Thirstyboys documents the semi-formal beer tastings of nine beer drinkers in Wellington, New Zealand. The group was founded by Mr Horse who loves his beer, wine and cricket. Initially, and beginning in March 2009, we met monthly at the Malthouse in Wellington, New Zealand. For the first two years, the Thirstyboys nominated a theme and Phil or Scotty – two barmen at the Malthouse would prepare a list and host the tasting. Themes ranged from types of beers to beers from specific breweries or countries. From March 2011, group members agreed to take turns curating the tastings with the guidance of Phil (still at the Malthouse) or Scotty who had by this time moved to the Hop Garden.
Around July 2012, a few of the Thirstyboys started to attend the weekly “new release Tuesdays” at the Hashigo Zake Cult Beer Bar. As part of these new release Tuesday sessions we began writing haiku about the new beers we were tasting. Haiku – a Japanese lyrical verse form, appealed to us as a kind of “beer review shorthand” that we could use to document our explorations of craft beer. We publish them here on the blog.
In 2013, some friends of the Thirsties formed the Ladies Auxiliary and they attend the Tuesday sessions, beer events and contribute blogs. The monthly curated tastings have continued.
Noone in the group is a beer expert, some of us know about wines and whiskey, one or two of us about brewing and all of us know what we like. We appreciate a good drop and want to learn more. This blog documents the various tastings, beer related events and a few of the random drinks and beer related conversations between. Most of the remarks documented here are written down as they were said. They are largely spontaneous reactions taken from conversation and comments at the table.
Make of them what you will.
About Man points
Man Points (MP) are a largely subjective unit of measure used by the Thirstyboys to denote satisfaction with a given beer. Man Points are allocated on the basis of factors such as complexity, balance, or occasionally weirdness. Because the Thirstyboys are not extremophiles, Man Points do not necessarily reflect such object factors as ABV or IBU. In general, a big, boozy ale is more likely to be awarded high Man Points if the booziness is well disguised.
Correct application of the unique Thirsty Methodology™ will ensure that a well made albeit light Golden Ale will garner more Man Points than an ultra-hoppy but fundamentally uninteresting IPA or an Imperial Stout that has nothing more to recommend it than high alcohol content. In general, nasty mass market lagers will accrue low to negative Man Points especially if “brandwank” is involved (with apologies to Phil Cook for appropriating his terminology).
Man Points are scored from roughly zero (worst) to ten (impossibly good). In the interests of precision, half points are allowed. The Thirstyboys indicate their scorn for egregiously bad beers by awarding negative points (see below for examples).
In the interests of scientific enquiry here are a few examples to indicate the approximate calibrations for awarding Man Points.
Westvleteren 12 9.5 MP
8 Wired iStout/Renaissance 8.0 MP
Tuatara APA 7.0 MP
Three Boys Wheat Beer 6.5 MP
Epic Pale Ale 5.5 MP
Monteith’s Original 3.0 MP
Monteith’s Single Source 1.0 MP
Bud Lite -2.0MP
On occasion, the Thirstyboys have felt inspired to use other equally scientific scoring systems as the occasion demands. For example, a tasting of Session Beers employed a scale based on Scout Badges. Emerson’s Bookbinder was awarded a consensus score of 4.5 Scout Badges. Another time, when Bruce organised a tasting of Quebecois beers, it was agreed that cultural sensitivity required us to Fleurs de Lys as the basis for our rating system.
 Because, if only theoretically, it should be possible to improve on what might be the Platonic ideal of a Belgian Quadrupel
 Most of Monteith’s regular line score about the same except their Summer Ale (0.5 MP), which is vile, and Radler (0.0 MP) on general principles. The only further nuance is covered by the next footnote.