Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011

Our Birthday... Moa... Beer Highlights... Garage Projectory... The Pacific Beer Expo News...

Our Birthday

A year ago the one year mark really felt like something to crow about. It even moved some of our most faithful customers and supporters to confide that they had never expected us to survive a year.

But what a difference another year makes. Between our first and second birthdays no fewer than five bars have opened in central Wellington that promote themselves on being specialist, independent beer outlets. Anyone would think that we at Hashigo Zake have been getting rich.

So while reaching the two year mark is a really big deal to us, we don't assume that everyone else thinks so. What's more, next week is somewhat overloaded with the launch on Friday of an event that we've all been obsessing about (in our own ways) for several years, and anyone would be nuts to try and compete with the New Zealand v Tonga match for drinkers' attention.

So we'll mark two years of doing what we do in two simple ways. Firstly we hereby humbly and sincerely thank everyone whose moral and material support has kept us thriving for two years.

Secondly we'll serve a special Birthday Brownie to the first 150 people who come down to the bar next Tuesday evening. This will coincide with next week's Garage Project release.


Ah Moa... such good beer, such an objectionable marketing strategy.

For those who haven't heard, Moa launched another advertising campaign recently, picking out another group guaranteed to have defenders who would take the bait. This time it was bribe-taking Pakistani cricketers. To be fair, more Pakistani cricketers have been caught taking bribes to change events on the field than any other country's cricketers, and picking on the world's most notorious match fixer, a deceased, white South African, well that really would have been in bad taste.

But the justification behind Moa's leg-pulling isn't the point. What we object to is the repeated, cynical use of the easily offended to get additional, free publicity.

So rather than get involved in a tedious round of complaining and name-calling on the web, which simply gives them the publicity they're seeking, we're just going to stop selling Moa for a day or two. Next time it will be for a bit longer.

Beery Highlights

Regular readers might have noticed that we struggle sometimes to give good notice in this email of upcoming tap beers. The fact is that two years on we have a greater variety of sources of tap beer than ever before. We also have offsite refrigerated warehouse space at which we've built up a private supply of goodies that could keep an army of beer-geeks satisfied for months. Not that beer-geeks would ever take up arms.

So even we are struggling to keep tabs on the variety we can call on.

One of those ever growing sources is the importing company Malz & Hopfen Ltd, run by regular customer Dave Waugh. Last night we put on the first keg to come to us through him. It's the Waldhaus brewery's Schwarzwald Weiss. As much as we love the freshness and sheer intensity of some of the local wheat beers, it makes a great change to experience the balance and subtlety of an authentic German weizen. It's on tap right now.

Other noteworthy tap beers coming on soon include:

  • ParrotDog's second beer - BitterBitch IPA. This is the full blown IPA that they intended to make initially, but for reasons the Matts can explain one day a slightly different beer came out first time round.
  • Feral's Hop Hog IPA - this is probably the beer that wins most customers over to West Australia's Feral Brewery. If you thought last weekend's Karma Citra was good, we expect you to be even more impressed with this.

Garage Projectory

Details of next week's instalment just came in on the telex. The scary news is that just as each week's beer sells out progressively faster, next week's is to come in an ever smaller quantity than usual. So we'll probably be forced to restrict the pour size for this release.

It's called Red Rocks. It's described by Pete as a rich ruby red ale with a nice caramel malt body, steeped with what was probably an excessive amount of whole cone sauvin.

It will be available at 5pm on Tuesday and for several minutes afterwards.

The Pacific Beer Expo

This week we have two pieces of substantial news to reveal about the Pacific Beer Expo.

First of all tickets go on sale at around about the time that most of you receive this email. At the time of writing they are in an armoured van being transported from our printer's secret location to Hashigo Zake. They should be on sale in the bar by 5pm. Interestingly we had our first customer asking for tickets bang on opening time at midday, today. Perhaps demand will be high...

They are also on sale on our web store here.

The price is $40, although we are charging a little extra on the web store to cover transaction charges that we pay our web host.

One of the very bright people assisting us with the festival made a last minute suggestion regarding ticket sales as well. For an extra $35 we will throw in a festival t-shirt. This will represent a $5 discount. These shirts haven't been printed yet, but we'll post them later to mail order customers or hold them for customers here at the bar. The design will incorporate the main features of the poster, which you can see here.

Secondly we can announce that Yeastie Boys will release His Majesty 2011 at the festival. This year's release is described as a Burton IPA - it uses pale English malts, East Kent Golding and Fuggle hops, a characterful yeast and "burton-ised" water to emulate a traditional Burton-on-Trent IPA. It should contrast nicely with the Californian hop-bombs that will be available alongside it.


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