Friday, April 17, 2009

Beer O’Clock: Waikato [updated]

This post is intended as a warning. A warning to everyone heading to Hamilton for a weekend of fast cars and faster women (one in hope -- and one, perhaps, in expectation). The warning is this. No matter how desperate, don’t drink anything bearing this label:

waikato-draught-300x264

According to the drink’s website:

The Waikato is a region on the Western side of the North Island of New Zealand around the city of Hamilton extending along the pristine Waikato River and is home to Waikato Draught. Now a Lion Nathan beer the beer has a very rich history dating back to 1864 when brewer Scot Charles Innes arrived in New Zealand. Charles Innes started a brewery in 1871 at Ngaruawhia and then a new brewery was established in 1873 in Hamilton East. A bit of tragedy followed with fire destroying the brewery in 1897 and poor old Charles Innes drowning while bathing in one of his beer vats- what a way to go. His wife Mary took over the reins and it later became a public company with what is now Lion Nathan merging with the brewery in the 50’s. The beer brand has a strong tradition with Rugby and is a real tasty beer- They have won Gold Medal and Best in Class at the 2005 BrewNZ awards just to prove it.

All this is true, except for five things.

  1. It’s not brewed, it’s made.
  2. It’s not made in Hamilton on the shores of the Waikato, it’s made in Newmarket underneath the motorway.
  3. It’s not beer.
  4. It’s not tasty – not unless you think sugar is a “taste.”
  5. Sure, they won Best in Class at the 2005 BrewNZ Awards . . . but that class was Undrinkable.

Drinkers at the Rate Beer site had this sort of praise about this drink:

  • “Pours a brown colour”
  • “Not particularly smooth and not a lot of hops”
  • “Under average pale lager”
  • “Flavour soapy,oily slight citrus finish and bitter but not good”
  • “ . . . small, rough, off-white head. . . Medium in body with some malts and sweetish caramel and a touch of metal”
  • “. . . grainy, earthy, metallic, sweet, YUCK. Aftertaste like the sole of your old sneakers. . . ”

In summary, don’t be tempted. The weekend’s too short to drink bad beer. Spend your money on fast women instead.

UPDATE: There is hope, Hamiltonians. Reader Greig, from Hamilton, reckons Hamilton is not devoid of excellent beer:

Get ye to Hamilton Wine Company on Hood Street for a selection unlike anything you'll find in Auckland, and fairly rare for NZ in general. At least 150 beers of various pedigrees. Hillcrest Fine Wines has similar. We have a Cock and Bull for ye Auckland types, and for those in the know, there's the Ruakura Campus Club, though it's not open over the weekend. This is a shame. I've just come from there, and they were pouring Epic Pale Ale, Invercargill Biman Lager, and Tuatara Pilsner. All in top form.

So yes. Avoid Waikato. But drink well wherever you go.

Excellent advice.

Labels:

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Heathen PC!
Waikato is Nectar!!

4/17/2009 09:54:00 pm  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

If by "Nectar" you mean "Satan's cheesy smegma" then sure. Go PC.Bang on. Nasty stuff.

HOWEVER!

Hamilton is not devoid of excellent beer.

Get ye to Hamilton Wine Company on Hood Street for a selection unlike anything you'll find in Auckland, and fairly rare for NZ in general. At least 150 beers of various pedigrees. Hillcrest Fine Wines has similar. We have a Cock and Bull for ye AUckland types, and for those in the know, there's the Ruakura Campus Club, though it's not open over the weekend. This is a shame. I've just come from there, and they were pouring Epic Pale Ale, Invercargill Biman Lager, and Tuatara Pilsner. All in top form.

So yes. Avoid Waikato. But drink well wherever you go.

4/17/2009 10:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Waikato is drinkable man.

4/18/2009 01:19:00 am  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

There's a reason its known as Swamp Water. Only to be drunk at 1 degree above zero, so you can't taste the bloody stuff. Better still, leave the Waikato alone and lick the toilet bowl, the after taste is better.

4/18/2009 12:13:00 pm  
Anonymous the drunken watchman said...

I heard that drink-snobbery is another manifestation of tribalism ....

4/18/2009 09:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that you should shut the fuck up....

4/19/2009 01:12:00 am  
Anonymous the drunken watchman said...

oh, and I also heard that drink-snobbery in Crown Lager drinkers is a manifestation of hypocrisy.

Next thing we will be winifying our bread....

Have a slice of toast then yak about it for a few months ....

... a cheeky little slice of Vogels Soy and Linseed. Slighly oily, with a Germanic aftertaste, and 'made' rather than 'baked'. But an intelligent bread, gracious on the nose with an ever-so-slight hint of Japanese cherry blossoms in those loaves made from wheat planted on a north-facing hill-side.April 2009 vintage, that is.

We could set up a website, and make fun of commoners who eat Homebrand White!

Then Anonymous could tell us to shut the fuck up, and we could all acquiesce to his superior intellect.

4/19/2009 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

DW, that's not a bad idea. I could start the ball rolling by yaking about the gorgeous Wild Wheat rye sourdough I'm enjoying right now. ;^)

BTW, thank you, Anonymous poster of 1:12, for demonstrating once again why anonymous posters should be disregarded.

4/20/2009 08:54:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

I think PC should drink more Waikato or Ranfurly so that he can understand the difference of the tastes compared to other beers that he promotes here for the weekly Beer O'Clock.

One can only make a comparison once he has tasted those beers that he/she rubbishes. Never mind, I'll give a few Ranfurly next time to taste.

4/20/2009 11:29:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

Fala and DW: I've tasted 'em. They really are pretty poor. :) That said, opinions are like arseholes etc. That was just mine.

DW: I'd agree with you on the "winifying" thing if we were talking about "the standard kiwi draught" type beers. They're there to quench thirst and GET YA DRUNK and that's about it. No point overthinking them. BUT, as with wine, there's so much more to beer than first appears. nearly 100 recognised styles, most of them unknown to the average kiwi. Is it wrong to want to share those styles and knowledge? That's no snobbery. Snobbery is me wanting to appear better than you based on what I drink. I want you to drink similar quality stuff so I can share discussion and the experience. And hell, then you can introduce me to stuff. How is that snobbery?

I see what you were saying, but I do think many snob calls stem from some weird inferiority complex. Oh no! Someone is talking about deeper enjoyment of something instead of just gutsing it down and getting pissed. Let's bring them down with a few insults about being snobs!

Anyway, here's to beer.

4/22/2009 05:05:00 pm  
Anonymous the Drunken Watchman said...

Greig

OED: snob "... person who despises people with inferior ... taste"

(perhaps also substitute 'look down on' for 'despise')

There are clearly a lot of people who do not share your opinion about Waikato, (I don't know about Ranfurly), and I am presuming that you have some opinion also about them (those who drink by choice the beer you say "really is pretty poor", that is "nasty stuff", that is "Satan's cheesy smegma")?

I would think people, who have other options, but who choose to drink Satan's cheesy smegma are stupid. Is that close enough to satisfy the OED definition of "despise"? If it were me, I would admit it.

Be advised I am not trying to bring anyone down with a cheap- shot insult.

"Satan's smegma"? Sounds like a "wierd inferioriy complex" to me.

4/22/2009 08:20:00 pm  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

DW: I base my statements on objective ratings of such beers when I say they are poor. Go have a look at any of the numerous beer rating sites if you want to see what I mean. Sure, that doesn't mean people can't like them, that's their right. Just don't try to claim they are good beers.

I suspect you are one of those types who just likes arguing on the internets though, since you did the typical troll thing and took my off the cuff joking remark and used it as if I was making a serious point, then took the high ground and claimed I despise people based on it. And here I thought I was engaging in a friendly discussion where I defend my passion, and try not to get labelled a snob for it. Tell you what, I'll leave you to it.

Have a beer, and enjoy it no matter what it is.

4/23/2009 07:46:00 am  
Anonymous the drunken watchman said...

Greig: Beer rating sites are only as meritorious as those who comment on them. Alternatively, you could look at the sales figures. There are hundreds of thousands of beer drinkers who like Waikato but who cant be bothered saying so on a 'beer rating site'.

When Waikato wins some award, the best PC can do is make fun of the award - yet you talk about 'objective ratings'.

And take a look at what you write:

Over the short course of this debate, you have accused me of

* having a wierd inferiority complex
* being insulting
* trying to 'bring people down'
* being 'one of those types'
* being 'one of those people who like to argue on the internet'
* doing a 'typical troll thing'
* taking the high ground
* (by insinuation), that I am not friendly

When I take you to task over your use of words like 'Satan's cheesy smegma', you accuse me of taking an 'off the cuff joke' too seriosly. Yet you maintain the right to do the same thing about my 'off the cuff joke' about drink-snbbery.

Sounds like two sets of rules to me, just to complete the circle.

No wonder you are going to 'leave me to it'. That's a commmon way to sneak out of a debate one is losing.

4/23/2009 09:04:00 am  

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