We’re going a bit meta on this one. Regular readers will know that Dave Pearce of Badass Beverages usually writes the Mixed Six, but in the wake of Badass winning a trophy at the NZ Beer Awards, we thought we’d turn the tables on him …
Favourite beer in your core range?
We’re very new and new small so it’s a tight core range! My go-to at the moment is Disko Inferno, our schwarzbier. It’s a style I’ve always loved, but one that you don’t see that often in New Zealand. It really is a beer style for all seasons, and I love getting people who say ‘I don’t drink dark beers’ to try it as a bit of a gateway beer. My friend Kurt once showed me a beer match for dark beers with blue cheese and a gingernut, which I can safely say works very nicely with Disko. As a bit of a packaging nerd, it’s probably my fave bit of design in our range too.
The beer you are most proud of?
We were incredibly proud, and incredibly surprised, and incredibly excited to get the trophy for Hefe Metal at the New Zealand Beer Awards. Wheat beers are so awesome, and so criminally underrepresented on NZ shelves and tap banks. We couldn’t be happier with how Hefe Metal is tasting, and it was such an amazing moment to have that recognised alongside some other cracking wheat beers. I’d love to see hefes and wits get a bit bigger in NZ. We’re hoping with Hefe Metal that a bloody tasty beer, plus a bad pun, some lightning bolts, and an excellent Spotify playlist might entice a few fence-sitters to give one of the world’s great styles a go.
Which new beer of yours are you most excited about?
We’re brewing a new beer next week which we’re pretty excited about. A friend of mine is involved with the Coastal Classic sailing race, so we’re making a beer for them, a German pilsner called Flagship. It’s a fun brief to make a beer with a lot of character, but one that will also appeal to folks who might be a bit more familiar with the green bottle section of the chiller. There’s a lot of love in the sailing world for Steiny Classic, which is fair enough because it’s a bloody great beer. Our aim with Flagship is to be New Zealand’s Funnest Lager.
First beer you fell in love with?
Nearly 20 years ago I lived in the US for a little while, in Chicago. I drank a lot of beer from a local brewery called Goose Island, who sponsored a lot of gigs and festivals. They had a beer called 312, named after the first three digits of Chicago phone numbers. It was a wheat ale, very light and quaffable, but it was the first time I’d had a go-to beer that was something a little different from lagers or brown beers. Goose Island are now owned by Anheuser Busch InBev who’ve tried to get their not-that-exciting IPA everywhere, but 312 was the beer that got me interested in exploring beer rather than just drinking lots of it.
Global beer you’d like to have now?
I was back in the States a few years ago and spent a few days in Vermont. I managed to track down a can of Heady Topper from the Alchemist, which is one of the original New England IPAs. It took a fair bit of finding — they were still only selling in a tightly controlled local area, and I’d dragged my wife and kids around a fair few places before I found one. It might have been the thrill of the chase, but I remember it being absolutely bloody fantastic, and with a fair bit more old school bitterness than the modern fashion.
A New Zealand beer you are enjoying lately?
I love trying beer styles that I’ve not had before and had recently been reading up on some unusual German styles, including lichtenhainer, a smoky sour wheat beer. I’d never had one so was stoked to find that Urbanaut had made one in their Living Beer series. They’ve added some citrus and Vietnamese herbs as well so there’s a heck of a lot going on, but I reckon it works pretty well.