Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012

Adam Page and The Counts... Tapliteration... To Øl... Emerson's... Tasting Announcement... Double Day of the Dead... On Tap Now or Soon... Finally...

Adam Page and The Counts

Our return season of music from Adam Page and The Counts starts on Saturday night. From 10pm our lounge will host the coolest, funkiest gig Wellington has seen since Christmas Eve. And we look forward to seeing if Adam can avoid head-butting the lampshades as he plays.

Here again are the deets:

  • Musicians: Adam Page and the Counts - Adam Page, Ricky Gooch and Ed Zuccollo (with a little mixing and matching over the four weeks).
  • Saturdays the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of June.
  • Start time: 10pm. Approximate finish time: midnight.
  • Door charge: nil.
  • Venue: The Lounge at Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St.


Tomorrow (Friday's) mini-festival of the finest beer to come from Spotswood, New Plymouth - or perhaps any New Zealand suburb - is developing a life of its own. The lineup of some of Liberty's best was looking pretty steller anyway, but then we found the final keg of the batch of Summ!t Imperial IPA that Joe brewed for X-Ale. This might be the only Imperial IPA nicer than C!tra. For the first time we'll get to try them side by side.

Meanwhile Joe Wood has confirmed plans to make the trip down to Wellington.

But the main reason for tomorrow is to treat Wellington to a pin of Liberty/Galbraith's Yakima Monster. We've had cask-conditioned beer before and we've had beer made at Galbraith's before. But as far as we know no cask of Galbraith's beer has ever been this far south. Having said that we only have a single 20L pin and it probably won't last long. To mitigate this Galbraith's have also been persuaded to rack 40L of the same beer into kegs that we will dispense from our hand pumps. In this form the beer won't truly be cask-conditioned, but it will be the next best thing and it will be fascinating to try next to the gravity-dispensed stuff from the pin.

Also making their way down from Galbraith's will be a small number of special release T-shirts. There will be several sizes but only a couple of each. These collectors' items will be for sale for $40.

To Øl

Danish "gypsy" brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller is well known to us now, but we're starting to get access to beers from some who have been influenced by him. For instance Mikkel's other career is as a schoolteacher and he isn't afraid to let these two careers mix. Outside of normal school hours he taught certain pupils how to brew. More useful than woodwork. Two of those students, Tobias Emil Jensen and Tore Gynther, have gone on to create their own brewing company, To Øl ("Two Beers").

So next Tuesday our new release is our first beer from Mikkel's apprentices. It's Reparationsbajer ("Recovery Beer"), a 5.8% pale ale, hopped with Amarillo, Centennial and Nelson Sauvin. These guys don't own a brewery and this beer was brewed at Belgium's De Proefbrouwerij, as are many Mikkeller beers.

While fact-checking some of the details of To Øl and Reparationsbajer, this video turned up in a search result. It's an interview of Mikkel conducted by Alex Liberati, proprietor of Brasserie 4:20 in Rome, importer of several New Zealand breweries and one time guest of Hashigo Zake. It's a couple of years old but made with reasonably good production values, contains some interesting information and starts with footage from the main bar and the rooftop bar at the glorious Brasserie 4:20.


Did anyone notice a lower than usual count of blue-haired staff last week? The reason was that our own Steven Wells was "on assignment" at Emerson's brewery, as part of our programme of putting our own staff on the floors of New Zealand's most important breweries, gathering experience and insight and offering free labour.

As part of his time there Steven collaborated with the brewery on a test batch of a new mild ale, which we look forward to slotting into a New Release Tuesday some week in the near future.

Tasting Announcement

As mentioned last week, New Zealand's first ever shipment direct from legendary Dutch brewer de Molen has arrived. So we're planning a tasting so we can all get to know a small portion of their range properly. Not only that, this shipment includes a few goodies from certain other European breweries that de Molen are allied with, particularly Copenhagen's Amager. So on Wednesday June 20 we're trying some of Europe's most exciting and new (to us) breweries.

Bookings as usual are through the Cult Beer Store, at

Double Day of the Dead

Many of us have fond memories of the beer Garage Project brewed last year called Day of the Dead. This chilli/chocolate/agave dark lager was brewed on their experimental brewery and consumed in a couple of hours on November 1. This year they brewed a little over 1000 litres of a stronger version at the Three Boys Brewery for Melbourne's Great Australasian Beer Specatapular (GABS). (This was before their own sexy new brewery was delivered.) Almost all of that beer ended up in Australia. A little made its way into a bourbon barrel and one keg has come into our possession.

So the only keg in Wellington (that we know of) of Garage Project Double Day of the Dead will go on tap at 5pm, here at Hashigo Zake on Friday the 7th of June.

On Tap Now or Soon

The first five kegs of Funk Estate Black IPA lasted just a few hours, forcing us to re-order sooner than expected. But we've a couple more kegs and one is on tap now. Come down this afternoon and get one poured by the brewer himself (Shiggy).

We have a keg of one of Mikkeller's Single Hop IPA series - Amarillo this time.

And speaking of Scandinavian IPAs, Nøgne Ø's Citra IPA will be back on soon.

In the same shipment from Hallertau that brought us Nora Luka comes a keg of Stuntman Imperial IPA.

For the first time in a while we have some beer from Mata - a keg each of their Blondie Wheat and Brown Boy Amber Ale.


It should hardly be a surprise that the success of Renaissance and 8 Wired means they're running out of capacity. Now Søren has hinted that he'll not only construct his own facility but may look for investors. Forget partially floated SOEs and overvalued social networking giants - this could be an investment opportunity to get excited about.


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