Tag Archive: New Zealand


Rugby, Racing & BEER

My native New Zealand has always been known as a beer drinking stronghold. although from the 1980s I saw wine begin to make inroads. Rugby, Racing & Beer was like a catch phrase for NZ.

Men drank beer, women (and those batting for the other team) drank lager.

The principal beers were DB (Dominion Breweries), and Lion, although there were others like Leopard and Steinlager which were mainly exported. A self respecting Kiwi wouldn’t be caught drinking such poncy stuff. Then of course you had the Scots contingent down in Dunedin that had their own Speights and the Waikato had something strange too.

Shock, horror; I have just been browsing NZ beer and what I remember has all but gone.

Twenty years and it’s gone.

One more nail in the coffin, proof that I am well on the downside of the proverbial hill and gathering spead. This DB label adorned many a bottle that passed through my appreciative hands, I found on an auction site; it was auctioned off in August this year.

Now they have stuff like Moa… never heard of it. The last I knew was that it was a big extinct chicken.

Moa Blanc (fancy wheat beer), Moa Pale Ale as well as Original. Mind you I can see the marketing ploy there; after a few drinks you shout, “More!” and the way we Kiwis have butchered our mother tongue, it would sound like, “Moa!” so that’s what you’d get. Crafty bastards.

Now they have so many different beers, there’s this stuff called ‘craft beer’, which comes from craft breweries, not overly sure what that is, but I’ll find out on Wikipedia, apparently craft beer is the product from a micro brewery.

So the Kiwi world has been taken over by ‘craft beers’ which I read as ‘higher priced’.

Craft Beers

I just read that New Zealand now has about 50 breweries, so there’s a lot of ‘craft beer’ out there. And the ‘craft beers’ are referred to as ‘Premium’; did I not say higher priced?

I just had another shock. Last year traditional ‘uncrafted’ beer was $12 a bottle (750ml), at least in May 2010. No wonder I became an ex-pat, I’m grizzling because my beer, Brahma (Brazilian beer), recently went from R$3 to R$3.50 (US$1.75) a bottle (600ml – pint+/-); I will grizzle no more.

Produced at Wigram, a suburb of my hometown, Christchurch

This post was actually prompted by a post on Mal’s Blog about New Zealand Beer, I made a few comments and got to thinking. This is how blogging goes, you live, look, google and learn.

There’s a good concise history of the first New Zealand beer here. Worth a click.

So it appears that New Zealand beers have come of age. I am astounded. I knew that the NZ govt had (mistakenly) closed Wigram air force base, but had no idea that the name lived on in my drink of choice.

So there you have it, some memoirs of a beer drinking Kiwi who has been away from home for twenty years.

Last week it rained twice…

First for three days, then for four days.

Yes, last week it rained a lot. Today it is supposed to let up and come back tomorrow. So I am making hay while the sun shines.

Last night I read a mates blog. I haven’t got over that way for a bit and I see that he has a post about his beloved Australia and my own equally adored New Zealand. I think it was in response to my previous post Things. Tempo told some stories that would of course be quite true if Australia replaced New Zealand and New Zealand replaced Australia in most of the texts; all except the one about Wiremu and his testicular removal.

But he’s right, we are neighbours and we do sling off at each other something chronic, but when you find a Kiwi and an Ozzie overseas amongst the thousands of tourists, you’d think they were Siamese twins because they’re always together. Our rivalry is only equaled by our respect… I think.

It doesn’t matter whether they do us at cricket, or we stomp the stuffing out of them on the rugby paddock, we will still tell the same jokes about each other, they are crude rude and sometimes downright nasty, they sling off at our sheep and we sling off at theirs, we’ve got the Maoris and they’ve got the Aborigines; they’ve got this huge stone in their yard and a poncy Opera house in Sydney, and we’ve got Mt Cook and…. well, we’ve got Mt Cook. Oh, yeah and some mud puddles. So there are good and bad points on both sides of the creek (that’s what we both call the Tasman Sea). It’s true that Australians don’t speak English, they speak Strine, but then we don’t say New Zealand, but rather Newzild

“Newzilders and Strines, sharing proud isolation at the tail of the South Pacific, have been blood brothers in two world wars. In peacetime they keep busy sniping at each other – and mangling their mother tongue. For decades each nation has fiercely upheld its own dialect, despising the other’s version. But now the battle is out in the open. First the Strines stepped over the line by circulating Let Stalk Strine on the wrong side of the Tasman…”

That blurb said it better than me. We retaliated.

But when meeting each other and others of our ilk we both say “Gidday, air gun?” which loosely translated into BBC English would be something like, “Good morning (afternoon, evening), how are you?” The Strines have this national dish called ‘feesh ‘n cheeps’ whereas in Newzild we have the same dish called ‘fush ‘n chups.’ So we are both irrevocably and intricantly involved with butchering our mother tongue, English.

And we both fight ad nauseum over who invented the Pavlova. Which isn’t even a contest because the earliest writing of the “pav” is in a NZ cookbook from the 1920’s whereas it didn’t appear in Australian literature until 1940; which could be explained by the fact that Australian literature only appeared about then too.

Things like bungy jumping were also a New Zealand first. The Australians were first at… ah… um, something.

Newzilders see Strya a bit like this:

And so it goes…

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