Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012

Ø For Awesome... Baird News... Mikkeller Order... Super Ad... Tongue Buckler... Price Rises...

Ø For Awesome

The second beer to come out of last year's visit to New Zealand by Nøgne Ø's Kjetil Jikiun is ready for release. It's a collaboration brewed at Renaissance by Kjetil, Renaissance themselves and their staff-member and "tenant" 8 Wired.

The idea for the beer was to take the Nøgne Ø beer known as #100 and replace most of the ingredients with New Zealand alternatives. For those who haven't tried it, #100 is a difficult beer to categorise, falling somewhere between an Imperial IPA and a barley wine. The result is to be called Ø For Awesome.

The first brew day was documented photographically by the great Jed Soane here. There were a lot fewer present on day two when Søren re-brewed to double the batch size.

We're going to launch it here at Hashigo Zake on February 21st. As well as falling neatly into our calendar of Tuesday releases, it happens to be the eve of the anniversary of a certain earthquake. Søren has proposed that we use the event as some kind of fund-raiser, so does anyone really need another reason to come down?

By then we should also have received our latest order from Nøgne Ø. It's working its way through the bureaucratic and logistic obstacles that appear when multiple pallets of beer turn up at a New Zealand wharf. We're hoping to see it finally next week. Included will be bottles of a beer called India Saison, made in collaboration with Australia's Bridge Road brewery. It's a saison brewed with Australian hops, such as Galaxy and Stella. We have the version of the beer made when Bridge Road's Ben Kraus visited Nøgne Ø. We've heard that some bars in Melbourne are serving the second batch, made back at Bridge Road. We've also heard that it's delicious.

Meanwhile, our attention was brought to a disarmingly candid description of the brewery's early days written by Kjetil himself. It's surprising how difficult times have been for a business that from the outside seems like an unqualified success. Read it here.

Baird Beer

Our stocks of beer from our favourite Asian brewery - Baird - are running low, so another order has gone in and should be on the water soon. The Baird brewery are busy - after rumours flew around for months they recently announced plans to build a brand new brewery and they're doing nothing by halves. A few details are embedded in this account of their new year party.

Mikkeller Order

We're also waiting patiently for an order of fresh Mikkeller beer to arrive and we're told we'll be seeing them next week too. The main highlight will be the return of the Single Hop IPA beers - ten of them. We'll get some of the bottles in stock as soon as possible and some time in the near future we'll try and find a way to slot the kegs into our packed schedule.

We're also getting just a couple more cases of the Chateau d'Yquem barrel aged Belgian ale known as Mielcke & Hurtigkarl.

Super Ad

It was great to see a healthy and hungry crowd in on Monday to take in the Super Bowl and the two rival chillis. Sadly the local broadcaster somehow stripped us of the opportunity to see this seminal example of the TV commercial maker's art.

Tongue Buckler

Next week's new release is an import, courtesy of San Diego's great Ballast Point. It's Tongue Buckler, and we have just a few kegs of a beer described as an Imperial Red Ale. It should be a perfect sequel to this week's Liberty Yakima Scarlet, which proved very popular and will be back in limited quantities again soon.

Tongue Buckler will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.

Price Rises

According to a press release by the Hospitality Association yesterday's rise in the minimum wage "will result in price increases across the board for hospitality products". We'd like to reassure customers that while we face plenty of significant cost increases (such as a near doubling in our insurance premiums), a rise in the minimum wage does not trouble us. But wouldn't you think that businesses that need an act of parliament to get them to pay more than $13 per hour would keep a low profile?


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