Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011

Another Pacific Beer Expo Announcement... Garage Projectile... Closing Time... Excessive Phone Charges... Two Lagers... Cook Islands Beer... The Current Major Event...

Another Pacific Beer Expo Announcement

Following last week's thesis investigating why bookings for Saturday drastically outnumber those for Sunday, we were offered a deceptively simple alternative explanation. (Cheers Brent). Perhaps not everyone realises that the 22nd and 23rd of October are the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend.

Any readers who were unaware of this detail of the New Zealand holiday calendar need not be embarrassed. Just go ahead and buy a ticket for both days.

Now for more details about the beer on offer over Labour weekend at the Boatshed:

  • We can announce that after a far too long absence, fresh beer from legendary Oregon brewer Rogue is on its way. And so a keg of their American Amber Ale will join the fun.
  • Joining the one previously announced Feral beer, we can add that we will include the one and only keg of Feral's Boris Imperial Stout currently on New Zealand soil.

And here's a reminder of some of the lineup that has already been announced:

  • 8 Wired Double Brown
  • Baird Kiwi Strong Pale Ale
  • Feral Barrel Fermented Hop Hog
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
  • Yeastie Boys His Majesty 2011

Garage Projectile

Next week the boys are promising a full 40 litres of their next research brew. So we may even let people buy a large serving, although at 7.8% maybe a small serving will be more appropriate.

The beer is called Aro Noir - Dark Side of the Street. It's described as a pitch black, full bodied Stout, with a powerful malt base of English Pale Optic Malt, Dark Crystal, Roast Barley and Black Malts. The hop bill is all American with the citrus grapefruit character of Centennial and Cascade hops.

Jos added that it is definitely brewed on the dark side of the street, and it's entirely possible that their location on the north side of Aro St, at one of the Aro Valley's narrowest points, has the least direct sunshine of any address in Wellington.

Closing Time

Some of you (whom we won't name here) are uncannily attuned to when we open, but we don't often talk about when we close. We usually shrug it off by saying that our opening hours are "midday until late". Each night we close when our evening staff decide that there doesn't seem to be much point staying open any more (or when our liquor licence runs out at 3am, which is pretty unusual).

Occasionally this vagueness about closing time catches someone out and we have a disappointed would-be customer. Or maybe someone chooses not to come because they simply don't know whether we're still open.

So from now on we're adding a little more certainty to our opening (and closing hours). Here it is in a nutshell:

  • We open daily at midday.
  • From Sunday to Thursday we close no earlier than 11pm.
  • On Friday and Saturday we close no earlier than 1am.

Implicit in the above is a commitment to stay open past those times where there is obvious demand.

Excessive Phone Charges

Occasionally Hashigo Zake's own staff find our phones running out of power and conduct a panicky search for an iPhone (or micro-USB) cable to plug into our laptop behind the bar. We've also had the occasional request from customers to charge their phones for them.

To make life easier for all of us we've invested dollars - honestly, several of them - in a universal phone charger that will stay plugged in at the bar for the use of staff and customers. It's at the end of the bar with the Mike's dispenser and hand pumps. It works with iPhones, phones with micro USB ports and a couple of others.

And fittingly this innovation comes just as the Dominion Post gave our free wifi a nice plug:

Two Lagers

We're not sure exactly how this happened, but we've somehow ended up with not one but two pale lagers on tap at once. Not only that - neither is from New Zealand. It could be decades before this happens again.

The beers in question are Green Flash Fizzy Yellow Beer and Waldhaus Diplom Pils. Perhaps the name Fizzy Yellow Beer was inspired by the slogan of Green Flash's neighbour, Stone Brewing.

If you take into account the presence on our taps of Golden Ticket's Emperor Strikes Black we currently have no fewer that three lagers on. Truly unprecedented.

Cook Islands Beer

We will have the beers of a brewery completely new to us on shortly. Matutu Brewery is based in the Cook Islands, and after extensive research spent on the beaches of Rarotonga we've been persuaded to pick up a couple of kegs of their Mai Lager. Look for it on tap during the next week.

The Current Major Event

As promised, we're showing every rugby match on two screens, but you can stay blissfully oblivious in the lounge. For anyone wondering whether we've been swamped by hordes of unnecessarily-friendly, blokish rugby fans, be not afraid! If anything the evenings of matches have been relatively quiet, while we've had some good natured, multi-national groups taking in the afternoon matches.

During last Friday's match between the All Blacks and Tonga we experimented with streaming the celebrated "Alternative Rugby Commentary" through our speakers. As amusing as this commentary was, it was out of sync with the pictures and lacked any of the sounds we expect with a rugby game (crowd noise, Wayne Barnes's thoughtful adjudications). So we'll hold back before putting it on again and invite customers to give their opinion on their preferred soundtrack for certain games.


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