Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 2009

Immediately below...
  • Tuatara in Japan
  • New Sake
  • New Imported Beer
  • Our Electronic Menu
  • Awards Season

Tuatara in Japan

This week your correspondent is back in the wintry southern hemisphere, having spent several of the last few days helping Tuatara Brewery to spring their products on unsuspecting Japanese festival attendees. And a very successful venture it may prove to be for the local brewery.

Tuatara appeared at the Yokohama Great Japan Beer Festival in some prestigious company. Immediately to the stall's left was Italy's Revelation Cat brewery, who specialise in acquiring new lambic beer straight from Brussels breweries and aging and dry-hopping them back in their Rome headquarters. In fact one of their four extremely sour beers had been dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin. (We hope to have more news of Revelation Cat in a couple of months - stay tuned.)

Further along were a variety of celebrated American beers. They were there either because they were part of the stables of Japan's most prominent craft beer importers or as part of an enormous donation to the festival by the American Brewers Association. There was one trestle table after another laden with maple-syrup flavoured saisons, lemon-grass and kaffir-lime ales, quadruple imperial IPAs and coffee vanilla chocolate porters.

For all the extreme beers surrounding us, there was a glaring lack of a good, bracing, aromatic pale ale below 6% ABV. Except that is for Tuatara APA. It wowed all the industry types around us, while the civilian festival tended to be satisfied with Tuatara's IPA and Ardennes.

It remains to be seen whether informal requests about availability from several bar managers turn into international orders, but for now Tuatara have taken a big step towards trading in one of the most vibrant beer markets in the Asia Pacific region. Many congratulations Carl, Sean and everyone at the brewery.

New Sake

We have just taken delivery of the full range of sakes from the Kamishin brewery in Okayama prefecture, in Southern Honshu, between Osaka and Hiroshima. This range was specially selected by our resident sake/cocktail/stout expert Shigeo Takagi and imported exclusively for us by our friends at Tokyo Foods. The whole range is high quality and all sold in individual 300ml bottles. We don't recommend drinking it warm.

In the next few days we'll update the sake menu, but in the mean time if you're curious and Shiggy is on duty then feel free to ask him for a recommendation.

Oh - and don't forget that we have a few bottles of Europe's first ever sake, from none other than Norway's Nøgne ø.

New Imported Beer

At the risk of repeating the news of the last three weeks again, our recent deliveries of Mikkeller, Nøgne ø, Unibroue, Dieu du Ciel and St Ambroise beers are trickling onto the tills and into the fridges. It might take a while to find room for them all as the fridges are somewhat chocka, but feel free to ask what's new.

Electronic Menu

The new electronic menu is attracting lots of comments, which is fantastic because we would otherwise have remained oblivious to its limitations. We look forward to finding time between sourcing the world's best beers, battling with freight companies, attending the world's beer festivals and dealing with the GST increase to enhance the look and information on our new menu.

Awards Season

Nominations close soon for the Beer and Brewer Magazine's Awards. We aren't sure exactly how the voting/judging process works, but more nominations can't hurt us. So we encourage readers to go to and register a vote for whatever small, underground bar that comes to mind.

Meanwhile we've been tipped off that we should pick up a copy of the October 6 Capital Times when they announce the results of their Best of Wellington survey.

Which makes it all the more disappointing that a certain recently published guide book seemed to base its listings on information from the middle of the last decade. Ah well... luckily we are attracting plenty of Wellington's visitors so the publication in question can't be as influential as we're led to believe.


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