Friday, April 20, 2012

April 19, 2012

X-Ale... Speaking of Festivals... Hop Craic... On Tap Soon... Stop Press...


There are just two days until the event we considered calling "The Incredibly Strange Beer Festival". We haven't said too much about what's on offer although a couple of brewers have tweeted some hints. So since the cat's out of the bag, here are a couple more of the beers we'll be serving:

  • Liberty Summ!it Imperial IPA - the beer that was for at least a few of us, THE beer of 2010. The seminal Liberty IIPA before C!tra came along.
  • 8 Wired Mighty Imperial Ale an Ice-distilled Barley Wine - a beer so rare Søren had forgotten he had it. It was brewed a year ago in honour of the brewer's new-born daughter, then a portion was frozen to allow water to be removed and concentrate the remaining beer. It's been tested and comes out at 25% ABV. Now there is only a small volume of this beer, so unlike the other beers entry doesn't guarantee a sample of it. Instead it will go on sale late in the day for those whose palates have lasted the distance.

Already announced:

  • Hallertau Funkonnay - a sour ale aged in Chardonnay barrels.
  • Nøgne Ø Aku Aku Lemongrass Ale.
  • Mikkeller 1000 IBU Light - all the bitterness of 1000 IBU but only half the body to balance it.
  • Green Flash Le Freak - one of the most famous "Belgian IPAs" ever made, applying a Belgian yeast to an aggressively hopped, 9.3% IPA.
  • Mikkeller / 3 Floyds Boogoop - the latest in their collaborative series of Barley Wines made with alternative grains, this time buckwheat.

That leaves seven more. That list includes at least three more sours, two smoked beers, one spiced and the obligatory imperial stout. But not just any imperial stout.

The event is three quarters sold out, so we expect a healthy turnout to fill the space where ParrotDog's shiny new brewery will sit in a few weeks. If you'd like to join in, come along and buy a ticket at the bar or get on to

Speaking of Festivals

The festival scene is evolving quickly. This seems a fitting time to mention the ones that are on our radar and that we expect to have some involvement with:

  • The Great Australian Beer Spectapular and Good Beer Week - Melbourne, May 11-19.
  • SOBA Winter Ale Festival. We're not sure of the date but we understand that the SOBA politburo are planning to stage this again in mid to late June at Wellington's Boatshed.
  • Beervana and Choice Beer Week. The New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards are judged in the week starting August 13, with the Awards Ceremony on August 16 and Beervana on the 17th and 18th. We understand that the Brewers Guild are re-branding this period of awards and Beervana as "Choice Beer Week" and we promise that there will be no shortage of peripheral events that week, in case anyone is considering taking time off to get involved.
  • The Pacific Beer Expo. Yes our own showcase of beer from the Pacific Rim will be back at Wellington's Boatshed on the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend (October 20, 21).

Hop Craic

Next Tuesday's New Release is Hop Craic XXXX IPA, an absurdly resiny, hoppy Imperial IPA from Moylan's. We actually tapped this keg last week to get samples for our "New from California" tasting. On that night it came out on top in our poll for best beer of the night. It's reminiscent of Moylan's own Hopsickle but somehow even hoppier.

As usual, our Tuesday release will be on tap at 5pm.

On Tap Soon

Just because X-Ale is taking all the most extreme beer in our stock that doesn't mean we don't have variety and quality in bulk here at 25 Taranaki St. For instance:

  • Two old favourites from the reborn Twisted Hop are back - Golding and Twisted Ankle.
  • Ballast Point Big Eye. Need we say more? Maybe just that its stable-mate Sculpin happens to be on tap right now.
  • Sprig and Fern 3 Berry Cider on tap. Even though it has a dedicated outlet across town we like to get our own fix of this now and then. Also expect one or two others from the S&F range.
  • Nøgne Ø God Jul - is it cold enough yet to drink a Scandinavian Christmas beer?

Stop Press

A keg from the first ever batch of Fresh Hopwired - Hopwired made with unkilned hops from this year's harvest - just arrived and will be on tap as soon as a place becomes free - probably in the next couple of hours!


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