Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26th, 2016

Learn To Count with Rogue Ales

If you've been hanging out for some new Oregonian beers, your wait is almost over.

Arriving in Wellington today is a container load of beer fresh  from Rogue, Pelican and Gigantic. Including Rogue's exciting new numbered series of IPAs and a couple of huge beers from Gigantic.
The elves down at Beer Without Borders need a few days to prepare the bottles for sale in New Zealand (ie. put a tiny sticker on thousands of bottles), so we should have a fridge update next week.
In the meantime, we've planned a new tasting two weeks from now to show off this most recent arrival.

Rogue's numbered IPA series is begging for a vertical tasting, and it is our pleasure to oblige on Wednesday June 8th.
The series features different combinations of Rogue's proprietary hop varieties grown at their own hop garden. Namely: Revolution, Rebel, Newport, Independent, Alluvial, Freedom, Liberty and Yaquina. The beers increase in strength as well as hop varieties, with the session 4 Hop IPA  up to the Imperial 8 Hop IPA.
We're throwing in Rogue's 19 Colonies mead, because it's interesting and has a number in it.
Also featured in the tasting will be three new beers from Gigantic.
There's Holy Oak, a bourbon barrel aged sour ale made in collaboration with Magic Rock from the U.K.
The Business is a straight up 6% pale ale using British malts and plenty of U.S. hops. And we've finally gotten a hold of Gigantic's legendary 8 hour boil barley wine: Massive!

Here's the full list:
  • Rogue 4 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 6 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 7 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 8 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 19 Colonies mead
  • Gigantic The Business Pale Ale
  • Gigantic /Magic Rock Holy Oak Boubon Sour
  • Gigantic MASSIVE! barley wine
The tasting happens at 6pm on Wednesday the 8th of June, and will only set you back $40.
You can book you place at cultbeerstore now, or over the bar next time you're in.

Get Your Gose On!

The Freigeist beers seemed to go down a treat at last week's launch - but I was in Melbourne and missed out.
I guess it's lucky for me that this Saturday's bottle pour is a trio of Freigeist Gose - what a coincidence!

Freigeist make several versions of their Geisterzug Gose (a Gose being a salty, sour wheat beer), and we've got bottles of three: Geisterzug OriginalGeisterzug with Quince and Geisterzug with Rhubarb.

"Based on a recipe dating back at least six hundred years, this is Freigeist’s quirky version of the nearly-extinct traditional sour beer of Leipzig. “Geisterzug” (“Ghost Train”) spruced gose is unusually complex, funky, and full-bodied, the perfect modern-day medieval German ale."

This Saturday you can try a 200ml flight of each Geisterzug for $17 - thats the price of one bottle! Geek out with us and compare the quinced and rhubarbed versions to the original.

Come on down from midday Saturday and get your gose on! (while stocks last)

Licorice is the new Coriander

The final NRT beer from Danish To Øl in their second NZ shipment is a Witbier with an adjunct usually reserved for stouts and porters.

Wit Is The New Black is a 6% Belgian style witbier, but replaces the usual coriander seed and citrus zest with licorice root and Australian hops.

"The use of liquorice gives the beer a bitter-sweet, almost anise like flavour as well as some colour, and we dry hopped it with Vic Secret and Ella to add a subtle sweet fruit flavour to balance it out."

​​​​​​​We're tapping Wit Is The New Black at 5pm this Tuesday, wear something colourful!

Øops, Nearly Forgot

In all of last week's German excitement I forgot to mention the other European new arrivals that came in on the same shipment.

Some new gems from the Danish To Øl are now gracing our fridge, ready for your enjoyment.

Back in stock is the people's choice from the To Øl  tasting: Gose to Hollywood - Orange Gose.

Then we've got three new barrel aged beers: Peardon My French continues To Øl's puntastic naming tradition, and is a Saison aged in Sauternes barrels with pears. This one comes in a sexy 750ml bottle, great for sharing.

There's also the White Wine Barrel Aged Snowball saison, and a bourbon barrel aged version of To Øl's massive 10.1% ABV coffee stout: Goliat.
All great beers to sup with friends in the warm basement on a cold Autumn weekend.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12th, 2016

Øl The Way From Denmark

Cue the profanity filters, To Øl are back!

Beer Without Borders is on the cusp of recieveing a fresh shipment from Europe, with plenty of new To Øl beers on board.

The first of the new To Øl beers to hit the taps this Tuesday is the Grisette from their 'Fuck Art' series of farmhouse ales: Fuck Art - The Heathens Are Coming!

The guys at To Øl have invented a rich back story for this beer:
"The heathens are coming! Viking raiders landing ashore close to some poor French monks, who was trying to brew a rustic grisette type beer. The vikings brought Rye from Scandinavia as well as Simcoe and Galena Hops from their new Colonial adventures in the Americas. The Monks tried to stop the Vikings, but they threw away the monks, stole all their livestock, ate all their food and brewed a fantastic well balanced beer. Sweet spicy notes from the rye mixed with fruity hop varieties, echoing grapefruit, all rounded up by the Brettanomyces.
Then the Vikings took the beer back to Scandinavia, forgot the beer, formed a new country called Denmark, converted to Christianity and then we found the beer 1100 years later. Amazing!"

Grisette is the historical beer style of the Belgian miners of the 1600's, just as Saison was the beer of the farmers. As mentioned in the fable, this particular grisette is hopped with fruity Galena & Simcoe hops, and fermented with our favourite wild yeast; brettanomyces.

The Heathens arrive this Tuesday at 5pm.

Delayed Deutsche Bier

The afore mentioned European shipment should arrive tomorrow afternoon. The issue with that is our beer for the Monarchy/Freigeist launch is on the same shipment.

So sadly we've had to push back the launch another week to next Friday May 20th. But what's another week after 500 years of creative supression?

However with the shipment now about to arrive we can provide a bit more information about next Friday's launch.

On tap from Germany we'll have The Monarchy Methusalem (10% sour/strong /hoppy altbier), Freigeist Geisterzug Gose (5.2% salty gose) and Freigeist Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer (6% smoky sour ale).

Wellington's own Tiamana Brewery has put together a special brew in support of the German brewers pushing back against the Reinheitsgebot:
The Monarchy Methusalem (10% sour/strong /hoppy altbier), Freigeist Geisterzug Gose (5.2% salty gose) and Freigeist Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer (6% smoky sour ale)..

With Fermentedalcoholicbeverage Tiamana's brewer Annika set out to break as many of the purity rules as possible. So as a result it is an 8% ABV barrel-fermented Milk Stout topped off with Black Doris Plum.

Along with the three German beers we'll be offering all four beers for the special price of $30. So you're not stuck with four beers at once we'll be issueing 'four trip tickets' of sorts, which we'll stamp for each beer.

Bottle Pour Saturday Returns

Bottle Pour Saturdays are back!
We're kicking off with an epic trio of barrel aged beers from North End Brewing.

This Saturday from midday you'll be able to try all three of North End's Salt & Wood series of beers side-by-side for just $20.

We'll be doing a 125ml pour of each of:

Baby Grand Flemish Red Ale 2015 (Bordeaux Blend BA, 6%)
Rivage Brux Reserve 2015 Farmhouse Ale (Sauvignon Blanc BA, 6.2%)
Cuvee de Moor Morroccan 2015 Quadrupel (Pinot Noir BA. 13.3%).

The flights start at midday, and are only available on Saturday so don't miss out!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 5th, 2016

Ramen, Fresh Hops, Tomorrow

You know what you're going to be drinking in tomorrow's fresh hop takeover, now find out what you'll be eating.

Ramen shop have sent through their menu and it's looking mouthwatering.

From 5pm tomorrow Ramen shop is taking over our little kitchen, and serving up:

Kimchi $5
Sesame Crisps $4
Mixed pickle $6
Shoyu Shittake Ramen $12

Ramen Additions:
24 hour pork belly $3
Egg $1.5
Pickled Shiitake $2
Nori $2
Spring onion $2
Bean Sprouts $2
Chilli $2

I'm almost looking forward to the Ramen more than the beer... Almost.

Speaking of the beer, here's a quick reminder of what's coming on tap From midday tomorrow:

- Eagle Brewing Fresh Hopped SIPA
- Hop Federation/Epic Fresh Hopped Sarah IPA
- Hop Federation Fresh Hopped XPA
- Webb St Brewery Freudian Sip
- Sprig & Fern Harvest Pilsner
- Panhead Fresh Hopped Vandal
- 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired
- Wild & Woolly Mulligan Sour
- Mike's Hopstock & Two Smoking Barrels
- Kereru Fresh Hop Special Bitter
- Twisted Hop/Laboratory Wet Weekend Fresh Hopped Motueka IPA
With ParrotDog Moa and North End Forty South Green Hop Reserve waiting in the wings for something to run out.

Remember, fresh hop beers from midday and Ramen from 5pm. See you all there

Double Barrel Reserve

You might know Te Aro Brewing Co, they're the on down Tory St oppiosite The Warehouse.
It's a relatively small, 1000L brewery jammed in beind a homebrew shop, but they're putting out some of the most consistently great beers in Wellington.
And just because they're small(ish) doesn't mean they can't have a barrel aging programme.

Yesterday we visited Te Aro Brewing, where Tasi brewed her Staffie Series Beer on their 100L kit.
While we were waiting for the mash to do its thing, head brewer Karl gave us a "tour" of their barrels.

They're doing some pretty exciting things with brettanomyces and bacteria in those barrels, but also have a few non-infected barrels on the go. Those ones are ready for harvest, and you get to reap the rewards this Tuesday.

A few months ago a 9% imperial stout was brewed, and then split into two different types of barrel - one Porters Pinot Noir barrel, and one Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel.

After a sample we thought both of these would be brilliant on handpump, so this Tuesday we’ll have beer from both barrels on handpump side-by-side.
So you can geek out and compare the two different barrel characters you’ll be able to grab a TeKu of each for a special price.
We start pumping at 5pm Tuesday.

Tasting Report: Five Courses of Sour Beer

Last night's sold out Sour Tasting went down a treat with all who secured a spot. Luckily for our Proprietor Dominic a couple of people pulled out sick, meaning he could participate instead of watching from the sidelines.
Dominic enjoyed it so much he even wrote a review so everyone can know what they missed out on:

When our taste buds are conditioned to treat sourness (like bitterness) as a warning sign, grasping the beauty and complexity of sour beers is a challenge. So last night’s tasting of no fewer than eleven sours was especially daunting, like a rollercoaster ride through beer’s underworld.

Was our trepidation justified? Of course not. In fact one of the surprises of hours of sours is how quickly beers with low pH become normal. One flight in and we’re distinguishing beers by how dry, tannic or funky they may be, rather than pursing lips and gasping.

Flight one was traditional – an authentic geuze from Boon and a “rosehipped” lambic from Mikkeller. Dirty funk versus perfume and tannins.

Flight two gave us two local gems – a cedar-y Flanders red from 8 Wired’s foedres (Le Fût) and North End’s beautifully balanced Baby Grand.

Anchoring the tasting was a flight of three of Almanac’s Farmers Reserve beers – wild fermented, barrel-aged blond ales infused with strawberry, blueberry and citrus fruits respectively. But this was no fruit salad. Instead the beers varied subtly in their acidity, levels of tannins, texture and the nuanced effects of their thoroughly integrated fruit notes.

Flight four was a pair of cherry beers. One a fully-fledged genuine Belgian Kriek in the form of Bacchus Kriekenbier, which stood out as being by far the sweetest beer of the night, but was also notable for the pronounced almond character extracted from the cherry stones. Alongside it – and wildly different - was another Almanac fruit beer in the form of Dogpatch Sour – a Flanders red that had eight months in barrels with sour cherries.

We finished with a couple of sour stouts. One was Rook & Leer from the Netherlands’ De Molen. It’s an overloaded and confusing beer - an imperial porter made with beech smoked malt, aged in whisky barrels with brettanomyces and made once only, back in 2011. It’s sour, smoky, roasty and kind of bewildering. By contrast Almanac’s Truthful Statement, an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with cherries and orange zest, is no less complex than Rook & Leer but somehow infinitely more restrained and balanced and on some of our short lists for best beer ever.

Accompanying each course were morsels of carefully selected food matches, from chocolate cake to prosciutto, all helping to stimulate the palate but also cushion it from the wild ride it was taking.

The X-Ray Catz - Red Hot Rockabilly

The hugely entertaining X-Ray Catz are back this Saturday, and we're expecting them inject a huge dose of energy into the bar with their good time rockabilly/surf/swing and classic rock 'n' roll.

The Catz kick off at 9pm this Saturday, and as usual there's no door fee, so come on down and experience the brilliant X-Ray Catz.

Unlucky Day for Outdated Beer Law

Next week's Friday is the 13th of May. An unlucky date for some, but for us an unlucky day for the Reinheitsgebot.

That's because we're launching two German brewers into New Zealand who thumb thier noses at the ridiculously outdated beer "purity" law.
Freigeist Bierkultur & The Monarchy.

Next Friday we'll have three beers on tap from these two rebellious brewers.

The Monarchy Methusalem (10% sour/strong /hoppy altbier)

Freigeist Geisterzug Gose (5.2% salty gose)

Freigeist Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer (6% smoky sour ale)

Also on tap and in a show of solidarity with her countrypeople, Annika from Tiamana has brewed a special beer aiming to break ALL the rules of the current beer law that she considers shackles to creativity.

There are also some exciting beers arriving in the bottle, which will be in the fridge for the first time on the 13th like: Freigeist Geisterzug Gose, Freigeist Geisterzug Gose Rhubarb, Freigeist / 2cabeças / Teresa’s Eau De Janeiro (gose with mango) and The Monarchy Preußen Weiße (spiced wheat beer).

Ryan from BwB will be drawing on his family's German ties to bring some delicious German snacks to our menu as well.

The protest kicks off next Friday, you have till then to think up some witty chants.