I have a dirty secret to reveal. A massive percentage of New Zealand craft beer is conceived to heavy metal. While the consumers of craft beer might be tapping their toes to the Feelers, Lady Gaga or whatever the hell else is flavour of the month out there, much of the good beer brewed in this country is created to a soundtrack of heavy guitars surging bass lines, thumping drums and screaming vocals. I could name names but at the end of the day I think you should just take my word for it. I will reveal that one major NZ craft brewer has tubs marked Satanizer rather than the more normal sanitizer. Scandalous!
I myself come from a Metal / Hardcore background. Before taking up the mash paddle my weapon of choice was the bass guitar. I used to spend my time doing things like this , and this. My youth was spent in sweaty band rehearsal rooms , fragrant community halls and dingy bars playing and listening to extremely heavy music. It’s how I think all teenage boys should spend their time. My parents were at Ngaruawahia Festival when Black Sabbath played , it’s my whakapapa .
On the 2nd of May Jeff Hanneman passed away. Jeff was a founding member of best thing to come out of the 1980’s, Slayer. If you haven’t been at a gig where someone has shouted “play some fuckin SLAYER!” frankly you haven’t lived. I used to make sure my mates would chant “play some SLAYER!” at my gigs, it was only right. I could always feed them a little Angel of Death bass line.
I was lucky enough to see Slayer on the Diabolus in Musica Tour in Auckland. It was one of the top 5 gigs of my life, I will take the memory to my grave.
The news of Jeff’s death solidified a loose plan that Martin Townshend and myself had hatched. Martin like me is a big Slayer fan. We had been debating doing a heavy metal themed collaboration brew for awhile but hadn’t come to any agreement on what to do. Jeff’s death made it clear, we were both fans, we were both metal loving brewers, the natural way for us to show our respects was to brew a beer. Divine Intervention was born. Divine Intervention is one of my favourite Slayer Albums , Martin prefers South of Heaven or Reign in Blood. We picked it as the beer name as it worked for a beer, yeast being the work of god and all that. The beer itself will be brewed in the next week or two. It will be a hoppy Belgian style brew combining a Belgian yeast and a big NZ hop character. It will be strong and hopefully dangerously drinkable. Look out for a very unique launch party when this gets released. R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman , PLAY SOME FUCKIN SLAYER!