Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010

Immediately below...
  • Rogue Beer on Tap
  • Mike's Imperial India Pale Ale
  • Other Upcoming Beers
  • June Tastings
  • The Stanley Cup
  • Matariki Winter Ale Festival
  • An Archive of these emails

Rogue Ales on Tap

We've been running through our stock of Rogue kegs at an indecent pace - kegs of Yellow Snow IPA, American Amber Ale, Tracktown 200m IPA, Dead Guy Ale and Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale have already been drained. Right now St Rogue Dry Hopped Red is on. It's one of three amber ales that won silver medals for Rogue at last week's Australian International Beer Awards and is highly recommended.

For those who have missed out on the aforementioned beers - don't worry, we have more of all of them. And we still have Tracktown Triplejump Pale Ale, Shakespeare Stout and Mocha Porter waiting in the wings.

Mike's Imperial India Pale Ale

We mentioned last week that this would be on tap soon and a few minutes ago its time came. This is a big departure for the White Cliffs Brewery and we've been looking forward to it for some time. If the Organic Mild Ale is fine and worthy, the IIPA is a bit of a rock star. It might just change the way we all view the brewery.

It weighs in at 9% and an IBU level that resembles a cricket score. Rumour has it that a certain New Plymouth home brew shop proprietor played a part in its development and it should appeal to his customers.

Most of the batch will be going into bottles, but they've filled a handful of their unique 10L kegs for their favourite bars. Because of the high octane level we're serving it in stemmed glasses only. Look for it coming from the unassuming chrome and black cylon beer dispensing machine at the end of the bar.

Other Upcoming Beers

Output from Golden Bear in Nelson is unpredictable so we're always glad when some comes our way. We've got additional kegs of their Seismic IPA and California Pale Ale coming up in the next few days.

And slightly less rare but equally loved are beers such as Three Boys Pilsner, Three Boys Wheat, Mussel Inn Captain Cooker and Twisted Hop IPA which are all on now or soon.

And a keg each of two of 8 Wired's most recent beers - Red Dwarf Amber and Big Smoke Smoked Porter - are waiting patiently too.

June Tastings

Mikkeller Single Hop IPAs

In the past when we've held tastings of beer from Denmark's gypsy brewery Mikkeller the response has been pretty meek. A few hardcore beer geeks, a few regulars with nothing better to do and a few relatives feeling sorry for us. It suggested that extreme, experimental and obscure is just asking too much.

So it's been a surprise that the most obscure and geeky tasting we have ever planned seems to have captured your imagination. The Mikkeller Single Hop IPA Tasting on June 8 is fully booked and we are running a waiting list. If anyone would like to join the waiting list or give up your place to someone on the waiting list, please get in touch.

For some pre-study, this article at the Washington Post has a nice background on Mikkeller and Scandinavian beers in general.

Sake 2010

We ran a couple of sake tastings last year and they proved quite popular. This time, to spice things up, our Japanese staff have been tapping contacts in their home towns and prefectures and getting rare and special sakes flown over.

This event will be equally suitable for sake-newbies or regular drinkers. In-house sake expert Shigeo Takagi will be on hand to explain things and everyone will feel like an expert by the end.

The date for this one is June 15.

The Stanley Cup

The finals series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks starts at midday on Sunday. We'd like to assure anyone wondering where they can watch this and enjoy a good North American beer that we're here for you.

Matariki Winter Ales Festival

SOBA have announced that their Matariki Winter Ales Festival will take place on June 26 at the Boat Shed, not far from us here at 25 Taranaki St. Hashigo Zake will support the event in some capacity or other and we encourage our customers to go along. Tickets are already on sale at SOBA's website (

Archives of the Email

It's hard to say who needs this particular service, but from last week we've been posting copies of these messages to this blog.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

Immediately below...
  • Australian International Beer Awards
  • Matariki Winter Ale Festival
  • Upcoming Beers
  • Our Menu Online
  • And Finally..

Australian International Beer Awards

This week's missive comes to you from Melbourne, where the Hashigo Zake delegation is rubbing shoulders with the rock stars of New Zealand and Australian brewing at the Australian International Beer Awards and simultaneous Beer and Brewer Expo. A few hours ago the silverware was handed out and the results were pretty extraordinary.

Several New Zealand breweries had plenty to smile about. Richard Emerson walked away with the trophy for the best wheat beer, with his Weizenbock beating out some of the great names in German brewing, including Schneider and Sons' Aventinus.

Renaissance took out silver medals with every beer they entered and were rewarded for their consistency by being shortlisted for Champion Small Brewery. Similarly, Harringtons were shortlisted for Champion Large Brewery - the surprise being the news that they were considered a large brewery.

Rogue may well have won more gold medals than anyone else - at least seven, plus innumerable silver and bronze. They even managed to win one gold and two silvers in a single category - India Pale Ales.

Mikkeller won the Best Stout trophy. When brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was sent an SMS with the news he replied with a question - "which beer?". A fair question since Mikkeller Black was shortlisted but was beaten by Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. Yes, the cat sh*t beer.

When the overall Champion Brewer was to be named, the announcement was prefaced by the introduction of a genuine Scandinavian person to pronounce the winner's name. Which pretty much gave away that the winner was none other than Nøgne Ø.

All of which meant that the Australian importer of Nøgne Ø and Mikkeller needed help to carry all his trophies away.

So this seems a good time to remind everyone that there is exactly one bar in New Zealand with a regular supply of Nøgne Ø and Mikkeller beer.

Matariki Winter Ales Festival

SOBA have announced that their Matariki Winter Ales Festival will take place on June 26 at the Boat Shed, not far from us here at 25 Taranaki St. Hashigo Zake will support the event in some capacity or other and we encourage our customers to go along. Tickets are already on sale at SOBA's website (

Upcoming Beers

The following have recently come on tap or will do over the next few days:

  • Rogue Dead Guy Ale
  • Epic Armageddon
  • Emerson's Harvest Ale
  • Mike's Imperial India Pale Ale

Our Menu Online

We've tarted up our online menu at and will endeavour to keep it updated whenever we change beers. We've also created a simplified version of the page that will look better on iPhones. It's at

Since demonstrating the page to a few of our regulars we've been flooded with some extraordinarily brilliant ideas about what should happen when you click on a beer. (We also got inundated with reports when it broke last evening.) Please remember that our web development division is employed for about 45 minutes a week, so enhancements (and repairs) will come at glacial pace.

And finally...

This week is American Craft Beer Week. What better way to commemorate this than to try a fresh Dead Guy Ale?