Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Zealand

So went to Gisborne, New Zealand with Becky for a month over Christmas and New Years to see the family and do some shows with my band, Nun of the Tongue. Caught up with old friends, swam lots and soaked up some well needed vitamin D. I also made a beer with my dad, who is now quite interested in pursuing grain brewing (as he had just been doing kits). It was just an extract brew with specialty grains. The beer we made was a clone of a famous Stone beer: Arrogant Bastard. I wanted to call it 'Ignorant Bastard', but dad liked the original name, so we just called it that. It turned out ok... Also drank quite a lot of this:

That is a 2 litre plastic bottle of (in my opinion) Gisbornes finest export, Sunshine Breweries Gisborne Gold. A brutally bitter, super refreshing beer. And you can get refills at the brewery, which is located right in town (a rather small city, of about 40,000 people). They also make Gisborne Green, the hoppier 'Pilsner' version of the Gold (everyone makes hoppy Pilsners in NZ instead of IPAs, i have no idea why), the Reserve Ale, which is basically a brown ale, and 'Black Magic'.

Black Magic is amazing, that's all i'll say.

About 90% of our beer money, that we had specifically saved to try awesome NZ beers while we were there, was used on Gisborne Gold... (it was only $10 for 2 litres!)

We did manage to try some amazing NZ beers, i'll list the good ones:

Three Boys Oyster Stout - Fucking amazing oyster stout, really rich and malty with some salty undertones. Definitely worth a go.

Kereru Kumara Brown Ale - Kumara is basically New Zealands answer to the sweet potato, but it is far superior to the sweet potato. This beer was amazing, super dry maltiness with a good hearty kick of sweet kumara essence.

The Mussel Inn Manuka Beer - The 'Captain Cooker'. This beer was really nice, super easy to drink, and because they use branches of manuka, and not the honey, it doesn't come out sweet, just very floral. It is worth mentioning this was recommended to us by Dave from Hashigo Zake, an awesome craft beer bar in Wellington. If you're there, go check it out.

And finally:

Garage Project: - We didn't manage to get to the brewery while we were in Wellington, and that made me very sad... But we did manage to try a few of their beers. I feel like they are the New Zealand version of Moon Dog, and they all come in cans! Anyway, the beers that we tried were:

Pernicious Weed - An insanely hoppy IPA, just hops everywhere, all up in your face. Delicious.

Angry Peaches - Awesome peachy beer, nice and bitter.

Day of the Dead - The chipotle dark lager, reminiscent of the Bock Naked by Moon Dog. Awesome, but not overpoweringly spicy (it does creep up on you though).

Now back home, to find a cupboard full of these that i made!

That is the Christmas beer i made with some friends for my friends. And yes, i waxed the shit out of the top of it using crayons and hot glue sticks. Just melt them in a can, in a pot with some water in it and then dip them.

Here was the recipe:


Panforte Porter

Pale Ale Malt - 4kg
Crystal 120L -  700g
Choc Malt -      400g
Crystal 60L -    200g
Carafa III -       100g
Flaked Wheat - 200g

25g Chinook @ 60 mins
20g Fuggles @ 20 mins

280g of Lactose @ 15 mins
100g of Sultanas at 30 mins
8 Cloves @ 30 mins
tsp of Cinnamon @ 20 mins
95g of Glace Cherries @ 20 mins
30g of Candied Ginger @ 15 mins

Safale S0-4, fermented for 2 weeks and then bottle conditioned for a month.


It tasted good, very winey. I think that was half because of the fruit, and half because of the amount of Crystal malt i used. Next time i think i would add more spices, and try and maybe dry hop most of the ingredients with some vodka.


Well, i think my favourite beer that i've had all summer was the Belgian Summer Stout by Boatrocker. (We still have some left on tap at Deja Vu...)

The tartness of the raspberries made this beer so insanely refreshing, and once again reaffirmed my belief that stouts are definitely summer beers, stop the seasonal trend! (i'm looking at you Mornington).

Oh and a shout-out to Sean from Killer Sprocket, well done on your new smoked pale ale 'Bandit'. Experimental beers are the best beers.

Playing a gig tonight at Boney, will probably go to Deja Vu for a beer before hand.