The Beerhive

Dominion Post reporters Michael Forbes and Shane Cowlishaw are not exactly expert home brewers - but they're willing to give it a go. Join the pair as they explore the craft beer capital one bottle at a time.

Beer - it's a fragile thing

10:10am 05 Dec 2014


Much like myself the morning after a few too many drinks, beer likes to be kept cool and dark.

So you can imagine it doesn't enjoy being shipped across the world in a hot container, which could sit for weeks at a dusty backwater port during transit.

With the explosion in popularity of beer we find ourselves faced with more and more choice, including international brands.

The problem with this is that for many styles, beer begins to deteriorate the moment it leaves the cozy confines of the brewery itself. So if it doesn't travel in the best conditions possible, you'll find yourself forking out for an expensive dud.

Speaking to an American craft brewer's conference in Denver about how to export, Andy Tysler from mega brewery Deschutes said he used the "last in first out" policy when selecting stock, sending the freshest beer overseas rather than the oldest first.

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Biru, onegaishimasu!

12:20pm 23 Oct 2014


"Biru, onegaishimasu!"

During my two years living in Japan, I'll admit I shouted this phrase more than once across a bar or at a friendly restaurant waiter.

Roughly translated to "beer please", I'd usually manage the more polite "nama biru o hitotsu onegaishimasu" but, you know, sometimes after one too many my tenuous grasp on the language became even more loose.

Gaijins (foreigners) are not unusual in Japan, but perhaps the first one to launch a successful brewery is in New Zealand for the first time right now.

Bryan BairdBryan Baird arrived in Japan in the 80s to teach English and soon fell in love with the country.

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Beer up high

10:40am 03 Oct 2014


You can't beat Wellington on a good day.

That true, yet slightly cringe-worthy phrase is often uttered in the capital as its inhabitants attempt to justify their choice to live in a city often devoid of natural light.

southern crossThe glorious summer of 2012/2013 momentarily tricked us into believing our lot was improving, but the brief interlude was shattered last summer when storms and chilly temperatures reminded us where we live.

When the sun is shining, however, there is little better than downing a beer outside.

Garden bars are the perfect place to do so and across the country there are/have been some excellent examples (look at the pretty pictures).

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A beery political question

11:00am 16 Sep 2014


OPINION: Over the years politicians haven't been adverse to embracing a cold beer to win over voters.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has been photographed on several occasions chopping a giant stein, while you only have to google image search "Obama beer" to see how many times the leader of the free world has raised a pint.

IJK tuataran his first term John Key shared a green-bottle lager with Prince William. During his last three years of power he played beer pong at the Big Gay Out, drank some homebrew and helped open the new Tuatara brewery in Paraparaumu.

He was unafraid to don the ridiculous-looking 3D glasses that come with every bottle of their excellent imperial IPA Double Trouble, but then our leader is never afraid to put himself in compromising positions.

The leadup to this election has been like no other. Dirty politics and five eyes allegations have dominated, but the resulting furor has left little room for other important questions - namely about beer.

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Beervana: Food of the unicorns

10:00am 26 Aug 2014


I'd agree with festival organiser David Cryer's comments that this year Beervana was better than ever.

Despite the Australian beers I wanted to try being somehow hijacked by Tasman Sea pirates, there was a great buzz around the event.

Good beer. Good food. Good people.

Sweet As BadgeBut nothing, of course, is perfect. At the start of the first session rabid beer fans keen for their first taste were forced to queue for up to an hour while they waited to load money onto the new fandangled digital bands used to pay for everything at the event.

They were slightly mollified by the session being extended as an apology, and that little hiccup aside things were great.

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