Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017


News bulletin #401

July 27, 2017

Urban Pale & Jealous Plums

Tomorrow night we simultaneously launch two new beers that have quite a bit of significance.

First there’s La Sirène’s Urban Pale Ale.

There’s a school of thought that, once consumers have drunk huge volumes of cleanly fermented, highly hopped pale ale, they start to crave variations that are lighter, subtler or that incorporate other flavours. Which may help explain the phenomenon of the citrus-infused IPA. And it probably contributed to a resurgence of interest in beers with more fermentation character, such as saisons. In turn, this has created interested in hybrids that might bridge the gap between beers defined by their hop flavours and beers defined by their fermentation character, with the so-called Belgian IPA an early example.

But Belgian IPAs can taste like a violent battle between strong phenolic flavours left by the yeast and aggressive hop flavours and bitterness from hops, with the drinker’s palate left as rubble.

La Sirène Urban Pale looks for a far more harmonious relationship between hops and fermentation flavours, by bringing out flavour notes they have in common, such as citrus pith and dry, peppery spice. The brewery’s years-long investment in developing and tuning their house yeast strain has no doubt helped make this possible.

For a short time Almanac in San Francisco made a beer called Mandarina that did this beautifully, but that beer is, sadly, retired. It’s likely that others will attempt this brewing trickery in the near future, but we encourage our customers to come in and snap up the opportunity to drink Urban Pale while it’s on tap.

Meanwhile we get to join several other venues around the country launching Jealous Plums. It’s a Berliner Weisse aged on greengage plums. It’s made and sold by Hallertau, but is based on the National Homebrew Champion beer of Dunedin’s Jamie McQuillan.

Now Jamie will be releasing beer under his own Cell Division brand very soon. In fact on August 12, we’re hosting the Cult Beer Barn, in which beers of a Belgian/farmhousie nature, made by La Sirène, Craftwork and Cell Division, will be on tap simultaneously. Which means tomorrow night’s double launch is a kind of a preview (but with different individual beers).


Speaking of Farmhouse styles of beer and Craftwork themselves… we just received a fresh order from Oamaru’s finest brewers of Belgian styles of beer. It means that the supply in our fridge of their bottled beers has been topped up, while we also have two kegs tucked away for Cult Beer Barn on Aug 12. Those fresh supplies of bottles include four that we’ve had before:
  • Red Bonnet
  • Saison Poire
  • Saison Zest
  • Saison Anise
And two that are new to us:
  • Angel – judging by the lengthy description on the bottle, this beer is inspired by Orval - the original brett-condition, Trappist legend. 
  • Riverstone 10 – a saison brewed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Riverstone Kitchen, the celebrated restaurant on State Highway 1, north of Oamaru. It won a silver medal at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards. (The beer won a medal, not the restaurant.)

New Release Tuesday - Smoke and Arson Edition

On Tuesday we celebrate the arrival of Graphic Brewing's third beer, which curiously coincides with the first anniversary of the time someone tried to burn us down.

Oh how we laughed.

But seriously, My City Is On Fire is a smoked porter, that we get to release on Tuesday before it makes its way around the country in cans and kegs.

We also invite any customers who might be inclined to take it personally that an arsonist tried to burn down a bar that you frequent, to come down and figuratively wave two fingers in their direction by enjoying a glass of My City Is On Fire.

Bottle Pour Saturday

All the new (to New Zealand) products that have arrived from La Sirène give us a chance to dedicate a bottle pour to them. In fact there's every chance that we'll hold more such bottle pours of different La Sirène releases in the weeks to come.

This week we'll be offering small servings by the glass and from the bottle of Cidre and Bière de Provision.

Cidre is La Sirène's first cider and they went to extraordinary lengths to create an authentic French style. Cidre uses a French variety of cider apples grown in North Bendigo. The apples were pressed and exposed to the air at the orchard, to try and capture some local microflora, before being fermented, bottled and aged at the brewery. The final gravity of this is under 1000, yet its fruit flavours more than cancel any perception of dryness.

Here's how they drink it at the brewery. Maybe we'll settle for flutes.

Bière de Provision is a super dry and tart pale ale, fermented with wild yeast and coming out at just 3.9% ABV, making it ideal as a Saturday afternoon post-gardening tonic.

On Tap Now

  • Te Aro Dragon APA
  • Garage Project Garagista IPA
  • Omnipollo Karluminium
  • Beer Baroness Lady Danger Red Ale (Handpump)
  • Hey Day Moongold (Handpump)
  • Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar IIPA
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Baylands Party Pils
  • Leipzig Ritterguts Gose
  • Wild & Woolly Sooty Albatross
  • Mike's Vanilla Coffee Porter


Still on tap are the two pretty amazing beers from Sweden’s Omnipollo that we tapped on Friday, as well as Ritterguts Gose, which (apart from a 40-odd year hiatus) has been made since 1824, making it pretty much the most authentic gose any of us will ever taste.

Look Out For

As well as getting Hallertau to send us Jealous Plums, we picked up a keg of their IPA called I Like Your Speakers. This beer celebrates the sound system at Lovebucket Bar in Karangahape Road in Auckland. Hallertau are the majority owners of Lovebucket, which is a must-visit for some of us when in Auckland.


There's no live music this Saturday, but then we make up forthat with three in two weeks:
On Aug 5 it’s Jellyroll Blues and The Pussycat Dues

Then during the week of Beervana we have live music on both the 11th (the Cosmonauts) and 12th (Nick Granville Funk Trio) of August.

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