Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011

New Improved Cult Beer Store... Antipasti and Beer... Last Week's Question... Rex, Rex, Rex... New This Week...

New Improved Cult Beer Store

The Cult Beer Store was launched just over a year ago using a fairly unadorned implementation of an off the shelf e-commerce tool. The objective was pretty simple - make our products available to those who can't make it down to the bar.

We've taken the odd jibe about the look and feel and general usability of the site. Now those jibes are set to evaporate, or err.. perhaps redouble. Because we tracked down the Web Development Division of Hashigo Zake Corporation and told them they had to stay away from the maid cafes until they came up with a revamped site. So, ladies and gentlemen, please put your mice, trackpads and touchscreens to good use and click through to ... the NEW Cult Beer Store.

The good news is that we've come up with a simple but effective way to navigate to each brewery's whole range. We've also built in some useful predefined searches to easily find beers by style.

There are some peculiarities. Google Chrome offers to translate the Dieu du Ciel page into English. And Firefox inexplicably decides to dynamically redraw the outlines around the menus as they are used, creating a weird effect.

The design is a lot more economical with space, so even though we don't have alternate pages for smart phones, it should be easier to see on a little screen.

One thing that hasn't changed is our payment options. We believe that bank deposit and paypal between them offer enough choice for you, without imposing on us the expense and trouble of dealing with the local providers of payment gateways.

Antipasti and Beer

It's a matter of days until one of our most experimental tastings. We've already added the Prodigal Daughter's Cherry Chillies to our snack menu (to ecstatic groans from most who've tried them), and this is a chance to see what other foods from their catalogue might go well with beer.

What might go with truffle oil soaked baby peaches? Or with roasted capsicums having a flavour and texture half way to a nectarine? Or here's an easier one: what could we match with sardines?

Whether the pairings work or not we know that the quality of both components is such that everyone should have a great time.

You can book at or by going up and paying at the bar in the next few days.

Last Week's Question

Thank you to everyone who participated in last week's nano-survey, asking for suggestions for what beers would make good gifts from Hashigo Zake to some of our northern hemisphere brewing friends later this month. There were a lot of votes for Hopwired, PKB and Oyster Stout. And a lot of suggestions that something from Emerson's should be there. In other words, no surprises.

Rex, Rex, Rex

Congratulations are due to Stu and Sam at Yeastie Boys for garnering press attention on an epic scale for their new beer, Rex Attitude. Perhaps the day will come when the attention of the mass media actually comes with some understanding of the product.

The mass hysteria they generated meant all the initial supplies in Wellington were consumed in a few hours last Saturday. But we've all restocked. The real test will come when we and other bars start putting this challenging new beer on tap. This will happen in the next day or so.

We're also going to sacrifice a bottle to go into this Friday's overnight chilli - the dish so overloaded with flavour it needs all night to cook.

New This Week

One of our favourite breweries has been quiet lately, presumably because they've been thinking up new names for their beers. But this week, from Nelson's Golden Bear, we've taken delivery of Party Pils and Hanky Panky Pale Ale. Hanky Panky will be on tap very shortly.

It's been a while since we had Invercargill's Pitch Black on tap, but it's going to be our stout of choice over the coming days.

Our first keg of Emerson's Bird Dog single hop pale ale was consumed in a matter of hours last Friday. Bird Dog (reprise) will be on shortly.

Mash Up is a New Zealand Pale Ale produced collaboratively by a number of breweries. Altogether just about every New Zealand brewery was involved, although not so many were actually there in Auckland on brew day, where the effort was led by Epic and Steam. Most of it has been bottled but we have a keg that will go on very soon.

Finally for those who get excited about these things... Three Boys Oyster Stout is both on tap and handpump right now.


Greig McGill said...

Just one teensy request for Cult Beer Store: Batch dates for the products? I know they're all "white" imports now, but it's still nice to know when that mega hoppy west coast IPA was brewed. It's about the only thing that stopped me filling my cart right now. :) Well, that and the supposed diet...

Dominic said...

A fair request Greig. With some jiggery-pokery we might be able to incorporate that info into the site - maybe treat each batch as a variant of the same product. The problem is that there's very little info provided with the product. The kegs often have fill dates, but the bottles are generally devoid of batch info. We could give the date that we purchased or shipped them..?

We're also finding that the beers and even individual bottles are ageing differently. At six months some of them still taste like they're weeks old. Others don't.

Greig McGill said...

Given the freshness of your imports, an "imported on" date would probably do it. I hear you on the different aging, but at least with the date they arrived here, and knowing the care you take with them, we'll be better able to judge for ourselves.

Thanks as always Dom. :)

Anonymous said...

We would have been stoked if all of the brewers could have made it up to Auckland for the brew day! Were chuffed that some took the time (and spent the money) to be there. If only there was an easier way to have got everyone there! Blimmin' brewery production schedules ;)

The cool thing was that everyone at least got to check out the recipe and put in any input that they could. True collaboration!


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