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Entries in neil miller (101)


Celebrity Brewer Lookalikes #1 - Richard Emerson

Award Winning Brewer Richard Emerson:

Award Winning Actor Chuck Norris:



Neil Miller


Wellington's beer scene keeps improving

My latest column from The Wellingtonian reviews The Hop Garden and The Bruhaus - two new bars in the Capital.  The column is titled "Wellington's beer scene keeps improving":

The service is attentive and efficient, with former Malthouse stalwart Scott Boswell a star behind the bar.  There is an ever-changing selection of 11 tap beers, plenty of interesting bottles and a menu that just keeps improving.  Tuatara, Renaissance, Three Boys and Emerson's beers are usually available.  The food selection ranges from pub staples to gourmet meals.  Try the sardines for brunch, the salt and pepper squid as a snack or the braised goat tagine for dinner.

Glass Tip: The Wellingtonian



Sport and good beer now an unlikely mix

My most recent column in the Wellingtonian newspaper surveys the range of beer available at most major sporting events and argues the selection does not have to be so bad.  The article is titled "Sport and good beer now an unlikely mix":

"The hirer has the right to sell the liquor rights and usually that is sponsored," Mr Gray said, explaining why there was not a greater variety of beers offered.  "If you offer variety, you reduce the value of that sponsorship."  A spokesman for the picturesque Basin Reserve confirmed a similar process.

Glass Tip - The Wellingtonian 


Beerly Blogging: Brew Masters and Breakfast Beers

Tonight, is a rare chance to see beer treated with the respect it deserves.  From over at the Beer and Brewer blog, here is my post titled "Kiwi craft brewery does it like they do on the Discovery Channel":

New Zealand stars in tonight’s episode of the acclaimed Brew Masters series on the Discovery Channel.  The show is hosted by Sam Caligione who is a unique combination of maverick brewer, beer ambassador, mad scientist and craft pin-up boy.  As part of his global journey, he tours New Zealand to experience our craft scene and to brew a collaborative beer with Luke Nicholas from Epic Brewing Company.

On the opposite of the ledger is the coverage given to attacks on Moa's Breakfast beer, I set out four reasons why I think these attacks are misguided in "A storm in a pint glass breakfast beer":

The launch of Moa Breakfast, a wheat-based lager, is "marketing alcohol to alcoholics", an addiction expert says.  National Addiction Centre director Doug Sellman said that "promoting alcohol at breakfast time is promoting morning drinking.  And morning drinking is a classic sign of alcoholism, so it’s basically marketing alcohol to alcoholics," he said.  

Glass Tip - The Bloodhound Gang for inspiring the Discovery Channel title.




Beer in the News - Britain, Belgium, Vietnam

This post highlights three international beer articles today, each for different reasons. 

First up is "Real ale buff who spent five years checking out ALL 700 pubs in the Good Beer Guide (ending with a pint at his local)" * from the on-line Daily Mail.  It tracks the odyssey of a retired railway worker who visited all 700 pubs listed in the 1990 Good Beer Guide and had a pint of ale at each.  He sounds like a real character and it is a good little read:

Reflecting on his achievement, he said: 'I've had some wonderful times and some scary times. I once travelled to a pub in South Bermondsey and the place was shut at 5pm so I banged on the door for a bit only to be greeted by a very angry man and his shotgun. I left that one pretty quickly.  I did go back later, very discreetly, because I had to have a pint from there so I could cross it off my list.'

The next story is from Intrepid Express and is called "Belgian beer, waffles and more". Like the headline, the article is competent without being particularly ground-breaking but it does contain one of the great opening lines:

Aside from Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dr Evil, the most famous things to come out of Belgium are definitely food and drink related.  Everyone immediately thinks of beer, waffles and chocolate...

Finally, also from Intrepid Express, a neat wee article about beer drinking in Vietnam by a confessed non-beer drinker - "xin chao, bia hoi, hello!"  Often, these types of article can annoy me - if you don't know about a topic, why on earth would you write about it?  However, this article skillfully uses imagery and has an unusually bitter-sweet ending:

So as I sip, I enjoy cracking open roasted peanuts from the plate. Putting aside old Australian habits, I guiltlessly drop the shells on the floor or pavement at my feet, as the locals do. After all, when in Vietnam..... Anyway, later the pavements and streets will all be meticulously swept up.

* I'm presuming the sub-editor who usually wrote the headlines was at lunch for this one to slip through

Glass Tip - Red Ana for the UK article

Glass Tips - Belinda our Sydney correspondent for the Intrepid articles


Neil Miller


Sup for the City - Beer events helping Christchurch

Here are the highlights of the latest press release:

This Friday evening (4 March), bars around the country will be holding a ‘Sup for the City’ in aid of the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

The concept is simple: drop in to one of the bars listed below and first enjoy a drink with friends,. Some bars are sourcing donated beer, the profits from which will go directly to the Red Cross to help the people of Christchurch.

At 7pm a minutes silence will be held in memory of those who have lost their lives or are listed as missing.

At 7:01pm each of the bars will be holding an auction or a raffle to raise money for those suffering in Christchurch and you will, of course, be invited to dig deeply into your wallets.

Auckland, Manager Martin Bridges – Andrew Andrew, 201 Quay St, Viaduct from 5pm on, raffles begin 7pm

Hamilton, Manager  Greig McGill - House on Hood, 27 Hood St, Hamilton from 5pm on, raffles begin 7pm

, Manager Kieran Haslett-Moore – Bar Edward, 167 Riddiford Street, from 5pm on, raffles begin 7pm

, Manager Mic Dover – The Freehouse, 95 Collingwood St, Nelson, details to follow or ask Mic

Dunedin, Manager Bob King – The team at Emerson's are organising something right now we will have a venue tomorrow at latest same format as above is expected.

Blenheim, Manager Mike Pink – The Old Bank, Redwoodtown

David Cryer says:  "I think it is important for our group to gather and express our grief and feelings for the people of Canterbury and our brewing friends in the city. It is not a competition to see which bar can raise the most funds but a chance for our members to gather and do some good for Christchurch.  The earthquake in Christchurch has brought us closer together as a nation; we all want to do something to assist those suffering in the Garden City. For those who love craft beer now’s your chance."

The evening is still taking form, so check the SOBA website for up to date information.

I will be doing the auction duties at Bar Edward on Friday.


Neil Miller




Beerly Tasting - IRD (July 2010)

Over the next few weeks, I will be looking to put up the menus and popular voting results from a number of beer tastings I conducted during the last half of 2010.  There are some really interesting results from a truly diverse selection of groups.

First up is the IRD "award winning beers" tasting in July.  For the 35 participants, I selected beers which had won medals in recent BrewNZ Beer Awards or Australian International Beer Awards.  The beer menu was:

Harrington’s Rogue Hop   
Emerson’s 1812                  
Kaimai Golden Rye            
Mike’s Organic Ale             
Tuatara Porter                      
Renaissance Elemental    

The popular votes saw first place go to Kaimai Golden Rye, second to Emerson's 1812 and third to Harrington's Rogue Hop.


Neil Miller