Travellin’ south

Too much drinking to do, too little time. While there should be a proper review of the Hobgoblin Ruby Beer coming up later today (I figure it’ll still be Thursday somewhere by the time it’s done) I’ve come to realise there’s not enough hours in a day to do this for everything so from here on in I’ll be working in mini-reviews, usually for beers purchased over the bar where one is inclined not to sniff and swirl and carry on anyway because, let’s face it, it makes you look a bit of a dick so there’s less I can pick up about them in any case. Plus it’ll probably do me good to, like, go out of the house every once in a while.

This is also as good a time as any to give a bit of a shout out to some of the Dunedin pubs I frequented when I was down there recently Continue reading

Review #23 – Hallertau Beastwars

This one’s a bit different, and in theory it should be easy since half my work is done for me. This custom-brewed, limited edition IPA is named for Beastwars, a sludgey, stoner metal band out of Wellington. It’s a proper tie-in, it seems, and there’s a link given on the label where you can listen to Beastwars’ album. It’s not an entirely original idea; it follows on from recent efforts from Emersons to commemorate the Dunedin sound and came out around the same time as Epic’s 30 year Ale, ‘celebrating’ Flying Nun’s 30 year anniversary last November though I’d argue Epic really didn’t try very hard: Continue reading

Review #22 – Coopers Best Extra Stout

Tightarse Tuesday time again, and just for something different I’ve gone for another bottle of Coopers. This time it’s the Best Extra Stout*, as opposed to the Happy Super Pale Ale or the Superlative Triple Ultimate Porter. Silly names aside, it ticks two out of three boxes so far. On special at $5.49 for a big bottle it’s certainly cheap, and at 6.3% it should pack a bit of a punch. So, is it any good?

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Idiot windbag (part 1)


A little background reading music for you if you like (“The Rain Dhun” by producito from Cocolinaga Producciones Ociosas, available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence).

Ok, am trying to put some order to all this so if things suddenly look a bit different you’ll know it’s me just going over a few things. First up, I’m changing up the marking system a bit. Appearance and mouthfeel are now worth up to 15 instead of 10, and the x-factor/bonus points thing is plus or minus up to 10 based on whether a beer rocks my world or pisses me off, and from here on in I’ll say why it gets what it gets as far as that goes. Aroma, flavour and value are still worth 20 each. I’ll be going over old posts to adjust the mark accordingly [update: they’ve all taken a bit of a hit, particularly the Coopers which always look awful] and giving them a number while I’m at it so they’re easier to find if I have to. This stuff is riveting, I know. As you read this try not to think about the fact that downloading a single web page uses about 1.9 Watt-hours. Meh, I don’t care about carbon footprints anyway. Bring on global warming, I’ve always wanted a house on the beach.

Also if anyone’s got any requests for stuff they want me to try I’m up for ideas. Since I know pretty much everyone who reads this thing and most of you are reasonably trustworthy if it’s recommended and I can get a hold of it I’ll give it a go. I won’t touch the Cave Creek Chili Beer though, I do have some standards. Cheers peeps.

Review #20 – Lawn Ranger

This is one that I was supposed to do for redemption Thursday which then became belation Friday and then…well, details don’t matter too much. Let’s just say there was an incident with a couple of Doppelbocks and a mighty fine Scotch Ale among other good things, and at the end of a long, hot day on an empty stomach, plans went somewhat awry. Perhaps too there was something about the thought of revisiting this one that didn’t really inspire me. As it turns out there are more reasons to dislike this one than ever.

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Wish you were here (a bit more bloody often)


First up, a thousand apologies for some world class slackness on my part over the last week or so. For what it’s worth that will hopefully be the last of it for a while. I’ll try and see if I can get something out daily from here on in. Getting slightly inebriated every single day is, I believe, a most worthwhile pursuit.

Just a quick note here to alert anyone in Wellington who happens to stumble upon this that the Sprig & Fern is open as of last Wednesday on Tinakori road, filled with happy shiny people and with some very fine beer served in full pints. Full pints I tells ya! I was pleasantly surprised…of course then it all caught up with me and I was very nearly unpleasantly ill but we don’t need to go into details. Outstandingly priced 2L takeaway riggers too (great idea, that) which I will be looking at properly soon. Early impressions are that the Doppelbock and Scotch Ale are awesome but I am hanging out for the Oatmeal Stout released on St. Patrick’s day. Fair to say it’ll be a big week.

Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about keeping up with things here, just been incredibly lazy. Sorry peeps. Here’s a soothing ballad to make up for it.

Review #19 – Coopers Sparkling Ale

Urk…is that what I’ve been drinking for twenty years?

Name: Coopers Sparkling Ale

Style: Golden Ale/Blonde Ale

Brewed by: Coopers Brewery (Regency Park, South Australia)        

Alcohol: 5.8% abv.

Price: $5.49/750ml bottle

From: Khandallah New World

Woohoo! Tight-arse Tuesday!

I’ve been drinking this stuff for nearly a quarter of a century now. I have been known to say in my more belligerent moments that this is the best beer Australia has produced. That plainly isn’t the case of course but compared to the rancid bilge many Australians erroneously call beer it’s astoundingly good. Coopers occupies a strange middle ground between independent and mainstream, between craft and mass production. Very consistent for something that is bottle-conditioned and has no additives or preservatives, comfortably in the budget range, thoughtfully sold in big bottles perfect for home brewing, it’s definitely one of my go-to beers. And yet in all that time I’ve never, ever, poured in into a glass, taken my time and really tasted it. I wonder why that is? Continue reading

Review #18 – Kaimai Porter’s Rye Ale

Well, it looks nice. That’s something.


It’s a rainy ol’ redemption Thursday here, so it would seem fitting to try one of the dark ales from last year that left me feeling, well, a little cheated. The Kaimai Porter’s Rye Ale I had then was a ridiculously fizzy cola-like thing that was all bubble, toil and trouble as it spilled itself all over the seat. It was a thin, flavourless concoction that had serious issues. Surely though this is just another case of a bad batch or an errant, astigmatic work experience lad who missed a decimal point somewhere, yes? Continue reading