The worst

Last updated 13:55 07/03/2014

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I don't spend all my time quaffing beer and writing about it for your enjoyment.

I have a "real" job, spending my days writing about cafes hitting the skids, self-professed energy entrepreneurs and, well, this guy.

They are the last things I thought I would ever write about; I got into journalism to write about music.

And when I was a budding music journalist, writing reviews for student rags, I spent a lot of time reading Simon Sweetman's "Blog On The Tracks".

I still keep tabs on it, reading the reviews and the comments (I always like a good laugh) and recently enjoyed his "The Worst" series - a series of posts about some of his worst experiences as a lover of music. Tui

Of course, life did not quite turn out how I thought it would. Instead of writing about music for enjoyment, I got stuck with writing about beer.

So after reading Sweetman's series, I started thinking - what is my worst beer experience?

In the quest for the perfect pint, I've had some terrible glasses of beer.

There was the bottle of IPA that tasted like it had been taken to a dairy factory, the expected sweet malt and fruity hops replaced with cloying butter.

I've got a batch of home brewed black IPA sitting in the back of the shed, gathering dust, due to it being far too bitter and over-carbonated; there's nothing nice about being covered in beer when you pop the cap.

But I had a feeling those beers would be bad. When you're expectations are to drink the worst thing ever - akin to Sweetman expecting the next Rhys Darby show he attends to be mindless drivel - you are ready for something bad.

Your expectations are low, so it does not take a lot to make you happy.

When I had my worst beer ever, I had no idea it was coming.

I was a student at the time, possibly my last year of my degree, and meet up with a friend of mine at The Empty Vessel.

Looking back now, the only reason I can see that my friends and I went to EV is because me and my friends went to EV.

It was a dive in every sense of the word; the pokie room was always busy, every surface was sticky, and the leaners around the walls were mainly used for drunken young men to climb onto before taking their pants off.

The bar's signature drink, the wag, sums it all up: a dash of vodka, a dash of gin, orange soda and raspberry cordial.

You couldn't make a more limp-wristed drink if you starred in Cocktail. EV

My mate and I go in, go to the bar and grab a handle of beer.

We put out drinks to our lips, take a sip, stare at each other, put them down and leave.

That one handle of Tui - a beer I drank a lot of as a university student - was horrible, disgusting, terrible, the worst.

I cannot remember exactly how it tasted, but I do remember it was not a normal tasting pint of brown sweet fizzy lager.

The whiff of chemicals and a hint of paint stripper (you don't want to know I know what that tastes like) were all I needed to leave the beer undrunk.

With a few more years of drinking under my belt, I now know the bar was likely to have been at fault.

Dirty lines - or freshly cleaned lines that were not cleaned out - were the probable cause of the bad beer.

It highlights how important good bar staff are.

They are not just for pouring beer properly and providing chit-chat, but also keeping the equipment in good condition.

While I am not going to talk about what bars can do to keep their gear in top nick - Epic brewer Luke Nicholas is doing that job on his blog far better than I could - I am curious to know about other people's worst beer.

What was The Worst for you? Was it a home brew? A pint in a pub? A bottle which had gone off? Or have you lucked out and never had a bad beer?

- Manawatu Standard


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