA
  10. Burleigh Brewing Co. Hassle Hop (GABS)
  11. Burleigh Brewing Co. My Wife’s Bitter

    Burleigh's FIGJAM IPA

    Burleigh’s FIGJAM IPA

  12. Carlton Black
  13. Carlton Draught
  14. Carlton Midstrength
  15. Victoria Bitter
  16. Melbourne Bitter
  17. Pure Blonde
  18. Pure Blonde White
  19. Big Helga (Carlton)
  20. Cascade Draught
  21. Cascade Green
  22. Cheeky Monkey Travelling Monk
  23. Colonial Brewing Co. Kolsch Ale

    Colonial Brewing Co. in Margaret River, WA

    Colonial Brewing Co. in Margaret River, WA

  24. Colonial Brewing Co. Witbier
  25. Colonial Brewing Co. Pale Ale
  26. Colonial Brewing Co. India Pale Ale
  27. Colonial Brewing Co. Porter
  28. Colonial Brewing Co. Dampf
  29. Coopers Pale Ale
  30. Coopers Sparkling Ale
  31. Coopers Light
  32. Coopers Mild Ale
  33. Coopers Stout
  34. Coopers Clear
  35. Coopers Dark Ale
  36. Coopers 62 Pilsner
  37. Endeavor True Vintage Beer 2011 Reserve Amber Ale
  38. 4 Pines Brewing Pale Ale
  39. Gage Roads Brewing Co. Sleeping Giant IPA
  40. Great Northern Brewing Co. Super Crisp Lager
  41. XXXX Gold
  42. XXXX Summer Bright Lager
  43. Hahn Premium
  44. Hahn Super Dry
  45. Boag’s Draught
  46. James Boag’s Premium Lager
  47. James Boag’s Premium Light
  48. James Squire Brewhouse Highway Man Red Ale      Continue reading
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