As Dale Carnegie surely wished he’d said, every great beer starts with a good idea. It was of such things that Epic Armageddon was born.
First there was just a brewer with an obsession – how to produced a beer crammed full of hops. A shed load of hops. And thus was born Epic Pale Ale, by flavour out of insanity; the beer that won gold medals for brewer Luke Nicholas and launched a thousand local drinkers upon a sea of hops obsession.
And thus was born Epic Mayhem in which, to the delight of the hops obsessives, Luke increased the hops per glass to an even more insane number. Hosannahs were sung and great things undertaken.
From those great things was Epic Armageddon born, and with it, a mission. Let our beer correspondent Neil Miller take up the story at this point:
Pete Brown, favoured beer author of the Handsome and Softly Spoken Scotsman, has just published a rather excellent book– Hops and Glory. He takes a cask of pale ale from Britain to India by ship, retracing the long journey which helped create this marvellous style of beer. He even graphically demonstrates some of the pitfalls of transporting beer in warm climes by having a 20-litre cask explode in a rented house. Apparently you never realise how much beer is 20 litres until you are on your hands and knees sopping it out of the carpet.
Anyway, over a quiet pint of Epic one evening, the Malthouse proprietor Colin Mallon had the crazy idea of recreating Pete’s recreation right here in New Zealand. He asked the Impish brewer to procure some wooden barrels and fill them with Armageddon. The Impish brewer immediately agreed. He asked the Interislander ferry if the barrels could go on their ship for up to six weeks. The Interislander people immediately agreed.
The new oak barrels, called Pete (for obvious reasons) and Melissa (after beer writer Melissa Cole) will experience changes in temperature and constant movement. Tapping them and finding out what effect the voyage has had will be a little bit of history . . .
Wellington’s Malthouse brewery (which I’m now reliably informed is under water) partook of history last week, and this Friday – today! just an hour and a half from now! – Aucklanders have their chance to taste the results of the hoppic journey for ourselves, the world’s first Inter-Islander Pale Ale, and to launch the newest beer in the Epic stable, EPIC ARMAGEDDON.