Did you know Samoan heavyweight boxer David Tua inspired the brewing of a craft beer in New Zealand? I just posted this week’s haiku (below), and in the accompanying photograph are four glasses of the 8 Wired Bumaye and a larger glass of a beer called “Ø for Awesome“. It’s named after a phrase made famous by Tua. Check out this story…
As beer scribe Neil Miller recounts “On 10 October 1992, heavyweight boxer David Tua appeared on a celebrity episode of the inexplicably popular Kiwi version of the trite game show“Wheel of Fortune”. While no one remembers the performance of his alleged co-celebrities actor Andy Anderson and Fair Go reporter Rosalie Nelson, David Tua entered popular folklore by uttering three famous words. Asked by host Philip Leishman for a consonant, Tua appeared to request an “O for Awesome”.”
Today, if you say “o for awesome” in New Zealand, there’s a good chance people know the moment you are referring to. Fast forward to February 2012, and the moment inspires the collaborative brewing of an Imperial Amber Ale by brewers 8 Wired, Renaissance and Nøgne Ø.
As a New Zealand born Samoan / Irish man I have waited to taste this beer and experience its awesomeness for over year (since I heard about it). On Tuesday night after work, I hoofed it over to Hashigo Zake Cult beer bar, where my gingerbearded, Scottish friend (and former u boat captain) presented me with a beer from what was advertised as “the last known keg of Ø for Awesome.”
It was pretty awesome….firstly, because it comes in at 9% (so you won’t be drinking it by the six pack at the Apia Way Niteclub); secondly, it tastes rich and toffee/chocolately (so you won’t be knockin’ it back); and thirdly, because according to Miller, it has “one of the longest beer names in recent New Zealand history: “8 Wired/Renaissance/Nøgne Ø – Ø for awesome (9% 75 IBU)”.” It was also awesome to be sipping it with the Thirsties. The proprietor of the bar said he hadn’t had it in since the end of 2012. So…choohooo!
There is no argument that Tua is awesome….and I think it’s awesome that his modest contribution to the “popular lexicon” is celebrated in New Zealand beer geekdom in this memorable way …but you’ve got to read Neil Miller’s original blog to get an expanded telling of this beer story. Check it out here.