Monthly Archives: April 2014

BEER HAIKU #79 #80 #81 To Ol (Denmark) and Kereru (New Zealand)

#79 To Ol Black Ball Porter

More madness from those hard-working Danes. Hashigo Zake Cult Beer Bar was kind enough to offer their loyal clientele a remarkably big Hoppy Porter from the Fuck Art guys, To Ol. Apparently, it’s boosted with dark cassonade sugar, i.e. unrefined cane sugar, that gives it a wealth of chocolatey complexity.

To Ol Black Ball Porter

What storm now brews,

A cask of Stygian depth?

Beer fit for thinkers

 

Food match: venison sausages and celeriac mash, Stinking Bishop (that’s a cheese and according to The Little One, it tastes amazing but smells horrendous).

It’s the kind of beer you drink when: You’re watching Chinatown (Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown).

 

#80 Kereru For Science! Brown Porter

Courtesy of Kereru, pride of Upper Hutt, we have a variant on their Coconut Porter, For Great Justice! Hashigo Zake Cult Beer, as their weekly new release, have tapped a version without any coconut in it. For the really adventurous, there was also the opportunity to compare both versions side by side. What could be more scientific than that?

Kereru For Science! Brown Porter

Charred mocha, no milk

Back end of Cyclone Lusi

Like the boy next door

 

Food match: Banana loaf with crystallised ginger, lamb rogan josh

It’s the kind of beer you drink when: you’re enjoying a relaxing autumnal afternoon.

 

#81 To Ol Fuck Art – This Is Advertising Belgian Quadrupel

The Thirsty multitude was pleased to see another entry in To Ol’s Fuck Art series scheduled as this week’s new release at Hashigo Zake Cult Beer Bar. On this occasion, Architecture has given way to Advertising, and a beer that’s big enough to draw a raised eyebrow from Roger Stirling himself.

To Ol Fuck Art – This Is Advertising Belgian Quadrupel (11% ABV)

Luminous, opaque

River water after flood

Sweet opalescence

 

Food match: Hokey pokey or gingernut ice cream, panettone

It’s the kind of beer you drink: when arguing about mid-eighties New Romantics

hai·ku (hk)

n. pl. haiku also hai·kus

1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

2. A poem written in this form.

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GLB does the GC

(Well, a tiny bit of it)

Words, most of the pictures, and fear of young people by Greasylightbulb

Not long ago I had reason to spend a few days in the tantalisingly titled Gold Coast. I always like to combine my enforced travels with an exploration of the local cuisine and/or drink scene, so what could I find in the GC? A place that’s famous for fun, even if it takes them 18 months to realise that.

 

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Surfer’s Paradise from afar

As my plane started descent into what looked like the business end of an aggressive game of Monopoly, I started to realise that the GC is pretty fricking huge. Not knowing any better I plumped for Surfer’s Paradise as the place to explore (seriously, who thinks of these great names? Maybe Gore, Lower Hut and certainly Cape Foulwind could learn a lesson or two in PR?). On the ground Surfer’s initially resembled a future-noir ghetto for oddly shaped stumbling neophytes wearing all of five square inches of clothing to walk around loudly murdering vowels. It was a culture shock that was given extra horrible dimensions of sensory experience by the double-whammy of oppressive heat and unseasonal gluey humidity. Luckily the local council had thought to spare me the pain of only hearing the impressive feat of stamina that presumably was an all night roof top karaoke party by digging up the whole main strip 24/7 while I was there. It took quite a bit of psyching up to venture away from the safety of the hotel air con into the shops and bars, but I was hungry and there was nothing on TV so my hand was forced.

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Surfer’s Paradise up close

Once I learnt that the throngs of guys with lumpy arms and girls with unlikely anatomy were strutting round completely oblivious to my muted presence, life got a lot easier. It was not unlike the scenes in World War Z  where [spoiler] Brad Pitt is busy saving the planet from zombies using a science-defying trick of haematology. People watching became a pleasant pastime, and there was certainly no shortage of subject matter. I loved how the shops were open even though it was night time, and it quickly became apparent that despite the initial lack of discernible humanity on the streets, the guys and girls in the shops were demonstrating outstandingly helpful and friendly customer service. A bit of creative asking around (“hmm, so, what about…. somewhere that sells beers you’ve never heard of that seem to cost a lot? nah, no dancing”) got me a really very compact list of possible craft destinations in the vicinity.

 

Pigs and Pints

With a name like this I wasn’t going with high expectations, imagining it to be either a purely carnivore-focused destination or even a distinctly unambitious lap dancing bar. It wasn’t that easy to find, slightly away from the main drag in Chevron Island – an innocuous part of town that looked like it might be more used for hanging out for drinks or eats with friends before moving onto the bright lights for reaffirmation of zombie status. However inside was a relative sanctuary of happy calmness with larger groups of chatterers buzzing in the bar slightly sheltered from smaller clusters and couples in a more seated area. There was a bright, open kitchen and I love seeing the guts of a place like that, but occasionally feel bad about having fun if others are obviously at the tough grind. Also featuring were some dividing shelves that were impressively functional as well as aesthetic. The food was mainly of the en-vogue slider variety, using buns freshly baked on the premises and with an impressive range of gourmet fillings easily catering for contemporary dietary choices.

Menu at Pigs and Pints

Options at Pigs and Pints

 

Ooooh what's in this little box?

Ooooh what’s in this little box?

Noms!

a delivery of Miniature Noms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently the pork belly BLT is the most popular, but due to my debt to karma I went for the chargrilled marinated tofu with kimchee, slightly curried crispy lentil and sweet potato patty, and the fantastic “cheese”burger consisting of a wee slab of saganaki and lemon zest. I also couldn’t resist chickpea and polenta chips with a paprika coating.

Those useful shelves. Clearly not expecting drunken stumbles or unscrupulous thieves to visit often

Those useful shelves. Clearly not expecting drunken stumbles or unscrupulous thieves to visit often

Again the customer service was exceptional and as I munched away at the counter I was warmed by how amiable the hard working staff were with punters and also each other. They invariably offered a chat in passing me (as a lone diner) and were universally enthusiastic about Surfer’s Paradise and life in general. Beer-wise the place was doing a roaring trade on the local Burleigh Brewing (see below) Hassle Hop, which tasted like an nice APA. There was a small but fairly classy selection of bottles too, even if it did include Monteiths, and retailing at the same price as Ozzie greats like Vale Pale Ale and Hop Hog nonetheless! With some reluctance I declined the beaming offers of another beer and made my way back into the world of crazy; looking for the next beer destination.

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Sad to leave the P&Ps

See more about Pigs and Pints here

 

Black Coffee Lyrics

Spot the craft beer venue

Spot the craft beer venue

Unlikely situated in a side shopping mall (not really that unlikely I guess, since all of the city I saw looked quite a lot like a mall) was the shaded and sedate bar that is Black Coffee Lyrics. Ostensibly a speciality coffee shop by day and funky cocktail lounge with modern Mediterranean food by night, they also had three taps and a couple of fridges of nice beer. Inside was all dimly lit exposed brick and beamed walls with eclectic wooden tables and stools, sadly not conducive to my photographic skills so I’m off to Google some images now….

 

I had a Feral Golden Ale on tap, then one of Moo Brew’s gorgeous bottles while watching the two busy barmen tirelessly work their way through a massive variety of interesting cocktails. They were clearly incredibly knowledgeable and were able to tailor their concoctions to individual tastes. Table service was encouraged and an uncountable quantity of bargirls buzzed back and forth like a perpetual motion machine to keep the punters happy. Cocktails are great, but they do take a bit of time and a few people left as a result. I’d reckon this is a place for staying a while and relaxing at rather than being a stop on a bar hop. Despite me being slightly in the way by propping up the bar, the cocktail fellas multitasked their shaking and straining with occasionally chatting to me about food, drink, Surfer’s Paradise and the bar scene. Again they were vigorous advocates for the lifestyle you can have here. The guys I talked to most both here and at Pigs and Pints were ex-pats from the UK who seemed to have found their happy niche. Food was mostly tapas and pizzas and looked great, I slightly wished I wasn’t full of sliders but that’s First World Problems right there.

Black Coffee Lyrics have a Facebook Page

 

Burleigh Brewing

Burleigh Mini-Dance card

Burleigh Mini-Dance card

Not visited by me, but seen in both the bars above and the only local and/or craft beer I found in the bottle stores I went in. You can visit them on Fridays though, when it seems they have quite the party at the brewery. I managed to try:

Hef

Wheat beer

Wheat beer 5% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great ‘tache on the label. Typical Ozzie wheat style – clean and refreshing with quite a sharp and brief taste.

 

Bighead

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Er? A lager? Not too sure. 4.2% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

……no carbs apparently

Tastes likes the Shreddies breakfast cereal and citrus. It was very light in the mouth and became pretty unpleasant once it started to warm up.

 

 

My Wife’s Bitter

4.8% ABV

Bitter 4.8% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dubious label hailing back to the bad old practises of old Blighty. English style malt profile, all smooth, toasted and slightly caramelly sweetness nicely balanced with clean modern bitterness. A successful hybridism of an existing style into a new environment, very drinkable indeed.

 

28 Pale Ale

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Pale Ale 4.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite of the bunch, though possibly influenced from the beginning by falling in love with the styley retro surfer label. It’s named for a swell from legend which graced Surfer’s Paradise in the 1970s for 28 days. American style pine and grapefruit with an unusual creamy toffee finish which I liked, so I smuggled a few back to God’s Own for the rest of the Thirsty Boys and Ladies Auxiliary to try.

 

Fig Jam IPA

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AIPA 7%ABV, also: bottles can levitate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly grassy and fruity taste initially which fades quickly in an unexpectedly light bodied beer for the ABV.

All in all a refreshing and easy drinking range of beers (except for the Bighead which was quite hard to drink), which is probably wise when the temperatures get like they do in the GC. I’d be interested in trying some more Burleigh beers, maybe alongside some other Aussie pale ales for comparison. Here’s their website.

Anyway, if you get to Surfer’s Paradise, don’t be as scared of it as I was, there’s exceptional talent just waiting to feed and water you, but you definitely need to know where they are as the big buildings, bright lights and hectic holidaymakers make them hard to find.

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