From Drinker to Brewer
Let's be honest, pretty much every New Zealand beer writer has had a rant about Moa at some point.
But the marketing department at the Marlborough brewery, while able to rile many, has nothing on Scottish upstarts BrewDog.
The self-proclaimed punk brewery has done everything from stuffing bottles of beer into dead animals, to projecting the images of founders James Watt and Martin Dickie wearing little more than branding material onto the houses of parliament.
Most recently, they told the United Kingdom's alcohol watchdog they ''are sorry for never giving a shit'' about anything said watchdog says, after being told labelling on their Dead Pony Club pale ale encouraged rapid drinking and anti-social behaviour.
But one thing everyone can agree on is BrewDog's uncanny ability to raise cash.
There has been a fair amount of press in the past few weeks about two New Zealand breweries' achievements at beer's equivalent of the Olympics.
Garage Project and Speight's both picked up silver medals at the World Beer Cup in April.
Most beer competitions dish out multiple medals before picking a final winner, but the Beer World Cup only gives out a gold, silver and bronze to the best three beers in each category.
While silver may not seem like a massive victory - second is often called the best loser - both medals should be celebrated, for more reasons than being the first medals for New Zealand beers since Monteith's Black won best European-style schwarzbier in 2000.
Garage Project's Cockswain's Courage Double Barrelled Edition Porter was in one of the largest beer categories (wood and barrel-aged strong beer), while Speight's Triple Hop Pilsner was only beaten by global juggernaut Asahi Super Dry in the technically difficult international lager section.
The mood of hop heads in Auckland and Wellington right now will be comparable to kids awaiting an Easter egg hunt.
While most brewers use hops which are processed into something which looks like rabbit food - the pellets being easier to store - fresh hop beers involve using the cones fresh from the bine.
The fresh hops give beers a resinous quality and, depending on their use, massive amounts of flavour and aroma.
People have been getting excited about fresh hop beers ever since photos from brewers using them started circulating on social media, coinciding with the harvesting from farms in the Nelson area towards the end of summer.
So if you've been living under a digital rock for the past few days, I may as well let you know that the royals are in the country.
For the next few days, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make their away around the country to see the sights, wear outfits women are jealous of, show off our future head of state, and yack to politicians.
Our elected representatives have already been bickering about the event though, with Labour leader David Cunliffe saying the prime minister is milking the event to get some good photo opportunities in an election year.
John Key would know all about photo ops with Prince William after all, as the prince's last visit here resulted in one of the most ''blokey'' shots Key has had in his career yet - Key swilling some lager while he and the then-unmarried prince cooked some of the biggest slabs of meat I've ever seen put on a grill.
While Wellington's weather has not been conducive towards barbequing, there has been beer involved on this trip.
In 1975 - a good decade before I was born - a Palmerston North-born man dressed as a comic book character created a Kiwi cult classic by singing about how good it is to live in New Zealand.
John Morrison Clarke, in the guise of Fred Dagg, made his way to number 17 on the national music single charts with We Don't Know How Lucky We Are.
While singing about fishing up the North Island or feeding the backline may seem frivolous, Dagg did have a point; we are lucky to live here, and sometimes we do forget how good it can be.
It is often the people who come here from overseas who embrace the place and its unique features the most.
One of those people is Chris Mills, best known as the founder of Kererū Brewing Company.
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