Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011

Two New Tastings... Upcoming Festivals... Volunteering for Beervana... New on Tap... New Food... Finally

Two New Tastings

The next couple of months look like being a busy time for dedicated lovers of good beer. There are festivals coming, at least two major shipments of foreign beer with Hashigo Zake's name on them and, like last year, we're finding that local brewers are choosing this time of year to release some of the biggest, most challenging beers in their portfolios.

And we're playing our part by contributing a couple of unmissable events to the July calendar.

Taranaki Tasting

The White Cliffs Brewery, or Mike's, is one of New Zealand's oldest craft breweries. The nano-brewery Liberty is close to being the youngest. But they are in fact closely related. In particular the recipes of Liberty's Joseph Wood are playing a big part in the reinvention of Mike's as brewers of diverse, even extreme beers, as well as a bastion of moderately flavoured organic ales and lagers.

This tasting gives us a chance to put Ron Trigg of Mike's and Joseph Wood in a room together with some of their appreciative Wellington consumers. We'll put together eight beers from their respective portfolios and come up with a tasting that will start with an iconic mild ale but will finish with some of the most adventurous strong ales ever made in New Zealand.

This tasting takes place at 6:30pm on Wednesday July 13. Note the different day of the week from our usual practice.

Bookings are open at

Waldhaus Tasting

New Zealand is about to welcome the products of a nearly 200 year-old old brewery in southern Germany called Waldhaus. In future we'll be selecting several beers from their range to grace the fridges at Hashigo Zake.

The man we have to thank is Wellingtonian and Hashigo Zake regular David Waugh. The Waldhaus range is the first fruit of his embryonic importing business.

This tasting will be a chance to find out what the beers of an authentic, traditional German brewery really taste like. After a couple of early samplings we at Hashigo Zake have high expectations.

This event takes place on Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30pm. Bookings are open at

Upcoming Festivals

As hinted above, we're coming into beer festival season, if there's such a thing. First up is this Saturday's SOBA Matariki Winter Ale Festival. It seems that it has sold out, so we won't try too hard to promote it now, except to say to those who are coming, look out for us, our bar and a few pretty special beers that are our contribution to the festivities.

The biggest date(s) on the New Zealand beer calendar belong to Beervana. A lot has changed this year, and we're as curious as anyone to see just how those changes pan out. Regardless, we encourage everyone to get along and take in the single biggest and best showcase of New Zealand craft beer of 2011. See more at

Volunteering at Beervana

Speaking of Beervana, we've been asked to pass on a request from the event's volunteer coordinator (and Hashigo Zake regular) Steph Coutts. (Apologies to those of you who've already been reached through Steph's network of allies.)

With the changes to Beervana, Steph needs even more volunteers than last year because this time volunteers will be working behind all the bars.

In particular Steph needs volunteers that know about beer and can talk to the punters about the product they're selling. Sound like you?

Volunteers will receive a Beervana t-shirt and glass, entry into one free session for each session that they volunteer at plus $20 worth of food and beverage vouchers. Those of us who've toiled away behind the taps at Beervana can vouch for how enjoyable it can be and how much nicer the beer tastes afterwards.

If you're interested in signing up, head along to

New on Tap

One of the best beers some of us have ever tasted snuck onto the taps last night with little fanfare. Taranaki Pale Ale (not to be confused with Liberty's Taranaki Session Beer that was the hit of last week) is a collaboration between Taranaki's two greatest breweries - Mike's and Liberty. It's a 7% pale ale, probably making it an IPA, defined by a cocktail of all New Zealand hops that will taste like mother's milk to fans of, say, Hopwired.

If our first keg of TPA has run out by the time you visit us next, don't worry, this is going to the top or near the top of our hit list of beers to be re-ordered ASAP.

And still on the subject of Mike's, it looks as though their imperious Imperial IPA is back in stock and will be replacing Imperial Porter on the cylon beer dispenser.

Invercargill's new Scotch Ale called Men 'n Skurts caused a stir when we first got it a few weeks ago. This was partly because it was extremely tasty and partly because it had a curious hint of peated malt, even though its recipe apparently included no such malt. This led many of us to speculate whether Yeastie Boys' Rex Attitude was somehow influencing any beer that came after it either on a tap in a bar or in the brewery where it was made. We'll have to quiz Steve Nally about that the next time he's in Wellington.

New Food

After months of market research and product trials we can today welcome a new addition to the outpost of our menu that is headed "Food". Gyoza (pronounced gyoza) are little pan-fried dumplings filled with seasoned minced pork, or, in one variation, vegetables. They are a mainstay all over east Asia, and accompanied by soy sauce and chilli oil we think they make a great beer snack.

They're on the menu now at $10 for a plate of four.


Some bad news... we've had a tap fail on us. The good news is it was just the water tap.


Post a Comment