Thursday, March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

At some moment during Friday afternoon we’ll stop playing music and serving customers for the two minutes of silence being generally observed at the time. (If anyone knows precisely when this is going to happen, please let us know.)

Given that it will probably be the early afternoon, this is a pretty minor gesture for us. But at this time is there anything that we could or should be doing? Other than refusing service to white supremacists, if we could recognise them?

Anyone who’d like to provide a constructive answer to this is encouraged to write a comment here where these emails are archived.

Capacity for Flux

You may be familiar with the recent news regarding Sci Fi- and photography-themed bar PhotonFlux, who were shut out of their own premises under incredibly dubious circumstances. Nina and Anton of PhotonFlux are longstanding friends of Hashigo Zake, so we have enormous sympathy for them. In that spirit we’re providing a venue to help keep alive one of PhotonFlux’s most popular inventions – their Sci Fi quiz.

So next Wednesday – the 27th – we’ll throw about two thirds of our floor space over to them to hold another instance of this celebrated quiz. The event also gives PhotonFlux a chance to pull in just a little cash to help with their expenses over their premature closure.

Anyone wanting to take part is encouraged to pop along to the event’s facebook page here.

We want to emphasise that there will still be space for casual drinkers with no desire to get pulled into the event.

Rock The Cash Bar

Speaking of quizzes… unfortunate external circumstances mean that we are having to move the next Rock The Cash Bar back two days, to April 10.

Bookings are already being accepted over at the event's facebook page, so get along here.

On Tap Now

  • Kereru Big Pigeon Pilsner
  • Urbanaut Brixton Pale Ale (Hand pump)
  • Hallertau Copper Tart Red Ale
  • Kereru For Great Justice Porter
  • Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale
  • Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black
  • Hallertau Strawberry & Watermelon Sour
  • Kereru Velvet Boot
  • Deep Creek Waikiki Sour
  • Yeastie Boys White Noise
  • Deep Creek Wisdom IPA

By The Glass

On Saturday, we’ll continue our Bottle Pour programme by opening the cap on as many bottles as we need to of Coronado Cognac Barrel-Aged Punkin Drublic.

This stock dates back to 2015, which is shortly after Coronado were named Champion Mid-Size Brewery at the World Beer Cup, and we’re down to the last few bottles of this gem from their barrel programme.

We’ll be offering 100mls at a time for $12, from 3pm until 9pm.

The Beat Goes On

On Saturday evening we host another new band for us. The Deadbeat Dads got in touch a couple of months ago, announcing themselves as a 2 piece blues band from Kapiti, performing a mixture of originals and covers by the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Hendrix. Our booker kept an open mind, listened to some samples and got on board.

For anyone wanting to do some homework, those samples are on the Deadbeat Dads’ facebook page. Or simply take the plunge and come along on Saturday night at 10pm – we still don’t charge anything for admission.

By the way, here’s a recording of Townes Van Zandt in 1990 at the music venue that was known as Paisley Park, directly across the road from where we are on Taranaki St.

The Cult Goes On

Time for some more Takashi Miike, the prolific and provocative Japanese director.

The Happiness of the Katakuris was described as his “oddest and most infuriating film yet”, and yet is generally favourably reviewed. It’s described as a surreal horror-comedy, featuring claymation sequences, musical and dance numbers, a karaoke-style sing-along scene, and dream sequences.

It screens at 7pm on Sunday in our Lounge, at no charge and with complimentary popcorn.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

It's An Ill Wind...

Quite a few years ago, a property developer hatched a plan to build an eleven story apartment block over (yes, literally in the air space above) the premises from which we trade. That plan came to nothing, presumably because of lack of customer interest in the apartments themselves.

Over the last two or three years the plan has been revived by another developer. This incredibly difficult construction project involves erecting a tower on the carpark behind us - a space with no convenient access to a road - then extending that tower into the air space above the historic former police station that we operate from. We made an OIA request and acquired the draft construction management plan that the developer and his appointed construction company submitted to the Wellington City Council. And we were unimpressed, since their plan would cause enormous disruption to our business, with no meaningful mitigating measures.

(At this time it seems appropriate to acknowledge the Minister for the Environment from the previous government. He amended the Resource Management Act to enable a developer to get a resource consent while expressly disregarding the effects on the occupants of the land directly under a development. A neglected lowlight of your career, Dr Smith!)

Last week the developer’s slated construction company, Arrow International, put itself into voluntary administration.

During another recent construction project, Arrow were responsible for repeatedly disrupting our business by, for instance, flooding our premises three times, all without compensation.

So while we have a lot of sympathy for the workers and subcontractors affected by Arrow's difficulties, this is, quite frankly, the best news we’ve had in a long, long time.

New Release Tuesday

This week’s new release was a last minute and not-actually-new affair, so we didn’t give a lot of notice. But we should have because on Tuesday evening we got to tap a rare keg of Rodenbach Grand Cru. The good news is that this is still on tap.
For those who aren’t familiar with this beer, its maker claims that it is the archetypal Flanders Red. That is, it is a blend of batches of a sweet malty ale that have spent long periods in barrels, picking up complex (and sour) flavours from bacteria in the oak.
Kegs like this don’t come cheap and so the prices that we need to charge mean that we don’t expect to win many converts. You have to be dedicated to pay $13.50 for a 200ml glass of beer. But we know that there are some of you out there.

Next week we have a very different kind of sour beer in the New Release Tuesday slot. It’s Strawberry and Watermelon Sour from Hallertau. Here’s the brewery’s own spiel: “Subtle berryish aromas with a super xxtra[sic] flavour of quenching melons and hints of slightly rotten lychee.”

Finally, a beer that wears its slightly rotten lychee hints with pride!

Hallertau Strawberry & Watermelon Sour goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

By The Glass

It’s time to use a La Sirène beer in the Bottle Pour Saturday slot. Possibly the biggest highlight of the last shipment from the Melbourne brewery was their Reserve Saison.

It’s a blend of barrellings (if that’s a word) of a couple of batches of their Saison, dating from 2015 and 2016. We poured a keg of this beer late last year and it was magnificent. And we have a handful of bottles left. Expect oak and brett flavours, layered on the already rich and complex flavours of La Sirène’s flagship saison.

We’ll offer 120mls at a time of this beer for $14, from 3pm on Saturday.

Evil Lesson

For the second time ever we're bringing a Takashi Miike movie to the Cult Film Basement. This time it's Lesson of the Evil, a slasher pic, set in a Japanese high school.

It screens in our lounge and screening room at 7pm on Sunday. No charge!

Live Music

We have good news and we have bad news.

Bad news first – we learned just a couple of days ago that an accident to a band member means that we won’t get to host Black Spider Trio’s CD release party on the 16th (Saturday week). Our booker is arranging a replacement act for that date. At least we assume he is! Stay tuned for news on which splendid local band will fill the void.

The good news is that on Saturday night Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts appear as a complete four-piece band for the first time since June last year.

10pm until midnight on Saturday - no cover charge!

On Tap Now

  • Deep Creek Black Doris Berliner
  • South Cider Crisp Apple Cider
  • Heyday Floating Mountain
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Kereru Imperial Nibs
  • Heyday Moonstone
  • HeyDay Primo Pils
  • Deep Creek Redwood APA
  • Chasing Harvest There Be Dragons 2017
  • Kereru Wee Heavy (hand pump)
  • Deep Creek Wisdom IPA

As mentioned above, we have Rodenbach Grand Cru on tap right now, but it's part of a rare alignment of three sour beers. The other two are Deep Creek Black Doris Berliner and the extraordinary 2017 vintage of There Be Dragons, Chasing Harvest Ale.

Also of note is the long promised, finally delivered keg of Deep Creek's new West Coast IPA called Wisdom. It made a terrific impression when we finally snuck it on tap last night.


Hashigo Zake says Happy 80th Birthday to an incredibly important and loyal customer.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

Multiple Releases

This week we have two beer releases to alert readers to, and both are quite special as far as we're concerned.

First up, on Tuesday, comes a beer that we actually helped to make. To give credit where it’s due, this beer is very much the work of brewpub Fortune Favours, but our own Steven Wells made every contribution in ideas and labour that he possibly could.

So Steven and Fortune Favours brewer Dale Cooper set out to make a Brut IPA with as many of the innovations that have helped develop this style as they could pull off. Specifically those innovations were:
  • An incredibly light malt base – to the extent that they replaced about 15% of what should have been barley malt with rice. Which puts this beer in some pretty interesting company – we’re thinking Budweiser and the category of beer known in Japan as happoshu.
  • The use of enzyme-of-the-moment (amyloglucosidase) to make sure that every possible gram of starch in the grain bill got converted to a fermentable sugar.
  • Making a single, but very large, hop addition, right at the end of the boil, ensuring that the hops contribute far more aroma and flavour than bitterness.
They’re pretty confident that they’ve come up with a magnificently dry, hoppy and drinkable monster of an IPA, weighing in at around 7%, but not troubling the senses with overt bitterness, sweetness or astringency.

This beer is being called Concrete Architect – a Brut(alist) IPA and we’ll be putting it on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

A special occasion needs cake, so we’re going to offer rice cakes, a.k.a. mochi balls, to see if any of the rice flavour in the mochi reflects the flavour profile of the beer.

And A Chaser..

Meanwhile…. We were recently contacted by our old friend Mike Kush of Chasing Harvest. His company is mainly about wine, and every year they make a kind of slow, seasonal commute around some of the world’s best known wine-making regions, including Central Otago.

While in the Deep South, as well as making wines under their Chasing Harvest label, they brew a beer every year, blend it with Pinot Noir juice, then ferment it and age it in pinot barrels. The result is There Be Dragons.

We’ve been taking a small allocation of bottles every year and believe that these barrel-aged hybrids are unusual and very special.

This year Mike has offered us a keg of the 2017 vintage, which is the newest, so we’re putting it on tap next Thursday. We understand that Mike will be passing through Wellington and will be here! He and we are also making available bottles of a few previous vintages AND we’re even investing in a few Chasing Harvest wines to offer at the same time.

By The Glass

We recently received new stock of Ritterguts Gose, which is the nearest thing that there is to a gose from before the style died and had to be revived.

We also grabbed some stock of its stable-mate Urgose Märzen, which is another revived style (the Märzen-Gose), but with smoked salt, cinnamon and pine cones.

Intrigued? On Saturday we’ll offer 150ml of both beers for just $10. That will be from 3pm until 9pm.

La Bête

It’s going to be great to welcome gypsy jazz back to our lounge, for the first time since New Year’s Eve, when a lineup with some of the same musicians as this put on a performance worthy of the end of the year.

This time our guests are La Bête, made up of Adrian Jensen (guitar), Mark Sommerville (guitar), Dan Yeabsley (bass) and Mike Jensen (drums).

La Bête play from 10pm on Saturday, and our cover charge is still (STILL!) $0.

Guilty Pleasure Cinema

Sunday’s movie is another important and fondly remembered 80s piece – Streets Of Fire. While this Rock ‘n Roll, action flick has its critics, they’re officially in the minority, plus it has spawned some delicious descriptions:- “extravagantly stylized pulp burlesque”, “pinnacle of 80s guilty pleasure cinema”.

Streets of Fire screens at 7pm on Sunday on the cinema screen in our lounge. Here's a trailer. Soundtrack available on record and cassette!


Yesterday our attention was drawn to this tweet:

It's hard to let fighting talk about sexy ways to get real time ETAs go by without reminding everyone that our electronic menus, complete with real time bus info, remain sexily unique. But hey, sexiness is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 14, 2019

By The Glass

This week we revive our tradition of offering rare beer by the glass instead of the full bottle. This has the advantage of letting you savour some of those beers that almost never turn up on tap, without making an investment of $40 or much more in a whole bottle.

We’ll start this Saturday with Kereru’s Night Spirit – their whisky barrel aged imperial stout. We did in fact have this on tap, briefly, back in October. But it could be a long time before we get to do that again. So before everyone forgets just how nice it was, we’ll offer 100ml pours of this beer for $12. A full, 500ml bottle costs $55 over the bar.

Night Spirit is Imperial Moonless Stout that has spent ten months in barrels that originally held bourbon, and then cradled whiskey at the NZ Whiskey Co for 20 years. And all that beautiful boozy history is reflected in the finished beer.

We’ll offer Night Spirit in 100ml pours from 3pm until 9pm on Saturday.

Spectrum Shadow

Spectrum Shadow - playing this Saturday at 10pm - are a new musical act, and not just new to us. But they’re another permutation of some of Wellington’s well known musical talent, since they include the very familiar Dayle Jellyman (Dangerous Experts, Three Rays, Death Hos, The Rumble) on keys and Mike Jensen (La Bete) on drums along with the not so familiar Russell Henderson on sax and Dan Ryland on guitar.

Their listed musical genre is “vintage funk with a psychedelic twist”, which could mean just about anything. Maybe their very colourful, ‘70s logo tells us as much about what to expect. We anticipate archaicly timeless music with flare, best enjoyed with a relaxing beverage on a sultry summer evening.

Our musical programme is getting a little busier over the next month and is packed with some genuine highlights. Rather than enumerate them here (again), we encourage readers to bookmark useful links such as our own website's events page, the Hashigo Zake Lounge's facebook page or our listings on eventfinda.

On Tap Now

  • Choice Bros Boogaloo Pale Ale
  • South Cider Boysenberry Cider
  • Brouwerij Boon Geuze Boon Sélection
  • Tinker Tailor Hazy APA
  • Deep Creek Hoppy McHopface
  • Deep Creek Lagerita
  • Kereru Moonless Stout
  • Renaissance Odyssey Witbier
  • Kereru Pohutukawa Golden Ale
  • Choice Bros Reet Petite Red IPA
  • Kereru Silverstream Pale Ale (hand pump)
  • Deep Creek Undercurrent Pilsner

Strange Women Lying In Ponds Distributing Swords

Long before Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings, or Game Of Thrones, the 1981 movie Excalibur was arguably the most memorable filmed work of medieval scrapping and mythology. It was full of spectacle, stirring music and severed limbs and was sprinkled with some great acting – particularly from Nicol Williamson’s Merlin. Oh and there’s the small matter of a quest for the Holy Grail.

Does Sunday night entertainment get any better?

On the cinema screen in our lounge at 7pm on Sunday.

Super Duper Rugby

It’s another warm, sunny summer, which can mean only one thing – it’s rugby time. It’s no secret that interest in the tournament now simply known as Super Rugby peaked some years ago. But this is a world cup year, which means that even if you don’t lie awake at night worrying about the Hurricanes, it’s everyone’s patriotic duty to lie awake at night worrying about the nation’s depth at 1st five, number 8 and lock. And the best way to be informed about these issues is by wasting Friday and Saturday evenings glued to a telly.

Or not.

We’re maintaining our Sky Sport subscription for now, so for the foreseeable future we give customers the option of having these games shown on one of the modest screens we have in parts of the bar. And this arrangement commences tomorrow evening, when the Chiefs host the Highlanders. The Hurricanes play a late game in Sydney on Saturday evening.

New Release Tuesday – Barista, 2nd Attempt

Kasteel Barista was meant to be our new release a couple of weeks ago, only for a different beer to be delivered in its place. This time we have the keg on the premises already, so we’re rescheduling it for Tuesday the 19th.

It’s a Belgian quad, with all the big, malty, boozy implications that that style brings. But it also has coffee and chocolate added, just to make 100% sure that it’s one of the most decadent beers you could ever sip on.

Raymond Chan

Raymond Chan was a wine critic and educator whose expertise helped thousands of Wellington consumers make informed buying choices and get more enjoyment from their wine drinking. And even better, he provided a lot of entertainment to those consumers along the way. So his death last weekend is a massive loss and a cause of no end of sadness to many people.

Others can explain Raymond’s career better, so we recommend reading these obituaries.

Those us at Hashigo Zake who knew Raymond admire his work and mourn his passing. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 31, 2019

Upcoming Events

Monday the 4th is Super Bowl Monday. As described last week, we’ll be putting our lounge in screening room mode for the afternoon, and welcoming anyone who thinks they might enjoy the season finale of the world’s most lucrative sporting league.

We’ll even throw our doors open a little earlier than the standard midday, to help everyone get fed and watered in plenty of time before kick, which is at around 12:30pm.

We’re particularly looking forward to serving Ram Burgers made from braised lamb shoulder, served in Pandoro beer and barley burger buns.

Rock The Cash Bar

The first instalment of Rock The Cash Bar for 2019 takes place on Monday the 11th.

Rock The Cash Bar is our very amusing and increasingly popular music quiz, run by popular culture guru Hadyn Green. Anyone wanting to take part is encouraged to head along to the event’s own facebook page and ask for a table booking. But if you’re lucky enough to not be on facebook, feel free to just reply to this email for more info.


We’ve been visited by weather that residents of most parts of the world would recognise as typical of summer. The reaction has been as if the temperature had in fact been ten degrees higher.

But a correction is on its way, in the form of a brief cool change on Saturday. Based on recent evidence this should lead to panic buying of woollen mittens and hot cocoa. We have just the beer for next week’s New Release then, in the form of a Belgian Quad made with coffee and chocolate. And fittingly it has come all the way from Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck in Belgium. Kasteel Barista goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday. Servings will be small, as this is an 11% beer.

The Cosmonauts

Classifying the music of the Cosmonauts is tricky. They bill themselves as “Soviet Folk, 19th Century Balkan Hits and Italian Chanson”. Our booker distils that down to “Balkan Swing”.

From our vantage point behind the bar they are the band most likely to trigger dancing without employing a drummer.

Things we can say with certainty about them:
  • They play a piano accordion (and guitar and double bass).
  • They have a loyal fan base.
If in doubt, check out their youtube channel.

The Cosmonauts play in our lounge at 10pm on Saturday, with no cover charge.

Cult Film Basement

This Sunday the Cult Film Basement returns to the USA, for an 80s action classic. It should be a radical change from the disturbing Japanese horror films of the last couple of weeks. Except that… Runaway Train is based on a script by Akira Kurosawa. That’s right – Japan’s most famous film director and “Asian of the Century” penned a forerunner to Die Hard and Speed. In fact this shouldn’t seem so strange since Kurosawa’s films were always made to be broadly entertaining.

But enough digression. Runaway Train is an action film about escaped prisoners, Alaska and, well, a runaway train. It is broadly admired (“thunderous proto-Speed.. also works as an existential art movie”) and occasionally panned “bodaciously bad, grotesquely overblown, lurid in its emotion, big ideas on its brain.” Perfect cult film basement fodder!

Come on down at 7pm on Sunday for beer, free popcorn and a popcorn movie.  


Yes, cricket, that sport that we were world beaters at about a week ago.

Can the team formerly known as the New Zealand Cricket Team pick up the pieces of its reputation from cow corner and the third man boundary, or whichever parts of Mount Maunganui the Indians dispatched those pieces to? Find out this afternoon and this evening, from 3pm.

On Tap Now

  • Peckhams Chisel Jersey
  • The Theoretical Brewer Chrysanthemum Lager
  • HeyDay Beer Co Dinglehopper Hoppy Saison
  • Deep Creek Drop Top Chardonnay Brut IPA
  • Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale
  • Maiden Brewing Co Multiverse Kiwifruit & Lime
  • HeyDay Beer Co Oaktown IPA
  • Hallertau Pilsnah
  • Renaissance Stonecutter
  • The Theoretical Brewer TransPORTER

Chisel Jersey

Please note Peckham’s Chisel Jersey in the above list. Few, if any, of us here at Hashigo Zake claim to be experts on cider, so the following comments are strictly those of an occasional cider observer.

The name comes from the variety of cider apple that it’s made from and the mere fact that this is a cider made from cider apples makes it unusual in New Zealand. It’s also spontaneously fermented and has had some contact with oak. All those details suggest a result that might somehow be extreme – maybe in sourness. In fact this cider is incredibly approachable and drinkable. It’s reasonably dry and a lot more tannic than typical New Zealand ciders, but the overriding flavour is of the apple variety it’s made from.

For a lay-cider drinker, it’s a revelation and highly recommended.

HeyDay Oaktown IPA

A little like the Peckhams Cider mentioned above, this beer has had just enough contact with oak to add complexity and maybe a few tannins, without completely transforming it into a big, boozy, bourbon-fuelled kitchen-sink of a drink. The result is stunning and highly recommended. Great work by brewer and former Hashigo Zake staff-member, Sam.

Te Rā o Waitangi

Open as usual ✔
Discounts to SOBA members ✔
Surcharges ✖

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019

Planet Watson

Darren Watson is an authentic champion of free speech.

With apologies to anyone who knows this story well, in 2014 Darren came up with something that’s now quite rare – political satire in song form. Planet Key was recorded and released during the months before that year’s election, which is what you’d do if you’re an artist with political convictions, wanting to remind the populace of the faults of the then Prime Minister.

The Electoral Commission didn’t care for the distinction between satire and electioneering and deemed the song (and accompanying video) as an “election advertisement”, and subject to the same constraints as political broadcasts. That effectively banned it from being played on radio and television as a piece of music. Even the youtube link had to be taken down.

Darren and his collaborator on the video, Jeremy Jones, went to court over the decision and won in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, relying on a legal team that worked pro bono. And as long as the case was making its way through the courts, any possibility of recouping a buck from sales of the recording were slashed.

It’s unlikely that there’s anyone alive who thinks that the Electoral Commission were in the right. But if Darren and Jeremy hadn’t kept the fight up with little to gain but a moral victory, all of our rights to free speech would be a little more constrained today.

So for this and other reasons it’s a pleasure to welcome Darren Watson back to the Hashigo Zake lounge this week. Darren is returning after taking a break from gigs following his 2018 album release and national tour. But judging by his recent activity on social media and appearance of RNZ this morning, Darren appears to be refreshed and eager to get in front of an audience.

This gig is categorised as “acoustic” and rather than his full band (coming later in the year) Darren will be joined by keyboardist Dayle Jellyman.

TL;DR: Darren Watson and Dayle Jellyman perform in our lounge at 10pm on Saturday night. No cover charge!

On Tap Now

  • The Theoretical Brewer Chrysanthemum Lager
  • Deep Creek Coromandel Gold IPA
  • Renaissance Discovery APA
  • Deep Creek Hoppy McHop Face IIPA
  • Hallertau Lemon Curd (Nitro)
  • Hallertau Maximus IPA
  • The Theoretical Brewer Quantum Eraser Pilsner
  • Kereru Rojito Extra Pale Lager
  • Renaissance Stonecutter
  • The Theoretical Brewer The 1st Finch
  • The Theoretical Brewer TransPORTER
As mentioned last week, the combination of maintenance on some of our taps and the holiday season slowdown caused us to run with a reduced number of tap beers. We now have every tap pouring again and the hand pump will be operational later today, when we put Kereru Silverstream Pale Ale on. It will be the first time for months that we have twelve beers on tap at once.

Customers wanting to concentrate on pale hoppy beers might want to look to the right as they approach the bar.

Some current or future tap offerings of note:
  • We now have four beers on tap from New Plymouth's Theoretical Brewer.
  • Along with the shipment from Hallertau that includes next Tuesday's new release, was a nitrogenated keg of their very popular sour called Lemon Curd. It's on tap now.
  • Our underkeg scale tells us that cult IIPA Hoppy McHopface will run out early this evening, if not sooner.
  • Coming soon is a keg of Peckham's Chisel Jersey cider.

The Anti-Fining Phenomenon

Next Tuesday’s New Release will be Hallertau’s contribution to the flood of hazy IPAs - So Hazy Right Now. Will it have an initial aroma and flavour like a glorious cocktail of fresh fruit pulp, before finishing like a nagging, oversweet, made-from-concentrate orange and mango flavoured apple drink? Plenty of people will be hoping so.

We haven’t tried it yet, so can’t say, but we can confirm that the keg is already on the premises so we’re just rapt that there will no crossing of fingers or mercy dashes to a freight depot next Tuesday afternoon.

So Hazy Right Now goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Cult Film Basement

After last week’s “vintage” American horror, we’re switching back to the often disturbing world of Japanese horror, in the form of Suicide Club.

It’s a 2002 film about an inexplicable fashion for teen suicide that divides critics and audiences. Parental supervision is advised against.

Holiday Monday

Happy Birthday Wellington. We wish everyone getting Monday off an enjoyable rest. We’ll be open as usual. And as usual there’ll be no public holiday surcharge.

Is anyone looking for a relaxing use of your day off? Monday is the day of the two Conference Championship games in the NFL – effectively the Super Bowl semi-finals. But maybe don’t call them that. The first game takes place before we open, but the AFC Championship Final, between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, kicks off at 12:40pm on Monday.

During the regular season the Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 on their own home turf and have been one of the NFL’s most reliably successful teams for many years, but this game is in Kansas City and the Chiefs have a superior record.

It’s a perfect way to get into the mood for our annual Super Bowl extravaganza, which will take place exactly two weeks later.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January 10, 2019

Welcome Back

Yes, returning to regular work patterns can be a challenge, especially when the sun is shining (and the road outside is being dug up).

To ease the pain we’re making a rare and very special offer with nearby workers in mind. Those discounts that we offer from Sunday until Wednesday to certain categories of valued customer, such as SOBA members, will be extended until 6pm tomorrow (Friday the 11th).

Full Complement

During the quiet period over Christmas and the New Year, we took the opportunity to let the beer on a couple of our taps run out and perform some overdue repairs. Those repairs were finished earlier today and over the next day or so we're progressively recommissioning those taps. That boost in tap numbers will let us put on several beers from a new supplier – The Theoretical Brewer.

To the best of our knowledge, The Theoretical Brewer’s beers haven’t been on tap in Wellington yet. We were sent samples by founder Doug and were impressed enough to get a keg each of his current core range. 1st Finch Pale Ale is already on tap. Most of TransPorter, Chrysanthemum Lager and Quantum Eraser Pilsner will make it on tap by tomorrow.

Doug has just expanded from a facility built at the back of his house in suburban New Plymouth – a beginning that should sound familiar to anyone following the New Zealand beer scene.

On Tap Now

  • HeyDay Beer Co Agua Fresca Tamarindo
  • Deep Creek Drop Top Chardonnay Brut IPA
  • Deep Creek Dusty Gringo
  • Deep Creek Hoppy McHop Face IIPA
  • Kereru Rojito Extra Pale Lager
  • The Theoretical Brewer The 1st Finch
  • The Theoretical Brewer TransPORTER
  • Kereru Yellowhead IPA

Live Music

Live music returns on Saturday. As we suspected, the programme has been tweaked since last Thursday’s announcement and Saturday’s band is to be The Inclinators.

This blues and R&B band last played in our lounge more than two years ago. They include several musicians, such as Terry Casey and Richard Te One, who played with Darren Watson for years, plus guitarist Chris Armour, who seems to feature in at least one band for every sub-variety of rock ‘n roll in existence. With all that experience we expect a consummate performance of “hot and sweaty R&B”.

And speaking of Darren Watson, the legendary blues performer is returning to gigging after a brief hiatus that followed his album release and nationwide tour last year. And we’ve got him playing an acoustic show on the 19th. (He’ll also be back with his current band, The Dangerous Experts, later in the year.)

Cult Film Basement

The Cult Film Basement’s programmer is a big fan of John Carpenter and Carpenter’s 1980 supernatural thriller The Fog is our cult movie on Sunday. Sadly we’re unlikely to repeat the stunt used when the film was released of firing up fog machines in cinemas. But we will be offering the usual free popcorn.

Our New Neighbour

The beloved and much fêted restaurant – and our fellow tenant at 25 Taranaki St – called Zibibbo is no more. We’ve been told a very small but crucial piece of information about the operation that Zibibbo’s owners are creating in its place. And that is that they're collaborating with DB.

Yes, the brewery that we’ve probably been more critical of than anyone else in the world, and who arguably did more to deny New Zealanders access to good and diverse beer than anyone (except maybe Lion Nathan), is moving in upstairs.