Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26th, 2015

Happy Birthday MJ

Michael Jackson was one of the most prominent figures in both the whisky and beer worlds. He had a passion and knowledge of malt beverages that infected thousands and helped launch the worldwide beer explosion that we're seeing today.

Sadly, Michael passed away in 2007 after privately suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than a decade.

Tomorrow is Michael Jackson's birthday, which since 2009 has been celebrated as International Whisk(e)y day - a day to remember Michael Jackson by raising a dram and money to fight the disease that took him.

Tomorrow, we'll be donating $2 for every dram of whisk(ey) purchased to Parkinson's New Zealand - along with all tips from the night.

We'll also be showing the recent doco on Michael's beery travels Beer Hunter: The Movie on our screens.

It's great reason for a post-work boiler maker.

8 Wired's First Sour

8 Wired’s first foray into sour beers was Grand Cru, a sour Quadrupel.
Soren took his ‘Sultan’ Quadrupel and aged it for a few years with some interesting bugs:

“Brewed in March 2011 and then laid to rest in used Pinot Noir, French Oak barrels from Grove Mill Winery. Brettanomyces and Pediococcus were added for extra funk.”
Luckily we had the foresight to buy some cellar stock of this impressive beer, which has been aging beautifully.

We're going to show it off this Saturday when we serve 150ml bottle pour for $7, so you can see where it all began.

The Doublenecks

This Saturday funky Improv meets Groove Classics from local legends Nick Granville (guitar & bass) and Lance Philip (drums & loops).
The music kicks off at 9.30pm and won't cost you a thing.


Our buddies over at Beer Without Borders are once again heading down to what is probably New Zealand's biggest beer festival, the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch.

I'll be there as well, helping them serve some of the 12,000 odd punters the greatest hits from the BwB catalogue.On the off-chance that you're heading to Chch for a reason other than GKBF this weekend, I highly recommend heading along. It's a great, chilled out day of delicious beer and food in the beautiful Hagley Park. If you're going, make sure to come and see us at the World of Beer Marquee.

Devil's Brew

In 2014 Coronado Brewing Company was named Champion Mid-Sized Brewing Co. and Brewmaster at the World Beer Cup and Devils Backbone Brewing Company capturing Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.
The pair of breweries decided to celebrate together, and in this industry collaborations are how it's done. This unholy coupling spawned the Devil’s Tale IPA.
Devil's Tale features Centennial and Mosaic hops, plus "a burst of woody rusticity" (whatever that means) from Northern Brewer hops.

You can get a sneak preview of this beer in bottles, but 5pm Tuesday we'll tap the very first keg of this beer at Hashigo.


If your heart has stopped pounding from Tuesday's tight semi-final by this Sunday, Hashigo will be a great place to (hopefully) see the Black Caps win their first world cup.

We'll be showing the big final live with commentary from 3.30pm, it's also a good day to exercise your 15% SOBA discount.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19th, 2015

Dumb and Slightly Dumber

Slightly Stuipid Stout is a smaller version of Coronado's imperial stout - Stupid Stout. Stupid Stout was Originally called 'Stoopid Stout' but, in what is becoming a far too regular occurrence, Coronado had to change the name to Stupid Stout because of a trademark clash. It turns out Lagunitas has the trademark for their 'Hop Stoopid Ale'. Perhaps we are indeed reaching "peak beer name."

Naming controversy aside, Slightly Stoopid Stupid Stout weighs in at just 3.8%ABV, considering the beer it's based on is 10%ABV this is quite the drop.

The brewery reckons it "lends itself to light roasty and chocolate notes with low hoppy bitterness and a medium light body leaving you with a light roasty finish."
Usually this beer is only available at the brewery taproom on Coronado Island, so we're stoked Beer Without Borders were able to source a couple of kegs.

There is literally only 40L of this beer in the country, so be here when we tap it on Tuesday at 5pm to ensure you don't miss out.

Hard to Pronounce

Mielcke & Hurtigkarl is an upmarket restaurant in Copenhagen - the kind that puts flower petals on the plate with tweezers.
Mikkeller has created a beer especially for this restaurant, also named Mielcke & Hurtigkarl.
To reflect the simple yet opulent dishes of the restaurant the beer is a simple Belgian Strong Golden ale, but it is aged in Château D’Yquem Barrels.

Wine buffs tell me that Château D’Yquem is considered one of the best (and most expensive) dessert wines in the world, which probably explains the high cost of this beer.

Usually a 375ml bottle of this beer would run you $38, but this Saturday you'll be able to experience it for just $11 per 125ml pour.
Oh, and apparently it's pronounced "mile-kuh ov hoo-tig-karl."

Vocal Vibes

More vocal excellence will be permeating the bar this Saturday, with Deanne 'Blitz' Kreig whipping out rhythm and jazz vocals along with John "Sting" Rae on drums and Ol' King Kreabsley with the organ.

The music kicks off at 9.30pm and won't cost you a penny or a cent.

New Beers Now

Want a new beer now? Okay! We've just got in a new collaboration IPA from Coronado and Devil's Backbone in the fridge - Devil's Tale IPA.

Devil's Backbone hail from the East Coast, West Virginia. The pair of breweries got together at a festival and thought it'd be neat to have the champion mid-size brewery from the World Beer Cup brew a beer with the champion mid-size brewery from the Great American Beer Festival.

It's a 7.5% IPA, with "bright citrus and tropical fruit character care of Centennial and Mosaic hops, plus a burst of woody rusticity from the Northern Brewer hops."

Another new collab of more local origins is also available now, with the new Fork and Brewer/Hawkshead Parallel Im-porter launched yesterday.
The spiel goes:

"Motueka and NZ Cascade hops have been liberally dosed into this wonderful Kiwi malt-driven beauty. Enough chocolaty malt to tickle the tonsils of the dark beer lovers & a cornucopia of juicy berry hop notes to please the hop fans."
It's about right too.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12th, 2015

Llamas Drink Free

Tonight we welcome another to the quickly expanding Wellington brewing community, with the launch of Mt Cook's Wild and Woolly.

I went into the details of W & W inlast week's update, but at that time the fourth and final launch beer remained a secret.

Readers of (ex-Hashigan, current Goldie) Dylan Jauslan's excellent blog The Bottleneck may recognise the name Silver Cat Angry Gummy Bear White Stout from Dylan's list "Top 20 Beers You Must Try to Put on Your Bucket List Before You Die".
The point of having this outlandish sounding and (at the time) fictional beer on the list was so no one could ever complete it. It might sound cynical, but really the blog is a brilliant dig at beer themed clickbait.

Wild and Woolly brewer Llew took this fictional beer as a challenge, and actually created it.

“SCAGBWS is a wheat stout fermented with a Belgian witbier yeast with the bonus of Haribo gummi bears added to the boil (wouldn’t you be angry if someone dumped you and your friends in a kettle full of boiling wort?)
It’s got a fabulous creamy head and mouthfeel, low roastiness for a stout, moderate Belgian yeast character and a clearly detectable flavour of gummi bears.”
Dylan took the news gracefully. Luckily there's barely 50L of this beer, so Dylan's list will remain unattainable to most.
SCAGBWS will be on tap from 5.30pm this afternoon, along with Complete Cock Up Belgian Pale Ale, Basilisk Citrus & Thai Basil Berliner Weisse and Pygmy Fruit Bat Chilli Mango Saison.

If you can't make it tonight, don't fret. We'll be saving a little bit of some of these beers for Saturday's Craft Beer College: Miracle of Malt\tasting, featuring none other then Llew himself.

You can book your place at this link or by emailing

New to the Lounge

A new six piece band makes their HZ lounge debut this Saturday. Clube Do Choro will be filling the bar with traditional form of Brazilian Jazz, that I'm told gave rise to Samba.
No, there won't be beads, and it won't cost you a dime to enjoy the music this Saturday at 9.30pm


Looking at Mexas Ranger’s ingredients list, you’d think it would be a disaster.

Mexas Ranger contains spices, almond milk, cocoa, chili, black beans & avocado leaves. For good measure it is then aged in Tequila Barrels.
However, in classic Mikkeller fashion, all of these ingredients end up integrating into a beautiful and intriguing 6.6% stout.
See how all those flavours work this Saturday, when you can grab a 125ml bottle pour for just $8.

Notorious B.E.E.R.

Yesterday a long awaited container of Californian beer arrived up the road at Beer Without Borders. Hooray!

Along with much needed restocks of crowd favourites, this shipment brings even more interesting seasonal beers from Coronado.

Try the first of these limited seasonals this Tuesday when Biggie Smalls Session IPA hits the tap.Described as "a prominently Simcoe and Mosaic hopped session IPA, tastes more like a hoppy pale ale, while carrying a lot of the fruitiness and citrus aspects that drinkers of heavier IPAs usually desire."

Biggie Smalls hits the taps at 5pm Tuesday. There was only 40L in this shipment, so don't miss out.

Grapefruit Sculpin!

The biggest crowd favourite of all, Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, arrived in 355ml bottle format in the above mentioned Cali shipment.

Also more cans of the brilliant Modern Times Blazing World IPA, and 650ml bottles of a new Modern Times seasonal IPA - City of the Sun.

All are in the fridge for your enjoyment today.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 5th, 2015

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Choice Bros is the brainchild of Kerry Gray - bearded rainbow overalls wearer, brewer and all round great guy.

A few weeks back we hosted his very traditional English pale ale 'Modern Love' on tap for a new release Tuesday.

This Tuesday will feature another of his beers, but the polar opposite of Modern Love.

On The Brain is a Peanut Butter and Raspberry English Ale. Yep, peanut butter and jam beer.

I was fortunate enough to try the other keg of this beer that Kerry made for Martinborough BrewDay, and I can confirm that it indeed does taste like peanut butter and jam on toast!

It manages to not be too cloying (ala Rogue Voodoo Doughnut beers), while still showing lots of interesting peanut and raspberry character.

How does one infuse beer with peanut flavour without ruining it with oils you ask?

Luckily Kerry has the sharing spirit of a homebrewer, and let me know that such a thing as 'peanut flour' exists. It is a by-product of peanut oil production, leftover after all of the oil has been extracted meaning you can add peanut solids to a beer without any oil! So Kerry tracked down this (very expensive) ingredient and added it to On The Brain to impart it's distinct nuttyness (yes I'm aware peanuts are legumes, jeez).

We managed to snag the only other remaining keg of On The Brain after the first was quickly conumed by BrewDay punters.

I'm guessing this keg will be just as popular, so make sure you're at the bar 5pm sharp this Tuesday to experience one of the most interesting local beers of the year.

Warkworth's New Claim to Fame

Over the past six months or so, 8 Wired have been slowly making the move from contract brewing at Renaissance in Blenheim to brewing on their own equipment in Warkworth.

This wasn't an easy task, with hundreds of barrels filled with wonderful sour and strong beers in storage needing to be transported northwards.
Thankfully the precious cargo made it in tact.

8 Wired's new brewing equipment started arriving in mid-december, and was ready to brew Warkworth's first large scale beer by late January.
'Begin as you mean to go on' is the saying, so in that spirit the first beer brewed on 8 Wired's shiny new kit was First Blood, an 8% Double Red IPA.

Rather than doing a release event at one location, Soren thought it would be best to share their first beer with everyone who made it possible by supporting 8 Wired over the years.

So on Tuesday along with On The Brain we'll be tapping our first keg of Warkworth-brewed 8 Wired in celebration of their milestone. Come get some!

Surf Funk Saturday

This Saturday's live music act comes courtesy of The Vincent Vega Trio.

They're bringing a hot blend of surf, funk, soul and blues with Chris Armour on guitar, Andy Russell with the drums and Nick Lissette on Bass.

They'll be kicking off at 9.30pm& and won't cost you a thing.

Bombs and Grenades

Bommen & Granaten is De Molen’s beery take on a dessert wine. It’s fitting then that this version has been aged in old wine barrels from the Bordeaux region.
However, at 15.2% ABV this beer is stronger than most dessert wines!

The brewery says:

“With 15% ABV is was more than obvious that we had to name this dessert beer Bombs and Grenades. The use of champagne yeast has had its effect on both flavour and body. There’s plenty of fruit like orange, tangerine and sweet apples. It’s powerful and full bodied but still easy going."

This Saturday only, instead of having to buy a whole bottle of this sweet as beer, you can grab a 150ml pour for $7.50 instead.

Introducing Wild & Woolly

Llew Bardecki has been a good friend of mine for years now. We met through homebrewing circles, and were quickly swapping brews and advice. I was always impressed with Llews innovative approach to brewing.

I'll always remember his homebrewed 'Zombie Apocalypse Beer' - a beer made only with ingredients you'd be able to loot from a supermarket in a zombie apocalypse. The best thing about it was that it tasted kinda like beer, but that's still impressive given the restrictions. I know where I'll be heading when the zombies come.

Naturally I was super stoked when I heard Llew was looking to open a wee commercial brewery to make his beers on a larger scale.

After months of searching, a suitable property for his 500L brewery was found in Mount Cook (in King St, behind pizza hutt). Llew's commercial venture was christened Wild and Woolly, (due to his love of llamas), and Annika of Tiamana Brewing joined him to make a the part-time operation more viable.

The wee 500L kit was assembled using much of Llews knowledge as an electrical engineer, and a lot of help from Annika and thier friends.

We're proud to be the venue to officially launch Wild and Woolly into the wild, with four of Llew's adventurous brews on tap Thursday next week (12 March).

On tap will be:

Pygmy Fruit Bat:

"Pygmy Fruit Bat table saison. At 3.6%abv it's a refreshing summer day drop. The rocotto peppers leap out at you on the nose, followed by a dry mouthfeel with a touch of mango and finishing with some chilli heat."

Complete Cock-Up
"Complete Cock Up pale ale is a collaboration brew with our friends at Wellington homebrew shop Brewtopia. This beer was the result of a terribly difficult brewday, but it's turned out fabulously. It's a 5% pale ale generously hopped with NZ Pacifica and Wai-Iti hops, then fermented with a blend of two Belgian ale yeasts, an American ale yeast, and even a bit of Brettanomyces for good measure. Lovely stuff!"

Basilisk Berliner Weisse
"Wonderfully refreshing Basilisk Spiced Berliner Weisse, with kaffir lime leaf, lemon zest and Thai basil"
Basilisk was the first beer brewed on the new 500L kit.

The fourth beer is still a secret, but I'm told it may contain gummy bears...

To celebrate the brewery opening us an Llew will be getting generous with the samples. So you'll definitely want to be here for the ceremonial first pour at 5pm Thursday March 12.

Meet the Wild & Woolly Man

Two days after the Wild & Woolly brewery launch, we'll be hosting a Craft Beer College tasting featuring Llew himself (and his beers). Llew will be chatting about his beers, the difficulties of opening a new brewery and of course, malt.

The Miracle of Malt with Wild and Woolly Brewing is "a celebration of the miracle of malt and the contribution it makes to the flavour and colour of beer. You will taste seven beers that will all showcase the importance of malt in the brewing process and highlight the impact on ABV."

Book your spot at the above link or by emailing