Thursday, October 7, 2010

October 7, 2010

Immediately below...
  • All that Glisters
  • Tastings, tastings, tastings
  • Dark Horses
  • On Tap Now & Soon
  • Nordic Beer
  • Mead
  • A Word About GST & Pricing

All that Glisters

It seems appropriate during Commonwealth Games season that we have just been showered in bronze tinged accolades. There's nothing wrong with third, after all (just ask our athletes), especially when you're but an inexperienced youth up against established champions with the best physicians money can buy.

So it is with humility and gratitude that we say Thank You Wellington for naming us the third best bar in the capital. (According to Capital Times' Best of Wellington Survey.) And in fact, the best bar in Wellington that wasn't first or second last year.

But that's just the beginning. Our own David Wood - barely 14 months ago a fulltime supermarket employee and part time beer expert - was named equal third best barman in Wellington.

So much positive feedback and we're barely out of the blocks.

Tastings, Tastings, Tastings

Our tasting programme is back in full stride after the chaos and distraction of Beervana and everything else that went on in August and September. On Tuesday night will be our Quebec beer tasting. No prior knowledge of Quebec beer or French language is necessary. At the heart of the tasting will be the extravagant beers of Dieu du Ciel. Supporting roles will be taken by Unibroue and St Ambroise. You can book and pay for a place at

The following week will be a sake tasting made up of our new range of sakes from Kamishin brewery in Okayama, augmented by some extras from other Japanese breweries and Europe's first sake. Bookings are at

And it is with great pleasure that we can announce a tasting of special interest to anyone with a particular interest in... beer. Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller continues to do things with hops, malt, water and yeast that other brewers can only dream of. This time we are providing a chance to sample two of his series, in which he creates a collection of beers with exactly one point of difference. Sound obscure? Maybe. A priceless opportunity to understand the influence of one component of the brewing process? Absolutely.

The series in question are the yeast series and the Black Hole barrel aged series. It happens on November 9. For more info and the chance to book a place, go to

Dark Horses

When we import pallet loads of beer at a time it's sometimes hard to give every arrival the attention it deserves. Occasionally we need to make a special effort to draw attention to some of our dark horses. In fact we could probably give a hundred beers this treatment at any point in time, but here are a few:

  • Mussel Inn Dark Horse. After Beervana we took the opportunity of reducing the load that the Mussel Inn people had to take back to Golden Bay. So we have good stock of some of their beers that are even rarer than Captain Cooker. Dark Horse is a 4% porter and Golden Goose is also 4%, but a pale lager. As a rural brewpub with virtually no public transport it's no wonder that the Mussel Inn have a few 4 percenters.
  • Anderson Valley. We took the liberty of bringing in a few of the Anderson Valley range. They are classic, West Coast, American craft beers. Included in the range are an amber ale, an IPA and a Double IPA. And Andy Deuchars of Renaissance used to work there!
  • Rogue Mogul Madness. So what if it's their winter beer - we liked it so much we made a point of re-ordering this when it ran out a month or so ago. As rich and complex as it is, there's nothing cloying about Mogul Madness so you needn't be shivering to appreciate it.

On Tap Now & Soon

Some treats to look out for:

  • Tuatara APA Batch #3. On tap any day.
  • Croucher Pale Ale - back after a brief hiatus and on tap right now. This batch seems to have had more filtration than we're used to. Let us know what you think.
  • Aussie Beers. We still have a few kegs left of Jamieson's The Beast IPA, Hargreaves Hill ESB and Bridge Rd Bling.
  • Renaissance Voyager, Yeastie Boys' Punkadiddle, Three Boys Golden Ale and Peak Mendip Bitter on the hand pumps.

Nordic Beer

We're two and a bit kegs into our first ever order of kegged Nøgne ø beer, and no-one has been disappointed (unless they expected a bargain). The condition of the beer has been magnificent considering the odyssey the kegs undertook to get here. There was a particularly poignant moment last evening when the IPA keg ran dry.

The Imperial Brown Ale is on now, with Saison and #100 to come.

The just-as-good news is that there should only be a short interval between when the Nøgne ø runs out and 18 kegs of Baird beer arrive from Japan.


Rhys Morgan of Peak Brewery makes a little mead on the side, under the Girdwood Estate label. It comes in an elegant 375ml bottle with a cork stopper and will be selling for $20.

A Word About GST and Pricing

If Consumer Magazine comes calling then we might as well 'fess up - our prices didn't go up by a uniform two and a bit percent last week. Some didn't go up at all, while for a number of others we took stock of all the price changes we've overlooked over the last twelve months and went to town. The aim of the exercise was simply to adjust prices enough to cover the increased GST bill that we'll be faced with shortly. We hope you understand and can think of your own imminent tax cuts when you judge our prices.


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