When it comes to the Beervana media brew, Dish has something of a reputation to uphold.
In 2011 our then-editor Victoria Wells, together with Epic Beer, took the competition out with their now-legendary Fig & Coffee Stout. Last year she did it again, teaming up with Hallertau to brew a winning horopito-infused NZ Wild Ale. I, personally, have not had so much luck with the media brews (a particuarly spicy smoked ale that made one of the judges cry comes to mind) - but there's no need to dwell on that.
Needless to say, it was with a cheerful "no pressure!" that the Dish team sent me off to 8 Wired Brewery in Warkworth last week, where head brewer Søren Erikson and I were brewing a 50L batch of beer to enter into this year's competition.
The brief was to create a "New Zealand flag themed" beer. We toyed with ideas around silver ferns, long white clouds and hokey pokey ice cream, before eventually settling on a beer dedicated to New Zealand's most important person: Lorde. I don't want to give too much away ahead of the competition, but as you can see from the photos it contains oats. Lots of them.
If you're curious to see how it turns out (I certainly am), come along to Beervana in Wellington next month and keep an eye out for "We'll Never Be Royals" - our very humble (but hopefully-award winning!) brew.
See www.beervana.co.nz for tickets and more info.