Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3, 2011

Saturday's Fundraising... Liberty Brewing... Tasting News... On This Week...

Saturday's Fundraising

It's our goal not to impose on our customers - with loud music, bad beer, intrusive marketing etc. And normally that would include pressuring people into contributing to a cause.

Last Saturday was an exception as the twin blows to our collective morale from the murder of a customer and the Christchurch earthquake demanded drastic action.

The amount raised on Saturday was substantial and substantially more than expected. (If anyone wants specifics, come down and ask.) Clearly a lot of people made a point of coming in on a night that they otherwise would not have.

Without prompting a couple of breweries - Townshend and Liberty - volunteered stock to offset our losses, so I'd like to acknowledge them.

And we're leaving Red Cross collection boxes on the bar for a while longer.

Collective back-pat over.

But the crisis remains and the brewing industry is organising coordinated fundraising events this Friday. In Wellington there is an event at Bar Edward in Newtown. We understand that some beer has been donated by breweries and will be on sale with proceeds going to earthquake relief. There will also be an auction at 7pm. For anyone who has wanted to take home some of our branded glassware and attire (i.e. without stealing them) this will be your chance.

Liberty Brewing

For many of us Liberty Brewing's Summ!t Imperial IPA was our favourite beer of 2010. That beer was actually brewed at Hallertau for Liberty Brewing, which is still best known as a supplier of equipment and ingredients for home brewers. But Joseph Wood was so encouraged by the success of last year's IIPA that he has scaled up his home brewing to the point that Liberty is now officially a brewery too.

Liberty's batch size makes it possibly the smallest commercial brewery in the country. (Joe and Lighthouse's Dick Tout will have to get together to see whose is smaller.) Which means that he has only approached two outlets to carry his initial output - ourselves and Auckland's Hallertau.

Now we'd been talking to Joe about this for months and had adapted our equipment to cope with his corny kegs which aren't normally used by commercial brewers. But it was still a small surprise when eight of these little kegs turned up on Saturday afternoon - carried from Taranaki, appropriately, by a fellow home brewer and customer (thanks Matt!) rather than a freight company.

Joe's first commercial beer from his own outlet is actually two beers - the same beer made with two different American hop varieties, namely Simcoe and Amarillo. The style is West Coast Blonde, so it's a relatively easy drinking, even delicate blonde ale, but with plenty of hops and 5.5% ABV.

At the time of writing the Amarillo version is on, but these corny kegs don't last long and it could be back to Simcoe soon. Our advice is: don't get hung up on which version it is, just enjoy.

Tasting News

We have just started accepting bookings for next Tuesday's tasting of beer from Squatters in Utah, incorporating three versions of the Mussel Inn's Captain Cooker. Please understand that volumes are limited and air-freighting these beers over wasn't cheap. See to book.

Planning is under way for two events in April. Firstly our barman and semi-retired chef Sam Whitney was so inspired by Shiggy's efforts with last week's Food and Sake event that he is planning a Food and Beer night. Sam is a remarkably talented and experienced chef, so expectations are high. We're tentatively scheduling this for April the 12th.

On top of that, it has been noticed that our stocks of various sour beers are looking very good right now, particularly with a couple of Mikkeller beers arriving any day. So lovers of intense flavours should keep April the 19th free.

Note that we aren't ready to take bookings for events in April just yet.

On This Week

To our surprise last week's order from Christchurch distributor BeerNZ arrived this week. It included several Three Boys and Twisted Hop beers. Now we don't know when either will be brewing again (although Three Boys are quite bullish) so this could be the last chance to savour the Pilsner, Wheat and Golden Ale of Three Boys or Twisted Hop Challenger for a number of weeks.

Two Bear Republic beers are on right now - Hop Rod Rye and Red Rocket. Racer 5 will be back soon after as well.

And we believe we may be seeing the fruits of more experimentation at 8 Wired in the near future.

And finally, our long awaited shipment of Scandinavian beer, including eleven (yes eleven!) kegs from Nøgne ø, is on the wharf or (by the time you read this) safely housed in our secure storage facility. Either way, it is in Wellington. Lots of fun coming...


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