The People's Blog Part Deux
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 08:55

The person who actually invented blogging is probably quite surprised at how the entire thing has worked out. 

 Blogging began in the mid-1990s when people created on-line journals about their lives or personal sites which were basically manually updated lists of links which the author thought were interesting.  These were not even known as blogs until much later with the term ‘weblog’ appearing in 1997 and the now common ‘blog’ making its debut in 1999.

Ten years later, even hardened net geeks are giving up on trying to figure out how many blogs there really are.  The answer is well over 100 million, almost certainly a lot, lot more.  Blogging is not just for pyjama-clad Generation Xer’s who live in their parents basement anymore (though they are certainly still well represented on-line.)  Now, rock stars blog.  Beer writers blog.  Businesses blog.  Scientists blog. Even politicians blog. 

Blogs can be broadly broken into four categories depending on how they are updated:

§ A dozen people writing part-time (for example, Public Address)
§ One person writing full-time (Kiwiblog)
§ One person writing an exquisitely crafted post every Wednesday (Malthouse blog)
§ One person posting three times a year (Texas Burger Guy)
§ A dozen monkeys with a keyboard posting random nonsense four times a day (phil u).

In August, we had the debut of the People’s Blog feature here.  In it, we asked people to select their two favourite Malthouse beers and provide a paragraph of justification for each.  Since that first edition of the People’s Blog, the Handsome yet Softly Spoken Scottish Proprietor’s Mailbox has been inundated with comments and people looking to volunteer for number two. * 

The first response was received just ninety minutes after the initial blog was posted.  The email’s subject line simply read “Epic Pale Ale”.  There was no text in the message.  A quick internet search revealed no clues about the sender (a Mr L Nicholas of Auckland – clearly he does not use much technology). 

Unfortunately, his entry had to be disqualified as he failed to even name two beers far supply any text whatsoever which was pretty much the whole point of the exercise really. 

Former Malthouse bartender slash beer geek Phil Cook more than made up for this with his three paragraphs of thoughts:

It's chronically unfair to ask me for my "two favourite" Malthouse beers since I'm a fairly fickle and promiscuous drinker with tastes that vary pretty wildly depending on the weather, the plan for the evening (or morning...), what my previous beer was and general whims.  But okay. Let's play along and pick two enduring favourites, at least.

Emerson's Bookbinder (Dunedin, 3.7%). Absurdly flavourful for its moderate weight, Booky serves brilliantly as an after-work restorative (and actual book-binding is damn hard work, I can assure you) or as a sessionable fuel for long hours of talking nonsense with friends and generally laughing asses off - which won't leave you too blurry in the small hours, or too hungover the day after.  It's a reminder that, if you're clever enough, you don't have to climb to boozy heights to make a tasty beer, and that often there's merit to be had for finding that perfect balance between your malts and your hops.  Both factors run nicely contrary to some frequently-silly fashions, and are worth celebrating.  So raise a glass.  Then another.

Cooper's Sparkling Ale (Adelaide, 5.8%).  My first good Australian beer, upon which I luckily stumbled while beer-shopping for an Australia Day while off at university in a forty-degree Canberra summer. Hardly "sessionable" at 5.8% (not that that stopped me...) but a truly gorgeous golden ale with a wonderfully easy, fruity, lively and lingering taste that can be a great way to ease lagerheads into other styles, or to bring those who don't consider themselves "beer drinkers" (maybe because lagerheads just offer them lager...) into the fold.

With its optional ritual of rolling the bottle to kick up the sediment, it's also a great introduction to the joys of natural, unfiltered, bottle-conditioned (and so, arguably, "real") beer.  It's effortlessly delicious.  (Now, if only someone had it on tap...)

So, bonus points for using “promiscuous”, “sessionable” “general whims” and “lagerheads” in context. 

Conversely, a small number of points off for starting a sentence with “but” and the unparalleled Victorian passivity of “upon which I luckily stumbled.”  As for the cryptic comment about someone should have Cooper’s Sparkling on tap, I see what you did there!

The second contributor to this edition is Denise "Demise" Garland.  She is a shiny, brand-new, fresh-faced journalist with a love of beer.  She made the now traditional complaint about being forced to pick only two and then wrote:

Walking into the Malthouse for the first time two years ago was a pretty intimidating experience. As a budding beer enthusiast, I had declared Hoegaarden my favourite beer after trying pretty much everything the local Woolworths had to offer.  But when I stood at the bar and looked at the wall of beer in front of me, I realised I might have to do a wee bit more research before making such a claim.

I will never forget the first time I tried Invercargill Smokin’ Bishop.  I lifted the ruby red beer to my mouth and tasted... manuka smoked bacon.  The smoke, roast malt, caramel and, well, bacon flavours all work to create a delicious, savoury beer like no other.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA has been another Malthouse stand-out for me.  Every time I try this I am stunned by the intensity of the hop flavours.  It has strong pine, grapefruit and citrus zest and a big bitterness which I have come to love with hoppy American beers.

I have to say – she is absolutely spot-on about the bacon flavours in the Smokin’ Bishop.  It is truly remarkable.  Now all we need is bacon which tastes like beer!  Denise also has her own beer blog and the link is below.

If you would like the opportunity to tell the world about your favourite Malthouse beers, drop the Handsome Yet Softly Spoken One a line on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

As part of Octoberbest, the new beer tradition, Malthouse will be serving Townshend No.9 from the cask, Plan K and the majestic His Majesty IPA from those clever Yeastie Boys, and Rogue Hop and Pig and Whistle from Harrington’s. 

Ultimately, it is all about the beer.

* “Inundated with comments and people looking to volunteer for number two” in this context means three or less messages.


Beer Writer
Real Beer New Zealand
Beer and Brewer Magazine


Public Address -
Kiwiblog –
Malthouse blog – (self-referential links rule)
Texas Burger Guy –
Phil U -
The People’s Blog Part One -
Girls Drink Beer Too -
Emerson’s -
Coopers -
Invercargill Brewing –
Sierra Nevada -
Malthouse Facebook Group -
Real Beer –
Beer and Brewer Magazine -