Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011

Trademark News... Bastille Day... Mainlining Hop... BrewNZ Week...

Trademark News

Well the news is still sinking in that DB and IPONZ have conspired to make New Zealand Brewing and Intellectual Law an international laughing stock. Strangely the adjudicator in the case has not seen fit to come down and explain himself in person, so it really is a mystery why he ruled the way they did. For a slightly more strident reaction, please read Enough for now.

Coincidentally our attention was brought to a story from the US about alleged trademark infringement. It involves the Moylan's brewery in Northern California, who are being sued by San Diego's Lost Abbey because their tap handles look too similar. As sad as a quarrel like this is, it at least shows how far California's craft breweries have come that they are getting litigious with each other rather than the industrial breweries.

Now regulars will have observed that the use of customised tap handles is one American craft beer practice that we haven't adopted at Hashigo Zake. But we might just make an exception on August the 4th when we put Moylan's beers on for the first time and we can take in the beauty of a lawsuit-inciting piece of sculpture.

Bastille Day

For the commemoratively challenged, today is Bastille Day, the French National day. It's not often we can find the time, inclination, equipment or range of cooking fats necessary to attempt French cuisine in our little kitchen, but we're making an exception today. Since Tuesday we've been curing and confit-ing duck legs, soaking beans and baking breadcrumbs so we can come up with a classic cassoulet, while figuring out how to recreate the cooking steps of this dish with the gadgets in our kitchenette.

Perhaps we're wasting our time but if we can satisfy a single French person, or at least someone who knows the words to the Marseillaise, then it will have been worth it.

To help wash down this treat, we've added some genuine French Bière de Garde (in the form of Trois Monts) to the beer list. Or if you'd like an alternative with slightly fewer miles on the clock, we have a new keg of Bridge Road Bière de Garde that only had to cross the Tasman.

If everything goes to plan, all these treats are available from 5pm today. Oh - and we've found a French Internet radio station to play!

Mainlining Hop

Once again we're living through a period with an abundance of highly hopped beers. The latest batch of Mike's IIPA has been available for a few weeks now, and batch #2 of the extraordinary new NZIPA known as Taranaki Pale Ale has just reached us and is on tap right now.

Meanwhile it sounds as though something truly warped went on in west Auckland when Liberty's Joseph Wood, Epic's Luke Nicholas and Kelly Ryan and Hallertau's Steve Plowman got together to collaborate on a new beer. Perhaps instead of comparing recipes and compromising on their respective malt and hop bills, they combined them. But we aren't deterred and have agreed to buy a stock equivalent to about half of the whole batch of the Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse.

Rumour has it that the ABV of this beer is close to double digits, while the IBU count is well into triple digits. It seems that until now only Aucklanders have been allowed to sample this beer (which does turn around the usual order of things beer-related) but our chance will come in the next day or two.

We're also expecting the first of two new beers from 8 Wired - starting with an Imperial IPA called Superconductor.

BrewNZ Week

Speaking of new beers from 8 Wired, last year's experimental Sultan of Swing (the Belgian-style, sultana infused quarupel) is about to become this year's new release, known simply as Sultan. Its release at Hashigo Zake on August the 1st is the final addition to the dazzling puzzle that is 2011 BrewNZ Week at Hashigo Zake.

It's lucky for Beervana's organisers that they have a lot more capacity than us (about 50 times more) because otherwise we would be in danger of overshadowing them with our programme of events on the same week. Check out before writing that statement off as an idle boast. But instead only the select few who follow our plans will know how exciting the days from Monday August 1 to Thursday August 4 are going to be.


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