Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012

News and Social Networking... Brewery Britomart... July 3 and July 4... Live Music... Lemur Attack Force...

News and Social Networking

There have always been at least two schools of thought at Hashigo Zake about electronic social networking. There are those of us who believe that technology should help human interactions by being unobtrusive and above all, discreet, taking note of increased sensitivities in western societies to the sanctity of an individual's privacy. Let's call that camp the curmudgeons. And there are those with no built-in scepticism about modern social networking tools such as facebook and twitter, willing to surrender more personal information than an army of Stasi informants could ever muster, and have that sold for profit by Mark Zuckerberg. Let's call them the kids.

Well the curmudgeons were disgusted earlier this week when it emerged that facebook had taken liberties with the details that users has provided about themselves. So the curmudgeons insisted on 48 hours of facebook silence as a protest. The fact is though that on most days of the week you could find something to be disgusted by in the behaviour of the company with the shonkiest IPO in living memory. Which suggests that the day that we - and probably a lot of other people - run out of patience with them can't be far off.

With this in mind we used our 48 hours of facebook silence to work on alternative ways to keep our customers updated about what's going on here. We've revisited our own, neglected, news-feed and incorporated its content into our on-site electronic menu. (You'll just have to visit the bar to see it in action.)

Of course our preferred means of keeping 350 or so of you informed is this email. And we guarantee we won't be selling your details to paying customers and we won't be bothering you with other people's advertising (except maybe for the odd plug for like-minded people, as below).

Finally, while we're at it, there is one specific practice of facebook users the curmudgeons would like to comment on. When facebook registered a location called "Hashigo Zake" and invited people to check in, they didn't consult us or give us an option. Kind of presumptuous really. So now if our guests want to tell the world that they're here, well we can't stop you and it's your own privacy you're sacrificing. But please, please don't tag other people in your check-ins without their consent.

Brewery Britomart

As mentioned last week, we've been following the progress of Brewery Britomart since they took over the run-down Rose and Crown pub in Fort St, Auckland. And now that their brewing operation is in full swing we've brought a selection of their beers to Wellington to have on tap this Friday.

Now we had an arrangement with the brewery that our release this Friday would constitute the Wellington launch, but one side seems to have forgotten the arrangement, so strictly speaking the beers we put on tomorrow won't quite be a Wellington first. Nevertheless we encourage you to come down and try a number of them, including the extremely pleasant Customs 69 IPA and Monk's Hip Hop Belgian IPA - the most popular beer at last weekend's City of Ales festival.

July 3 and July 4

It's America's national day next week and we're going to take the opportunity to get some gems of American craft brewing out of our cool store and onto our taps. This proved pretty popular last year. In fact last July 4th was our busiest Monday ever.

It would be a challenge to come up with a better list of West Coast beer outside of the Pacific Beer Expo. Here are just a few:

  • Green Flash West Coast IPA
  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  • Bear Republic Navigator Doppelbock
  • Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Like last year we'll be scouring the video vaults for the most fitting entertainment to sneak onto our screens. And we'll be putting on some quintessentially American food. We may even get Sam to don his flag/cape and do hourly fly-bys.

All this too-good-to-be-true shenanigans will go on all day, from midday, next Wednesday.

As a kind of preview, and because it's our only 4th of July beer that we've never served before, we're putting Moylan's Hell's Lager on a day early as our Tuesday New Release. It's a dortmunder (or according to ratebeer, a hellerbock). It's not often we make a fuss about a lightly hopped lager, but Moylan's have shown an ability to surprise - although usually with intensely hopped ales.

As usual it will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.

Live Music

Following last Saturday's triumphant finale to Adam Page and the Counts' residency, we now enter a brave new world of weekly, rotating gigs in that late Saturday slot. Expect high quality, moderately amplified music for grown-ups, with a weighting towards jazz and blues, but who knows - elements of funk, folk and maybe even country.

It all starts this Saturday night, at 10pm, with a gig by Hot Cafe, a string-based combo playing "gypsy jazz" - with a history dating back to the early 80s. We anticipate something pretty special.

Lemur Attack Force

Regular customers Aimee Whitcroft and Dane Foster are about to embark on an expedition involving the kind of ambition and daring that most of us can only dream of. They're forming Lemur Attack Force and heading to the charitable Mongol Rally 2012. They had a fundraising evening at the Hop Garden the other day and we may even try and stitch together some kind of similar effort to help them here before they leave in a couple of weeks. But in the meantime we encourage everyone to check out their site and see what they're about.


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