Beer Birthday: Peter Aldred

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Today is the 56th birthday of Peter Aldred, who is the Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator of the Brewing Program at the Federation University. I first met Peter when he was teaching at UC Davis for a few months in 2011, and he delivered some AIBA awards to Moylan’s. Last year, we judged together at the AIBA awards in Melbourne, and took a trip to Ballarat, where he teaches brewing. Join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday.

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Peter at Moylan’s in Novato to present the Australian International Beer Awards Trophy to Brewmaster Denise Jones and Owner Brendan Moylan.

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Peter (second from the left) with a number of the foreign judges during a dinner in Ballarat for the AIBA in 2014, including me in the back right.

Beer Birthday: Warren Pawsey

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Today is the 52nd birthday of Warren Pawsey, head brewer for Little Creatures’ brewery in Geelong. And for the last couple of years, he’s been the head judge for the Australian International Beer Awards, which I had the privilege to judge last year. I first met Warren at Russian River Brewing, the night before he and a contingent of Australians flew to San Diego, where I also then joined them to judge at the World Beer Cup. Warren’s also a terrific person to share a pint with and a great brewer, too. Join me in wishing Warren a very happy birthday.

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Warren and me after AIBA judging in 2014.

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At a judge’s reception in Ballarat, with many of the judges of the AIBA from outside Australia, plus head judge Warren in the back row, next to me.

Star Wars Downunder: The Good, The Bad & The Thirsty

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For some reason I really got caught up in the hoopla of Star Wars Day today. But what about beer and Star Wars, you might ask? Believe it or not, I found something. It’s an interesting fan film made in Australia, entitled Star Wars Downunder. It’s shot in 35mm and took 10 years to make, directed and co-written by Michael Cox. And because it’s Australian, it’s also about beer. The creators describe it by asking “what would happen if you crossed Star Wars with an Australian beer commercial?” And their answer was “Star Wars Downunder: an epic tale of the good the bad and the thirsty, described as “half an hour of action, special effects and lovable Aussie larakins.” On the film’s website, they recount the plot as follows:

The film tells the story of a lone Jedi: Merve Bushwacker (David Nicoll), returning home after a long absence. His mission? To partake in a refreshing beverage, known locally as amber fluid. On his arrival, he is dismayed to discover the planet has become as dry as a dead dingo′s donger, thanks to the tyrannical rule of Darth Drongo. Drongo has hoarded all the amber fluid in his impenetrable fortress “Dunny’s Deep” for reasons unknown. Can Merve, and a motley collection of unlikely allies band together to topple Drongo’s evil regime? Will liberty and amber fluid flow freely once more?

As many reporting on the film lament, there’s no scene in which the character says: “That’s not a loightsabah! THAT’S a loightsabah!” And while that would have been hilarious, there are, however, lightsaber boomerangs, because … well, why wouldn’t there be? Here’s the trailer:

Star Wars Downunder Trailer from Michael Cox on Vimeo.

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Intrigued? You’re in luck, because you can watch the entire 30-minute film on YouTube, or below.

Beer In Ads #1406: 62 Individual Reasons To Drink


Tuesday’s ad is for the Coopers 62, from 2011. Although it’s a newer ad, given that I post my own reasons to drink for any given day, this ad certainly spoke to me, despite most of the reasons being fairly pedestrian. But in a sense, that was the point, that any reason was good enough to drink this Australian beer. Whether that’s true, I couldn’t tell you. I like their sparkling ale, but they don’t strike me as a pilsner brewery.

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Beer In Film #24: ElbowSkin’s Beer Song

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Today’s beer video is a wonderful song created for Melbourne’s beer week, Good Beer Week. It was written and performed by Dave Elbow and Ernie Skin of the duo ElbowSkin. I’m sure some people will find something to be offended by in the song, but it’s pretty damn funny. It’s also very catchy with some great quotes like “unleash the beast” and “it’s like drinking god’s tears.”

Beer Song by ElbowSkin from The Post Project on Vimeo.

Beer Film #17: Shit Beer Geeks Say

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Today’s beer video was originally created last year for Good Beer Week in Melbourne, Australia, and I think I may even have posted it before. But given the positive response to yesterday’s humorous Hipsters Love Beer, I thought I had to post this one again. Shit Beer Geeks Say was a ” short film by Good Beer Week and Bridge Road Brewers about the beer geeks we all know and love who might sometimes take their craft beer a little too seriously!” Enjoy.

GBW – SHIT BEER GEEKS SAY from GOOD BEER WEEK on Vimeo.

Hop Flavour Spectrum

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Today’s infographic is a Hop Flavour Spectrum, created by an Australian company HPA. They describe their Hop Flavour Spectrum as follows:

The Hop Flavour Spectrum has been created through years of research, experimentation and conversations with brewers, and by tasting a few beers along the way. It’s what we believe, and we want to build the spectrum with what you think too. Our hop varieties are divided into four flavour profiles: fruit, floral, spice and resin. This allows brewers to compare varieties and get an understanding of how each hop may impact the flavour of beer.

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Then they took that scheme and placed the hops that their company carries on the spectrum, depending on each hops’ characteristics. Beverage World, in describing it, “The Hop Flavour Spectrum goes beyond the limitations of chemical analysis to provide an effective tool for comparing varieties and understanding how each hop may impact the flavor of beer.” You can click on each variety listed to see additinoal information about it. It would be cool to see even more varieties added to the spectrum.

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CLick here to see the original interactive chart.

Hello, Is It Beer You’re Looking For?

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First Willie Nelson did ads for Taco Bell to pay his back taxes, and now Lionel Richie is apparently doing the same thing, crooning a version of his hit song “Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For” to pay the $1.1 million he owes in back taxes to the IRS. The ad itself is pretty funny, a man in searching his refrigerator, presumably looking for a beer, when we here Richie singing his song, and then the man sees him singing through the back of the refrigerator. Cut to the inside of the icebox, and there’s Lionel Richie, dressed in white, sitting a white piano in an all-white room.
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He stops playing long enough to fill a pint glass of beer using the new Tap King dispenser from the Lion Nathan Brewery. Richie reportedly was paid $1.5 million for the ad, which should get him out of hot water with the taxman. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if he’d actually sung “hello, is it beer you’re looking for?”

If the ad won’t play (the embed code has been giving me error messages off and on), try this link here or watch it on AdWeek or Australia’s newspaper The Age.

Beer Clothing

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I’m not sure I’d wear any of these (nobody wants to see me in anything this tight) but for the right beer geek … maybe?! Created by an Australian clothing company, BlackMilk, they have three beer-themed outfits for the discerning woman who also loves beer. There’s a dress, a bathing suit and leggings.

First, there’s the beer dress.
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Secondly, a beer swimsuit.
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And finally, beer leggings.
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Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of each page, where there are lots of photos and self-shots of people wearing the beer clothing.