Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012

New Zealand Brewing's Biggest Night... Tomorrow's Events... Saturday's Events... New Release Tuesday... Upcoming Treats...

New Zealand Brewing's Biggest Night

Yes of all nights of the year, tonight probably holds the most excitement and intrigue for the well informed New Zealand beer lover. Because tonight we give two of the year's most eagerly awaited beers their Wellington (in one case) and Worldwide (in the other) debuts.

The world premiere is of the latest Funk Estate experimental beer (of which only around 80 litres were made). It's an "Imperial" Black IPA weighing in at a hefty 9% ABV. In an effort to win over the all important sniggering teenager demographic, Shiggy, Dylan, Jordan and Dan have decided to call this beer Clusterfunk.

At approximately the same time we'll be putting on another small release beer. This was brewed by Spotswood's best brewer - Joseph Wood - to be the 365th and last beer of Alice Galletly's celebrated Beer For A Year blog. Last Tuesday Auckland's finest were out in force to congratulate Alice and try the beer and this week it's Wellington's turn. Alice is flying in at some point in the evening so will be on hand to receive congratulations and adulation. And even later in the evening we're expecting the brewer to make an appearance.

The beer itself is called 365 (of course) and is a big, delicious, rich Imperial Red Ale.

Finally, allowing around five hours for everyone's giddiness over these beers to die down, we'll host our first ever Thursday night live musical performance. And it's a pretty impressive act to launch with. Local blues institution, Darren Watson, will be (in his own words) "playing nothing but VERY old school blues and rhythm & blues with harmonica ace Terry Casey".

The music starts at 10pm in the lounge, goes for around two hours and there is no charge.

And by the way, the Brewer's Guild Awards are on up the road.

Tomorrow's Events

By the standards of this week, tomorrow will be relatively uneventful for us. On the surface at least. A number of our staff will be up at the stadium helping make Beervana go smoothly. Look out for certain familiar faces along with the volunteer staff at the Wellington, Central and Australian bars.

We'll be open as usual and we'll also be hosting live music. This will also be a first for us for a Friday evening. At 10pm in the lounge it will be a return performance by Neil Billington and Bullfrog Rata. Their gig a month or so ago was one of the most popular in our short history as a live music venue. We expect another storming night of beer-friendly Chicago blues.

Saturday's Events

Saturday is another packed day for us. While Beervana continues we know that not everyone is going to every session and not everyone likes crowds, so we've got alternative events here. During the afternoon, from around 2pm, brewer Graeme Mahy of 666 Brewing will be in the bar fielding questions and compliments about his beer, and specifically about Invidia - his brand new "brown saison", which will be on tap at the same time.

A little later in the day, probably from around 6pm, banker-turned-brewer Alistair Turnbull will be on the premises as we put several of his Lobethal beers on tap at once.

Later in the evening many of us will be exceedingly glad that our premises aren't just one big room. Because at 10pm a certain rugby game will be on one or perhaps both of our tellies, while in the lounge The Nick Granville Trio will complete our triple header of late night blues gigs.

There's nothing special scheduled for Sunday but experience tells us to expect a steady flow of pretty jaded brewers and beer tourists coming in for a restorative beverage before heading to the airport.

New Release Tuesday

The fact that many of our regulars will be sporting olympic hangovers next week is no reason for us to shirk our duty of putting the most interesting roster of drinks available in front of our loyal customers. So our favourite weekly institution - the New Release Tuesday - will be back next week with a compelling offering.

It's our first ever beer from Australian contract brewery Doctor's Orders. Their approach is a little like that of Yeastie Boys before they started making some year-round beers. Each batch is an event in its own right, usually with a fair amount of innovation involved. Next Tuesday's beer is Plasma.

It's a "White IPA", meaning, very simply, that it's beer with a malt recipe resembling that of a particularly strong witbier, but the hops of an IPA. It's another style that has emerged recently as brewers hybridise established styles in the search for interesting and challenging outcomes. We believe (without checking, cos that would take forever) that this is the first White IPA we've ever served at Hashigo Zake.

Plasma goes on tap at 5pm next Tuesday.

Upcoming Treats

A lot of the interesting beers waiting in the wings have been discussed above - Clusterfunk, 365, various Lobethal beers and 666 Invidia. There are a few other goodies waiting in the keg room too, that will make it on if demand for quality tap beer is as strong as predicted over the coming days and nights:

  • Green Flash West Coast IPA.
  • Nøgne Ø/Renaissance/8 Wired Ø For Awesome. Yes you read that right - the bottles sold out months ago but we think we know where a keg might be hiding.
  • Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout. Yes, why not?
  • Townshend Foreign Extra Stout.


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