Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 2, 2010

Green Flash Brewing Company.. 8 Wired Mini-festival.. Other Treats.. Beer Options.. Fishhead

Green Flash Brewing

Beer from the Green Flash Brewery is on the water. Of the four breweries coming in this shipment, Green Flash are probably the best known. Their West Coast IPA is considered something of a classic, although it will be interesting to see if its uncompromising maltiness, bitterness and fresh, green hop aroma - especially in ultra-fresh condition - are too much for some.

The name Green Flash refers not to a lime-clad superhero, but to the optical phenomenon that occurs just after sunset or just before sunrise, when a green spot is visible for a moment above the sun. At least that's what we're led to believe. Equally plausible is that the brewery was named (in 2002) with foreknowledge of the 2008 movie Green Flash, which looks destined to become the seminal beach volleyball movie of our time.

We're planning a Green Flash Launch Party at Hashigo Zake on December 21st. We'll put West Coast IPA, 30th St Pale Ale, Hophead Red and maybe one other on tap at once, offer discounts to anyone wanting to work their way through the whole range, and we'll be as generous as ever, maybe even more so, with the samples. We may even be persuaded to part with a little of the precious merchandise that's sharing container space with the beer.

8 Wired Mini-Festival

Our equal favourite Danish brewer Søren Erikson has been busy and we at Hashigo Zake are the beneficiaries. In his quest to make a great Belgian Tripel, Søren split his test batch into three and used three different yeasts to ferment the portions. He offered to blend the results back together but we insisted that it would be far more fun to try them separately.

So sneaking onto the premises this afternoon were three small kegs of 8Wired Test Batch Tripel - 20 Litres each made with Westmalle, Unibroue and La Chouffe yeasts respectively. We suggest trying all three and giving us your feedback. It's unlikely that we'll manage to sneak all three on at once. But at 9%ABV that may be just as well.

Another of Søren's experiments is referred to as SMaSH. This stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. It's a pale ale made with only Munich malt and Motueka hops. Now at first Søren was somewhat non-committal about its quality, saying things like: "if it tastes terrible you are welcome to send it back, I won't be offended". Lately though he's saying "after a bit of conditioning it's actually OK". We know Søren well enough to know that he's a master of understatement and expectation management. (He once threatened to tip out the beer that is iStout.) So we've a feeling that SMaSH will be worth getting at least a glass of.

And to complete our mini-festival Tall Poppy will be back on tap soon AND we've picked up kegs from recent batches of Hopwired IPA and Rewired Brown Ale.

Other Treats

Stu from Yeastie Boys was in at lunchtime today, keen to find out when our one keg (and one of three nationwide) of PKB Remix goes on. The answer turned out to be just after Stu left. In fact for a very short time PKB the porter and PKB Remix the incredibly aromatic, hoppy dark ale are on tap alongside each other.

Another treat for the inner beer geek in all of us should be the chance to taste the marvelous Sutton Hoo in both hand pumped and cold/fizzy configurations.

Kieran Hazlett-Moore of Regional Wines described the fact we have Galbraith's Resurrection as "a coup". Who are we to argue? And we're confident it's the best Belgian Tripel being brewed in New Zealand - at lease until we check out Søren's experimental ones. Resurrection is on tap right now.

Beer Options

This year's Beer Options contest, organised once again by Regional Wines and Spirits, took place last Thursday. We decided to contribute by offering a couple of bar tabs as prizes. It did seem a little redundant when a team made up of our own General Manager David Wood and a number of regular customers took out the main prize.

But congratulations to Dave and his team. They join an elite honours board of teams who have been able to win and defend the annual Beer Options competition.


The December/January issue of Fishhead Magazine came out a few days ago. This is the first issue to include a new column on beer-related matters, penned by Hadyn Green. Not entirely coincidentally, we have an advertisement in it. We recommend it.


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