Archive for April, 2001

ZigZag Productions turns one year

Saturday, April 21st, 2001

ZigZag Productions turns one year old this month, but already the little company has won a surprisingly big reputation for successfully managing a wide range of free and pay-TV projects such as Beauty & The Beast. Paul Mercurio, international actor and home brewer, teamed with the company to work up a new series on beer; and National Geographic channel is interested in their new documentary series Wisdom Keepers of the World.
–Harvey’s House TV News

Higgs Racing to Tame

Thursday, April 19th, 2001

Higgs Racing to Tame Tassie’s Targa Tiger
YOUNG Adelaide driver Chris Higgs will be hoping for a third-time-lucky result when he launches his snarling Mazda MX-3 into the classic Targa Tasmania rally, starting today.
Higgs, at 23, is the youngest driver in the elite field that includes motor racing legends like Peter Brock, Jim Richards and Michael Doohan but has taken his car to two class silver medals in the past two years.
“In the first year we only built the car in the 11 weeks before the event from a bare metal shell,” Higgs said.
Higgs is also undaunted by the fact he and his Tasmanian co-driver, Corey Pilkerton from Burnie, only drive together in this one event each year, and is confident of going one better and taking the class title this year.
Higgs had hoped to race his new car, a Datsun 1600, and chase an overall top-five finish but a lack of sponsorship means pieces of the Datsun are still spread around his Edwardstown workshop. Instead, he aims to put that car together to race the Classic Adelaide Rally in October and will do so with Strictly Ballroom star Paul Mercurio. Higgs met Mercurio at Adelaide’s Le Mans race when he was working on the actor’s VW Beetle for the pro-am race.
“He showed a lot of interest in the race and we decided to get together for it. A 1600 won it last year so I think we can be right up there. In the Classic Adelaide it comes down to who’s still there at the end,” he said.
Higgs has only been involved in motor sport for the past five years but all of that has been in rallying, particularly tarmac events like the Targa Tasmania.
“That’s what really appeals to me, it’s more of a challenge,” he said.
“Once you’ve gone around a track once or twice you know where the dangerous spots are but there are no limits in rallying.”
The young charger has high ambitions in the sport and sees the Targa Tasmania as only a “stepping stone” to securing corporate backing and a full-blooded tarmac rally campaign.
The Targa Tasmania begins with the traditional prologue in George Town, and comprises a total distance of 2110km, with 525km in 54 competitive stages.
–David Valente for The Advertiser

Mercurio a Stout Fellow Actor,

Wednesday, April 18th, 2001

Mercurio a Stout Fellow
Actor, home brewer and fellow beer lover Paul Mercurio was at Sydney’s Establishment a few weeks back extolling the virtues of an aged ale. A Coopers Pale Ale fan in public, in the privacy of his home he experiments with aging the Coopers Best Extra Stout and Sparkling Ale. Mercurio reckons the two develop a fetching sourness, reminiscent of Belgian trappist beers, and that the stout rounds out considerably. He has managed to keep bottles under the bed for up to five years to track the changes.
And he’s not the only one who gets up to this. You meet Coopers lovers all over the place who like to age the brewery’s ales and stouts. While most beers deteriorate markedly after 12 months, the bottle conditioning and higher alcohol of Coopers lets them round out a little more, although if the truth be known the ales are better drunk fresh.
The stout, like some Belgian trappist beers and vintage ales, including Thomas Hardy’s and Hahn Special Vintage, does develop some enhanced characteristics with time. Mercurio was at the Establishment for a special lunch where Glenn Cooper unveiled his company’s latest innovation: Coopers Special Old Stout. Coopers has recently bought a fully air conditioned bus depot in Adelaide. This gives them space for storage and enables the maturing of beers at controlled temperatures. Special Old Stout is aged for at least six months under these controlled conditions, between 18 and 28C.
Glenn Cooper says the idea came about eight years ago when some threeyearold old kegs of Coopers Best Extra Stout were found in the basement of an Adelaide pub. He transported them to Blair Hayden, owner of Sydney’s great brewpub, the Lord Nelson in the Rocks (great beer and great food). Blair was up for the experiment and the punters loved them so much he began aging his own kegs and they have become a regular pub feature. Blair also finds aging rounds out the stout, enhances the berry flavours (already apparent in the fresh stuff) and brings out the same sourness Mercurio detects. While the Coopers Best Extra Stout is a wonderful beer, it is so robust and hearty that it is not for the weakspirited. The maturation process in the Special smooths it down, adding to the drinkability and enhancing the complexities of the beer. Coopers is guaranteeing the beer will never be younger than six months old.
“If we run out of stock, the public will have to wait,” Glenn Cooper says. “We won’t release any beer until it has aged for six months, and that’s a promise.”
–Peter Lalor for The Daily Telegraph