Aug 24 2015

Did you ever wonder what it sounds like when cultures collide?

People have asked where the inspiration for Garage beers comes from? Of course the answer is that it comes from many places, but if I had to pick one moment where that bright light flash of epiphany struck more often than any other I’d have to say it’s two beers in, cooking dinner and always, always with music playing.

Sometimes music is just the conduit through which inspiration flows, sometimes it is the song itself that inspires the beer. Trip Hop was conceived listening to Mezzanine, Pils ‘n’ Thrills, the Dandy Warhols, not to mention Tournesol.



For Wellington on a Plate this year the San Fran Bathhouse approached us with the idea of Music 2 Brew 2 – an evening of music matched to beer and food.

How could we refuse, the only question was how could we best showcase the tunes that have most inspired us?

Enter Hamish McKeich. In fact, Hamish enters our cellar door quite often, not too often you understand, just often enough. Hamish lives in Aro and is a very talented conductor and composer. He does a lot of work with the NZSO and a whole load of NZ’s most talented musos. Also enter Luke Buda. Luke also lives in Aro and plays with the Phoenix Foundation. He is also a cellar door regular (and quite likes to use our loo). With this kind of talent on your doorstep – or cellar door – it would be a shame not to try something a bit different.

So here’s the concept – a super group under the guidance of Hamish made up of the members of the NZSO who like beer (there’s quite a lot of them) with heavy hitting sonic support from Luke Buda, David Long, Joel Haines, throat singer Johnny Marks, and probably a few surprise guests, playing what will be a unique and thoroughly unconventional take on some low cultural classics in three sets, each set matched to a different musically inspired beer and food.

Set one is Garage regular California Über Alles, matched with Paua Wontons, chilli quince sauce and the music of the Dead Kennedys, played of course by a classical ensemble.


Set two is Golden Brown but not as you have come to know it. At our first birthday party everyone was so wankered on strong beer that we quickly came to the decision that we had a duty of care to brew some less boozy brews. Consequently, Golden Brown was brewed at a lower strength. But for Music 2 Brew 2 we’ve gone all rock ‘n’ roll and present to you Original Strength Golden Brown back to an old school 7%. This is matched with Smoked moki korroke, pickled chilli beetroot, and green sauce and of course the music of the inimitable Stranglers.



And finally, a brand new beer, brewed especially for the evening. If I’m ever in a shit mood at the brewery, I’ve noticed that my brewers and cellar door team often put on Sonic Youth to sooth me – bless them. So for the last set we present Dirty Boots, a big, juicy American Pale Ale, brewed in homage to music of Sonic Youth. This will be paired with roasted pork belly in an IPA reduction, stirfried puha and a whole load of classical distortion and feedback. Of course I’m hoping someone will smash their cello over the Marshall as a finale, but no promises.

Just in case you ever wondered this is the noise that high and low culture make when they smash head long into each other. If you want to hear for yourself Garage Project’s Music 2 Brew 2 is on August 27 at the San Fran Bathhouse… grab your tickets from the Wellington On A Plate website.


- Pete


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