Friday, August 5, 2011

August 4, 2011

Californian Beer... Garage Project... Friends in the Media... Beervana Rebooted...

Californian Beer

We are, once again, probably the best source of Californian beer in the southern hemisphere. On Tuesday a team of our best and brightest young staff squeezed into Dave's car and headed off to our refrigerated warehouse and emerged half a day later, unshaven, dishevelled and frostbitten after applying individual labels to around 4000 bottles. Since then we've been re-stocking the bar's fridges and fulfilling wholesale orders to customers around town (and a couple in Auckland).

The climax of our container-welcoming activities is tonight's (Thursday's) Moylan's launch. On tap will be Nor*Cal IPA, Irish Red, Kiltlifter Scotch Ale and Dragoon's Stout. You can try a stemmed glass (around 330ml) of all four for just $20.

Fittingly today is International IPA Day and we can think of no better way to mark it than to launch a great Californian IPA.

Over the coming weeks we'll rotate more Moylan's, Green Flash, Coronado and Bear Republic beers onto the taps. Keep checking to know what's on, or just come in every day.

Garage Project

On Tuesday night Garage Project became what we understand is Central Wellington's only full-time, commercial brewery. It was an exciting evening with no fewer than three extremely good new beers tried for the first time, media present and, inevitably, not enough beer to satisfy everyone. We knew this would happen and tried to find a way to ration it fairly but there were a few disappointed on the night to whom we apologise.

To those who missed out, please note that similar volumes of the same beers will be available at Beervana, but may not last beyond one session. Then early next week we'll have two more new beers from the Aro St nano-brewery. They will be a pair of pale ales made with one point of difference - which of two new varieties are used. These hops are so secret that we only know them as 97-77-09 and 99-38-29. The beers will be named Hazy Daze - Experimental Hop A and Hazy Daze - Experimental Hop B. And this time the beers will actually be for sale, and there will be more of them, so our guess is that they won't run out as fast.

Please also note that the brewery take the fact that they are in what is essentially an R&D phase very seriously. So they have gone to great lengths to facilitate the collection of feedback. We now have Garage Project coasters around the bar and they are actually small but perfectly formed feedback entry sheets. And there's also a collection box mounted beside the entrance to our lounge. So if you want to influence future releases from Garage Project please fill in and drop off a coaster.

Friends in the Media

One of the innovations in the leadup to this year's Beervana has been to pair breweries with journalists. The journalists cover the brewery in whatever kind of style they are blessed with while some kind of collaborative brew takes place.

One of the pairings was of Yeastie Boys and Radio New Zealand's This Way Up programme. Coincidentally the Boys have another date with Radio New Zealand. They will appear in the prized Playing Favourites slot with the mother of the nation, Kim Hill, this Saturday morning.

We've previously discussed the mastery that Yeastie Boys have of Rock 'n Roll culture. We're delighted that this news has got through to the state radio elite and we wish them well. Sadly Saturday's broadcast clashes with the AGM of SOBA and we know how much everyone is looking forward to that. We'll do our best to play recordings of the show back at Hashigo Zake later in the week.

Meanwhile our friends at the aforementioned Garage Project were paired with TVNZ's breakfast television programme. That was their camera snooping around at the launch on Tuesday night. We're told that a story on their collaboration will air on Friday morning. We can but hope that this time Lucas de Jong tastes the beer before reporting on it.

Beervana Rebooted

The 2011 version of Beervana kicks off tomorrow with a new owner, a new format and a new venue. We wish David Cryer well and we welcome those of you who have left your home towns around New Zealand and Australia and are here in the bar now drinking while this email is written and won't actually read it until next week.

Look out for a selection of our staff keeping the event's volunteer force compliant with the Sale of Liquor Act. We'll also have an ad in the programme and we're promised that we have first rights to pick over the leftovers to provide stock for next week.


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