Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

Slow News Week

We don't have as much of our own news as usual this week, so here are a couple of pieces of other people's news that we happen to have an interest in, relating to beer festivals.

On Saturday February 25th - only six weeks or so away - a new beer festival kicks off in Christchurch. It's called the Great Kiwi Beer Festival and the organisers are ambitious. The venue is Hagley Park and there will be room for up to 8000 participants and we understand that a lot of tickets were sold before Christmas. The format creates plenty of room for corporate brewers, craft brewers and imports. In fact we're talking to the organisers about bringing a swag of our favourite imports from around the world and setting up a temporary Hashigo Zake within the larger festival. The full event website should go live any day at

Meanwhile another festival that could be even more ambitious is being planned for Melbourne in May. It will be the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular and is a venture of the extraordinary Local Taphouse in St Kilda. It will feature 60 beers from Australia and New Zealand, all brewed specially for the event. Again we have a little inside knowledge of this event and have reason to believe it will be pretty special. And again the event's website is still in development but the odd piece of news is being posted on the Taphouse's blog at

Two Appeals Repeated

Once again we invite customers to join us in supporting the completion of the Beer Hunter film, a documentary following two years late in the life of the great Michael Jackson. An appeal has gone out to raise funds to finish production and we'll match every dollar that anyone puts in the can behind the bar, make a consolidated donation and hopefully earn the right to host an early screening of the finished film.

Last week we launched our second (and therefore now annual) survey of what our customers think were the best beers, breweries and pies of 2011. In a short time we've matched the number of submissions we got twelve months ago, which is extremely encouraging. Some of the categories are foregone conclusions but other are producing neck and neck contests, and someone voting soon will end up making the casting vote. You can join in the fun at

We'll keep accepting responses for a few more days, then our outsourced survey analysis service will be engaged and promises to deliver preliminary results by this time next week.

Turning The Clock Back

After a couple of relatively quiet New Release Tuesdays during the Christmas and New Year period, on Tuesday of this week it felt like late 2011 all over again. A new Garage Project beer was on (L'il Red Rye, along with Ballast Point Even Keel) and many of Wellington's elite beer nerds were in attendance. You know who you are.

So we've another intriguing new release lined up for next Tuesday. It's another one fresh of the boat from San Diego's Ballast Point. Called Schooner, it's a wet hop ale - a beer made using un-kilned, fresh-off-the-vine cascade hops from the recent US crop.

It will come on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Other Goodies

Some other treats to look out for over the next few days and nights:

  • Yeastie Boys PKB back on tap.
  • Another keg of 8 Wired's Haywired. Wheat beers that aren't specifically modelled on a German Weissbier or a Belgian Witbier usually struggle to make an impression. But we were impressed that this beer manages to be recognisably wheaty and a hoppy pale ale at the same time.
  • Adlib Mashup - we've had Epic's and Liberty's versions of the open source New Zealand Pale Ale, now comes one from Christchurch.
  • Liberty West Coast Blonde - Pacific Jade. Our allocation of the Pacific Jade edition of Liberty's West Coast Blonde should make it here before the weekend. Or maybe we'll pop a keg of the Simcoe version on instead. Or maybe both.


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