Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6, 2012

Beer Decadence... More Beer Decadence... Tropical Beer... Music This Week... Christmas Rituals... Something Free!...

Beer Decadence

Way back in late 2011 a certain company specialising in the production of RTDs and green bottle beer that we'll call erm... "Independent" launched a beer brand that we'll call ahm... "Boundary Road". As part of an early brand-building exercise they enlisted volunteer tasters who would later receive a letter with a $5 note paperclipped to it, a little like this.

Many of us were puzzled by this practice of signing up members of the public then just sending out five bucks as reward - an amount that on its own was token but if done 22,000 times dwarfs the annual advertising budget of most of New Zealand's craft breweries. Since Boundary Road didn't seem to need to the cash, Garage Project invited recipients to donate their Hillaries to a Garage Project "fermenter fund".

Now the eventual use that the collected monies were put to will be explained next week. But in the meantime Garage Project invites those who passed on their Boundary Road notes to remind us who you are by getting in touch (replying to this email will do). And maybe leave a little of the evening of December 18 free.

More Beer Decadence

Allegedly the Mayan calendar ends next Friday (December 21) and the world's going to explode. Liberty Brewing have taken this little understood threat seriously and are inviting us to accept the planet's fate and drink a beer fit for the end of the world. Although going by reports from New Plymouth this beer's yeast doesn't appreciate the urgency of the situation and is taking longer than expected to ferment out. But Joe is confident that by Friday December 21 his La Fin du Temps strong saison will be ready to drink.

Now for many of you the 21st will be your last day of work for 2012. (Perhaps it was the upheaval that would be caused by the sudden departure of most of New Zealand's workforce on December 21st that clouded the view of the future for the Mayans, inadvertently triggering today's confusion.) It seems a perfect circumstance for a radical, big new beer from the extraordinary Liberty brewery.

Tropical Beer

Our next Tuesday New Release is another from Singapore's Jungle Beer. In Singapore's climate it seems their fruit-infused wheat beers are enormously popular, to the extent that there are several variants. And international visitors frequently comment on how Singapore-like Wellington's early summer is. Tragically we missed out on the durian-flavoured beer, but we did pick up a couple of others, including this week's new release - Tropical Wheat - Pink Guava and Soursop.

Now before anyone thinks we've sold out and are stocking beer-flavoured alcopops in the style of Stone's notorious (and fictional) Extreme Lemony-Lime, there's another side to this beer. It turns out that Soursop is something of a wonder-fruit with cancer-curing powers. We look forward to demand for this beer resembling the great 1999 mussel-rush.

And speaking of beers perfect for the Wellington, ahem, summer, it was about a year ago that a visit by Nøgne Ø's Kjetil led to the release of Summer Sommer, an attempt by him and Garage Project to create a southern hemisphere Christmas beer, using rye malt and pohutakawa honey. For a tiny batch of beer it over-achieved, picking up a trophy for Best Speciality beer at the Australian International Beer Awards earlier this year. There was even a video made.

Next week Garage Project release the first large batch of Summer Sommer. We look forward to putting it on tap, and if pieces fall into place it may back up our fruity, wheaty friend in Tuesday's new release slot.

Incidentally there are hopes that a batch of Summer Sommer will be brewed at Nøgne Ø some time in 2013.

Music This Week

On Saturday night The X-Ray Catz return to mine the mineral-rich ground beneath the meeting point of rock and roll, rockabilly and swing.

We'd like to offer discounted admission to people with dancing shoes, but there's no charge to start with. From 10pm.

End of Year Rituals

This will be our business's fourth Christmas & New Year period since opening and over the years our attitude to the holiday season hasn't changed. And that is that our duty is to maintain as consistent a service as possible for our regular customers. So apart from Christmas Day, when we're legally required to stay closed, we'll be opening as usual at noon every day. And we will not apply any of those annoying holiday surcharges.

Experience tells us that new year revelry and quality beer don't necessarily go hand in hand and we've learned not to expect New Year's Eve to be a big night for us. Nevertheless we owe it to our customers to provide an alternative to whatever it is you call what goes on in your average Courtenay Place establishment. So we will have live music on New Year's Eve from the Nick Granville Trio.

Our annual survey, which we believe leads to the most reliable and considered report on what's good in New Zealand craft brewing, will be back very early in the new year. (Because no-one would be stupid enough to choose Best Of 2012 awards before the end of the year, would they?)

Something Free!

Thanks to Sky TV we have a couple of massive "Summer of Cricket" posters. Free to a good home.


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