A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


Comments are locked. No additional comments may be posted.

The Beer Nut -

I noticed lots of the new Czech micros use the 1L PET bottle. I'm sure Evan can tell us the Czech nickname. Or invent one.

Douglas McLeod -

Drink too many and you'll end up in rigger mortis.

redJez -

it's South Island Kiwi slang for a flagon of beer purchased takeaway from an off licence. it may come pre-packaged in a plastic bottle or in some places you can take you own bottle and fill it yourself, any size, using bar taps for a discount (cos you don't have to pay for the bottle)

Alan -

But why? There is usually an underlying reason like rigged is slang for getting drunk. If this was Maritime Canada, there would be degrees of the drunkenness: right rigged, right some rigged, right some Jeesely rigged, etc.

Gary Gillman -

Alan, a bit of sleuthing online shows that rigger was originally used to describe draft beer carried temporarily in a square gin bottle. The term later was transferred to the modern PET bottle. (By the way Connors in Mississauga, ON was selling beer in these in the late 80's).

Gin in square bottles was Dutch gin, or jenever gin (sometimes spelled genever or geneva). Dutch gin was a big seller in New Zealand, as it was in Quebec, due no noubt to early maritime influence there. The French in Quebec called it "le gros gin". The bottle was often square because you could ship more that way and breakage was minimised in the heavy bottles used.

Now, whence the link to rigger? In looking up what riggers do, they work often with "gin poles" which are poles to which a pulley is attached to lift something, it's used in certain tower constructions. This is purely speculative, but I wonder if the term rigger was a kind of inside joke, using a term related to gin pole to describe another beverage.


Gary Gillman -

A more simple explanation: riggers (the trade) set things up, they set up and level machines for example. A drink famously "sets you up", puts you in a good mood, makes you level (for many). The measure for many old liquor bottles was 40 oz., the British quart. So a gin bottle, later a PET, holding 40 ounces would set you up mate, that's two pints of beer.


Craig -

I work with a guy from New Zealand. He's been on vacation so I didn't get a chance to ask him about the term "rigger." He said he had heard the term, but said flagon was more common. In fact, he said rigger was pretty uncommon. He had no idea why they were named that.

Rob McFarlane -

I don't know where the term rigger comes from but in the South Island at least it refers to a 2ltr Pep bottle. Some Pubs and Bottle stores have special taps for fulling the rigger or an attachment that fits onto the beer tap. When I was growing up we had flagons or peters which were a 1/2 gallon glass bottle

Kiri -

I just found out what a rigger is, from a 84yr old man, who went down to his basement to fetch his empty rigger, the square clear bottle was actually a beer bottle with a black plastic type label with a black plastic screw on top. Our conversation was about bottles and he started talking about back in his days they had a guy who used to go around the home collecting all the riggers and that's when I asked whats a rigger

Kiri -

Square clear glass bottle.