Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31st, 2014


Mata have been revamping their beer offerings over the last couple of years, and I have been consistently impressed.
Their Tumeke! IPA, Hip-Hop Pils and Blondie Wheat are regular residents of our taps, their new Mataccino Coffee Chocolate Vanilla Stout is amazing (and on tap now...), and this Tuesday you'll be able to taste what I believe will be a new regular resident - Matawhaka Imperial IPA.
The brewing of Matawhaka maxed out Mata's equipment, containing easily the most hops they've ever used in a single beer, while the malt filled the mash tun to capacity.

A menagerie of hops were used, sourcing five different varieties from New Zealand (Riwaka), Australia (Galaxy, Summer) and the USA (Amarillo, Palisade).
Weighing in at 8% ABV we're expecting a big mouth filling IPA backed up by massively aromatic and bitter hops.

The only way to find out for sure is to be here on Tuesday at 5pm when it goes on tap for the first time!

Dirty Filthy Blues

A new act to the HZ lounge premieres this Saturday.

The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are a blues trio consisting of Ben Wilcock, Rick Cranson and Andy Laking. They're promising a night of "Down and dirty if not outright filthy Blues", which sounds pretty great - I think...

The show kicks off at 10pm, with no cover charge as usual.

A Squadron of Pelicans

Turns out the name for a group of pelicans is a "squadron". So that means tomorrow from midday, a squadron of Pelican beers will be taking over the majority of our taps
As mentioned last week, Pelican Brewery's beers are making a return after years of absence from NZ. This is thanks to Beer Without Borders bringing them in all the way from Pacific City, Oregon.
The squadron will consist of:
  • Imperial Pelican Ale IIPA 8% (formerly known as India Pelican Ale)
  • Kiwanda Cream Ale 5.1% (Gold at World Beer Cup)
  • Doryman's Dark Ale 6.2%
  • Silverspot IPA 6.5% (Silver at World Beer Cup)
  • MacPelican's Scottish Ale 5%
  • Tsunami Stout 7.5%
We'll be offering a 'multi trip ticket' of sorts for people wanting to work their way through the range. You'll be able to get four half glasses of any four different pelican tap beers with this ticket, which will only cost you $35.

Providing food as amazing as the beers tomorrow night will be the Fire Truck Food Truck. As the weather has warmed up a bit, they'll be back in the parking lot with the big red truck. You'll still be able to order firetruck food over the bar, and it'll be brought to your table. Food such as:

Lamb kibbehs (meat ball type things) with spiced aubergine and a garlic aioli.
BBQ pork with poached taro, cavlo nero and miso
Tofu, poached taro, cavlo nero and miso (veg)

I asked Kim and Will to try and source some Pelican steaks, but they didn't think that was legal.

Border Post

Remember that guy Dominic who used to write these things? Him and the team at Beer Without Borders have just launched a similar-but-different fortnightly newsletter, Border Post
It contains reviews of some of BwB's products and is a great way to keep informed of the latest local and international beers on the market. You'll even get some insider info on beers to look out for in future months. 

Subscribe to Border Post here, then catch up on issues one, two and three.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24th, 2014

Pelican No Longer Extinct

Back in 2012 we managed to secure a small shipment of beer from the tiny Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, Oregon (population: 1035).
We showcased a couple of their brews at that year's Pacific Beer Expo, and stocked bottles at the bar. Pelican's beer was incredibly popular, and was snapped up quickly by our discerning customers.
Good news then, that our wholesale buddies over at Beer Without Borders have managed to secure another load of Pelican Beer, which arrived this week.
This is an impressive achievement, since the small brewery's beer has been in ridiculously high demand since winning Champion Small Brewery & Brewmaster at this year's World Beer Cup. That's kinda like winning the Olympics of beer.

To celebrate Pelican's rise from extinction, we've chosen to put all the beers from this latest shipment on tap on Friday the 1st of August. 
From opening at 12pm, we'll have on tap:

  • Imperial Pelican Ale IIPA 8% (formerly known as India Pelican Ale)
  • Kiwanda Cream Ale 5.1% (Gold at World Beer Cup)
  • Doryman's Dark Ale 6.2%
  • Silverspot IPA 6.5%
  • MacPelican's Scottish Ale 5%
  • Tsunami Stout 7%
Worried about trying all of them? You'll be able to purchase a 'multi trip ticket' of sorts, entitling you to four small pours of pelican beers of your choosing.

If you can't make it on Friday and have a case of FOMO, don't fret. We're having a Pelican preview this coming (new release) Tuesday. 
Silverspot IPA will be on tap from 5pm Tuesday, to give you a taste of what to expect on Friday.
Silverspot IPA is a new addition to the Pelican range, available in 6 packs over in the states and comes from their new larger production brewery. It is an English IPA, featuring a blend of Sterling, Fuggle and Meridian hops giving herbal, floral, spicy and tangerine notes. We're expecting it to be quite different from the American IPAs we're used to.
Oh, it also won a silver medal at this year's World Beer Cup...

To summarise - Silverspot IPA from 5pm Tuesday, and the whole Pelican Range on tap from 12pm Friday August 1. 

Boogie Rhinos

Rhino Boogie are back in the HZ lounge this Saturday.
They always make some great tunes when they hit our lounge, and this Saturday will be no different. Their unique mix of live horns and DJ sampling is something to behold.

The show kicks off at 10pm, with no cover charge as usual.


Good news for hungry people: we now offer pies in two sizes. The original 'snack' size pie that we've been doing for nearly 5 years is still available, but if that's not enough we now have the 'Large' sized pie, which takes twice as much filling and pastry to make.
After much product testing I can verify that a large sized pie is very filling. Eating a large pie and a small pie after taking a photo of them is ridiculously filling.
You may have also noticed a change to our dumpling menu recently. We've begun to make Wild Pork & Bok Choy and Cumin Spiced Lamb dumplings on site, reducing costs significantly. This means we can now put two extra dumplings on your plate for the same price. We think they're pretty damn tasty too.


Contrary to this article, I have not taken over ownership of Hashigo Zake..... Yet... :-p


After a successful trial run last Friday, we'll be offering warm Peckhams Mulled Cider on Friday and Saturday (while stocks last)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17th, 2014

8 Wired Goes Wireless

Brettanomyces or "brett" is a wild airborne yeast found naturally on the skins of fruits, and is generally thought of as an infection when found in beer.
However, before sanitation pretty much every beer contained brett and would change beer's flavour over time. Brett was finally identified as the culprit in 1904, and was named by its discoverers as "British Fungus" or brettanomyces in Greek.
Brewers now try to avoid brett in their beers, as its unique flavour is not wanted in most beer styles and brett is notoriously hard to remove from brewing equipment.
However some styles of beer actually depend because of the unique character it creates(brett's flavour has been described as 'sweaty horse blanket').
8 Wired has created two new pale ales which harness brett to the fullest extent possible in the new Wireless Series of beers fermented with 100% brettanomyces.
This coming Tuesday Hashigo Zake will have Wireless IPA (6.5%) and Wireless Farmhouse Pale Ale (4.5%) on tap side by side for the very first time. Using only brett to ferment a beer is a rare move by any brewery, so these two beers are likely to be unlike any other pale ale you've had before.

The brett funk kicks off at 5pm Tuesday the 22nd!

Reuben Bradley's Death Hoes

This Saturday's live music takes a turn for the different, as Reuben Bradley, Daniel Hayles and Nick Tipping eschew jazz for music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies.
The plan is to stretch out the music and improvise as they go, sounds like it's gonna be a wild night!
Reuben and co kick off at 10pm, and this gig is free as always!

Fire Truck Rapid Response Hunger Unit

Tomorrow our tiny kitchen will be taken over by the wonderful Fire Truck food truck duo of Will and Kim. We've just received the menu and it looks delicious:

- Jungle curry smoked beef shin with aubergine and Vietnamese mint

- BBQ wild goat with green tea noodles and Kim chi

- Smoked and pickled seasonal veg with pumpkin and sunflower seeds

The guys will be in our kitchen from 5pm tomorrow, so you won't have to go out into the freezing cold to get your bbq on.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10th, 2014

Real Ale Returns

It's been a wee while since we've had proper cask conditioned beer on the pumps, but this week that's all going to change.
Martin Townshend is back from holiday, and has built his stocks up enough to send us another shipment of casks.
Look out for Old House ESB, and his Game of Thrones themed seasonal Kings Landing Scotch Ale on handpump with our distinctive cask ale badge. This year's Kings landing has been beefed up from 5.6% to 6.8%.

As well as the Townshend casks, we've also managed to acquire another cask of the legendary Cassels & Sons Milk Stout. This beer won a gold medal and trophy for the cask conditioned category in 2011's BrewNZ awards, so it has pedigree.

Fitzy's Fitzy

Our mates at Fitzpatrick's up in Tauranga have been busy brewing, and we've got another shipment of their delicious beer heading our way.
Among this shipment is a new brew, and a bit of a mouthfull - Fitzpatrick's Fitzy's Special. This is an English style special bitter, similar to a famous session bitter from Dunedin, and weighs in at only 4%. Great for a sociable pint or two. 
Fitzy's Special will be on tap at 5pm Tuesday.
Heading down along with Fitzy's Special are a few other of the Fitzpatrick's range, so look out for Fitzpatrick's Imperial Porter, American Brown, Pale Ale, IPA and KaffaLime Wit on tap in the coming weeks.


This Saturday the JB3 trio are back in the HZ lounge bringing the Boogaloo and New Orleans Funk - with Reuben Bradley on drums, Callum Allardice playing guitar and Jake Baxendale on the sax.
Catch them in the lounge from 10pm this Saturday – for free as always!

New in the Fridge

We've had a few exciting new additions to the fridge recently. Panhead's recent release Vindicator American Strong has found its way into bottles. We've had a re-stock of the brilliant Rogue Double Chocolate Stout in its distinctive red 750ml bottle. Fresh in from Coronado is their Black IPA Black Sails (it's amazing), and bottles of last week's new release Sock Knocker IIPA.


Our excellent Android app has recently had a small update which ties in with our new SOBA discount of 15% off tap beer Sun-Weds.
If you have the latest version, and are a SOBA member check the "Are you a SOBA member? "option under the settings to see what your beer will cost you with the 15% SOBA discount applied.

You might also notice options you were unaware of - I like using the notifications based on location to manage my FOMO. 
A big thanks to Robin Sheat for creating and maintaining the app out of his love of good beer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3rd, 2014

The Red, White and Blue

It all happens tomorrow, Wellington's biggest and best celebration of American beer. Our taps are handed over to US brewers, the bar is covered with a thick coat of red, white and blue and we serve classic US barbecue meat.

The Fire Truck food truck will be sorting out the latter, bringing some simple yet delicious bbq food. Tomorrow you'll be able to choose between bbq pork shoulder or beef brisket, served with Apple and walnut slaw, pickles and a sourdough roll.

It's been quite a while since we've had kegs from Speakeasy, and tomorrow will be your first chance to try the latest shipment of Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA on tap.
Along with Big Daddy, we'll have on tap: Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, Pescadero Pils, Grunion Pale Ale & Sextant Stout (on hand pump); Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter & Golden Gate Gose; Coronado Orange Ave Wit and Rogue Chocolate Stout.
If some of those go, we've got other US goodies in reserve to put on afterwards - full details here.


The sexy Mexican is back. Carlos Navae Quartet will be playing sensual Afro-Cuban Jazz, Soul, Funk and Caribbean beats in the HZ lounge this Saturday. Expect good vibes, with a little salsa dancing on the side.
Catch him from 10pm – free as usual!

Back to School

The first semester of Craft Beer College just wrapped up, and now that you've graduated your first year courses it's time to move on to 200 level.
Craft Beer College recently announced their new series of more advanced tastings, focusing on more advanced styles of beer.
These are:
Passion for Pale (Ale)
Saturday 12 July, 2pm

Dark and Delicious
Saturday 9 August, 2pm

Belgica: Belgian-style Beers
Saturday 13 September, 2pm

Super Sours
Saturday 11 October, 2pm

Big and Barrel Aged
Saturday 8 November, 2pm
The first tasting in this series, Passion for Pale (Ale) is next Saturday, and places are still available - contact Steph at

Mikkeller Goes Big

Mikkeller is known for pushing the envelope in brewing, and has been a big player in changing peoples perception of what beer is and can be.
He's achieved this by doing things with beer which many would have thought impossible, and actually pulling it off. His "Big Bad Barley Wine" series is a good example of this.

The first barley wine Mikkel brewed was "Big Bad", a classic sweet, malty barley wine at the fairly standard strength of 10% ABV.  Following that was "Big Worse", a very similar beer but at 12% ABV. Then came "Big Worst", pushing the ABV up to 17.6%. Then, running out of superlatives, Mikkeller's latest in the series is Big Worster Barley Wine, which hits the ceiling at 18.4% ABV.

As if having a barley wine the strength of port wasn't enough, Mikkel then aged Big Worster in various wine barrels. You may remember the Malaga barrel aged version from X-Ale - this Tuesday you will be able to experience the Chardonnay barrel aged version of this extreme beer, on tap.
Due to its extreme strength we will be offering this beer in extra-small serves of 150ml. There was only one keg of this beer brought into the country, so don't miss this chance to taste a beer from the edge of innovation. Mikkeller Chardonnay Barrel Aged Big Worster will be on tap from 5pm Tuesday.