Friday, March 25, 2011

March 24, 2011

Seasonal Stirrings... Sauvin Pils... Other Thrills... Tastings and Fundraising... In Other News... And Finally..

Seasonal Stirrings

Now that Hashigo Zake has been open for well over a year, we now get to relive annual occurrences - like the arrival of Three Boys Oyster Stout. This time last year the end of daylight saving loomed, at the same time as Easter (later by a few weeks this year) and the much heralded Brewjolais. And with much less fanfare but arguably a ton more merit than Brewjolais, crept in the first kegs of Oyster Stout.

Strangely there's no word on Brewjolais 2011. The decision of its parent corporation to move production to Christchurch seems to have backfired somewhat. And yet out of the rubble of the very same city comes Oyster Stout.

So provided the freight is getting out of Christchurch as well as Three Boys are brewing through rubble, then we'll have Oyster Stout on tap in the next day or so.

Sauvin Pils

The miraculous resurgence of Three Boys Brewery has another bonus. The Twisted Hop brewpub remains inside the cordon but they've always had their Sauvin Pilsner and one or two other beers brewed at Three Boys. So we've picked up a keg of Sauvin Pils for our collective pleasure over the weekend.

Other Thrills

We might as well re-brand ourselves a Three Boys bar this weekend, because we're picking up kegs of their Golden Ale and IPA. We're even sneaking some of their Porter onto the handpump.

Look out too for the return of Golden Bear Black Magic IPA. We picked up a keg of this a few weeks ago without really knowing what to expect. Now that it's returning we're still at a loss to come up with a style to label it. But it's hoppy, rich and definitely not pale.

Right now a couple of extraordinary imports are on tap. From the US we have Green Flash West Coast IPA and Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout. And from Japan we have Baird's Carpenter's Mikan Ale.

Last week's debut of Aku Aku Lemongrass Ale from Norway's Nøgne ø was undone by a damaged keg coupler. That's been repaired and the beer should be on any day.

Another seasonal appearing at this time of year is the Spring and Fern Harvest Pilsner. We're hoping to see this and one or two other Sprig and Fern products (3 Berry Cider anyone?) turning up early next week.

Tastings and Fundraising

Tonight's tasting of Japanese craft beer, raising funds for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, is fully booked. BUT we are running a raffle in conjunction with this event and anyone is free to buy tickets up until 8pm tonight (Thursday). At that point we'll draw a winner and one or two reserve winners in case the prize (Baird beer and merchandise in a Hashigo Zake cooler/backpack) isn't claimed within seven days.

We'll name the winner (or at least the winning ticket) on our website at

Meanwhile we have two tastings planned for April. The first - a matched food and beer night - happens to be fully booked. The second has a few places left. It's dedicated to sour beers, featuring a number of radical new arrivals from cult Danish brewer Mikkeller. Go to for more details.

Other News

This should make little or no difference to our customers, but the building whose basement we occupy changes hands tomorrow (Friday, March 25th). Ownership is reverting to the building's other occupants - Zibibbo Restaurant.

Our Barman and Operations Manager Shiggy added another string to his bow this week. He's now a journalist for a Japanese trade publication. See the proof here. The subject of his story - Hashigo Zake.

And speaking of the news media, the New Zealand Herald took notice of our importing activities last weekend - publishing this article. A pity about the spelling of Hashigo Zake, but it has led to an increase in orders from Auckland with the Cult Beer Store.


The next few days could be unusual ones at Hashigo Zake... several of our staff (and a few regular customers) depart for Marchfest in Nelson to seek out new brews for the rest of us to enjoy over the next month or two. In return we believe we'll see a few more out-of-town visitors than usual, starting with tonight's fund-raiser for Japanese victims of the tsunami and earthquake.


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