Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 19, 2011

Preamble... Events... On Tap Soon...


Yes that’s right, it’s a “preamble”. In other words: for actual news, skip this section.

Procuring extraordinary beer is inevitably a cyclical process. The need to assemble large volumes of beer for international freight, rather than just posting a keg at a time, imposes that on us. And while Hashigo Zake has averaged four new beers on tap each week since opening, there are some weeks when we have twice as many and some weeks slightly fewer.

And arranging the importation of those beers means there are times when our minds are elsewhere. Right now we are in the midst of negotiations with parties in Australia (where coincidentally the Australian International Beer Awards are taking place), Scandinavia, Japan and California.

Some of these negotiations will bear fruit within weeks, maybe even days. It may take months or years before we all see the benefit of others.

So if you think the last 20 months have been good drinking, the fun has only just begun. We’re conniving to make Hashigo Zake during the winter of 2011 the most beer-spoilt time and place in New Zealand history. As it happens we have some gems coming on tap in the coming days that deserve your full attention. But if these look tempting (as they should), keep in mind that the best is yet to come.



Since last week the last few places in Shiggy’s Asian Beer & Food evening have been snapped up. This leaves the Winter Solstice Tasting on June 21 as the only event that we are currently taking bookings for. Participants can expect some of the darkest, most decadent and most warming beers in our cellar. We’ll confirm some of the lineup in early June, but you can assume that some of the beers will come from countries with winters far darker and colder than ours. You can follow the link to the Cult Beer Store to make a booking or do it in person at the bar.

The Fourth of July

It is with great pleasure that we can announce our Great US Beer Spectacular on July the 4th. By July we expect to receive fresh stocks of Californian beer, including a number that should be completely new to New Zealand. We’ll offer a special ticket that will let you buy tastes of every US beer on tap at the time at a bargain price (a little like what we did for our Green Flash and Ballast Point launches last year). We’ll also put on some fitting celebratory food.

And all opinions on foreign policy are to be left at the door, please. This is an occasion to celebrate craft beer and one or two other of the numerous things that the US does extremely well.

This event won’t require booking. But since it’s a Monday we do recommend that to enjoy it properly you take some or all of the afternoon off work.

On Tap Soon

From Baird in Japan (in our opinion Asia’s best brewery) comes possibly the first Imperial Pale Lager we’ve ever tried. It’s called Hatsujozo and was designed to be drunk in the middle of the northern hemisphere winter. It should be on tap in the next few days.

Also new this week is the beer that was intended to cheer Christchurch residents up. We’re not sure how happy they’ll be to hear it’s being drunk in Wellington, but it is also a fund-raiser. Rescue Red Ale is a collaboration between Yeastie Boys, Renaissance and 8 Wired and it’s described as a red saison. We have great expectations, especially since they did away with the working title – Bag Of Suck.

Mike’s in Taranaki have decided to release in its own right the Imperial Porter that will be the base beer for the next Whisky Porter. Our first keg of Mike’s Imperial Porter will be on shortly.

There are plenty of beers returning that are rare or favourites or both:

  • From the Cock and Bull, Fuggles and Monks Habit.
  • Bear Republic’s Apex IPA
  • Mash Up Pale Ale
  • Golden Ticket Black Emperor
  • Mata Blondie Wheat
  • Renaissance Elemental Porter – still our fastest selling porter and almost certainly the best beer of its kind in Australasia.


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