Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012

Pacific Beer Expo This Weekend... New Release Tuesday... Live Music This Week... Día de los Muertos... US Presidential Election...

Pacific Beer Expo This Weekend

As this email goes out there are just under 48 hours until the first session of the second ever Pacific Beer Expo. At this time last year we had more or less announced every beer in the lineup but this year things are a little different. This is partly because there has been uncertainty about some of our international orders. And this year we're including far fewer of the great and iconic beers that we frequently have on tap at Hashigo Zake in favour of truly unusual or rare offerings.

And now with just days to go we have to announce two pieces of bad news about this year's lineup. Orders from Japan's Baird Brewery and Singapore's Jungle Brewery are not going to reach us in time. This is a big blow for the geographical diversity of the lineup and for this we apologise. Customers at Hashigo Zake over the next couple of months will get to drink the beers that would have been in our lineup and will have to imagine still being in the Boatshed as they sip.

But we still have complete faith in the quality and stylistic diversity of this year's offering. And here are some reasons why:

  • We have a preview, not only of a new local beer but a new brewery. It's Fitzpatrick's Brewing Company of Tauranga. Their founder, Craig Fitzpatrick, has been good enough to sell us a keg of beer from an early trial at their brand new 500L brewery - Fitzpatrick's American Amber Ale. Craig wants it made clear that this beer is no more than an early trial, but those of us who are familiar with Craig's work as a home brewer predict great things for the brewery.
  • 8 Wired have provided an early sample of a future release - Barrel Aged Imperial Big Smoke.
  • Wellington's own ParrotDog have a brand new beer receiving it's debut on Saturday - SleuthHound Scotch Ale.
  • Renaissance have sent us a keg of a pilot batch of a future release - Red IPA.
  • Liberty's Joseph Wood recently enquired what "yakima" might mean if it were a Japanese word. One possible answer is "burning devil". Inspired by this he has brewed a one-off small batch of 焼魔, or Yaki Ma. It's an imperial version of Yakima Monster, with most ingredients more or less doubled and worthy of the name.
  • Being from New York State, Southern Tier aren't exactly a Pacific brewery, but they are from a Pacific country. And in lieu of products from our Asian suppliers we're going to stretch the point. So from Southern Tier we will have two of the most outrageously sweet, drinkable and potent beers ever brewed - Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Creme Brulee Imperial Stout.
  • Mike's Brewery in Taranaki have brewed a new beer for us - it's a white IPA that they're calling Great Wit. We're also raiding the far corner of our cool store to dig out a keg of Mike's Whisky Porter

We've now named most of the 32 beers that will be on offer on Saturday and Sunday. There are still one or two surprises that may be worth the price of admission on their own.

Time for a few "public service announcements" regarding the Pacific Beer Expo.

  • Many of you chose to collect your ticket(s) from Hashigo Zake but then our web store rather stupidly asked you to give a shipping address. In these cases we have kept your tickets here for collection. If this or any other complication has left customers confused about where your tickets are, please reply to this email.
  • Any tickets still awaiting collection at Hashigo Zake 30 minutes before the festival session starts will be transferred to the Boatshed for collection at the door.
  • Saturday's session is sold out and we aren't holding any tickets back for door sales. (Having said that we are getting a trickle of tickets returned for various reasons and whenever this happens they are put back on sale.) At the time of writing there remain a number of tickets for Sunday's session. If these don't sell out in advance then there may be door sales.

New Release Tuesday

This weekend's festival won't slow down our programme of new releases every Tuesday evening. We just took delivery of some big orders from Nøgne Ø, Mikkeller, Waldhaus and Rogue which give us all sorts of options for interesting releases in the coming weeks.

So next Tuesday it's a new Nøgne Ø beer with a difference. It's a collaboration between Nøgne Ø and a certain brewer who visited New Zealand some months ago at the invitation of a Japanese corporate brewery. His name is Spike Buckowski and he was one of the founders of the Terrapin Brewery in Athens, Georgia. The beer in question is their Imperial Rye Porter. It will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday and available in bottles soon.

Live Music This Week

Blues return this week in the form of the Nick Granville Trio. They play in the lounge from 10pm.

Día de los Muertos

Last year Garage Project created an instant tradition when they released Day of the Dead, a chilli chocolate dark lager with agave syrup on November 1st. It was one of the most popular beers in the 24/24 programme. So in 2012 they've set out to build on the tradition.

Earlier this year they made Double Day of the Dead and a portion of that batch has been ageing in bourbon barrels. A fresh batch of the original Day of the Dead will be ready for release on November 1st this year. They've also brewed a small batch of a completely new beer also referencing the tradition of Día de los Muertos, that will be released on November 1st as well. (More on this in the coming weeks.)

We suggest keeping November the 1st free.

US Presidential Election

A few months ago, rumours emerged that within the White House beer was being brewed and served at functions there. A petition was started to get the recipe or recipes released. And eventually White House staff relented. Two recipes are available for anyone to download here.

Now the US Presidential Election is less than three weeks away and vote counting will take place on the afternoon of November 7, New Zealand time. We understand that some people find the ordeal of vote-counting, vote-count-reporting and televised punditry compelling entertainment. We're happy to assist such people by putting our Sky subscription and internet connection to good use that day and, if necessary, that evening. So our thoughts naturally turn to the question of what beer should be consumed at such a time?

Like a paparazzo's flash the answer came - White House Honey Porter! Now the White House hasn't been in touch to discuss exporting, so we needed to take their recipe, find a replacement for White House honey, and have a crack. This is exactly what happened this morning at Garage Project brewery, when our own Dave and Dylan were given the keys to the pilot brewery and mashed in presidentially. Which would have sounded much saucier in the Clinton era.

All going well we'll have a keg or two of White House Honey Porter on tap on the afternoon of November 7th. In the interests of bipartisanship we may put Coronado Idiot IPA on beside it.


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