This post is a shameless attempt at buying time. It was supposed to be the last in the ‘Kit Creation’ series – but the star of that post (whose handiness is required to clear the last hurdle) has rather selfishly decided that now would be a good time for his wife to give birth to their second child (a gorgeous wee girl named Ava). So while he’s off being sleep-deprived, I’m left in the lurch. Some people, ay.
So instead, you’re going to be subjected to a random ramble – delivered in paradoxically-succinct bullet-point form – covering some of my recent beer-related (and some not-so-beer-related) musings. I’ll start with a statement (e.g. Since my vasectomy I’ve:), and then jot down some bullets in response (e.g. Started to find newborns cute again). Sounds like fun, no? (Don’t answer that.)
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Since starting the Brew Hui project I’ve:
- Realised this is quite a bit bigger than the Beer Money Blog. With that blog, I had a set template: get beer, write about it, make myself laugh, go to bed. This new project has lots more moving parts than that – which in turn makes it much more of a challenge.
- Realised that I want to be more like Stu McKinlay. I’m slowly coming to the realisation that the most brilliant among us are also the most genuinely positive and accepting of others. It’s those of us on the (very distant) fringe that judge and throw stones.
- Realised that writing is a ‘source’. Y’know, like what Bodhi says to Johnny Utah in Point Break. In my day job, I have to be (reasonably) serious given the subject matter – so having a creative outlet makes for welcome respite from mortality data.
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Since moving back to Auckland I’ve:
- Remembered how massive it is. Luke Nicholas’s recent post about the NZ Beer Festival down at the Viaduct spoke of enormous queues – which are an inevitability for this event, given a) the number of people in Greater Orcs and b) the general rise-and-rise of ‘craft’ beer. My two cents: we’re not Wellington, guys; let’s not pretend that we can match them in terms of central accessibility and small-city vibe. Smaller ‘regional’ festivals nestled in our boroughs work way better here.
- Remembered how gorgeous it is. There’s a reason Aucklanders seem arrogant to other New Zealanders; it’s because we know that we live in the prettiest city in the world. Sorry, Welly; you’re still my favourite city, and you’re undeniably sexy – but there’s just no way you can compete. The water is warm here, and we’ve got f**king volcanos to look at. And run up.
- Discovered how awesome Galbraith’s is. I can’t believe it took so long – but I finally made it to Galbraith’s. The beer is outstanding (the Russian Imperial Stout was eye-closingly good), and the brewer Sam is a genuinely lovely guy who loves to show-off the brewery and talk shop (which is a quintessential sign of a great brewer, I think). Galbraith’s virgins: believe the hype. It really is that good.
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The best beers I’ve enjoyed recently are:
- The aforementioned Galbraith’s ‘Rurik’ Russian Imperial Stout, for the aforementioned reason. Thick, unctuous, silky-smooth and moreish. Heavenly.
- Moa St Josephs. I recently tried this Belgian Trippel for the first time – and after drinking a bottle, I slapped myself repeatedly for taking so long to get to it. Thick, sticky, warming, slightly sweet (in a good way), and all rounded-off by that delicious Belgian yeastiness. And it was Six Bucks on special! Madness!
- Fullers London Pride. This beer was so mind-bending that I immediately took to Twitter and posted: “If I ever make a 4.7% beer that tastes this good, I will declare myself a Jedi Master and change my name to Obi-Wan.” Inspiring stuff. The beer, that is.
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My favourite people in the world right now are:
- The good folk at Anzor Stainless Steel and Fasteners. I walked into Anzor last week with a photo of something that I needed to assemble to finish-up my mash tun. A super-helpful bloke took me out into their warehouse, and then wandered from shelf-to-shelf assembling exactly the thing I needed (for a fraction of what it would have cost online). Visiting places like Anzor are a good reminder that the real engine room of New Zealand a) usually has pylons running through it and b) is generally staffed by lovely salt-of-the-earth folk who really want to be helpful.
- My wife and kids, in perpetuity. They provide the platform from which I attempt to jump (and then watch as I inevitably wind-up tripping clumsily off the side and falling on my face). And the absolute best part? When my wife reads this doe-eyed compliment, she’ll say: “Spew.”
Twitter: @jasegurney | Facebook: www.facebook.com/brewhui