The Thirstyboys: home brew tasting #2

Text: Mr Horse

The boys gathered at Mr Horse’s place in Newtown for the second home brew session. Present were : Greasy Light Bulb (GLB), Ginger Beardy Man (GBM), The Jesuit (J), Malice (M), Karori Fry Up (KFU), Mr Horse (H), and DJKanuk (DJK). We were joined by The Cutter from the Beer Barons, Ryan the Brewer and guest brewer Stu from Yeastie Boys.


1.     Beer Barons Black IPA (about 7.8% – theoretically)

This was a recipe from Ryan called ‘Captains of Industry’ which called for a lot of malt, and the barons struggled with the brewing process having to use every pot in the kitchen to deal with all the grain. It used truckloads of Centennial, Chinook and Galaxy hops. Despite the technical challenges they felt it turned out pretty well and has been their most successful beer to date (and that’s not saying much with only 4 beers ― the last one, a golden ale, was undrinkable).

Jesuit: ‘Its salty. No wait, it’s the pretzels.’

Stu: ‘Dry rather than fruity finish. I’m suspicious of people whose first batches aren’t nightmares.’ .

GLB: ‘Sour, dark and fruity.’

Ryan: ‘Thin. Its not often I get to use that word.’

Jesuit: ‘Ethereal’

Food match: Chilli con carne. Pineapple more than passion fruit. Crusty bread and cream cheese. A cold day beer, to warm the cockles of your heart.

The kind of beer you drink when: at the start of a beer tasting.

Music match: Something Finnish

MP: 6.5

 2.     The Client Bock (7%)

The Cutter from the Beer Barons brought along an impressive line up of home brew from his client Andrew, who was not able to come because he just got married last weekend (fair enough, although GBM issued an early ‘under the thumb’ warning). The Cutter explained that Andrew only started brewing 6 months ago in a man shed in the garden. “He doesn’t do things by halves,” he said, and “he’s produced some pretty good shit.”

The drinkers thought the beer was: ‘Clean,’ ‘dried fruit,’ ‘green apple,’ ‘banana’

‘A bit desserty’ DJK

‘Reminds me of the Age of Raison by Renaissance’ Ryan

‘The apple character is probably stressed yeast, due to under-pitching’ Stu

Foodmatch: Something creamy, millefeuille

The type of beer you drink when: Wellington has an excessively hot summer

Music match: Josie and the Pussycats

MP 5


3.     Ryan the Brewer ‘Ray Harryklausen Bock’

This beer from the prodigious Kiwi-German brewer Ryan references the late great movie maker RIP, one of PJ’s idols from the 1930s who did King Kong. Ryan has been brewing for a few years and now works at Regional Wines & Spirits where he gets inspiration from the huge range of beers on offer. He recalls: “The first beer I ever made was fucking awesome…then I got to know to know Kieran and he started being honest…” This bock was brewed in February, the first decoction mash he had tried (in other words un-carbonated or made without yeast). “I’m never doing it again,” he added.

‘Smooth and refreshing’ GLB

‘Crisp’ Jesuit

‘Much cleaner ― a palate cleanser’ GBM

‘Caramalised, slightly toffee apple’ Mr H

Throughout the tasting of this beer an obscure conversation was going on in the corner about German pop music…

Food match: Regansburg sausage

MP 7


4.     The Client Schwarzbier (about 5%)

Tips: Some commented it had similar characters to the bock and might have used the same yeast. Stu explained that brewers need to use an ale yeast for the temperature. Ryan suggested a California lager yeast.

The assembled company thought this: ‘Sooty,’ ‘charcoal,’ ‘roasted cider.’

‘Those apples are definitely green’ GLB

‘Toasty more than roasty’ Stu

Foodmatch: ‘Something that has been BBQ’d to hell’ GLB


5.     GBM’s Yin Great Lummox (4.5%)

The name of this beer refers to ‘……………’ Ginger Beardy Man of course hails from Scotland, and has a love of whisky (no ‘e’) as well as being a home brewer (remember the famous beer-whisky tasting reviewed on this website?). He has been brewing for a year, and has done 3-4 beers in a 50L kit in the kitchen at home. He felt that this beer was ‘not as malt forward as he was hoping.’


‘Medicinal. Tar. ’ GBM

‘Burnt toast.’ Jesuit

‘Chewy’ GBM

Tips: ‘A tough beer to brew. Less roast malt. A good yeast to use is the European ale.’ Stu

Food match: Haggis

Music: Jesus and Mary Chain, Sidewalk and fur (‘Scottish and slightly pretentious’ GBM)

MP 6

Between beers Stu told a funny story about meeting John Palmer the home brew God at a conference.

Quotable quote: ‘The great about talking and drinking is that you can do both at the same time.’ Ryan


6.     Client’s Wheatbeer

Oh, theres that appley yeast again. Not the best beer of the evening. We are afraid to report that we had to get a bucket and follow the wine tasters adage ‘spit don’t swallow’.

‘He has been picking his own green apple tree’ Ryan

‘We got one line’ M

‘It’s a good line’ Ryan

Food match: Vindaloo

Music: ‘God didn’t make little green apples’

MP 2


7.     Ryan The Terror American IPA

Ryan told us this beer was made with Sauvin and, for the first time, Mosaic hops. This led to a conversation about Epic Mosaic IPA. Stu thought it tasted like a clone of Boundary Road’s Stolen Base.

Tips: Make more. Add more seaweed.

Comments: ‘Briny, candy brine, children’s medecine, stringent…’

‘Nice nose’ Mr H

‘Lighter in the body than I thought it would be’ GBM


Foodmatch: A nice Alsatian slow roast, chacuterie, jamon serrano, porchetta

Music match: The Replacements.

Meanwhile the musos in the corner (KFU, DJK and the Jesuit) rambled on for ages about  dead musicians and the missing member of Killing Joke.

Meanwhile the more focused members of the group were entranced by Stu’s description of the beet root Saison he is working on for a beer festival in Oz. The label he showed us on his phone looked great, very red.


8.     Client’s BIPA

Tips: Don’t brew Tui, brew this. Try a slightly cooler fermentation to make it cleaner.

‘A far better beer, a really good backbone’ GBM

‘Now we’re talking…’ Stu

‘A nice dark chocolate thing going on’ Ryan

Food match: Sausage, bacon buttie with HP sauce

MP 7

9.     Ryan Barbera BIPA (8.5%)

This last beer’s title is an obscure reference to the film Night of the Living Dead

Tips: Blend it with the previous beer.

Comments: ‘Intense, dark chocolate, coco-chocolate.’

‘Big.’ The Cutter

‘You can chew it’ Mr Heritage

Drink match: Sherry

Food: After dinner mint

Music: Isaac Hayes

MP 8.5


The brewers – Stu, Ryan, the Cutter, Mr Horse, GingerBeardyMan

The music subplot was still dribbling on. The Jesuit was heard to say: ‘You young people with your hoola hoops and your Dan Fogelburg records.’

At this point KFU made a rare intercession into the proceedings with the news that Ferguson had quit Man U, after which that the evening came to a natural close.

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One thought on “The Thirstyboys: home brew tasting #2

  1. Thanks Mr Horse, you put on a mighty fine evening and it was a pleasure and honour to be invited.

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