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 cafĂ© called Good In The Hood.

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


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!


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.


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