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

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

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

The New Traditional: Orange and Pet-Nat Wines, and Gluten-Free Beers

Orange Wines

Normally with white wine, the juice is immediately pressed from the grapes and the skins discarded. They can, though, be made in exactly the same way as red wines, keeping the juice in contact with the skins. This is how orange wines are made. Their origin lies in the classic wines of Georgia, and in Italy’s Fruili region, where fermentation and extended maceration on the skins creates a unique character. Orange wines acquire a deep hue and have a phenolic grip to them, with additional tannins derived from the skin contact. They often exhibit a dry, austere nature, and tend to partner very well with food.

We recommend:

GLENGARRY WINES MILLTON
Millton

Pet-Nat Wines

Short for pétillant-naturel, aka méthode ancestrale. A traditional method of making sparkling wine that is, in fact, the world’s most ancient. The wine is bottled before the primary fermentation is finished, delivering a lower pressure, lightly sparkling wine in the pétillant style. The wine is finished without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars. Pét-nat wines can manifest as cloudy, unfiltered and capped with a crown seal, and they can be white, rosé or red in colour. They are a rare item in New Zealand, and don’t have a particularly long shelf life. Tip: do not leave them in the boot of your car in the heat of summer.

We recommend:

GLENGARRY WINES FRAMINGHAM
Andrew Hedley

Gluten-Free Beers

Wine, sherry, port and cider are all made from fruit and don’t contain gluten, while gin, brandy, rum and tequila are made from gluten-free ingredients. There is debate as to whether a tiny amount remains in vodka, bourbon and whisky, however, most research concludes that any gluten is removed through the extensive distillation process. If unsure, select vodka made from potatoes, corn or grapes and avoid single-distilled spirits and those made from wheat, barley or rye. All beers are produced using varying quantities of barley or wheat malt. Those claiming ‘gluten removed’ require investigation. So we did.

We recommend:

GLENGARRY WINES KERERU
Kereru

Read more from our March Wineletter here