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Beer – The BBC, Sparks, Duran Duran and the Indie Wit

It’s a beer and vinyl Sunday again. I found a Copy of Rio in the vinyl Box, this one from 1982. The winter is biting as much as it does in Auckland where it never quite reaches 0c long enough to matter, but when you’ve only got the one jumper it can be nippy.

Three Layers, Cheese, Crackers, beer and an LP

I’m sitting here with some lovely double-cream Brie and assorted other things on a plate, with a beer and the turntable. What could possibly go wrong, well nothing after a quick wash under the tap of the now dusty with age vinyl to rid it of all the accumulated dust of time.  And call me out on it but it sounds brilliant, sure the odd and rare  hiss and crackle, but this is near on 40 years old.

Rio is the second studio album by English new wave/synthpop band Duran Duran

In 2000, Rio was ranked #98 in Q magazine’s “100 Greatest British Albums”. In 2003, it was listed at #65 in the NME “100 Greatest Albums of All Time

9 tracks totalling 42:48, the most well known possibly “Hungry Like A Wolf”

There is a ‘collectors’ version on Spotify if you want a listen “Rio [Collector’s Edition] by Duran Duran”  at least to the first 9 tracks that seem to be as was an intended first time up.

The A Side is the most accessible, possibly due to the more familiar songs, I guess that’s back to when this was released and the appeal and mood of the time. I’m going to give this B side a couple of listens because I’m pretty sure it’s much the same in terms of tone, timbre, pacing and lyrically not a lot different.  The good thing about albums too is that you have to listen A to B unless you have a lot of time on your hands and patience to move the mechanicals around.

The Beer: Birkenhead Brewing / Sparks Indie Wit

Brewed by Birkenhead Brewing Company  this is in their signature 888m bottle, with beer that is 5% and 22 IBU things, the would be about 3.4 standard drinks in NZ.

Two very different breweries come together to create a beer which captures the excitement of our easy going nature to bring you something that is adventurous yet delicious.

We wanted a Belgian Witbier with pronounced citrus and stone fruit character. We wanted the spicy and citrus notes typical of this style to come from an interplay between the yeast and hops rather than coriander and orange peel. A balanced marriage where its hard to tell where one element begins and the other ends.

Welcome to the world of hoppy Belgian Wit.

The beer is clear and crisp looking with a smallish head, and a hoppy aroma.

The taste is clean too, sharp without frowning and not bitter sharp, just crisp.

Taste is a moving feast with some lovely bubble-gum sugary sort of things and fruitiness in there.

wonderful really 

The pdubyah-o-meter would be impressed at the 8 level with this as a beer, perhaps a 9 if it was warmer outside and I didn’t think this was as summer beer. Ask me in the summer if this ever comes around again, which is possible. Everything is possible.


A Belgian Style ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that’s used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices or herbs in the back ground. The crispness and slight twang comes from the wheat and the lively level of carbonation. This is one style that many brewers in the US have taken a liking to and have done a very good job of staying to style. Sometimes served with a lemon, but if you truly want to enjoy the untainted subtleties of this style you’ll ask for yours without one. Often referred to as “white beers” (witbieren) due to the cloudiness / yeast in suspension.


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