Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

  • A Golden Era for Hopheads
  • Announcing Two Tastings
  • Meet The Brewer(s)
  • Sport on Telly
  • Matariki Winter Ales Festival

A Golden Era for Hopheads

This winter seems to have seen an explosion in big, hoppy pale ales made for the inner hophead in all of us. A few weeks ago came Mike's Organic Imperial IPA (no longer available on tap but still in bottles).

As promised last week the first kegs of Yeastie Boys' two news beers arrived on Monday, and Yakima Monster went on to the first available tap. It will soon be joined by its sibling Motueka Monster. Both are big, brash, aromatic Pale Ales - the Yakima made with American hops (Nugget, Simcoe and Amarillo) and Motueka with New Zealand ones (Southern Cross, Nelson Sauvin and NZ Cascade).

On Monday the aromas from the Yakima Monster caused one regular customer to have flashbacks to a Nepalese marijuana plantation. But it seems to be changing by the day. In fact the beers are so fresh that as well as being an experiment in contrasting hop flavours, it's a chance to judge the effect of time on a hoppy beer. To this end we hope to hold a keg of each back for a couple of months to see how they taste then.

But the fun is far from over. Some time in the next week or so we hope to take delivery of a number of kegs of a radical new beer. It's from Liberty Brewing (better known as a purveyor of home brew supplies) and has been brewed at Auckland's Hallertau brewpub. It's called Summit Imperial India Pale Ale - Summit being a reference to another American hop variety. We're investing in a big supply of Summit IIPA, and to make it worth bringing a whole pallet of beer down from Hallertau we'll get them to include a couple of Hallertau's famous beers in the order.

And while we're discussing American influenced pale ales, please remember that we're about half way through our current stock of beer from Oregon's Rogue Brewery and its Eugene City Brewery subsidiary. There are still a couple of kegs left of Tracktown 200m IPA and Yellow Snow IPA. Keep an eye on our real time menu here to know when they're on next. At the time of writing Rogue's Mocha Porter is flying the flag for Oregon.

And as if there hasn't been enough good news, the promised keg of Invercargill's Saison is waiting in the wings. And we've just heard that a rare allocation of Dux de Lux's Norwester Ale will be on our way next week.

Finally, it is with great pleasure that we can announce that Renaissance's Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is coming home and will be on tap early next week. Our own David Wood helped brew this luxurious beer when we loaned him to the brewery last month, so come in and try and prise its secrets out of him.

Announcing Two Tastings

It seemed fitting, perhaps even predictable, to mark the arrival of winter with a tasting of strong beers and with our cellar stocked with products of the last northern hemisphere winter it was just too easy. The only hard part would be choosing what to leave out. So instead we can announce a pair of tastings:

Barley Wines, July 13

We're confident we have the most extensive range of barley wines in New Zealand. In fact we will leave a couple of barley wines out to make room for some related styles - such as a wheat wine and oat wine.

The lineup will include beers from the US, Denmark (more than once, thanks to Mikkel), Japan, England, Scotland and Brazil. The only thing missing is a local example of the style. If anyone knows of a New Zealand barley wine that might be available to us, please let us know.

Imperial Stouts and Porters, August 10

A month should be long enough for everyone to recover from the barley wines, so August will be the turn of Imperial Stouts and Porters. Again we have an extensive range to choose from. And this time there should be one or two local examples.

Note that we aren't completely irresponsible, and to compensate for the extremely high alcohol levels (and expense) of the styles being tasted, portions will be small. But we are confident that the quality, variety and sheer flavour of these tastings will leave you all satisfied. The price for both will be $40. Bookings are now open and the easiest way to reserve your place is to reply to this email.

Meet the Brewer(s)

Our ally and supplier Regional Wines and Spirits are distributors for some of New Zealand's most loved craft breweries. One of their stable is Founders Organic Brewery and they are bringing Matt Duncan of Founders to Wellington and to Hashigo Zake specifically. He will be in the bar on Monday July the 5th, dispensing samples of one of their range and meeting Wellington's most discerning drinkers.

In association with Regional Wines and Spirits we are planning a similar event later in July involving the one and only Richard Emerson. Stay tuned for more information.

Sport on Telly

We definitely aren't a sports bar but we are sports friendly. This means that if there is a sporting event of interest there's a good chance you can watch it on one of our two high quality LCD TVs. But if you just don't care then you can remain oblivious in our TV-free lounge.

There have been some interesting sporting events over the last few days and weeks - the Stanley Cup, a rugby test and a certain football tournament. And this pattern is set to continue.

Of particular interest is this Saturday night's football clash between Japan and the Netherlands. A certain member of our staff was gloating over Japan's win over Cameroon and promises to be a picture of fanaticism. If only we could filter out the noise from the vuvuzelas. Oh - and there's a rugby test earlier in the evening.

Matariki Winter Ales Festival

Remember that this takes place on Saturday week at the Boatshed on the waterfront. We will be there with our contribution, including the only keg in New Zealand of Rogue's John John Dead Guy Ale (Dead Guy finished in whisky barrels). The event will also see the unveiling of our brand new, custom-made and, frankly, very cool portable bar. Go to SOBA's website for more info.


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