Dinosaurs and craft beer are as good a match as you will find. There is a certain child-like joy about craft beer enthusiasts which sits quite neatly with kids that never grow up and who love the romantic idea that dinosaurs might actually still exist somewhere on the planet, possibly the Hutt Valley. I am certain for this reason that Trevor Mallard spends more time at Hashigo Zake than The Backbencher. There is also a statistically high chance that craft beer lovers are much more likely to be followers of Dr Who, Blake 7 and readers of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
One of my favourite movies is the 1959 classic Journey to the Centre of the Earth (not to be confused with the dreadful 2008 re-make). Based on the Jules Verne novel of the same name, the movie has a group of intrepid adventurers travelling to the centre of the earth via an extinct Icelandic volcano. My favourite scene has them discovering dinosaurs at the centre and virtue of a marvellous piece of fifties special effects, a giant garden variety lizard manages to eat one of the characters.
Getting to the point though, let's talk about ParrotDog’s Jurassic Pale Ale. A beer, it appears, launched to help promote Te Papa’s current Tyrannosaurus – Meet the Family exhibition. Given (according to the label) parrots are directly descended from “a distinguished line of avian Coelurosaur Theropods” it seems ParrotDog were a sensible brewing partner for Te Papa but I suspect the whole project came about as a result of a session with lots of creative types just off Courtney Place.
Jurassic Ale should not be confused with Yeastie Boy’s Rex Attitude - a beer that tastes (in a good way you understand) as if distilled from the ancient soil that housed Denmark’s famous 2000-year-old Tollund Peat Bog Man. No, this is a much more domesticted creature - dishing up subtle but delicious aromas of citrus and cut grass. Given the smell of cut grass is a mix of oxygenated hydrocarbons, the dinosaur metaphor suddenly makes extra sense - as fossilised dinosaurs have been mashed together, deep beneath the earth’s crust over millions of years and under intense pressure to make hydrocarbons. Much like brewing as it turns out. Don’t be expecting a Tyrannosauric roar from this beer though, this is a bird with a pleasant song rather than a dinosaur with a bark.