Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017

Colab


Tomorrow night we get to be the first Wellington bar to serve the beer of West Auckland newbies Colab. We’re expecting a delegation from the brewery featuring some, or maybe even all, of their three founders.

To honour Colab’s German connection we’ll be augmenting our menu with a German dish or two. And not just any old off-the-shelf pretzels either – Oma Erna's Mautaschen Dumplings, prepared by our own staff using a recipe provided by an actual German citizen that one of our staff is related to, by marriage.

As for the Colab beers, we’ll be serving the following:
  • Garden Ale, 4%. “A refreshing collaboration of German Malt along with a smooth lashing of German and New Zealand Hops create this uniquely sessionable Colab Garden Ale.”
  • The Commissioner, Red IPA, 6.2%. “A new world collaboration of German malt and US aroma hops give a rich, red, malt driven West Coast Styled Red IPA.”
  • APA, 5.5%. “A balanced combination of German Malt and American aroma hops delivering a well-rounded West Coast styled Ale.”
  • Seasonal beer - Night Caller Schwarbier 4.7%.
Please note that the brewery are between batches of their Pilsner, which is a pity because it’s a fascinating alternative to the New Zealand pilsners that we generally pour. We’ll have to get that on tap in the near future.

We’ll also be offering a four-trip ticket to let you try the range.


New Release Tuesday


Next week’s New Release is a fitting beer to launch on the day that the Hurricanes take on the Lions. It’s an ESB, described as a NZ/UK fusion ale. “British Base malts from Thomas Fawcett maltings and Kiwi Specialty malts from Gladfield. British hops in the kettle with a light NZ Chinook dry-hop. Chewy and robust with mouth-filling goodness, the best of both Island nations.”

It also happens to be a collaboration between Auckland breweries Sawmill and Galbraiths.


Entertainment of the Sporting Kind


Next week brings the event that the Wellington hospitality industry has been dreaming of for eleven years and eleven months – the arrival of around 20,000 Irish and British Lions supporters. (More about that immediately below.)

For anyone who cares about the fortunes of the All Blacks but also believes in civil discourse between the adults of different countries, it’s going to mean a week of biting tongues and reining in tempers in the face of goading from selectively informed experts who nevertheless will be manuhiri. Which means that watching the first test on Saturday on the telly might be our last chance for a fortnight to say what we think while watching a Lions match.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that we will, naturally, show the first test from Auckland on our TVs on Saturday night. We can then all visualise half of that match’s spectators heading for the airport or their campervans and migrating to Wellington.

While the match is on, we’ll be offering our now-traditional “stadium pie” special – a piping hot mince pie in a paper bag for just $5.

Downtown Aley



With apologies to those who reject the idea of rugby being the source of national identity and personal self-worth, it’s time to bang on again about what we’re up to next week, particularly on July 1.

We’ve been working things out with our guest caterers for July 1 and Salt & Wood have come up with the following menu:
BRISKET $15
12hr smoked shredded beef, bbq and smoked cheese sauce, served on tortilla chips

VEGE WINTER SALSA $15
jalapenos, smoked beans, smoked cheese sauce served on tortilla chips

BEER SAUSAGE $10
pork bratwurst braised in north end beer finished on the smoker served with mustard slaw on a soft bun.

We’ll be open on the 1st by our usual time of midday, but if all goes to plan we’ll be welcoming customers earlier than that – probably 11am. Please bear with us if the complexities of turning our entranceway and footpath into a welcoming hospitality space take longer than we hope.

On Tap Now

  • Beer Baroness First Lady APA
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Good in the Hood (Handpump)
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • Tiamana Meister
  • Kereru Moonless Stout (Handpump)
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Townshend Pouri Lane Pils
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Baird Suruga Bay IIPA
  • North End Visitation Belgian Quad

July 4


While Rugby’s big day is July 1, the United States’ big day is just a few days later. We’ll be following our custom and turning taps over to a special lineup of US beers, with a couple of notable exceptions – homages to two iconic American beers brewed specially for the occasion by the US citizens on our staff.

Music!


Chocolate Thunder return with their funk/jazz/soul blend to play in our lounge on Saturday night, starting at 9:30.

Still no cover charge. What is wrong with us?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017

Smoke+Screen


Regular readers will have noticed us talking up our plans for July 1, when Rugby’s most famous circus comes to town. In particular, we’re doing something totally unprecedented in our history - and unlikely to be repeated - by extending Hashigo Zake’s frontier upstairs.

Naturally our plans include food, drink and entertainment. It’s time to elaborate a little on the entertainment. 

Screen

Earlier this week we stealthily arranged a test of our solution for screening that July 1 rugby test. We have the use of a high powered, high definition projector and the results from our test were better than we hoped for. So we can announce with confidence that patrons in our above-ground annex will be able to watch a bright and clear screening of the game.

Smoke

As previously announced we’re looking forward to having Waikanae’s Salt and Wood Collective bring their US-style barbecue expertise to lower Taranaki St on July the 1st.

Beer

We’re dusting off our much-loved portable bar and positioning it outside, complete with a couple of taps, a collection of cans and a hand pump. You’ll be able to purchase beer and drink upstairs or head downstairs and choose from the wider range there and bring your drink back above ground.

Rock the Cash Bar


We’re counting down to number one. There are just four and a bit days until our first ever music quiz, conceived and fronted by Hadyn Green. Rock The Cash Bar kicks off at 6:30pm on Monday. All the details are here


Colab


Colab Brewing have just announced their newest seasonal beer, which is just in time for us, since it means it will join most of their four core beers when we put them on tap for the first time in Wellington on Friday week, the 23rd.

That new beer is a schwarzbier called Night Caller. Schwarzbier is exactly the kind of traditional style that gets overlooked in these days of hop-forward or tart pale beers. Nevertheless brewer Albrecht van Wallmoden is promising a beer that’s refreshing and smashable, with plenty of bitterness to balance the complex malt flavours.

Albrecht is one of three partners in nano-brewery Colab and has confirmed that he’ll be coming all the way from West Auckland to be with us on the evening.

New Release Tuesday


North End have a new beer for us to try next Tuesday. It’s a Belgian Quad. We’ve learned over the years that when North End’s Kieran Haslett-Moore turns his attention to big, boozy styles, the results can be extraordinary. (We’re looking forward to a commercial batch of a certain Imperial Stout.)

So join us at 5pm on Tuesday the 20th when Visitation goes on tap for the first time.


July 4


While Rugby’s big day is July 1, the United States’ big day is just a few days later. We’ll be following our custom and turning taps over to a special lineup of US beers, with a couple of notable exceptions – homages to two iconic American beers brewed specially for the occasion by the US citizens on our staff.

On Tap Now + Bottle Pour Saturday

  • Garage Project Beer
  • Townshend Divine Intervention
  • Baird Fruitful Life IPA 
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Good in the Hood Porter (handpump)
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • Tiamana Kirsch Cherry Gose
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Mr. Holdsworth Pale Ale (handpump)
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Mike's One More Pale Ale
  • Graphic Origin Story Citrus APA
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
Look out for Tiamana's legendary Berliner Weisse Meister. Rather than leaving drinkers to mix syrup into the beer while drinking it, Meister comes pre-sweetened with woodruff syrup, rendering it an attractive green colour.

Baird Fruitful Life Citrus IPA is now on tap, replacing the delicious (if cloudy) Temple Garden Yuzu Pale Ale. As mentioned last week, Baird have not only been putting citrus fruits into pale beers since long before they became fashionable, they’ve been doing it with Japanese varieties of fruit, making for some distinctive and delicious results.

Our fridges are now quite well stocked with beer from Baird. We recommend that anyone who hasn’t already done so tries the green tea and wasabi beer called Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale, which is the bottle in this photo with the somewhat colour-less label. While the illustration is very pretty and evocative, the overall packaging might not win any awards.


Bottle Pour Saturday – Aged Barley Wine and Wheat Wine Edition


The arrival of new Baird beers prompted us to have a rummage in our cellar. We found bottles of their West Coast Wheat Wine from 2009, 2011 and 2014. Plus we’ve got a supply of a more recent vintage of Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine. All of which means that we can stage a radical bottle pour session of aged Barley Wine and its variant, Wheat Wine.

Wheat Wine was invented by American brewers in the last few decades as a variant of Barley Wine, replacing some of the malted barley with wheat for a brighter and possibly more complex flavour.

Barley/Wheat Wine is one of the few beer styles that is generally considered to have a long shelf life. Since they have high concentrations of a natural preservative (alcohol) and use hops mainly for bitterness rather than for bright but volatile flavours and aromas, they can age gracefully and tolerate a little oxidation.

And of course Barley Wine isn’t really a wine. The Wine suffix was invented a long time ago to get the attention of certain consumers.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8, 2017

Jazz Festival


The Wellington Jazz Festival is underway but for us the action starts tonight when we host the first of three gigs in a row in our lounge. Tonight it’s the Sunlight Band.

Here's our full lineup. All 10pm, no charge.

Tonight - The Sunlight Band
Friday - Nick Granville Funk Trio
Saturday - Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts

We apologise for the last minute change to last Saturday's entertainment, which was forced on us when it was found out very late in the day that band members had schedule conflicts. Many thanks to King Kreabsley's Kalypso Kavalcade for stepping in.

New Release Tuesday


Next week’s New Release Tuesday is a double release from Wairarapa nano-brewer Beg, Borrow and Brew. Their Portly Porter made it into last year’s Pacific Beer Expo. We’ll have two beers that we’ve never served before and that are unlikely to have been tried outside southern Wairarapa.

Those beers will be a NZ-hopped Pale Ale called Rockin Pale Ale and a coffee porter made with organic coffee beans roasted by Martinborough’s Neighbourhood café called Good In The Hood.

Look for both on our hand pumps from 5pm on Tuesday.

Unrated


As many of you have observed, the Hashigo Zake untappd badge is now officially a thing. Checking in beers with us leads to level after level of untappd badginess.

Over the years we’ve made plenty of use of crowd-sourced beer information via untappd and ratebeer. In particular we have put some value on results from ratebeer, which has compiled years and years of reviews from consumers who are generally well-intentioned and enthusiastic. The sheer volume of reviews, combined with ratebeer’s practice of filtering out reviews of questionable quality, helps to give their collective results some credibility. Overall, ratebeer’s reviewers have some huge biases in terms of styles that they favour, but these biases are clear and obvious to anyone looking and can be allowed for. At its best then, ratebeer serves as a useful complement to more conventional beer judging.

Going back to those biases, ratebeer has a clear and obvious bias against bland beer made by large, industrial brewers. A glance at their "Worst Beers in the World” page lays that bare. One large brewer occupies 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th on that list.

So imagine the consternation among vocal enthusiasts of good beer when it was learned this week that the very brewer that dominates that Worst Of list has bought a stake in ratebeer.

Confused? We were. A good place to read about it is Good Beer Hunting, who were the first to deduce that this buy-in had happened as the people involved had stayed quiet about the transaction. There’s more speculation on what it all means here, but really the news is so utterly bewildering that we barely know how to react. Do we go full Sam Calagione and throw out our own wall-full of awards from ratebeer?

Rote Learning


We had a couple of significant event announcements two weeks that we’re particularly keen for people to retain. 

Rock The Cash Bar.



Hashigo Zake and Hadyn Green do a music quiz! The first instalment of what will surely become a cultural phenomenon is just eleven days away on June 19. Brush up!

Colab

West Auckland nano-brewery Colab are sending beer to Wellington for the first time and we’ll have five of their range on tap. That’s on June 23.

You can check what events we have coming up here.

Two Dates in July


Here at our underground lair, planning continues for July 1 and July 4, and indeed for the week leading up to July 1.

We're limited in what we can actually say about June 27 and July 1 by the glorious piece of social justice legislation that is The Major Events Management Act. But we're working hard on ways to make the space outside our front door as hospitable as possible on July 1.

Meanwhile the 4th of July is looming and we plan to celebrate a certain nation's role as a force of amazing change in the science and art of brewing.


On Tap Now

  • Beer Baroness BA Miss Van Der Bier
  • Kereru Big Pigeon Pilsner
  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA (handpump)
  • Liberty Darkest Days Stout
  • Townshend Divine Intervention
  • Tiamana Kirsch Cherry Gose
  • Kereru Moonless Stout (handpump)
  • Funk Estate Mothership Mosaic Pale Ale
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Pirate Life Throwback IPA

Coming Soon

Look out for a new (to us) citrus pale ale from Japan’s Baird. Baird have been putting citrus juice and zest (not to mention stone fruit, figs, apples and strawberries) in pale ales and IPAs since long before Grapefruit Sculpin was a twinkle in Ballast Point’s (big) eye. Temple Garden Yuzu Pale Ale is one of five citrus beers they’ll be releasing in 2017. This beer should come on tap in the next few days, and at the same time we’ll be refreshing our supplies of bottle Baird beer, including their green tea and wasabi beer called Wabi Sabi.

Also on soon will be a the third in a series of romantically named "Hop Trial" beers by Townshend. This one is a pale ale, as were the two previous hop trial beers.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 1, 2017

BorderStop


BorderStop is a popup outlet store for beer, that happens tomorrow afternoon at our sibling business Beer Without Borders.

BWB is strictly a wholesale business, but for the first time this year it has a special licence for one afternoon. So tomorrow only, anyone (of legal purchase age) can rock up and buy six packs, mixed packs and cases of beer straight from the same cool store that retailers get them from. Prices will be somewhere between wholesale and retail.

It’s timed to help anyone wanting to fill their car boot before heading off, or heading home, for the long weekend. And it won’t happen again until Christmas.



Tomorrow, June 2. 1pm – 6pm at 24 Abel Smith St.

Holiday Monday

Speaking of the strangest reason for a holiday in our calendar, are public holiday surcharges even a thing still? We’ve never believed in them and certainly aren’t about to start applying one, so come in on Monday and enjoy surcharge free service and discounts for SOBA members.

Beer of the Month


In collaboration with our own Cult Beer Store, we’re offering specials throughout June on our Beer of the Month, which is La Sirene Super Saison.

This beer is an amped up reinterpretation of La Sirene’s flagship Saison. “Super Saison has a rustic orange hue, pronounced aromas of tropical fruit and a dry spicy finish all allowing the La Sirène signature yeast profile to shine through & crown this Super Saison.”

New Release Tuesday


Last year we had this to say about our October 11 New Release, a Belgian IPA: “full of US grown El Dorado, Chinook and Simcoe with a bit of kiwi Rakau. The Belgian aspect comes in with Carabelge® and Special W® for that real raisiny/candy sweetness. A combination of ESB and Saison yeasts were used to give that lovely Belgian yeast character, while still drying out the beer nicely.”

That beer was Beer Baroness’s Miss Van Der Bier, and a small volume of it spent the summer in pinot noir barrels, which have added even more complexity and decadence to it. And on Tuesday we’re giving Barrel Aged Miss Van Der Bier a North Island release.

Now the long weekend means that next Tuesday will feel like a Monday. We encourage readers to make firm plans to come in and try this beer, put it in your diaries and don’t let the transferred pain of a virtual Monday interfere.


Lionzzz


The Irish and British Lions have been in the country for the best part of a day. Have our media overdone the coverage yet?

Never mind if they have because it should start getting interesting once the actual play gets underway at 7:35pm on Saturday. As with most major sporting events, we have the option of putting it on our tellies, and we fully intend to with every tour match.

Not only that, we’re bringing back a food special that proved popular during (of all things) the AFL Grand Final last year. Between kick-off and full-time you can buy our high quality interpretation of the mince pie, served in an authentic, stadium-like paper bag for a mere $5.

This applies on Saturday and next Wednesday night as well.

A Festful of Gigs


Music returns in style, this week and next, with four gigs in our lounge in eight days, thanks partly to the Wellington Jazz Festival. All with no cover charge.

And note that the Jazz Fest gigs (which are the ones next week) start at 10pm. This Saturday's is at the regular time of 9:30pm.

Saturday, June 3 - Vincent Vega Trio
Thursday, June 8 - The Sunlight Band (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Friday, June 9 - Nick Granville Funk Trio (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Saturday, June 10 - Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)

Stand By For July


Anyone thinking of abstaining from alcohol for a period is advised that July might be the worst possible time to try it. A month out, the dates July 1 and July 4 are looking somewhat daunting.

Our plans are well advanced for July 1, when we trust that some tiny minority of the 20,000 people visiting Wellington will join our beloved regular customers. We’re working hard to have extra space, extra taps, extra seating and extra food.

A mere three days later we’ll be turning our taps over to a selection of beers fit for a celebration of Covfefe Day. That will mostly mean a selection of awesome American imports. But after doing a fantastic job of three Modern Times tribute beers earlier this year, our staff are planning to come up with a small batch of a homage to an iconic American beer. More details – and news of special Covfefe-fest food – will be leaked in the weeks to come.

On Tap Now

  • Wild & Woolly Basilisk
  • Liberty Darkest Days Stout
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis
  • Hop Federation Hop Fed Pilsner
  • Hey Day Moongold ((Handpump)
  • Townshends Motueka Pale Ale
  • Duncan's Old English Stout (Handpump)
  • Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Mike's Taranaki IPA

Highlights

Heyday is a future brewery, in that its a brewpub that hasn't been built yet, but whose beer is being developed by means of contract brewed batches. It will emerge in Upper Cuba St later in the year. What's significant for us is that the Head Brewer is Sam Whitney, who toiled behind the bar here at Hashigo Zake for a number of years before being poached by Panhead to become their assistant brewer. So it's a bit of a thrill for us to have one of Heyday's first beers - Moongold - on the handpump.

Hel & Verdoemenis created a bit of a stir on Tuesday when it went on tap. This beer has four or possibly five years behind it and is a great example of how rewarding it can be to age beer, provided it's the right beer and it is being stored cold.

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017

New Territory


Nearly eight years after we opened, there are still plenty of innovations we haven’t tried at Hashigo Zake. And if it wasn’t for the person who suggested it, hosting a music quiz might have stayed in the untried category.

But beer and technology writer Hadyn Green is something of an expert at both quizzes and Hashigo Zake and we’re going to put ourselves and the lounge in Hadyn’s hands on June 19.

Hadyn will be quizmaster. We’ll be providing prizes. And the subject will be music.

So get in training for Rock the Cash Bar.

Bottle Pour Saturday


Many of you may be aware that Llew Bardecki’s Wild & Woolly brand is about to take an extended break. Ironically, one of his final acts before doing that has been to venture into bottled product for the first time. He recently packaged three of his last and most extravagant releases.

The beers are:
Cœur De Cerise. This collaboration with Craftwork was launched in our very own New Release Tuesday slot back in March. It’s a Farmhouse Ale with lavender from Llew's backyard and sour cherries from Otago. Officially it’s 4.5%, although some brettanomyces went into the bottles along with the beer, so there’s every chance that the ABV has crept up and the beer will have evolved since March.

From the Ashes: Wine barrel aged sour ale 6%

Sooty Albatross: Peat smoked imperial IPA 9.5%

All three went into champagne bottles that happen to be green, and since green bottles aren’t so good for keeping light out, Llew decided to forgo plain old labels and gave the bottles an old school paper wrap instead. Nice.

On Saturday only we’re offering a chance to sample 100mls of all three of these for just $15.



July 1 Update


Even more good news... a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that on July 1 we'll be extending our premises up the stairs and into the space outside our front door and even onto the footpath - all so we'll have more space to welcome patrons on the day of the All Blacks vs the Irish & British Lions match in Wellington. We've never done this before and we may never do it again, but since the car park behind us is officially closed right now, we can do it this once!

Today we can announce that Waikanae's Salt and Wood Collective, who did a great job of catering at last year's Pacific Beer Expo, are going to join us and serve food from within our extended premises.


Vintage Release Tuesday


Once again we can’t resist the opportunity to go with a variation on the traditional Tuesday new release. A keg of De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis has somehow remained hidden (but refrigerated) for four long years. Since De Molen like to put best before dates 25 years in the future on their bottles, we’re pretty sure that nothing bad will have happened to this keg in the last four years.

Here’s what the brewery say about this beer:

Hel & Verdoemenis is bursting with flavors. Bitter, roasted, chocolate, coffee. All times 2. It's this why it's our Flag Ship and best selling Imperial Stout. Flavour indication: chocolate, coffee. Translates as  Hell & Damnation

Water. Pale, brown, chocolate,roasted and caramel barley malts. Premian and saaz bitter hop. Yeast (top fermenting).

Bonus Beer!

It turns out that our newest purchase from Kereru is embargoed until Tuesday. It's Night Spirit, their new barrel-aged imperial stout. There were only 1,344 bottles made and we have a tiny allocation.

Night Spirit is not aged in any common or garden used whisky or bourbon barrel either. These ones aged a local whisky for no fewer than 20 years.

Colab Brewing



Colab Brewing is a new brewery (established in 2016) based in west Auckland, in the same neighbourhood as Hallertau and Liberty. For the time being their scale is pretty small – a batch size of 300L puts them at the upper end of nano-brewery status, comparable to our friends at Fitzpatrick’s, Wild & Woolly and Tiamana. And so far their beer has barely made it south of Auckland, the exception being an appearance in Rotorua.

While the vast majority of our favourite up and coming local breweries are ventures by small brewers who have got serious, Colab is one of a handful where a brewer with significant commercial experience – in Colab’s case, Albrecht van Wallmoden - has scaled down. Albrecht is also a well known beer judge, so we feel entitled to expect utterly flawless beer, some of which will be in German styles.

After chatting on and off for some time, we’ve hatched a plan to showcase their beer at Hashigo Zake on June 23.

We’ll put their core range of four beers on tap, plus a seasonal. And if the stars align we’ll host the founders of Colab themselves.

So save the date – June 23 – for Wellington’s first chance to try Colab beer.

Live in the Lounge


Live music takes a break this Saturday, but we'll be more than making up for that the week after. Check out the schedule:

Saturday, June 3 - Vincent Vega Trio
Thursday, June 8 - The Sunlight Band (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Friday, June 9 - Nick Granville Funk Trio (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Saturday, June 10 - Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6, 2017

 

News bulletin #385
April 6, 2017

City of the Wind


Next Tuesday’s new release is pretty special. So special there’ll be a simultaneous release at Hashigo Zake and Husk! It’s the result of a collaboration between Matt Walsh of Modern Times and Kerry Gray of Choice Bros/Husk that happened when Matt toured the nation last month.

It seems that while he was here Matt was on a mission to promote the use of hop oil. This is distinct from the more widely used hop extract that can take the place of whole or palletised hops for brewing, particularly for bittering. In contrast, hop oil is a kind of concentrated distillation that provides volatile flavour and aroma compounds but no bitterness. There’s a handy explanation of the process here.

Matt used it in this beer and in another collaboration that we’ll be talking about soon.

Now some readers may recall a beer that Deep Creek surprised 2016 Beervana attendees with, called Hoppy McHopface. Apparently that beer used (or possibly misused, depending on your experience) hop oil that had been extracted from Nelson Sauvin. The little vile of oil that Matt left at Husk was extracted from Eureka hops and he left strict instructions about just how few millilitres to use, because these oils are notoriously concentrated.

The resulting beer is an adaptation of Modern Times’ City of the Sun IPA. Only someone thought that this should be called City of the Wind. And it goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.



This Saturday

 
Playing in our lounge will be JB3, bringing funk and boogaloo from 9:30 until 11:30.

And if it’s still raining (or even if it isn’t) there’s the option to settle in the red room a couple of hours before that and take in the Hurricanes/Waratahs game.

Does it get any better? Why yes, it does, because all this entertainment comes at no charge.

Easter is Coming


Over next week’s Easter period we’re required to close on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And this entails being closed on the stroke of midnight on the evenings before those days.

But what we won’t be doing is applying any pesky surcharges on any of those days that we are open, including Easter Monday.

And as soon as Easter is over we go into the season known as Hopstock.

On Tap Now

  • Tiamana Blushing Brew
  • 8 Wired Cascara Hippy Berliner
  • Tiamana Even Older Fritze
  • North End E.S.B (handpump)
  • Beer Baroness First Lady APA (handpump)
  • Mata Hip Hop Pils
  • Graphic Kick Grass Pacific Ale
  • Mike's Leaky Boat Grapefruit Pale Ale
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Beer Baroness Rye-ot Grrrl Rye IPA
  • Oskar Blues OB IPA

Highlights

We’re in the middle of a mini-sour festival. What is probably the last of a batch of beer made to celebrate a certain power couple’s wedding late last year is on tap. That’s Tiamana Blushing Brew. It’s a low gravity, ultra-refreshing raspberry gose, also known as Himbeer.

Just along from it is there’s a small amount left in our keg of Tiamana Even Older Fritze. The bugs that must have been lurking in the wine barrel that this was aged in have started to take effect and the result is an incredibly complex, big, boozy bock. It’s a rare opportunity to try this beer without investing in a bottle, although investing in a bottle is still something you might want to consider.

Finally we have 8 Wired Cascara Hippy on tap. This is just the kind of divisive beer we love having. The cascara seems to upset the palate of some drinkers. While others correctly love this beer for the complex tang that the cascara adds to the base beer.

At more normal pH, Oskar Blues IPA is on tap. Although on recent form this news may not still be true by the time many of you read this. Get in quick.

Finally, when the aforementioned Even Older Fritze runs out soon, its place will be taken by another beer that has been ageing carefully since some time in 2016. In this case it’s a survivor of last year’s GABS Festival. It’s Paddington, a Barley Wine that must have been one of the last beers made by our old friend Graeme Mahy while he was doing his second stint as head brewer at Murray’s over in New South Wales. The lengths they went to with this beer were pretty extraordinary. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, cardamom and star anise were thrown into the vat and drawn though some big, bitter hops to enhance the citrus flavours. The beer then spent six months in Tasmanian whisky barrels. The result is a perfect beer for winter. Or a really sh!tty autumn.

Cult Beer Store Beer of the Month


Over at the Cult Beer Store, this month’s Beer of the Month is La Sirene’s Farmhouse Red. This is a Red Ale made with rose buds, hibiscus and dandelions(!) in a distinctly Flemish fashion.

In the spirit of synchronicity and simultaneity, we’ll be offering this over the bar and for takeaway at a special price.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

 

News bulletin #384
March 30, 2017

Bottle Pour Saturday - Dragon Edition

 
Way back in Issue 383 of this email we talked about the latest releases of the two beers under the There Be Dragons label – Chasing Harvest Ale and Royal Blood. This Saturday we’re offering customers a chance to get them both by the glass.

Chasing Harvest is a single batch of pinot barrel-aged red ale (with some pinot noir juice) while Royal Blood is a blend across a couple of vintages.

The volumes of these annual releases are incredibly low so there will never be a better opportunity to get to know them. 

New Release Tuesday - Even Older Fritze


Next week’s new release is a rarity from Tiamana. It’s a keg of Annika’s barrel-aged doppelbock known as Even Older Fritz. This particular keg has spent 15 months in a Dogpoint “Section 94” Sauvignon Blanc barrel. We’re promised big caramel, white wine, oak, leather and bourbon notes.



On Tap Now

  • Kereru Big Pigeon Pilsner
  • Oskar Blues Blood Orange Spesh-Ale
  • Craftwork/Wild & Woolly Coeur de Cerise
  • North End E.S.B (handpump)
  • Adroit Theory Legion
  • Hashigo Zake Staffie Series Moalland
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout (handpump)
  • Te Aro Brewing Obligatory Pale Ale
  • Mata Rock n Red Ale
  • Wild & Woolly Tall Tosser

Highlights

It’s nearly three years since a meeting at the 2014 World Beer Cup led to a shipment to New Zealand from the up-and-coming Virginia brewery called Adroit Theory. The highlight of that shipment was a collaboration between local brewer Graeme Mahy and Adroit Theory called Legion. It was a big strong stout, fermented with a Belgian yeast and spiced with Horopito.

One of the last kegs anywhere of this beer is on tap right now and it has aged absolutely beautifully.

Meanwhile in a first for us, Te Aro Oatmeal Stout is on handpump!

Hopstock Planning


Plans are progressing nicely for this year’s Hopstock, which is on just the other side of Easter, in about three weeks. Tickets for organised tours of outlets will be going on sale soon.

Perhaps this is a good time to briefly ponder what makes Hopstock special.

Hopstock is a celebration of new beers that have been made with some portion of unprocessed, fresh-off-the-bine hops.

The challenge to brewers of using wet hops is deceptively difficult. Since hops are beer’s chief seasoning, the prospect of using fresh ones sounds exciting. The reality is that brewers get one shot a year at using an ingredient that comes without the customary technical information, that must be used at 5-10 times the usual volume for the same effect and that is decaying in front of their eyes. What’s more the actual benefits of using wet hops aren’t all that well understood. Because while the characteristics of individual hop varieties are well documented, it’s hard to find anyone who’ll stick their neck out and describe the effects of wet hops on a beer. The closest thing to a consensus is that wet hops make a beer more “green” and “oily”.

This uncertainty about what the beers will be like has clearly not dampened the enthusiasm of consumers, as Hopstock keeps growing in popularity.

One of the attractions of Hopstock may be its appeal to Wellington’s older beer lovers, who remember the custom from around 15 years ago of the festival previously known as BrewNZ, when breweries from outside Wellington (and breweries invariably were from outside Wellington) teamed with bars that became their “headquarters”. The opportunity to taxi from bar to bar trying beers that otherwise never made it to Wellington really was novel and exciting.

And yet some of those bars acting as brewery headquarters were unlikely venues for a high-brow pub crawl. Quite a few were kind of corporate or at least not what you’d call strongholds of small brewing and those of us turning up asking for unusual beers didn’t really feel at home. Truth be told, many of them were probably only involved because they were encouraged to by the Beer, Wine and Spirits Council.

Now in 2017’s Hopstock there will be 22 beers at 22 bars. (2013’s inaugural Hopstock consisted of eight beers at twelve bars.) And therein lies what might be the real beauty of Hopstock. Because in 2017 these venues need no arm-twisting to put on unpredictable beers by small, independent brewers. These are venues that would happily serve beer from their Hopstock brewer any other week of the year. So arguably Hopstock is as much a celebration of Wellington’s rapidly maturing circuit of quality beer bars.

And speaking of Wellington's beer outlets, this week we welcomed two initiates to the very special club of venues that have been well and truly baptised by firefighters. We wish them a satisfactory investigation into the fires’ causes and a comprehensive insurance payout.

New in the Fridge!

 
The first release by local lads Graphic Brewing has been on tap quite a few times. We can now add that Hashigo Zake is the first (and so far only) Wellington bar stocking Origin Story in its magnificent canned form.

They might have appeared sooner but there was a delay receiving the semi-transparent can labels that give these their vibrant colour-on-aluminium look.

These beauties are a full 440ml in volume and cost $14 over the bar (or even less to take away with you).



Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017

Cucumbers and Beer - A Comprehensive History

Pliny the Elder has almost mythical status in the beer world on account of being credited for first identifying and naming the hop plant.

But his friend and Roman Emperor Tiberius was a massive fan of the cucumber. Pliny recorded that Tiberius had his kitchen-gardeners build what were the ancient equivalent of green houses so he could eat cucumber as part of every meal regardless of the season.

(We couldn’t find a picture of Tiberius with a cucumber, but here is one of him with Centurion Picard.)



Now if Tiberius hadn’t been so obsessed with getting boozed on wine then perhaps, with Pliny's help, beer, cucumbers and hops could have been combined long ago.

It took no fewer than two millennia before cucumbers and hops were brought together in a style of German beer that had been on the verge of extinction just a few years earlier – the Berliner Weisse. But given the contempt that the ancient Romans held Germans and beer in, we shouldn’t be surprised that the opportunity was missed all those years ago.

 

Live in the Lounge


Saturday sees the return of surf rock exponents the Vincent Vega Trio.

Often when the Vincent Vega Trio are booked to play at Hashigo Zake, they make up a new poster, generally based on an old movie poster built around an image of a scantily clad young woman in a pose that…  reflects the mores of a different era.



Here’s the one they sent us this time. It’s relatively mild so we have fewer reservations about this one. It’s based on the poster of a 1971 British movie called Creatures the World Forgot. The French title for the same film was “Violence et Sexe Aux Temps Prehistoriques”. So maybe that’s the theme for Saturday night’s performance – “Violence and Sex in Prehistoric Times”.

You’ve been warned. No cover charge, from 9:30.

Cucumber Hippy

The 8 Wired brewing company was launched at about the same time as Hashigo Zake in late 2009. When their second beer, Hopwired IPA, was first released around Christmas that year, we and a lot of other people really took notice and their place as one of New Zealand’s most adventurous and promising breweries was confirmed. In the seven and a bit years since we’ve lost none of our enthusiasm for 8 Wired and their dedication to continually pushing boundaries while maintaining incredibly high standards.

So when 8 Wired’s down to earth founder Søren Eriksen refers to a new release as a game changer it’s probably worth paying attention. That release is the canned version of Cucumber Hippy - a spin-off of their hoppy Berliner Weisse called Hippy Berliner.



While Cucumber Hippy has been appearing on tap occasionally for over a year now, putting it into 440ml cans is a dramatic move by 8 Wired. To celebrate, this Saturday, we’ll have it available to buy – or maybe even score for free - in cans. But to give it full honours we’ll have a couple of its siblings on tap as well – the original Hippy Berliner and Cascara Hippy Berliner.

And to turn Saturday into a true celebration of the Cucumber, we’ll have a food special in the form of BBQ Brisket & BBQ Jackfruit tacos served on corn tortillas with cucumber slaw, salsa verde, sour cream, fresh coriander, and a slice of lime.

Our recommendation for Saturday? Come in for Cuba Dupa and at the first sign of rain duck for cover, a taco and a cucumber hippy.


On Tap Now

  • Cassels & Sons Alchemist Pale Ale (handpump)
  • Cassels & Sons Best Bitter (handpump)
  • Modern Times Blazing World IPA
  • Oskar Blues G'knight Imperial RIPA
  • Hashigo Zake Staffie Series Island Hopper
  • Hashigo Sake Staffie Series Moalland
  • Garage Project Pils 'n' Thrills
  • Baird Suruga Bay IIPA
  • Mike's Taranaki IPA
  • Almanac Wakatu Sour
  • Hashigo Zake Staffie Series Whare Pango

Highlights

Did we mention how pleased we are with how our trio of Staffie Series/Modern Times clone beers came out? Seriously they're fresh and delicious and there's one keg only of each.

Almanac have announced that they won't be exporting kegged beer any more. Now they implemented this policy once before and then changed their minds, so we hope that this isn't final. But the supply of kegs of their hoppy sour series is dwindling and we believe that this is the last keg of the Wakatu version in New Zealand.

New in the Fridge!

 
Look out for the latest releases under the name There Be Dragons. This is the brand of globetrotting beer and winemaker Mike Kush. As part of his annual stint in Central Otago he brews a red ale that incorporates some Pinot Noir juice and puts it in barrels until his next visit.

His latest releases are the 2015 vintage of his beer, which he calls Chasing Harvest, and the blend across multiple vintages called Royal Blood.

Both come in 500ml bottles costing $21.50.

New Release Tuesday - Wild & Woolly/Craftwork Collab Edition


Michael and Lee-Ann from Craftwork have been in Wellington a few times lately and took the opportunity to work with Wild & Woolly on a beer called Cœur de Cerise. Here's the official description:
this beer is a sour cherry and lavender Saison.  The lavender came from W&W brewer Llew's garden in Wellington, while Lee-Ann from Craftwork provided the cherries.  The name comes from the fact that a relatively small quantity of cherries (5kg in 200L of beer) were used, but the beer was left on them for several weeks, thus giving them little cherry colour or fruit flavour, but definite marzipan-y notes that come from the cherry pits.  The NRT keg is only 20L, one of two produced (the other will head down to Oamaru.)  The remainder of the beer will be part of W&W's first ever bottle release in a few weeks time, packaged in 750ml bottles condioned with Brettanomyces for an even more interesting experience as it ages.
Cœur de Cerise is keg conditioned and 4.5% ABV.

But Wait, There's More!

The resourceful Llew Bardecki has another new beer to put on tap alongside Cœur de Cerise. It's called That Tall Tosser. Take it away Llew..:
A table beer whose primary ferment was done with Brettanomyces Clausenii.  This brew was made from leftover wort from W&W's bitter, Badger Me, and once again only one 20L keg was produced for NRT.  It was also the yeast starter for the Brett used in bottle conditioning Coeur de Cerise.  Often primary ferment Brett beers have very little of the funky, barnyard-y aromas that come from secondary fermentation with Brett, but there are definite notes of them here, along with some grass and light fruity aromas from the hops and yeast.  The name is a tip of the hat to the designer of the Badger Me tap badge, as it was his original suggestion for the name of that beer.
That Tall Tosser is 3.5% ABV.

Both beers go on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.
 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

New Release Extravaganza


Next week we take New Release Tuesday to new levels, with an unprecedented three beer, in-person homage to San Diego’s Modern Times. Confused?

Modern Times head brewer Matt Walsh is back in New Zealand. In fact, as this is being written, he’s visiting a certain much-loved Nelson brewery to collaborate on a beer. On Tuesday we’ll have him on the premises and we hope he’ll give his seal of approval to no fewer than three beers, made specially at The Occasional Brewer by our very own staff, and based on versions of their own recipes that Modern Times make available.





 

Saturday Bottle Pour

On Saturday we’re continuing the theme of this week’s not so new release, in that we’re seeing off the dwindling supply of beer from Rogue. There are still a few cases around of Rogue’s Honey Kölsch and there’s the odd bottle of their Oregon Single Malt Whisky (ocean aged for an extravagant three months). We thought this combo would be ideal for a boilermaker. So this week’s bottle pour is a first for us, in that customers will walk away with two glasses, one of which won’t contain beer.

For those who don’t know, Rogue’s Honey Kölsch is one of their ‘Rogue Farms” beers, which means that most or all of the ingredients, including the honey, come from their own farms. Plus the beer is in one of Rogue’s beloved painted 750ml bottles, meaning it’s destined to become a collector’s item.

On Tap Now

  • Modern Times City of the Sun IPA
  • Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout
  • North End E.S.B (Handpump)
  • NOMAD Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose
  • Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils
  • Mike's One More Pale Ale
  • 8 Wired Milou
  • Graphic Origin Story Citrus APA
  • Rogue XS Imperial Stout 2014
  • North End Yellow Eye Anglo IPA (Handpump)
  • North End Yellow Eye Anglo IPA

St Patricks Day

We could scramble to find a stout to offer tomorrow, St Patrick’s Day, but that would be kind of pointless. At the time of writing we have both Eagle Coalface Stout and Rogue Imperial Stout on tap, and they’re likely to still be going tomorrow. And Coalface will be replaced by 8 Wired Big Smoke. Oh and we have 20 bottled beers that are either stouts or imperial stouts. Not to mention a few porters.

What we will be offering is a food special in the form of an Irish Beef Stew, made with Northend Iron Sands Stout.

Coming Soon

Look out for :-
  • Te Aro Seven of Diamonds. Here's what the brewery say about their latest release: "4.3% NZ Pale Ale. Clean, refreshing and sessionable. Perfect for this extended summer we have been having." Everyone's a comedian.
  • Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale. Second chance time! Oskar Blues' flagship beer returns soon.

 Prohibition


“the act of forbidding something”
 
Last weekend some news emerged that shocked and concerned us here at Hashigo Zake and even more so at our importing arm Beer Without Borders. It was announced that production at one of our favourite overseas breweries – Speakeasy - was stopping immediately, while the bank that loaned Speakeasy a ton of money to expand decides what to do. It looks as though the chances of saving the brand and the brewery aren’t quite as low as zero, but to have got this far things must be pretty desperate.
So like Rogue, New Zealand’s supply of Speakeasy beer is dwindling. (It’s just as well Oskar Blues have emerged to fill the gap.) And one of Speakeasy’s best is their amber ale Prohibition. We’ll be putting one of the last kegs in the country on tap shortly.

Live in the Lounge


Live music takes this Saturday off but Vincent Vega Trio will bring surf rock on Saturday the 25th.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017

We're Legal

Hashigo Zake has not one, but two liquor licences - one each for on- and off-premise sales. This week both of them were renewed.

Same hours as before, no new conditions.


Not So New Release Tuesday

Every now and then we throw away the imaginary NRT rulebook and put on something decidedly old. Next Tuesday our "release" will be what is probably the last keg in New Zealand of the legendary Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout.

Back in 2009 the Rogue XS range included probably the most extreme beers that we could put on sale. They came in austere but handsome 750ml ceramic bottles and because the Imperial Stout packed some of the most concentrated flavours we’d ever come across, it was our ultimate finishing beer. Apparently the ABV on this is 11%, but back then we were convinced it was higher.

The keg we have is nearly three years old, but (naturally) it’s been kept cold all that time, so we’re expecting that time will have done little to change the beer except, perhaps, help its intense flavours meld just a little more.

Plus we get to use this amazing tap handle one last time.

It goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

SOBA Awards Reminder

After seven and a half years of trading we’re still incredibly grateful to SOBA and its members for their patronage, and for the fact that there’s a society whose aim is to promote attitudes to beer and the beer business that are kind of similar our own.

So it’s a genuine pleasure to get to host their annual presentation of awards resulting from SOBA’s 2016 membership survey. That takes place in our lounge at 2pm on Saturday. We encourage any SOBA members reading this to come down and enjoy what should be a pretty social sort of a prizegiving. There will be some perks being given away randomly and we’ve got a hand in at least one of those.



Tasting Delayed

Our planned tasting (with guest appearance via Skype) of Oskar Blues beer hasn't quite been confirmed yet. It's frustrating for all concerned but we hope to have this nailed very soon.


On Tap Now

* Modern Times Blazing World IPA
* Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout
* Beer Baroness Danger Lass
* Mikes Full Nelson IPA
* Wild & Woolly Little Brown Kiwi (hand pump)
* Deep Creek Long White Cloudy
* Modern Times Mega Fortunate Islands
* Cassels & Sons Milk Stout (hand pump)
* Baylands Party Pils
* Deep Creek Passionfruit Berliner
* Kakariki Beer Company Thirst Aid

Highlights


  • Way back in 2011 the beer that made Wellington drinkers sit up and take notice of Cassels and Sons was their Milk Stout. There were few if any milk stouts (stouts that get extra body and sweetness from the non-fermentable sugar lactose) on the NZ market back then and this beer did well at awards and won over drinkers. It's on hand pump at the moment.
  • Making its first appearance since the arrival of fresh stock from California is Modern Times Blazing World, their Nelson Sauvin-imbued amber ale that is so dank and bracing that it's often mistaken for an IPA.
  • Also from Modern Times, and still on tap after being this week's new release, is Mega Fortunate Islands, their hoppy wheat scaled up to an Imperial IPA.


Coming Soon

Look out for :-

  • Northend Yellow Eye. The Waikanae brewery's new sorta English IPA, which will be on tap and on handpump - maybe even simultaneously.
  • Oskar Blues IPA. This wasn't part of the range that we launched Oskar Blues with a fortnight ago, so this will be new to us on tap.
  • 8 Wired - a new shipment of 8 Wired will be with us any moment, including Hopwired, Big Smoke, Tall Poppy and Milou (a new Belgian session beer).





Live in the Lounge

Live music returns on Saturday in the form of Chocolate Thunder. In the words of either the band or our booker:
A sensuous jazz, funk, soul and fusion maelstrom that strikes without mercy where you least expect it. Sheer groovemanship to make your body move and your flowers blossom. Gird your loins, people!

- Conway Jeune - Guitar, excellent vibes
- Bryn van Vliet - Saxophones, Vocoder, Wind Chimes
- Makura Tomoana - Bass
- Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa - Drums


HopStock 2017

HopStock 2017 takes place next month, during the week after Easter. April 19-24, to be precise.

For those who don't know, it's when Wellington bars showcase one beer each from 20 or so brewers who have made beers with fresh, unkilned hops.

In last week's ballot Hashigo Zake and Baylands Brewery were drawn together, which we're pretty pleased with.

Anyone following the facebook accounts of certain Welington brewers will know that there has been some added drama this year regarding the way the hops have been shipped. No doubt it will all sort itself out but it's adding a little frisson to build up.

Stay tuned for more info.


Off Premise

As mentioned above, Hashigo Zake has our own off-licence, meaning that until 11pm we can sell products from our range for you to take away. Takeaway sales are at a discount to bar prices.

We also have the Cult Beer Store - our online store enabling delivery anywhere in New Zealand. The Cult Beer Store features absolutely no grey market beer, and all stock is stored cold. So you can shop with confidence.

You can even click and collect - shop on the Cult Beer Store and collect from Hashigo Zake.
https://www.cultbeerstore.co.nz


Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2nd, 2017

Superbowl LI


Something changes when you watch major sporting events while in a neutral country. The ugly, tribal aspects of sports-watching can be dispensed with. Instead spectators take more genuine pleasure in the sport and the occasion and competing supporters seem to get on better when they’re in a neutral place.

It’s apparent when you see New Zealanders and Australians watching a trans-Tasman rugby test in a third country.

And this effect may be why we always find screening the Superbowl very enjoyable. It’s unlikely that the self-esteem of anyone joining us on Monday afternoon will depend on the outcome of the game. A gloom won’t descend on the homes and workplaces of supporters of the losing side. Instead everyone can just enjoy the spectacle, the sense of occasion, possibly some athleticism and drama and the fact that it’s a holiday.

Oh yeah – did we mention the holiday? Once again America’s biggest sporting event lands in the middle of the afternoon on a New Zealand holiday.


To help turn Superbowl into a festival of civil sports-watching we’re reaching into our repertoire of great comfort food and comfort beer. In a nod to the host city of Houston, there’ll be both beef and vegan chillies, served with sour cream, corn chips, cheese and white onion. There will also be hot dogs, chilli dogs and pulled buns (with pork, chicken or jackfruit).

On the taps we’ll have the last keg in New Zealand of Modern Times’ wonderful, Mosaic-accented IPA called Orderville. We've also found a keg of Modern Times Fortunate Islands with Grapefruit. We’ll have many people’s favourite amber ale in the form of Speakeasy Prohibition. And we’ll have Speakeasy’s luxurious Imperial IPA Double Daddy.

We’ve also learned that the Atlanta Falcons are sometimes known as the Dirty Birds, so we’ll be doing specials on bottles of Pelican’s Red IPA called Dirty Bird. There will also be specials on Pelican Umbrella, Coronado Islander, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Karl Strauss Tower 10 and Rogue Shakespeare Stout.

For the record, Superbowl LI (51) is on Monday the 6th and we think that kick-off is at 12:30pm our time, although with all the ceremony it's sometimes difficult to tell.

We'll be doing our best to blend ESPN/Sky's broadcast of the game with a feed off the web of the advertising, including Budweiser's latest attempt to offend consumers of the breweries that they've been buying out.

It's being staged at NRG Stadium in Houston and the Atlanta Falcons play the New England Patriots.

Here's a little in-joke about what happened the last time the Patriots contested the Superbowl.


On Tap Now

  • Modern Times Aurora Red Rye IPA
  • GP/Mata/Kereru/Tiamana Banaenae
  • Freigeist/NØGNE Ø Best Brewjob Ever
  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA
  • Te Aro Fred's US IPA
  • To Øl Frostbite APA
  • Mikes Hopstock & Two Smokin Barrels
  • Twisted Hop Nokabollokov
  • Townshend Old House ESB
  • Tiamana Pilski
  • Tiamana Quincee Jones Gose

Highlights

There's still a rare chance to enjoy the legendary Frostbite, To Øl's pine needle and orange peel infused APA.

And the beer that won the voting in last night's tasting happens to be on tap right now. that's Freigist's surprisingly smokey Imperial Alt beer called The Best Brewjob Ever. (We aren't fans of the name.)

At the moment we're continuing to work through many of the not so conventional beers of Denmark's To Øl and Germany's Freigeist. In the queue to come on is To Øl's Sur Amarillo, which was one of the hits of last night's To Øl/Freigeist tasting. It's a kettle soured IPA packed with juicy Amarillo hops.

And returning soon, after its appearance a couple of Fridays ago, is the radical Freigeist Pfefferkorner, which is so peppery it's thought to induce sneezing.

Waitangi Day

We'll be open as usual with absolutely no public holiday surcharge. (Does that still even exist?)

And as mentioned nearby, we'll be spicing things up in the afternoon with our screening of Superbowl.

 

New Release Tuesday

To Øl's Sur Amarillo is mentioned elsewhere here. Another in their series of sour mashed hoppy pale ales is Sur Simcoe. It came as a surprise to us that we hadn't had this beer before, having worked through Sur Citra, Sur Amarillo, Sur Galaxy and one or two others already.

Sur Simcoe is classified as a "session IPA", being just 4.5%. And the only hop in it is the pungent, sometimes sweaty and much loved cornerstone of many an-American IPA - Simcoe. We expect earthy deliciousness.



New Bottles!


Finally, new bottles from To Øl, Freigeist and The Monarchy have reached our fridges. Some of these were in last night's tasting. But not all were, so regardless, we all have homework to do. And remember - 20% off for takeaways.

To Øl Totem Pale Ale 
2.2% Gluten Reduced Pale Ale / $10

To Øl Brett & Butter
3.6%  Bretted Table Beer / $10

To Øl Gose to Hollywood 
3.8%  Gose w/oranges / $11.5

To Øl Santa Gose F&#%! It All 
4% Gose w/ Passionfruit, Guava, and Mango / $10

To Øl Ginie in  a Bottle
4.2% Gin-Inspired Gose / $10

To Øl Surt Til
5% Sour Mashed Table Beer (750ml) / $30

To Øl Surt Til Hibiscus & Cran
5% Sour Mashed w/Hibiscus & Cranberries / $18

To Øl Sur Yule
5.4% Sour Mashed Winter Pale Ale with Cherries / $12

Freigeist Miss Florida 
5.5% IPA w/Oranges, Citrus, & Blood Orange  / $13

To Øl  Frost Bite
6% Winter Pale Ale w/Orange Peel & Pine / $12

To Øl Sur Galaxy
7% Dry Hopped Sour Black IPA / $14

To Øl Sur Amarillo
7.5% Sourmashed IPA / $14

To Øl F%$^ Art Winter Is Coming
8% Tripel w/Cardamom, Coriander, & Orange (750ML) / $35

Freigeist Mango Unchained
9% Mango Gose Eisbock / $28

The Monarchy Methusalem Holunderheimer
10% Imperial Altbier w/Elderberry / $18

To Øl Shameless Santa 
10% Belgian Strong Ale (750ml) / $36

To Øl Jule Maelk
15% Imperial Sweet Stout w/Lactose / $25

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 19th, 2017

Eurozone - Tomorrow!


Tomorrow we tap seven beers from rebellious, pioneering European brewers To Øl and Freigeist.

From midday you can get your hands on the following in 200ml TeKu, 300ml fancies or 473ml US pints:

From To Øl:
Kaffe og Røg - Smoked Dark Ale with Coffee - 9%
Sur Amarillo - Sour Mashed IPA - 7%
Frost Bite APA - With orange peel and pine needles - 6%
Snowball - Hoppy saison with brettanomyces - 7%

From Freigeist:
Original Pfefferkørner White - Peppercorn Wheat - 5.3%
Miss Florida IPA - Citrus IPA - 5.5%
Berlinner Sheisse Strawberry - Berliner Braunbier with Strawberry - 5%

Two further beers will be available tomorrow only on bottle pour. The first is from neither To Øl or Freigeist but from German brewer The Monarchy, who is famous for brewing historic styles as they were hundreds of years ago.
The Monarchy Methusalem Holunderheimer is their big malty 10% Altbier that we had on tap last shipment, but with elderberry juice added.

The other bottle pour tomorrow will be an interesting one from To Øl: Chateau Øl (10.4%).
With Chateau Øl, To Øl have tried to emulate a wine without using crazy adjuncts:

"We decided to produce a Belgian Tripel style beer that is aimed at replicating a crisp wine, using a “melody” of wine yeasts to ferment the beer.
On top of this we chose to use Hallertauer Blanc hops for both kettle and dry hopping to produce the grape, pear like flavours we desired. A touch of Flaked Rye gives a spice kick, with the Pilsner malt base giving a clean finish that helps to balance the flavours."

You can pick up a 200ml bottle pour of either of these tomorrow for $10.

Eurozone Tasting Unification


If you want more European weirdness, get in on the Eurozone tastingWednesday Feb 1st at 6pm.
We've selected nine of weirdest beers of the shipment, which you can taste for just $35:

- To Øl Brett & Butter Mosaic Pale Ale with Brett 3.6%
- To Øl/Põhjala Ginie in  a Bottle Gin-Inspired Gose 4.2%
-  To Øl Sur Yule Sour Mashed Winter Pale Ale with Cherries 5.4%
- To Øl Sur Galaxy Galaxy Hopped Sourmashed Black IPA 7%
- To Øl Sur Amarillo Amarillo Hopped Sourmashed IPA 7.5%
- Freigeist Mango Unchained Mango Gose Eisbock 9%
- Freigeist/Nogne O Best Brewjob Ever
(sorry, worst beer name ever.) Imperial Altbier 11%
- To Øl Chateau Øl Wine Style Ale 10.4%
- To Øl Pineapple Express Imperial Stout with Pineapple and Coffee 10%

This will be the last tasting I run, so I'll make it a fun one. You can book your spot over the bar or at cultbeerstore.co.nz.

The Wellyest Weekend

From Saturday we're kicking out the imports and celebrating Wellington's exploding brewing scene with only Wellington brewed beers on tap.

It'll also be the first tapping of Graphic Brewing's new lemongrass pacific ale: "Kick Grass".

In addition to Kick Grass, from midday Sat we'll be tapping:

-Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout
-Choice Bros Reet Petite
-Tiamana/GP/Mata Banaenae (banana spice ale)
-Te Aro Fred's IPA
-Kereru Imperial Nibs
-Duncan's Pilsner
-Tiamana Quincee Jones Gose
-Wild & Woolly Beast of Burden
-North End Iron Sands Stout


In case some run out we've also got Baylands Skull Cracker Zythra IIPA, Wild & Woolly Badger Me and Kereru SPA in backup.

In addition to the all-star Wellington tap lineup on Saturday we'll be doing a bottle pour of some rare North End Salt & Wood sours.
Kieran has let us have a few bottles each of his Eucharist Blackberry Wild Ale, Barrel Stout Sour and Blanco Sherry BA Sour.

You can grab a flight of 150ml pours of these three for $20 on Saturday.

Then on Sunday night while we have our very later Christmas party, two Wellington brewers will be behind the bar: Wild & Wooly's Llew "Behind the Bar"decki and former Panhead brewer Sam "Bear Belly" Whitney.

So if you're not leaving for the long weekend, pop down and get amongst Wellington's best.

Oscar Blues

>
After last week's cryptic clue, I can reveal that we will soon be launching renowned US brewer Oscar Blues on tap and in cans!
Oscar Blues were one of the first brewers to go exclusively to cans, and are often credited with kicking off the 'craft canning revolution'.

We'll soon be launching with six Oscar Blues beers on tap and a very special can-pour.
Currently the launch date is up in the air due to uncertain freight, so for now this teaser will have to do.
As soon as we confirm the launch date I'll send out a special edition email with all of the details.

(Dave) WoodStock


After working at Hashigo for seven years, it's time for me to move on. I'm heading to Europe with my partner Denise, to experience the world while we're still young.
Working at HZ has been a dream job for me, and it's kinda scary giving up a job that I enjoy in an industry I love. But most things in life that are worthwhile doing seem scary before.

Next week will be my last week at Hashigo, so of course I've organised a bit of a farewell party. It's been pointed out that organising my own farewell party is a little unorthodox. But ever since I had the idea to brew some of my favourite homebrew recipes for my last day, there's been no getting around it.
Since December I've been brewing a few small batches of my most successful homebrews at three amazing local breweries. I brewed four beers all together, which will all be on tap from 5pm Thursday the 26th. In addition to brewing beers at friend's breweries, all of the artwork for the beers was done by artistically talented friends.

Mr. Brown is actually a recipe I stole from Dylan Jauslin (of Golding's). When he wanted to brew a brown ale on my homebrew kit we got a recipe from Jo Wood, which was tweaked many times over the years. This version is one I adapted for the US election, minus the insane amount of dry hopping so you can still taste the lovely Gladfield malts. The NZ Taiheke and US Colombus hops still shine through though.

Artwork for Mr. Brown is by my best friend, ex Goldings bartender and insanely talented artist Steven Driessen.
See his other works at Steven Driessen Art.
Mr. Brown was brewed at Wild & Woolly.

Midnight Tantrum has a bit of a story behind the the name.
After tasting Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace Saison I was dermined to emulate the amazing interaction of Sorachi Ace hops with funky Saison yeast.
After two attempts to become acquainted with the overpowering nature of Sorachi Ace, the third batch had the perfect balance of Saison farmhouse funk and weird earthy/lemony Sorachi.
I kegged & carbed the batch, and enjoyed a couple pints with Steve & Denise before heading to the pub(s).
Upon returning around midnight, I was greeted by a house inundated by the distinctive smell of Sorachi Ace... and a massive puddle of beer.
One of the keg seals had failed while we were out, creating a slow leak that dumped 90% of the keg on the carpet. I then loudly expressed my frustration of losing weeks of work on the keg itself - which found itself across the other side of the room fairly quickly. Possibly with a few new dents.
Ever since that night, subsequent batches of Sorachi Saison were named Midnight Tantrum.
This batch was also brewed with Llew at Wild & Woolly.

The essence of this story is masterfully captured in the tap badge by HZ regular and artist extraordinaire Matt Gane. Check out his other excellent work on instagram.

Beetnik IPA was the very first Staffie Series beer way back in 2014, it's also the recipe I've brewed the most (by far) so I had to bring it back.
Beetnik came about through an idea to brew a maroon beer to drink during State of Origin 2010 (Denise & I support the Maroons).
Denise's Dad came up with the idea of adding beets to impart the red hue, which took quite a while to perfect. Not enough beets and it just looked like a normal IPA, too much and the earthy beet flavour came through to clash horribly with the fruity US hops.
After a lot of experimentation I found the right balance, and discovered that a bright red IPA with a fluffy pink head that tastes like normal IPA really messes with people's heads.
For this version I swapped out the Simcoe for Citra hops, and upped the dry-hopping to really please you hop heads.
The artwork for Beetnik was prepared by former HZ manager, current Golding's GM and all round excellent beer guy Dylan Jauslin. Check out his thoughtful and entertaining beer blog The Bottleneck.
Just like the original Staffie Series batch, this Beetnik was brewed out at Baylands Brewery.

SPOT came about when I wanted to brew a dark beer for winter, and threw together a recipe from the top of my head. Surprisingly it turned out to be quite a hit, but when thinking up a name I couldn't decide whether it was a stout or a porter.
In the end I realised that the only difference between stouts and porters is that stouts say 'Stout' on the label and porters say 'Porter' on the label. So I named it 'Stouty Portery Oatmealy Thingy' in homage.

Artwork for SPOT was done by HZ regular, llama enthusiast and keg-cap vandaliser Sarah Sparks.
It should be noted that I added the text at the bottom so all font hate should be sent in my direction. Long live comic sans!
SPOT was brewed at Te Aro Brewing, although it was kind of contract brewed. I left this one fairly late, and when our arranged brew date fell through I though it would be dropped. But the amazing crew at Te Aro went ahead and brewed a batch of SPOT to my recipe, meaning it'll be ready just in time!
All four of the above beers will be tapped at 5pm next Thursday for my farewell do, Dave Fest.
Of course there will also be cake and sappy speeches. The beers are likely to run out on the night  with just 30-50L of each. So get along early to try em all (200ml serves will be available). I'm looking forward to being on the other side of the bar with you all before I head off.