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

As Winter nears, it must be time for a Barolo

Well it looks like the winter weather is upon us earlier than expected. With this cold snap we have started to open some of our favourite Barolo, from the most famous wine region in all of Italy. Situated in Piedmont in Northwest Italy, these 100% Nebbiolo wines are some of the finest and most long lived in the world.

Barolo Riserva, the highest classification level, requires a minimum of three years in oak, and five years of total aging before they can be released. We have three stunning producers to present, all of which have significantly older offerings than this. All of these wines are also from the heralded commune of Serralugna d’Alba, which is known for having the darkest and most structured wines in the region.

The first wines are the very traditional style from Mirafiore. This is the original name of the famed royal estate Fontanafredda, when it was first established in the 1870s. That historic name now graces a new range of wines sourced from those first vineyard plots and crafted in the original style with long macerations and wood aging in large oak.

Mirafiore Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007

Whilst legally a Riserva must be kept for 4 years, Mirafiore takes it a bit further of course with 5 yesrs ageing. The best of the best is put aside for the Riserva, which is only made in exceptional years, of which 07 was most clearly. Complex aromas, perfrumed and fragrant with lively acidity. Still youthful in character though with aged characters and complexity evident. The finish long, lingering and inspiring. A wonderful wine.

Mirafiore Barolo Riserva DOCG 2005

What a complete wine; whilst definitely showing its age, it does so with such grace and finesse. There’s many more years ahead of this wine. Wonderful, an absolutely amazing wine. Whilst legally a Riserva must be kept for 4 years, Mirafiore takes it a bit further of course with 5 yesrs ageing. The best of the best is put aside for the Riserva, which is only made in exceptional years.

 

Also from this commune is the Tenuta Cucco Estate. This sits near the 14th Century castle that dominates the area.  They have produced here since 1967 and have moved towards being fully biodynamic since 2015. Their Riserva is made entirely from the highest plots of the Cerrati Cru, one of the greatest vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba.  With 36 months in French Oak barriques, this is a more modern style of Barolo.

Tenuta Cucco Barolo Vigna Cucco Riserva DOCG 2007

Cerrati and Cucco are linked arm in arm, the only producer to produce this cru. This then their Riserva from the gorgeous 2007 vintage. Bright ruby red colour with slight orange hues greets you and a complex enveloping bouquet with hints of wild rose, cocoa, tobacco and spices. Sensational Barolo, showing some evolution though with plenty of life ahead.

Tenuta Cucco Barolo Vigna Cucco Riserva DOCG 2010

92/100 | Wine Spectator / Bruce Sanderson: “This is fresh, with a beam of submerged cherry and strawberry fruit. Earth and tobacco flavors add depth. Has all the elements in the right proportions, but the tannins gain the upper hand for now. Just needs time. Best from 2020 through 2036. 400 cases made. – BS”

Finally we have the legendary Barolo Riserva 2011 from Bruno Giacosa. The Falleto vineyard has been a mono cru of the Giacosa family since 1980 , and this special version is from the Falletto Vigna Le Rocche subplot.  For many, a Giacosa Red label is the equal of any red wine made in the world. Produced only a few times a decade, these red labels are not only fantastically complex, rich, powerful wines capable of decades of development, they are also endowed with that rare and magical extra dimension found only in the greatest wines. Those who attended our Barolo tasting last winter will attest that this is one of the finest wines they have ever drunk.

Bruno Giacosa Falleto Rocche Barolo Riserva DOCG 2011

A Giacosa wine with a red label signals that it is the best from that year, something truly special. Rare and highly sought after. Vine age 38-40year old vines, natural yeast, 33 months in large oak and then 27 in bottle. 8,000 bottles made, 1000 magnums. The nose is sensational, dried red fruits, exotic and captivating. The palate is super concentrated, rich and with very ripe fruit, amazing balance; the tannins fine, persistent and elegant all at the same time. There’s a vibrancy and brightness to this that drives right through the long finish.

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

Malt Club: Glenglassaugh and BenRiach New Arrivals

On Thursday 12th of April, Kenny Ariaens presented his first Malt Club; Glenglassaugh and BenRiach New Arrivals. Kenny is the Spirit Ambassodor at Hancocks Wine, Spirit and Beer Merchants Limited. He has recently been over in Scotland visiting these great whisky distilleries; we thought there would be no better person to host this night. Kenny’s style of presenting effortlessly fitted our Malt Club regulars (like how well the Glenglassaugh Peated Port Wood Finish matched alongside our Mahoe Blue cheese); someone who can create an open atmosphere embracing our “Lloyds” and “Craigs” as well as the new comers. We tasted our way through 4 whiskies from each distillery, exploring their use of different wood finishes. Some favourable mentions of the night: Glenglassaugh Revival, Glenglassaugh Peated Port Wood Finish, Glenglassaugh Pedro Ximenez Wood Finish, BenRiach 22-Year-old PT. PX Albariza and BenRiach 21-Year-old.

The Veuve Clicquot Story – Tasting

You know it has been a good tasting when you go to empty the spittoons and there is nothing in them to empty! I have long been a fan of Veuve Clicquot, so I had a good feeling going in to this tasting and it did not disappoint. We were lucky enough to have Nicola here (our local rep) to walk us through these wines and her passion and knowledge is palpable.

Clicquot is all about firsts. When Madame Clicquot took over the running of this illustrious Champagne House at the tender age of 27 in 1805, she was the first woman to run a Champagne House. Her contributions to the world of wine are still being used to this day. She invented riddling to get the dead yeast lees out of the bottle, making the wine less cloudy in a much speedier fashion. Madame Clicquot was also the first to make a blended Rose Champagne; now most Grande Marque houses make Rose in this fashion to this day.

These days, Veuve Clicquot continues to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Their marketing is second to none and the bright orange/yellow livery (another first from Madame) stands out from all the other labels. Luckily for us, it is not just bells and whistles. They lavish care and attention on their product and it shows.

The NV was well balanced and shows great finesse. There is a reason it is always in our top 2 when we put it in a blind tasting! The Rose on Madame Clicquot’s 200th anniversary was conducting herself with aplomb, this was one of my favourites of the night. We then followed with the 2008 Reserve and 2008 Reserve Rose and what a treat they were, still very much in the Veuve Clicquot style but deeper and richer and meant for a longer life. We finished with Extra Old and the jewel in the crown La Grande Dame 2006 the extra old consists of six different vintages from 2010 back to 1988, the wine is then double-aged, three years on lees in vats, then three years secondary fermentation in the bottle. Fresh, creamy, concentrated, refined. The Grande Dame was exceptional a silky classic. 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay in sublime balance, the refined palate of honeyed, toasty stonefruit, almond and brioche checked by vibrant acidity. Great length from an opulent vintage.

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

East Imperial Gin Jubilee – Masterclass Tasting

On Wednesday evening we enjoyed a fantastic and unusual tasting, hosted by Tony Burt and Mikey Ball from East Imperial. They are a NZ company producing some of the world’s finest and most authentic Tonic Waters.

Tony and his business partner Kevin, first came up with the idea after their regular premium Gin buying trips to Glengarry Parnell. They realised what was really missing was a premium Tonic water to go alongside. They started with an authentic 1903 Tonic recipe from Kevin’s family, and began sourcing the best Quinine from the original Dutch plantations in Java. All the tonics have totally natural flavours from ingredients sourced across Asia.

In front of us on the table, were 4 different Tonic waters and a Ginger Beer (in their specially designed 150ml bottles), alongside 5 fantastic Gins. The tasting consisted of first trying the tonic on its own, then the Gin. Each of the Gin Producers were there to explain their philosophy, production and style. We then combined the two along with a garnish, for the ultimate G&T experience. These final combinations were designed by mixologist Mikey Ball and really elevated both products.

The matches were:
East Imperial Old World Tonic with Blush Rhubarb Gin and a piece of ginger.
East Imperial Burma Tonic with Hidden World Floral Gin and a lime wedge.
East Imperial Yuzu Tonic with Sacred Springs Gin and an orange slice.
East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic with Scapegrace Gold Gin and a slice of grapefruit.
East Imperial Mombassa Ginger Beer with The Botanist Gin and spearmint leaves.

Ever wanted to buy Bordeaux, but not sure where to start?

The 2017 vintage is about to be sold En Primeur, which is a great way to start your collection. We have put together an introduction to En Primeur which can be found here. This introduction and our knowledge will not only ensure you the best Bordeaux in your cellar, you can purchase with complete confidence from Glengarry.

Glengarry have sold fine wines via the En Primeur system since 1983; our first offering was in fact the super 1982 vintage, an auspicious starting point.  Selling En Primeur certainly went hand-in-hand with the importation of wine into New Zealand, but it was not until the early 1980s that wine could legitimately enter New Zealand from elsewhere. Glengarry was the first to get involved with selecting fine wines from around the world and bringing that world to the palates of New Zealanders.

With our longstanding relationships and our experience honed over 30-odd years, we are old hands at this, and once again we made the commitment to ensure you the best service and advice, I will be in Bordeaux to taste the 2017 vintage next week . Follow me on Twitter (@lizziewine) or our Facebook and this blog.

We have a dedicated En Primeur website – www.enprimeur.co.nz. Register there to get regular updates, offers and information. Once registered you can also prepare a wish list of wines you are interested in.