Friday, December 17, 2010

December 16, 2010

Reefer Madness.. Ballast Point Brewing.. Green Flash Launch Party.. Boxing Day Trading.. Our Evolving Website.. Christmas Farewells....

Reefer Madness

Like impressionable children listening for news on Santa's arrival on Christmas eve, we've been intently waiting on calls and emails giving us news on the progress of our container-load of beer as it steams across the Pacific. And progress has been good. Our container arrived in Tauranga on Monday and right now is somewhere between there and Wellington. Apparently it arrives in Wellington on Sunday. We're confident enough to firm up plans for Tuesday's Green Flash Launch Party (see below).

Ballast Point Brewing Company

Of the four breweries represented in this shipment, there is a nice symmetry about the fact that Ballast Point is one of them. Ballast Point was arguably the only brewery to do better at the 2010 World Beer Cup than our favourite from Japan, Baird. Like Baird they took away three gold medals but were also named Best Small Brewery.

A glance at (if you put any stock in this) shows that the World Beer Cup was no fluke. Ballast Point are apparently in the world's top twenty breweries and make the third best IPA in the world. That IPA is Sculpin - one of two Ballast Point IPAs in this shipment, in addition to Dorado Imperial IPA which we will only have in bottles.

But perhaps it's a dark beer - Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter that should really be raising the excitement levels. When news came through that Flying Dog were ceasing exports to this part of the world I promised that we would find a beer to replace Gonzo Imperial Porter (of which some stock remains, incidentally). Victory at Sea is that beer. It is dazzlingly rich and complex. As well as a healthy stock of 650ml bottles, we have four precious kegs of this beer to put on in the first few months of 2011. We recommend keeping a close eye on our ever-changing tap list to know when you can come in and drink this 10% Imperial Porter from the taps.

Green Flash Launch Party

As mentioned earlier our plans for a Green Flash Launch Party next Tuesday evening are a little less tentative now that we know the beer is in New Zealand territorial waters. We'll put West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red (allegedly the best Amber Ale in the world), 30th Street Pale Ale and Double Stout on tap. For $20 anyone can buy a ticket entitling you to a 330ml glass of all four beers. We will also be taking a close look at the swag that came with the order to see if there is anything we're inclined to share.

The whole thing kicks off at 6pm next Tuesday, December 21.

Boxing Day Trading

While every Wellington-resident Pom or Aussie will be pining to be in Melbourne on Boxing Day we know that you can't all get there. So we're proposing an easier alternative. We will open for business as usual at midday on Boxing Day, which will give you plenty of time to find a comfortable position before play starts at 1pm in the Boxing Day Ashes Test.

To sweeten the deal we've arranged a fresh keg of Fuller's London Pride - a far more palatable option than Carlton mid-strength from a plastic cup, surely... And we might even serve it in full 570ml measures. And we'll make sure there are good stocks of beers on the hand pumps.

But it gets better. Boxing Day falls on a Sunday so instead of a holiday surcharge, we'll be applying our usual SOBA discounts.

Our Evolving Website

Checked out our re-skinned website over the last seven days? We know of at least one glitch involving the photos and Firefox which is now resolved.

As time goes on we're adding more to the site, particularly up-to-date information about what's available over the bar. In short - keep coming back to

Christmas Farewells

No doubt this email will lead to a flood of out-of-office replies as some of you have already left for the beach. For those departing soon, please accept the best wishes of Hashigo Zake's owners and staff. Thank you for your part in making 2010 a great year for our young business.

For those going nowhere for the next week or two: good decision! We'll continue to operate as usual, with a couple of exceptions. Firstly we are obliged to close on Christmas Day. Secondly the coming weeks will see the best and freshest American beer ever to appear on a New Zealand bar's taps. Enjoy!


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