Classic puns, favourite songs and some stunning artwork make for an interesting entry list for The Malthouse West Coast IPA Challenge to be held in Wellington on July 29. I’m a little surprised there’s no beer called At The Hop, for the much-covered song by Danny & The Juniors, and I’m sure there’s others that fit the bill.
So, with tongue partly in cheek, here’s a look at the entries for the event.
Fork & Brewer American Idiot 6.4% — A reference to Green Day’s American Idiot album (and/or song of the same name) released in 2007. And you know, hops are green.
Epic The Othership 7.2% — Multiple Malthouse Challenge winners Epic have always been inclined toward heavy metal inspiration, with a raft of beer names taken from Def Leppard’s Hysteria album and here they are paying tribute to Led Zeppelin’s 2007 compliation album The Mothership.
Sawmill The Chats ‘Get this in ya!’ 7.3% — The Chats are an Aussie punk band, who describe themselves as making “shed rock”. The opening track of the Get This In Ya! album is called “Smoko” and Sawmill of course have the Smoko Room at their brewery
Liberty Brewing Firestarter 7.0% — Firestarter is the most critically successful release by British band The Prodigy. And the hand-held microphone aflame suits Liberty’s brand look.
Parrotdog L.B. WCIPA 2022 6.8% — Former Malthouse WCIPA winners Parrotdog are channelling Fleetwood Mac and going their own way with this one.
Garage Project Mojave Green 6.6% — Mojave Green is a very venomous rattlesnake, a doom metal band from San Diego or one of half a dozen songs of that name.
Sunshine 1.183 Litres to Freedom 6.0% — 40oz. to Freedom is the debut studio album by the Southern California ska-punk band Sublime, and as more than one wit has pointed out, in the rest of the world 40oz is 1.183 litres.
Brave Brewing Out Come the WCIPA’S 7.2% — Brave Brewing say that Rancid’s ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ is the most played album in their brewery and that there is nothing more West Coast than 90s-era Bay area punk rock.
Double Vision Brewing Queens of the West Coast 6.8% — The tap badge says it all with image of the late Freddie Mercury of British glam-rock band Queen.
Rocky Knob Highway to Hops 7.2% — Nothing beats a little AC/DC Highway to Hell to get you in the mood for a drink.
Altitude Brewing Portland Calling 6.6% — Co-founder of Altitude Brewing, Eddie Gapper, is from Hammersmith so this is a tribute to The Clash classic “London Calling” melded to the fact their brewer Dan is from Portland.
Sprig & Fern A Beer Out of Hell 6.66% — Who doesn’t love Meatloaf and the classic album Bat of Hell. With the great man passing away earlier this year it’s a perfect time for a tribute beer. Sharp artwork too.
Boneface Go with the Flow 6.5% — Boneface have done a couple of beers for local bands: Voodoo Bloo, Saint Peter’s Thursday and Mojo Alice but here they’ve gone with Queens of the Stoneage and their 2002 single.
Panhead Nevermind 7.0% — Panhead are not taking any chances and are sticking with the tried and true Nirvana classic.
Eddyline That Eddy’s Drop 6.2% — Of all the puns in this line-up I quite like this one.
Shining Peak Sticky Filth’ Punk IPA 6.9% — Sticky Filth are New Plymouth’s (and one of New Zealand’s) most enduring hard-edged pub-rock-meets-punk bands. They were formed in 1985 and while never signing to record label have survived and are still going strong (I think).
Emersons Seek & Destroy 7.0% — Richard Emerson was always a connoisseur of the Dunedin Sound and, well, there’s nothing very Dunedin about this single from Metallica, released in 1983.
DNA Brewing Double Helix 6.6% — Double Helix is a band, a song, an album, and also a good name for a beer from a brewery called DNA, which is the new venture of Dave Nicholls, formerly of Moa.
Hop Federation Glory Glory 7.0% — The Byrds? Head Like a Hole? Or Odetta? It’s Head Like a Hole. And it reminds of Pete Brown’s book Hops & Glory.
Fortune Favours I was made for hopping you baby 6.7% — The brew team at Fortune Favours have gone the whole hog with their entry including getting their full Kiss make-up done for a photo shoot.
Urbanaut The Dead C 6.0% — I’m guessing this is the Flying Nun band circa 1987 with Bruce Russell, Michael Morley (Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos) and Robbie Yeats (The Verlaines). I don’t want to check in case I’m wrong.
8 Wired Surf Rider 6.7% — Surf Rider by the Lively Ones was the song that played at end of Pulp Fiction.
Duncan’s Wish you were Beer 6.8% — Duncan’s bringing the melodic melancholy of Pink Floyd’s best song (no arguments) just feels right. Superb effort to recreate the artwork outside the actual Duncan’s brewery.
Juicehead Voice of the Voiceless 6.5% — Rage Against The Machine are having, what, a moment? In their first show in 11 years, the alt-rock band upset the alt-right when they used their set to channel their frustration over the Supreme Court’s ruling last month to overturn Roe v Wade.
Baylands The West Coast Electric 6.7% — Another one where I don’t want to do the research in case I’m proved wrong, but this entry from last year’s winners feels like a tribute to Wellington electronica pioneers The Body Electric.
Choice Bros Them Bones 7.5% — Them Bones is a classic song by Alice in Chains. But I can’t help but thinking they could have just gone with Bros. On that note see the next entry …
Heyday Brothers 6.9% — The Doobie Brothers, Avett Brothers, The Allman Brothers, The Isley Brothers, The Everley Brothers, Brothers Johnson, The Bellamy Brothers, Brothers in Arms. My brother plays bass in band called Gav Swann and The Cygnets.
Abandoned Brewery W.A.S.P. 8.0% — One of the most infamous, notorious, controversial heavy metal bands in the world, W.A.S.P. are currently doing a 40th anniversary world tour.
North End How the Gods Brew 6.7% — Pitchfork describes Glenn Danzig as “a smooth-voiced demon, a guy with a library of occult tomes and an endless supply of primal lust”. So yeah riffing off his album How the Gods Kill seems right for Kieran Haslett-Moore of North End.
Two Thumb A Lad Insane 6.5% — A pun on a pun? David Bowie’s Alladin Sane was pun on “a lad insane” a reference to his half-brother Terry, who had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic.
Beer Baroness Making Plans for Nigel 6.4% — This XTC classic was the follow-up single to Life Begins At The Hop, which I think makes this a very cryptic entry.
Brew Union Lupulin Rhapsody 6.9% — The second Queen reference of the line-up. And great effort on the art.
McLeod’s Good Vibrations 8.4% — As befits a brewery from the laidback beachside town of Waipu, we’re going all surf-rock here with Beach Boys’ classic, and at 8.4 per cent ABV, it won’t take long for those good vibrations to start happening.
Deep Creek Endless Summer 6.7% — More Beach Boys, this time their compilation double album from 1974.
Rhyme & Reason Wacky Beatles – Gordon Road 7.3% — Gordon Road is where Rhyme X Reason are located in Wanaka and they’ve done a great job with the Abbey Road artwork.
Good George Brewing ZZ Hops 6.7% — Another reliable pun game employed here.