Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011

Congratulations... July the First... July the Fourth... July the Fourteenth... July the Twenty First... Upcoming Tastings... Emerson's Week... Beverage News...


We'd like to congratulate SOBA on the apparent success of Saturday's Matariki Winter Ale Festival. But it may not be completely proper as to do so would be a little self-serving. That's because we ended up helping out quite a lot on the day (along with the best set of volunteer help that the organisers could have hoped for).

Now there are several reasons why we willingly mucked in with SOBA to help make Saturday work. Not least is the fact that it's a great event that deserves to succeed. But it also suits us to make a study of an event like this to help us in future ventures, the first of which is not so far off. Is that enough of a hint for now? Or do we need to add (in a whisper)... stay in Wellington this Labour weekend!

Nevertheless Hashigo Zake applauds the determined and visionary work of Rob Owen, Nick Page and the rest of SOBA's Wellington ruling elite.

(And speaking of SOBA, there is still no news on the outcome of the Radler Trademark Hearing.)

July The First

The home countries of some of our favourite customers and brewers are celebrating their birthdays in July. The season starts on Friday the 1st with... Canada! Yes we'll forgive you all for rioting after the Stanley Cup and for that succession of really aggravating pop stars, and yes, even for Jim Carrey, if you just come down for a discounted bière québécoise this Friday.

In our fridges right now are limited stocks of a few dazzling beers. These and a few others will be 10% cheaper from Friday afternoon:

  • Les Trois Mousquetaires G.C. Porter Baltique - 750mls of rich, dark, cherry wood aged goodness.
  • Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel - a 9.5% Coffee-infused Imperial Stout.
  • Unibroue Terrible - a Strong Ale from Quebec's most famous Belgian-style brewer.

It would be wrong to try and entice a portion of our market with beer but then fail to back that up with an equally compelling food option. So after consulting at least one of our regular Canadian customers, we've hatched a plan to offer bacon and egg pies accompanied by maple syrup, this Friday only.

July The Fourth

Now our next shipment of Californian beer is still on the water, and there's only a handful of kegs from the previous one. But we're scraping together a pretty dazzling set of five to put on tap on Monday:

  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  • Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
  • Bear Republic Red Rocket
  • Green Flash Imperial IPA
  • Green Flash Double Stout

Now for a mere $30, you'll be able to get a stemmed glass of all five of these, which represents a pretty handy discount.

We wanted to do some iconic American food, but something "party-friendly" and fitting within the constraints of our kitchen. The solution is Beer Brats - bratwurst braised in beer - and a dessert of Apple Pie.

Now many of us have plenty of reservations about how the world's superpower goes about its business, whether it's foreign policy, trade practices or their inability to legalise home brewing in Alabama, but all differences will be left at the door while we celebrate a few of the many things the US gets right.

July the Fourteenth

We may normally carry a particularly low number of French beers but that does not mean that don't recognise the merits of at least a few French brewers. Not to mention French food. Now we'll wait until next week to finalise plans, but expect to see appearances by one or two pretty special French beers, offered together with our tribute to French cuisine.

July the Twenty First

Would you believe that Belgium celebrates its national day in July as well? Frankly there are too many other events between now and then for us to predict what we'll do on that day yet, but we still advise circling it in your calendar.

Upcoming Tastings

As if multiple national days didn't complicate July enough, we have two pretty special tastings next month, and for one we're deviating from our usual Tuesday scheduling.

Taranaki Beer

Both Ron Trigg of Mike's and Joseph Wood of Liberty will be in attendance on Wednesday the 13th, while we try to pick just eight beers to represent their respective (and sometimes collaborative) output. More details and bookings are at

Waldhaus Tasting and Launch

For the first time the beers of this venerable German brewery will be available in New Zealand, and we're celebrating with a tasting with assistance from their New Zealand importer, David Waugh. It's on July the 19th, and details are at

Emerson's Week

Traditionally in July the Emerson's Brewery send Richard Emerson to Wellington for a week, during which their Wellington distributor, Regional Wines and Spirits, inflict a punishing agenda of tastings, lunches, dinners, in-store appearances and baby-kissing on the far too compliant brewer. This year Richard is popping up in the middle of the month, around the weekend of the 16th/17th. Now we're collaborating with Regional on a trade event, which means that this time the pleasure of having Richard meeting his public will go to different outlets, sadly.

But we're particularly impressed by the thought of the Long Lunch happening at Ambeli Restaurant on July 17. See for more details.

Beverage News

Last week we omitted to mention Three Boys Wild Plum Ale, which has been on tap since earlier this week. It's a pretty special beer - surprisingly high gravity (8% ABV) but pale and with no obvious colouring from the plums, but thoroughly imbued with plum flavour, a little tart, and not overtly sweet. At the current rate tonight will probably be its last night on tap.

Also unmentioned last week, but on tap right now, is an Imperial Stout from Christchurch's Wigram Brewery, called Czar.

The availability of beer from Nelson's Golden Bear Brewpub waxes and wanes, but this week we've picked up a keg each of two of their popular hop bombs - Hop Toad and Seismic IPA.

We continue to receive beers brewed under the Twisted Hop name at the Three Boys brewery. (There's still no news on when we might ever see Challenger, Golding or Twisted Ankle again.) This week expect to see some Twisted Hop IPA and Sauvin Pilsner.

Extensive surveying has revealed that it has been a while since we had anything from Croucher on tap. So expect to see their Pilsner and Pale Ale in the coming days.

Finally Yeastie Boys Her Majesty 2011 is out in bottles. Or will be when we get our delivery. The keg that was dispensed at the festival last Saturday may be the only time this beer is on tap in Wellington. Now the style of this beer this year is loosely a saison. We've seen a few beers lately either in this style or borrowing from it - Invercargill's Saison, 8 Wired's Saison Sauvin, Rescue Red Ale and Nøgne Ø Saison - but surprisingly a number of participants in Saturday's festival were confused by this beer.

In Stu's words, "The idea behind this was to brew a strong yet simple beer where the yeast really got a chance to be the showcase.... Knowing it was going to finish very dry, due to the lack of those specialty malts, we went for some soft, sweetness promoting hops in the form of Sauvin and Pacifica... This beer finished at 1.004 and is probably slightly below that now. For those that are now "brewing geeks" that roughly translates to being about the driest beer in NZ. But despite that, there is still a lot of malt sweetness and weight in the beer... Richer than Carlos Slim, more funk than James Brown, drier than the Christopher Walken and with the kick of a Kaimanawa horse... Farmhouse styles, just as they should be!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011

Two New Tastings... Upcoming Festivals... Volunteering for Beervana... New on Tap... New Food... Finally

Two New Tastings

The next couple of months look like being a busy time for dedicated lovers of good beer. There are festivals coming, at least two major shipments of foreign beer with Hashigo Zake's name on them and, like last year, we're finding that local brewers are choosing this time of year to release some of the biggest, most challenging beers in their portfolios.

And we're playing our part by contributing a couple of unmissable events to the July calendar.

Taranaki Tasting

The White Cliffs Brewery, or Mike's, is one of New Zealand's oldest craft breweries. The nano-brewery Liberty is close to being the youngest. But they are in fact closely related. In particular the recipes of Liberty's Joseph Wood are playing a big part in the reinvention of Mike's as brewers of diverse, even extreme beers, as well as a bastion of moderately flavoured organic ales and lagers.

This tasting gives us a chance to put Ron Trigg of Mike's and Joseph Wood in a room together with some of their appreciative Wellington consumers. We'll put together eight beers from their respective portfolios and come up with a tasting that will start with an iconic mild ale but will finish with some of the most adventurous strong ales ever made in New Zealand.

This tasting takes place at 6:30pm on Wednesday July 13. Note the different day of the week from our usual practice.

Bookings are open at

Waldhaus Tasting

New Zealand is about to welcome the products of a nearly 200 year-old old brewery in southern Germany called Waldhaus. In future we'll be selecting several beers from their range to grace the fridges at Hashigo Zake.

The man we have to thank is Wellingtonian and Hashigo Zake regular David Waugh. The Waldhaus range is the first fruit of his embryonic importing business.

This tasting will be a chance to find out what the beers of an authentic, traditional German brewery really taste like. After a couple of early samplings we at Hashigo Zake have high expectations.

This event takes place on Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30pm. Bookings are open at

Upcoming Festivals

As hinted above, we're coming into beer festival season, if there's such a thing. First up is this Saturday's SOBA Matariki Winter Ale Festival. It seems that it has sold out, so we won't try too hard to promote it now, except to say to those who are coming, look out for us, our bar and a few pretty special beers that are our contribution to the festivities.

The biggest date(s) on the New Zealand beer calendar belong to Beervana. A lot has changed this year, and we're as curious as anyone to see just how those changes pan out. Regardless, we encourage everyone to get along and take in the single biggest and best showcase of New Zealand craft beer of 2011. See more at

Volunteering at Beervana

Speaking of Beervana, we've been asked to pass on a request from the event's volunteer coordinator (and Hashigo Zake regular) Steph Coutts. (Apologies to those of you who've already been reached through Steph's network of allies.)

With the changes to Beervana, Steph needs even more volunteers than last year because this time volunteers will be working behind all the bars.

In particular Steph needs volunteers that know about beer and can talk to the punters about the product they're selling. Sound like you?

Volunteers will receive a Beervana t-shirt and glass, entry into one free session for each session that they volunteer at plus $20 worth of food and beverage vouchers. Those of us who've toiled away behind the taps at Beervana can vouch for how enjoyable it can be and how much nicer the beer tastes afterwards.

If you're interested in signing up, head along to

New on Tap

One of the best beers some of us have ever tasted snuck onto the taps last night with little fanfare. Taranaki Pale Ale (not to be confused with Liberty's Taranaki Session Beer that was the hit of last week) is a collaboration between Taranaki's two greatest breweries - Mike's and Liberty. It's a 7% pale ale, probably making it an IPA, defined by a cocktail of all New Zealand hops that will taste like mother's milk to fans of, say, Hopwired.

If our first keg of TPA has run out by the time you visit us next, don't worry, this is going to the top or near the top of our hit list of beers to be re-ordered ASAP.

And still on the subject of Mike's, it looks as though their imperious Imperial IPA is back in stock and will be replacing Imperial Porter on the cylon beer dispenser.

Invercargill's new Scotch Ale called Men 'n Skurts caused a stir when we first got it a few weeks ago. This was partly because it was extremely tasty and partly because it had a curious hint of peated malt, even though its recipe apparently included no such malt. This led many of us to speculate whether Yeastie Boys' Rex Attitude was somehow influencing any beer that came after it either on a tap in a bar or in the brewery where it was made. We'll have to quiz Steve Nally about that the next time he's in Wellington.

New Food

After months of market research and product trials we can today welcome a new addition to the outpost of our menu that is headed "Food". Gyoza (pronounced gyoza) are little pan-fried dumplings filled with seasoned minced pork, or, in one variation, vegetables. They are a mainstay all over east Asia, and accompanied by soy sauce and chilli oil we think they make a great beer snack.

They're on the menu now at $10 for a plate of four.


Some bad news... we've had a tap fail on us. The good news is it was just the water tap.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011

SOBA's Matariki Winter Ale Festival... New from Liberty... Other New Beer... Bargains... National Days... A Word About Our Importing Programme...

SOBA's Matariki Winter Ale Festival

It's just over a week until the second Matariki Winter Ale Festival takes place at the Boatshed on the waterfront. This year our involvement is even greater than last year, with a number of the beers on offer being gems from our stock of rare kegged beers from around the Pacific.

If you haven't got your ticket yet, get along to the SOBA website to book.

And by the way, we're all still waiting for a decision in the SOBA/DB/Radler trademark hearing.

New from Liberty

We're running the risk of turning this email into an(other) extended publicity blurb for Liberty. But we're particularly pleased with what Joe Wood has done now. He asked what kind of beer we would like and he went out and made it.

Please believe that our answer to his question wasn't self-serving and indulgent. (If that was the case we'd have asked Joe to make a brett-infected, dry-hopped, Lagavulin barrel-aged barley wine.) Our answer was based on the often heard wish that there be a few more session beers on our taps. And so it came to pass that a couple of months ago Joe sent down a rigger of a 3.7% pale ale with a hoppy aroma to rival any American IPA. It was good but we had reservations about the body and flavour; after all if making beers in this style was easy everybody would be doing it.

What arrived on our doorstep yesterday was Joe's response, in the form of 80 litres of what we're calling Taranaki Session Beer. The first keg went on tap last night and it's tasting mighty fresh.

Other New Beer

Some rare treats are making their way up from the South Island this week.

First of all we're picking up a couple of rarely seen kegs from the Mussel Inn - The Whit Pig Manuka flavoured wheat beer and Black Boar Dark Manuka Ale.

Secondly, from a body being referred to as "Canterbury Uni Brewers" comes Adlib Pale Ale. We're as curious as you are.


The Baird Brewery just send two pallets of beer on their way to us, including new stock of pretty much all their bottled range. It turns out that it's been a long time between restocks for some of the Baird range. Fortunately beers like Rising Sun Pale Ale and Teikoku IPA mature pretty gracefully, so they're hardly disgracing themselves right now.

Nevertheless we'd like all our previous stock to be gone by the time the new stuff arrives, so we're dropping the price on the handful of beers that are left.

National Days


May we congratulate the Canadians of Wellington that we have got to know recently for their magnificent loyalty to the cause of the Canucks in the Stanley Cup. Our commiserations over the final result.

To help everyone over the loss please come in on July the 1st and enjoy discounts on some of the exquisite Quebec beers we recently acquired.

The Fourth of July

We can now announce our lineup of tap beers for the 4th of July. We're throwing caution to the wind and offering the best set of US beer possible:

  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  • Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
  • Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale
  • Green Flash Imperial IPA
  • Green Flash Double Stout

These will be available at their usual price, but we'll also offer a $30 ticket that will entitle you to buy a stemmed glass (330ml approx) of each beer.

A Word About Our Importing Programme

For two years we've worked hard to improve the standard of imported beer available in New Zealand. We have developed relationships with breweries overseas rather than go behind their backs and we have (to the best of our knowledge) pioneered the use of refrigerated shipping when bringing craft beer to New Zealand to ensure that it's in great condition and to meet the requirements of the breweries.

We have also tried to coordinate our importing with the export plans of several New Zealand craft breweries by lending them kegs and ensuring that only full kegs make international journeys. Breweries such as Tuatara, Emerson's, Yeastie Boys and 8 Wired have worked with us. In fact at the time of writing a Hashigo Zake keg is dispensing 8 Wired Tall Poppy to drinkers in Copenhagen.

We've also willingly distributed the products we bring in to other outlets. We count certain New World supermarkets, Liquorland outlets, specialist bottle shops such as Regional Wines and Spirits and bars such as Galbraith's, Hallertau, The Hop Garden and Bar Edward among our customers.

But some outlets continue to use the grey market to source other, or in some cases, the same products. The kindest thing we can say about this practice is that it isn't illegal. But it does lead to products appearing on the market in poor condition, damaging the reputation of the breweries and antagonising the brewers themselves. It leads to exasperated reviews such as this. While we spend a great deal of effort convincing breweries that we have a market worth supplying, they hear about grey market imports and get a picture of New Zealand as the wild west of beer markets. This is exactly why, for instance, there is no chance of seeing any officially imported Stone beer in New Zealand for a long, long time.

As we said, none of this breaks any (New Zealand) laws, but please, the next time you see beer from Baird, Nøgne Ø, Mikkeller, Ballast Point, Rogue, Green Flash or Bear Republic in a New Zealand bar, bottle shop or online store, feel free to ask a few questions about how they acquired it, how fresh it is, and whether the brewer of that beer knows that they're selling it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9, 2011

Wellington's Newest Brewery... Aussie Invasion... With Canadian Air Support... And a Japanese Stout... New from Hallertau... New from Liberty... Other Goodies... Ice Hockey... A Few Dates...

Wellington's Newest Brewery

Wellington has often been referred to as New Zealand's Craft Beer Capital. Ironically this is usually said by non-Wellingtonians, particularly brewers who simply know where their beer is being sold.

Nevertheless it has been said enough to inspire jealousy and a few dissenters, particularly residents of cities that, unlike Wellington, are blessed with an abundance of local breweries. The Wellington region can boast of the spectacularly successful Tuatara brewery. And there is, of course, the amazing Yeastie Boys, whose production actually takes place in Invercargill. But there's effectively no commercial brewery, craft or industrial, in metropolitan Wellington, unless you count the barely used equipment in the former Temperance.

It's led many of us to wonder why New Zealand's craft beer consumption capital isn't also a production centre. No really good explanation has ever emerged, and it could well be that the simple answer is that no-one has got around to it yet.

That theory is about to gain weight because there are signs that breweries are about to pop up in Wellington like brothels in a gold-mining town.

There was the recent announcement of a brewpub on the site of The Bond Street Inn The Loaded Hog Syn Bar The Ruby Lounge. And we've heard rumours of at least two embryonic commercial breweries in the city. (If the people behind those projects would like to get in touch, make a sales pitch, send samples etc, we'd love to hear from you.)

In addition at least two local businesses whose personnel we know well at Hashigo Zake are planning their first contract brews and we hope to be pouring their beers in the near future.

But probably the most exciting future Wellington brewery that we know of goes by the name Garage Project.

We've seen a lot of the people behind Garage Project and we can tell you that planning has been going on for some time. Jos, Ian and Pete have experience and credentials to burn. They've been absorbing influences from great breweries all over the world, from nano-breweries to giants and have been patiently developing their plans for what seems like a decade.

One of the outcomes of that prolonged planning process is that they are starting defiantly small. The first incarnation of Garage Project will be so small that the term nano-brewery barely seems adequate. Their first beers will be rare. How will beer geeks and collectors track them down? The simple answer is: drink where the brewer drinks. (Or check out the Garage Project's website.)

Aussie Invasion

Some time ago we lent a pallet of kegs to Emerson's to help them send beer to Australia. Late last week those kegs arrived back on our doorstep filled with Anzac goodwill. Or to be more precise:

  • Jamieson The Beast IPA
  • Bridge Rd "The Harvest" Pale Ale
  • Bridge Rd Bière de Garde

We then rushed these goodies into cold storage for us all to enjoy over the coming months. We kept one keg of The Harvest on the premises and this will appear on tap any day.

With Canadian Air Support

While we were shopping for beer in Victoria we refreshed our stocks of a few bottled Quebec beers that are imported into Australia but not here. Shipping products indirectly like this can be fraught, so we've limited ourselves to a handful of exceptional beers that we are confident have travelled well.

  • St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout is generally considered one of the best stouts in the world and was snapped up last time we stocked it.
  • St Ambroise Citrouille (Spiced Pumpkin Ale).
  • Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel (Coffee Imperial Stout). Again this was snapped up so fast last time that we had to get it back.
  • Les Trois Mousquetaires Grande Cuvée Porter Baltique (Baltic Porter). We don't find an awful lot of Baltic Porters in New Zealand and after trying this we're left wondering why. Imagine a cross between a doppelbock and an imperial porter. An extraordinary beer, but we only have a couple of cases.

And a Japanese Stout

While we were updating our stocks of world class dark beers we snuck in a few cases of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout. Again, we only have a couple of cases so don't waste any time.

New from Hallertau

After a succession of delays we've finally taken delivery of another all too small order of beer from West Auckland's greatest brewpub. It includes kegs of:

  • Winter Minimus - the session hop-bomb.
  • Maximus - American-style IPA.
  • Barley Wine.

New from Liberty

In terms of variety, Joe Wood may just be the most prolific brewer in the country. Next week we're expecting two new beers from him in kegs, including a hoppy session ale developed in consultation with us, which may be named Welcome Back Ale or Taranaki Session Beer. Or something else.

The other is something pretty special cooked up with a certain high profile figure in the New Zealand craft beer scene. More about that next week.

He's also drip-feeding us information about a collaboration with some of the most famous brewers in Auckland, and we hope to have stock of this in the near future.

Other Goodies

A few of the gems that were just lugged down our stairs and will be on tap soon:

  • Batch 2 of Yeastie Boys Hud-a-Wa' on hand pump then tap (or vice versa, or maybe even simultaneously).
  • Twisted Hop's IPA (on hand pump) AND Sauvin Pils - not bad for a brewpub that's inside the cordon in Christchurch.
  • Golden Eagle's South Island Pale Ale on handpump.
  • Golden Bear Patriot Ale.

Ice Hockey

It was a pleasant surprise last Sunday to find out just how many Canadians there are in Wellington. You're all most welcome back for game five on Saturday afternoon.

A Few Dates

In case anyone was thinking of leaving town...

  • June 21 - Our own Winter Solstice Tasting
  • June 25 - SOBA's Matariki Winter Ale Festival, at the Boatshed
  • July 4 - Our own US Beer Extravaganza
  • August 5/6 - Beervana 2011, complete with new owners, a new format and a new venue - Westpac Stadium
  • August 12, 13, 14 - the first New Zealand Chocolate Festival, at the Intercontinental Hotel
  • October 22, 23 - to be announced

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011

Our Future Neighbours... Liberty Beer in Bottles... Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout... 8 Wired Saison Sauvin and Batch 18... Returning Favourites... Bookings... Alumnus News... Holiday Weekend... Further Reading...

Our Future Neighbours

Many of you may have been alarmed to read about the new building that will supposedly be erected soon on what is currently the car park behind us.

There have been plans along the lines of the "Stalla" apartment block (or "cheese grater" as it's also known) in existence for some time. One set of plans had part of the building actually occupying the air space above ours. But those of us potentially affected assumed that the current economic climate, the oversupply of CBD apartments and the construction challenges made it unlikely that this development would ever go ahead.

The building itself may not be a problem to us. In fact if the developers had bothered to get in touch we would have asked if they could create some storage space that we could rent. It's the construction process that concerns us.

The balance of probability must still be that the challenges will be too great for construction to proceed. But if it does both we and Zibibbo have started taking steps to make sure our concerns are heard over the construction process.

Unfortunately Wellington's recent history is littered with examples of businesses coming up with dumb ideas and affected parties not having a say. So if our concerns aren't taken into account we've got other measures up our sleeves.

Liberty Beer in Bottles

Joe Wood's determination to brew small volumes but think big in every other sense has led to a new development - bottled Liberty beer. And we believe that the shipment we just took makes us the first outlet anywhere for these beers.

Brand new stock of the first three bottled Liberty beers just arrived and are on our shelves. They're Never Go Back Imperial Oat Stout, High Carb Ale and MMMoMMftCHv3 Black Barley Wine. And no, that's not a typo - Liberty are taking Yeastie Boys on for name obscurity.

We've also rushed these beers onto the pages of the Cult Beer Store, because we're also the first outlet in New Zealand with these beers available for mail order. So go to to check them out.

One thing setting these beers apart is their use of Zork SPK closures. These resealable cap replacements were developed for use with sparkling wine. They look a little different, but for high strength beers like these they may just be the cleverest thing since sliced bread. For an action demo, go to

Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

In the 2009 version of this beer the addition of cocoa nibs had an effect on the beer that was, to many of us, more apparent texturally than in its flavour.

In 2010 the addition of vanilla made the chocolate flavour more apparent. It also seemed to sell a lot faster the 2009 version.

So how will the 2011 version taste? Last year's recipe has been only slightly modified. We know that it won the imagination of the judges at the Australian International Beer Awards recently. Was that for artistic interpretation or degree of difficulty? All will be revealed when our first keg of Craftsman goes on over the next few days.

Meanwhile Renaissance's Brian Thiel insists that the long awaited Renaissance Barley Wine is nearly ready to be released. Watch this space.

8 Wired Saison Sauvin and Batch 18

If the "new" Saison Sauvin sounds slightly familiar it's because we had a preview a few months ago, thanks to Søren's strategy of brewing 80 litre test batches of his new beers.

That single keg made believers of quite a few of us. It's the kind of beer that makes your hair stand on end - Søren takes the wort of Hopwired, his ultra Sauvin-hoppy IPA, and ferments it with a Saison yeast, infusing it with a sharp, dry spiciness.

Like a Belgian IPA or a hopfenweisse (hoppy wheat beer), it's a kitchen sink of flavours, incorporating two components, either of which would define the character of most beers on its own.

We have but one of the grand total of five kegs filled with Saison Sauvin. But we'll be sourcing bottles as soon as they're available.

Meanwhile Batch 18 is the moniker for 8 Wired's Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, which becomes available in bottles today. Expectations are high.

Returning Favourites

There are lots of returning favourites on tap this week. Which is another way of saying that, for a change, there are no new tap beers. For us, the most exciting of the returnees (apart from Saison Sauvin) is Golden Bear Patriot Pale Ale. This is particularly fitting since we've had quite a few patrons in the last few days from the California Maritime Academy's TS Golden Bear.

Look out also for lashings of Three Boys Wheat, Twisted Hop Sauvin Pils, Harrington's Rogue Hop Pils, Rescue Red Ale and Yeastie Boys Fools Gold and a full range of Renaissance beers that came up with the Craftsman.


We're coming into what is our busy time of year and have been fielding a lot of requests for bookings lately. There is a school of thought that says a business such as ours should like nothing better than to book some or all of the bar out to groups, especially if those groups include people who have never visited our premises. We like to think differently and believe that being open to the public, and in particular our regular customers, is our highest priority.

So while we're rapt that people sometimes want to lock in a place in our bar, our overriding objective is to be open to all-comers. So we are carefully considering every booking request, taking into account the night of the week and rationing the number of tables that can be reserved on certain evenings.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch nice and early if you would like to talk about a booking. And if you have an axe to grind over the way we are handling bookings then, again, please get in touch.

Alumnus News

We've learned that the popular Chris Hogg, former Hashigo Zake bartender and beard grower, has fulfilled his ambition of securing employment with Scottish cult brewers Brewdog.

Holiday Weekend Surcharge

Apologies if you've heard it all before, but we really don't believe in applying holiday surcharges here at HZ. In fact being a Monday, our usual SOBA discount will apply on Queen's Birthday.

Further Reading

If you feel you would like to absorb even more of these writings, then may we suggest The Liquor Ladder? It's an occasional blog of material loosely related to Hashigo Zake.

Some recent overseas travel means there has been a sudden increase in postings, including news on some of the breweries that we are particular fans (and customers) of, here at Hashigo Zake.