The Naked Hop: A Sit Down With Andrew Childs

A new monthly publication coming to you from the Glengarry team of beer experts, where we explore everything beer related. Here you’ll find an in depth look into the beer world and what makes it tick. View the full issue online here.

A Sit Down With… Andrew Childs

He’s the tall bloke at every beer fest. He’s the jovial, pun-loving dude responsible for some of the funniest beer labels on the shelf. He’s the behemoth behind Behemoth. He is, of course, Andrew Childs. We asked Andrew a few probing questions:

To what degree do you think Behemoth Brewing Company reflects your personality and sense of humour?
Pretty much entirely. I’m a pretty laid back person who likes taking the piss out of things and making them fun. So really the beers, the labels and marketing are all things that I find fun or funny.
What’s the biggest success you’ve had in your brewing career? Biggest fudge-up?
Biggest success is hard to say, there have been quite a few. I am really proud of the beers we have come out with, but picking up medals, awards and trophies is always really nice. Most recently, we’re really stoked at getting 13 places in the GABS hottest 100 NZ beers. But we are always looking to improve and do better every year.
Biggest Fudge up. Well there have been a couple. We had to dump a really big batch of beer a couple of years ago as it was not perfect. That hurts but all brewing companies experience it and it is better than letting customers drink beer you’re not happy with.

 

Has your approach to the beer industry changed over the course of your brewing career? How?
I guess it has. We started out doing simple (but pretty hop forward) mainly pale ales. But we’ve had the chance to really push the boat out with some of our beers, being big and hoppy, big stouts, sours, hazy IPAs, lots of beers with a fruit element. I guess it has changed a lot and will continue to change as Behemoth evolves.

 

If someone gave you the keys to any other brewery/brewing company and said “It’s yours now, do what you want with it” which brewery/brewing company would you like it to be? Why?
Wow, that is a crazy question. I am lucky that I’m really happy with the beers we do and that direction (although we would love to start playing with barrel aged beers soon). But in terms of the brewery I would love to own. The most impressive Brewery I have ever been to is Lagunitas in California. They may be owned by Heineken now but damn I would love to brew a lot of beer on their giant kit.

 

What’s your favourite beer that you have ever made? Why?
I don’t ask you who your favourite child is… I guess I would have to say Chur Pale Ale because that gave us Churly our mascot. But in more recent times it is Lid Ripper Hazy IPA. We are keeping that on pretty much permanently but have a lot more hazy IPA’s in the pipeline because I love drinking them so damn much.

 

Bonus Question: Is there anything in particular you’d like to say?
Yep, everyone drink more beer and support locally owned brewers. Also fresh is best. Drink hoppy beer as fresh as humanly possible.

Chesney McDonald

Spiritual Guide: Sazerac

A new guide for spiritual enlightenment by the pious team at Glengarry. Join us monthly as we explore everything spirit related. View the full issue online here.

Cocktails: Sazerac

According to popular myth, an 1830’s apothecary was once owned by a man named Antoine Amedie Peychaud, in New Orleans. He made his own bitters, which he used in the toddies he famously treated his friends to. Peychaud portioned the liquor using a double sided egg cup or “coquetier.” Does that word sound familiar? Sound anything like the word “cocktail”, which nowadays is so very, very popular? It’s a nifty origin story, although the word cocktail was recorded in print as early as 1803. Still, makes for a great trivial-swill-fact.

Another legend states that proprietor of the “Merchants Exchange Coffee house”, Aaron Bird, began serving the Sazerac cocktail and changed the name of his premise to The Sazerac Coffee house after the company had been importing “Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils” Cognac for several years. The mix consisted of Sazerac cognac, absinthe, bitters and sugar. These rudimentary mixes of spirits were the first cocktail, mixing Peychaud’s own bitters and thus it was known simply as the Sazerac, eventually bottled and marketed under the Sazerac Company of New Orleans. Over time the cognac incorporated “Herbsaint”, a French style pastis when absinthe was outlawed. A phylloxera epidemic ravaged the French vineyards, and the cognac was replaced with American Rye Whiskey. Now the Sazerac is still remembered fondly as the original cocktail to go by such a title, and is still the official cocktail of New Orleans.

Over time as cocktails became more fanciful, it became commonplace for those who wanted the simpler concoctions to ask for their cocktail to be made the “old fashioned” way. The Old Fashioned has become a cocktail in its own right, with a similar makeup of whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a fruit garnish. So, whether you believe we owe the Sazerac to Peychaud and his coquetier pours, or Bird and his creation of the brand, it’s a good yarn to have over a cold cocktail.

Chesney McDonald

Spiritual Guide: Scapegrace

A new guide for spiritual enlightenment by the pious team at Glengarry. Join us monthly as we explore everything spirit related. View the full issue online here.

New Things: Scapegrace

Scapegrace: a rogue by any other name

Ah, the perennial problem of starting up some courageous and visionary enterprise from the arse-end of the world (that’s us), coming up with a nifty name, turning it into a roaring success that insists on going global, only to discover that some northern hemisphere titan has taken commercial offence at your presumption over monikers, and is prepared to sue the pants off you if you don’t change your name.

Come on down, Rogue Society. You know: that handcrafted Kiwi small batch artisan gin that everybody loves. The one with the great name. Enter, stage left-field, large American brewery, Rogue Ales. The brainchild of three Nike executives, so right there is your ‘brand-as-holy-grail’ fixation.

Whatever. A number of people in the northern hemisphere are rumoured to be unable to distinguish between a bottle of premium New Zealand dry gin and a bottle of American beer. Oh dear. To avoid a complete global catastrophe, Rogue Society have generously changed their name to Scapegrace. Which is a more obscure, but arguably classier name for a rogue; so take that, American beer. But what should not get lost in all of this: Scapegrace? It’s the same brilliantly beautiful gin. End of story.

Graeme Gash

Westmere Wine Club: Rockburn with Rebecca Poynter

Last night we held our April Wine Club at the Glengarry Westmere store and were delighted to host Rebecca from Rockburn who presented a fantastic line up. Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the Sauvignon Blanc, stunned by the Tigermoth Riesling (which we learnt has an interesting naming history) and the favourite of the night was Rockburn’s delicious Seven Barrels Pinot Noir. The night also included many entertaining stories of the wine industry from over the years, from both Rebecca and our customers! Thank you to everyone for coming along and braving the Auckland weather for a wonderful night of wine, cheese and stories. We look forward to seeing you at the next one!

The Naked Hop: Hop Harvest 2018

A new monthly publication coming to you from the Glengarry team of beer experts, where we explore everything beer related. Here you’ll find an in depth look into the beer world and what makes it tick. View the full issue online here.

Hop Harvest 2018

For those of you who don’t know what Hop Harvest is, it’s exactly what it sounds like: in the same way that grapes for wine have a harvest time every year, hops or hop flowers/buds have a yearly harvest too. When hop harvest comes around it’s a very exciting time of year, because it results in the best and the freshest beers. It’s basically like Christmas for beer geeks. Harvest is usually over late February-March, with the beers released at the end of March/start of April.

Breweries from all around New Zealand lie in wait for harvest and the resulting fresh hops to make their fresh hop beers. The fresh hop cones are literally flown around the country and delivered to brewers who then chuck them straight into tank. Usually hops are added to a brew in the form of a hop pallet or dried hop flower. This can take away a lot of the fresh piney/fruity notes and oils associated with different hops, in the same way that fresh herbs from your garden are always better than using dried ones from a box.

Fresh hop beers are the crème de la crème, best drunk within six months of release, but even better the day of. If you’re a wine person, perhaps this will resonate with you if you think Beaujolais Nouveau, where the grapes are picked and pressed immediately, and the wine flown around the world to be the first from harvest; Fresh Hop is the same concept.

Hannah Beaumont

The Naked Hop: Bach Brewing Cans

A new monthly publication coming to you from the Glengarry team of beer experts, where we explore everything beer related. Here you’ll find an in depth look into the beer world and what makes it tick. View the full issue online here.

Bach Brewing Cans

Bach Brewing, owned and operated by Craig Cooper and his wife, was born out of a love of craft beer. This smallish-scale craft brewery has been rapidly expanding recently, and in the last 12 months has just blown onto the market, coming out with some great seasonal and one-offs, including a barrel-aged Seamaster Imperial Ale that is outstanding.  But most recently, their core range has been in 6-pack cans.

Cans are everywhere right now, and personally I prefer them. And that’s not just me; scientifically speaking, a can is airtight, which protects the contents from oxygen, and it keeps out all the light that can have a detrimental effect, especially if the beer is unpasteurised. Cans are also lighter; a 12-pack of cans weighs less than a 12-pack of bottles, and it’s more environmentally friendly, just saying. You also will never get caught out with not having a bottle opener…handy.

The Bach Brewing 6-packs are currently available in an All Day XPA and Shaka Lager, which sit at 4.6% and 4.5% ABV respectively – great session-friendly 6-packs. They’ve also just released in cans the Billfish APA and Kingtide Pacific IPA (hugely popular in the 500ml format). I would approach the Kingtide with a degree of caution; sitting at a cool 7% ABV, but being such a beautifully balanced and integrated beer, it is somewhat easy to forget about the strength. We have the full range now; come and check them out and decide for yourself the answer to that intriguing question: cans or bottles?

Hannah Beaumont

Syrah. Rhodanien Treasure.

Syrah and Shiraz: are they the same? Yes, they are indeed, but you know how it is with wine: one person’s lean and refined Loire Sauvignon Blanc bears little resemblance to the tastebud-tingling fruit-bombs that emanate from Marlborough. However, we digress; we’re meant to be talking here about the legendary red grape, Syrah.

Many grape varieties and their wines have a spiritual home, and Syrah’s benchmark location is the Hermitage appellation in France’s northern Rhône Valley. The famed Hermitage hill, complete with iconic chapel atop its crest, sits as a backdrop to the village of Tain l’Hermitage, the home of Valrhona chocolate. Indeed, a session involving well-matured Syrah and Valrhona chocolate is not easily forgotten. Around the globe, winemakers pay homage to the legendary Syrahs of Hermitage, for they are indeed the world’s greatest. Lavish and haunting aromatics accompany intricate, smoky layers of blackberry, black currant, liquorice and coffee interwoven in a near-perfect union.

New Zealand’s Syrahs have far more in common with those from the northern Rhône than they do with our Australian neighbours and their ubiquitous Shiraz wines. The Aussie version of Syrah tends to conjure up an abundance of warm, juicy red fruits, voluptous tannins and a rich, creamy palate, descriptors that are far from what New Zealand’s expressions are all about. American wine critic Stephen Tanzer categorizes our Syrah wines thus: ‘In weight and level of ripeness, think of Crozes-Hermitage or Saint-Joseph rather than Côte-Rôtie or Hermitage … fresh, firm and food-friendly.’

While Syrah only constitutes 0.5% of the total wine produced in New Zealand, it is creating a bigger name for itself than that volume might suggest. If you’re a Syrah grape residing here, Hawkes Bay is the place to be, with 70% of the plantings found there. Excellent wines, though, are also coming out of Waiheke Island, and Marlborough’s Fromm winery is leading a resilient if somewhat solitary charge in those parts. While Syrah is not new to our shores, the international reputation our expressions are amassing and a recent string of brilliant vintages means there has never been a better time to jump on in and try them.

Our top picks for April:

New Zealand

International

Rosé. It’s in the Pink.

The oh-so trendy rosé that seems, at the moment, to be imparting a breezy pink haze over everything, is not quite as shiny and new as you might think. In fact, the woman who drop-kicked champagne into the next century – the Widow Clicquot – made what is believed to be the first rosé champagne a lengthy 200 years ago. And she was born in 1777, so there you go. Not a new thing at all. However, the volume of rosé in general being consumed these days is somewhat off the charts, and we in New Zealand are valiantly doing our bit to contribute to that record-breaking effort.

Let’s consider what makes a great rosé. Basing your choices on colour alone is not all that useful. For instance, the pale pink, almost washed-out hues to be found in the French Côtes de Provence rosés might suggest that they have little weight, but nothing could be further from the truth. Having said that, beware the wash of cheaper Provençal offerings; it’s a very large area, and they are a minefield of inconsistency. The overall quality has increased of late, in part thanks to a new wave of producers, led by the likes of La Mascaronne’s Tom Bove, and the best of the Côtes de Provence rosés are some of the world’s finest expressions, displaying delicate hues, stunning aromatics and sublime textures.

New Zealand is experiencing its own surge in excellence, with a veritable horde of new rosé options coming onto the market as our winemakers have come to the realisation that this is a legitimate and highly popular category that requires serious commitment. The various regions, too, from Marlborough to Central Otago, Hawkes Bay to Waiheke Island, have channeled the distinctive characteristics of their terroir to put their own distinctive stamp on the pink drink. Magnums and 3-litre bottles are also increasingly sought after.

These things are always subjective, and what works for you is what you should drink. For us, a good rosé will have an attractive aromatic nose: some pretty florals with a touch of herbal spice. On the palate, we would hope to find fresh fruit flavours, lively acidity and a full mid-palate, with plenty of texture and interest. Ideally, the finish will tend towards dry and be very refreshing.

Our top picks for April:

International

New Zealand

Sparkling

The Naked Hop: Garage Project

A new monthly publication coming to you from the Glengarry team of beer experts, where we explore everything beer related. Here you’ll find an in depth look into the beer world and what makes it tick. View the full issue online here.

Garage Project

The ‘unofficial’, albeit ‘official’ cool kids of the New Zealand craft brewing world. Nestled in Te Aro, Wellington, Garage Project started life in 2011 in an old petrol station, where Pete’s, Jos’s and Ian’s brain-child saw them set up a nano-brewery, not realising at the time just how fast it would take off, and how popular the beers would become both locally and internationally.

Fast forward a few years, and production is well under way. A range of beer with rather impressive labels (they say don’t judge a can by its cover, but clever marketing does work), with new production lines and spaces taking over Wellington CBD and tasting rooms and bars popping up across the country, who wouldn’t want to get on the Garage Project band wagon. Many an avid beer drinker will have their favourite Garage Project beer, but will never admit to which one it is. The range of beers is second to none. From your everyday lager, aptly named Beer, to your more adventurous ones, such as the Barrel Aged Riesling Juice or the Strong Blonde Ale known as Twilight of the Gods, there is something for everyone. The beers themselves are a conversation starter, whether you’re chilling out in our fridges talking to staff, lounging in the lingering sun with a few mates while the sausages sizzle away on the quintessential Kiwi barbeque, or perhaps putting your feet up at the end of long day at the office, the beers speak for themselves. Garage Project are willing to take risks in the constantly expanding and competitive craft beer world, and it clearly shows they know what they’re doing, both inside and outside the bottle.

Glengarry has been a stockist of Garage Project for a while now, and the shelves in our fridges look like more like an art gallery with a line of masterpieces. We are always excited to see a new release come in (and then fly out), but also sometimes slightly annoyed that we weren’t quick enough to get our own hands on them. Our team are always happy to lend a hand when you’re choosing your tipple, with their wealth of knowledge around everything beer-related (and wines and spirits). So pop into any of the Glengarry stores or browse online from the comfort of your couch while sipping on your current Garage Project in search of a new one.

Release after release, award after award, there’s no slowing down for these guys. Which is good for everyone, right?

Scott Wilson

Te Mata 2016 New Releases Tastings

Te Mata 2016 New Releases Tasting – with Toby Buck (Auckland, Tuesday 13th March)

“Toby Buck has so much passion and pride in his family’s winery. Presenting the wines to us on Tuesday evening in the Jervois Rd Cellar, you can tell how much these wines and this industry has impacted on his life. The Te Mata 2016 release was everything I expected it to be, amazing.

We started with the Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, albeit this was a 2017, we then moved on to try the Estate Chardonnay and the Elston side by side. Toby described an interesting flavour that he picks up in these chardonnays, grilled pineapple. It’s weird when you hear someone describe a flavour and then it’s all you can taste, but he was right.

The reds were outstanding, as per usual. We tried side by side first, the Estate Merlot Cab and the Awatea Cabernets Merlot. Then the Bullnose, wow, what a treat. 2016 was a cold December followed by a long hot summer, this has left the Bullnose bursting with nuances of dark cherries, allspice, ripe rich fruit, and long illustrious tannins. The length of the palette is astonishing; the flavour just carries on and on.

Last but not least, the much awaited 2016 Coleraine. Coleraine is only made in the best of the best vintages. Drinking incredibly well for such a young wine, one that has been considered one of the great Bordeaux styles of the world. Toby told us a story of another tasting he held once, when a consumer who was born and raised in the Hawkes Bay told him that Coleraine just smells like Hawkes Bay. How right he was, from a region that produces some of the best cabernets and syrahs etc this far south in the world, the Coleraine just immediately reminds you of Hawkes Bay. Bright red fruits, raspberries and strawberries, thyme and cedar wood, tight acidity indicating the incredible longevity of this wine, and mouth round silky tannins.

Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night, thanks to Toby and your family for producing such amazing wines and sharing them with us.” – Hannah Beaumont

Te Mata 2016 New Releases Tasting – with Nick Buck (Wellington, Wednesday 14th March)

“One of the great things about our annual Te Mata Showcase tasting is that we get to have a family member presenting the wines, last year we had Toby and this year we had Nick. Nick is an awesome speaker as he speaks from the heart and held everybody’s attention for 2 hours, no mean feat! Nick and Toby are very different in their presentation but the common thread that that binds them is the passion they share for the wines they produce. As they say on their website they are “large enough to be well resourced and small enough to concentrate on detail” and this certainly shows in their wines.

We tasted through some of the Estate wines as well as the 2016 releases. The Estate wines offer true value for money and are in a drink now style and I have no hesitation in recommending these wines for everyday drinking.

The Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that had me recalling the White Bordeaux tasting that we did last year. It is a stunning wine. The Elston this year is very approachable but it will benefit from a little time resting in a cellar. The Bullnose Syrah was one of my favourites this year, soft plush and luscious and complex. The Awatea as always is fantastic value with lifted rose petals, violets and dark plums on the nose and bright red and black fruits intertwined with spices. This wine had a firm tannin structure and will age gracefully over the next 5-10 years. But the reason everyone was there is of course the Coleraine and it did not disappoint. The 2016 is different to past vintages in that it is not better or worse just different. It is more in the style of a Super Tuscan wine, fine grained but offering superb depth and complexity. We also tasted the 2000 Coleraine as a reference and at 18 years old was drinking incredibly well. Coleraine is fantastic wine and over delivers for the price tag that is attached.

All in all it was lovely evening and enjoyed by everybody that attended.” – Meredith Parkin

View our upcoming tastings here…