Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 18, 2010

This week: Accolades #1... Accolades #2... Tap News This Week... Big Announcement #1... Big Announcement #2

Accolades #1

The scene behind the bar at 5pm last Saturday resembled a group huddled around a transistor radio listening to a rugby test in an earlier era. Except it was a laptop rather than a transistor radio and the "event" was the instantaneous release of the results from this year's SOBA National Homebrew Champs.

When the countdown finished and the results came up it was immediately apparent that the name of one David Wood appeared a ridiculous number of times. That of Shigeo Takagi was there too, but the barman-cum-brewer looked incredulous and explained that his bronze-medal winning beer was the first he'd ever made. And our own Dylan Jauslin joined the party too, picking up a bronze for his brown ale.

Dave, who traveled to the Hallertau brewery for the awards dinner, learned that if he'd picked up another point with one of his beers he might have taken home the biggest prize of the night. But all in all our staff are pretty happy with the compliments heaped on them last Saturday.

It's equally pleasing to acknowledge our regular customers who shone at the Home Brew Champs. I'm thinking of Dale, Llew, Dylan, Matt and Matt and almost certainly others whose names I haven't connected.

It's great to see this SOBA-run event raising the profile of home-brewing. Not only does home brewing bring some fairly obvious rewards to those involved, home brewers are increasingly stepping up to commercial brewing - to the benefit of the industry.

Accolades #2

By today, we expected to have heard how we fared in Beer and Brewer Magazine's awards for beer outlets in Australasia. We had been given a broad hint by the publisher that we would feature in the results and went to some trouble (at their prompting) to make available some good photos of the bar. But no news is no news. So here are alternative versions of our reaction to whatever news eventually comes:

First let me say that

we are humbled and flattered by this award.
it's an honour to come second to such an illustrious venue.
the judges had a difficult task.

We plan to:

build a shelf big enough for the trophy.
blockmount the certificate.
print the email and use the back to take down food orders.

We are so grateful to Beer and Brewer magazine that:

we'll immediately start advertising in it.
we'll buy an extra copy of this issue.
please consider this email a cancellation of our subscription.

Tap News This Week

Look out for:

  • More Tall Poppy. (Did we announce this last week? It really will be here any day, and since the pilot batch last month was such a success we've bagsed enough to last for weeks.)
  • Townshend/666 Sutton Hoo - this unheralded collaboration between Martin Townshend and 666's Graham Mahy was last week's surprise hit. We've been offered a keg this week, so it will be fascinating to see if it's as good cold and fizzy as it was warm and flat.
  • Twisted Hop Raspberry Chocolate Porter. Enough said.
  • Yeastie Boys' PKB. It's black but definitely not black market.
  • More Flying Nun - the "Amber Wit" from Emerson's.

Big Announcement #1

Since Fishhead was launched and the launch party stumbled onto our premises for a couple of rounds of drinks, we've been impressed by the up-and-coming magazine. We believe that the publication shares the same ideals of taste without pretense and the encouragement of intelligent discourse that we aspire to and will be an enormous asset to Wellington.

Given the generally sniggering, juvenile treatment that beer gets in most media (with notable exceptions - you know who you are), we suggested to Fishhead that their magazine and the NZ craft beer movement would be well served by a new beer-oriented column. We even suggested a regular customer be its author and have agreed to sponsor it.

So on Monday the newest edition of Fishhead Magazine will be on sale and will include the first article by Hadyn Green. We encourage our customers to consider investing in a copy. Note that Hashigo Zake has no influence on what's written and at the moment no-one here has seen Hadyn's first article. But we have great expectations.

Big Announcement #2

After months of hint-dropping and hedging it comes as a relief to announce a few details of our next big shipment of American beer. This shipment represents a departure (in more ways than one). It's more than three times the size of any previous shipment, involving no fewer than four breweries. And in accordance with the demands of those breweries it will be shipped refrigerated.

Right now the breweries are filling or have just filled our kegs and will then move the kegs and bottled beer to LA where the ocean journey begins. The ETA in Wellington is just before Christmas. But bitter, bitter experience tells us that the eventual arrival could be anything from December 20 to January 31. So our launch party plans are pretty tentative right now.

To learn the identity of one of these breweries, find your way to the events page on our website.

Our gratitude to the breweries concerned and to our allies on several continents is incalculable.


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