Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013

Darren Watson's Final Gigs... Big Bad Wolf's Christmas Charcuterie... The Ramen Shop... Santa Session... Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout... Finally...

Darren Watson's Final Gigs

Wellington's own living blues legend, Darren Watson, has announced that he'll retreat from the rough and tumble of pub gigs at the end of this year and concentrate on recording and ticketed concerts. It's an entirely reasonable decision, but it means we'll only get to host two more performances from Darren and his Underground Blues Band here at Hashigo Zake.

This is the very much the end of an era - some of us remember Darren and Chicago Smoke Shop playing gigs around Wellington in the 80s. The second to last such gig is this Saturday at 10pm. The final one will be on December 21. No matter how much sentiment is attached to these final performances, our cover charge remains the same - $0.

Big Bad Wolf's Christmas Charcuterie

The final (for 2013) and most ambitious of our collaborations with Big Bad Wolf takes place on Sunday, December 8, on the charcuterie's own premises over on Wakefield St. All our previous food and beer matching events with Big Bad Wolf have been enormously popular and received rave reviews. The eating and drinking starts at 4pm. Tickets are limited and are available from our own Cult Beer Store.

The Ramen Shop

Asher and Tsubasa bring the Ramen Shop back to Hashigo Zake tomorrow. From 11:30am we'll be serving their ramen bowls, including freshly made noodles, an interesting variety of toppings and, best of all, delicious porky broth.

The Santa Session

We've learned that a certain, long standing tradition of the Wellington craft beer scene has been moved to take place on the first Tuesday of December, clashing just nicely with the 2013 Santa Session. We could complain, panic or hastily reschedule. We even thought of having a second Santa Session, but there can only be one Santa Session in any calendar year. So in the end we're just going to suggest that this is a golden opportunity for those who missed out on places in the Santa Session to snap them up from those who would rather go to Beer Options.

For those happy to keep their Santa Session booking, we'll see you at around 6:30 on Tuesday.

Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout

Back in the day, Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout was one of our early big sellers. Black as the bottom of a cave at midnight, packed with coffee, chocolate and liquorice flavours, finishing gratuitously bitter and poured from a ceramic bottle that seemed to absorb light, it was very much one of the original "cult beers" that helped establish Hashigo Zake's reputation.

Supplies of it have been erratic since then, so it's good to know that New Zealand's original importers of Rogue Ales are, about now, taking delivery of our largest ever order of this beer. In fact it's the largest order of Rogue beer we've ever received. There will also be new season Yellow Snow, fresh Chipotle Ale, more Beard Beer and a couple of new beers in the form of Integrity Ale, Honey Kolsch and Rogue's own Pumpkin Ale, made with pumpkins grown on their own farms.

Hold your breath.


The era of the celebrity-guest beertender begins tomorrow night in Auckland, when our own Dave Wood helps programme the taps at Brothers and dispenses beer and advice to their customers. It will be like "Playing Favourites" but with beer instead of songs. And the list of beers is, unsurprisingly, pretty stellar.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 7, 2013

Santa Session... Wellington Beer in Auckland... New Release Tuesday... On Tap Now or Soon...

Santa Session

The 2013 Santa Session has provoked a decent amount of interest from many of the people that we hoped it would, so we thank those of you who have booked already and advise that those dithering that half the places are now gone.

For those who don't know what we're talking about, here's how it works:

We set up a pouring station away from the main bar and stockpile a wide variety of bottled beer that we rotate through as the evening goes on. Ticket holders are welcome to come back to our pouring station over and over again and get their glass refilled with whichever beer we're pouring at the minute. Some of the beer may be slightly past its best, some of it you may not have heard of and some will be absolute gems that we simply have too much of.

The action lasts two and a half hours, starting at 6:30pm on December the 3rd. Tickets can be bought over the bar or at our web store. And of course there's a substantial discount for SOBA members.

Wellington Beer in Auckland

A couple of Wellington breweries don't have the attention they deserve in Auckland at the moment, so today (Thursday) we're coordinating with Brothers Beer in Auckland to give them a little bit of a profile. Specifically Kereru and Remedy Brewing will be on tap this evening. There will also be recent releases from Funk Estate and ParrotDog to ensure that Brothers is oozing with Wellington-ness this evening.

Why are we telling you this? Simply in case anyone reading this happens to be residing in Auckland right now and/or because you have Auckland friends dying to know what the next big thing in the beer world is going to be.

New Release Tuesday

There's an element of shame, embarrassment and risk associated with next week's new release. The shame and embarrassment comes from the fact that most of us should have tried it already but missed out. This is because it was scheduled to be served at the Pacific Beer Expo, but the content of the keg didn't match the name written on the top.

The beer in question is Liberty/Hallertau KomissionA the New Zealand Pale Ale brewed to commission the new, shared Liberty/Hallertau brewery. The risk of rescheduling it as our new release on Tuesday is that we don't know for sure what will come out of the next keg called KomissionA. We may have to have a backup beer just in case.

So Liberty/Hallertau KomissionA may or may not be our new release next Tuesday at 5pm.

On Tap Now or Soon

We're having a beer festival in slow motion right now. Leftovers from the Pacific Beer Expo are steadily making their way on tap. Insane, decadent, extravagant, exotic and generally special beers are taking abbreviated turns on tap. For instance, look out for:

  • Jungle Brewing's Tropical Wheat and Kiasu Stout.
  • The Yeastie Boys/Pretty Things collaboration - Our Turn Your Turn.
  • Green Flash's Saison Diego
  • Speakeasy Prohibition Amber Ale
  • The extremely pink Baylands Pacific Sunset.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October 31, 2013

Big Thanks... 2013 Santa Session... Music on Saturday... New Release Tuesday... Ramen... Finally...

Big Thanks

Hashigo Zake has a number of people to thank for the enormous success of Sunday's Pacific Beer Expo.

First and foremost we thanks the hundreds of people who did "get" what the festival is about and how it works, knew not to question why the ticket price was what it was, and came along and enjoyed themselves. It's not our style to wait at the door with survey forms, so we can only go by the anecdotal feedback we've received. And that feedback suggests that attendees were pretty happy and satisfied. So thank you for coming.

Steph Coutts of Craft Beer College and her pool of willing volunteers are one of the reasons why Wellington is at such an advantage when it comes to the organisation of beer festivals.

We got all sorts of help from Goldings Free Dive. And ParrotDog and Garage Project helped make sure we had enough taps to pour that number of beers.

A number of brewers went to a lot of trouble to supply us with new and/or interesting beers. A few even attended. One actually volunteered to pour his own beer.

For once we are in a position to make a nice early announcement about next year's Pacific Beer Expo. It will take place on the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend (October 25 & 26) at our original venue of the Boatshed, but with one key difference. We'll also have the use of the adjoining Wellington Rowers Function Centre, giving us significantly more capacity than we've had before, but in not one, but two, character venues.

2013 Santa Session

Now also seems the ideal time to announce the 2013 Santa Session. This is our now annual exercise in clearing a little stock and celebrating the looming year's end with some of our favourite customers, organised in collaboration with (and with a discount for members of) SOBA.

It may or may not be common knowledge, but our wholesale business has grown around 300% in the last year, which means that there's a lot more beer passing through our warehouse with increasing potential for some really good products to get overlooked by our wholesale or bar customers.

There must be plenty of Santa Session veterans by now, so you know the drill... tickets are available at the Cult Beer Store, or we'll take your booking over the bar. Anyone taking advantage of the substantial discount to SOBA members will be expected to show a SOBA membership card on the night.

Music on Saturday

We host something of a Wellington Jazz supergroup on Saturday evening, with Leigh Jackson and Nick Granville playing as the Leigh Jackson & Nick Granville Quartet with the four made up by Nick Tipping (bass) and Reuben Bradley (drums). From 10pm in the lounge, at no charge.

New Release Tuesday

Our favourite Tauranga nano-brewery is now generating a little more variety and has invested in a stock of the same 10 litre kegs that Mike's brewery use. And because we aren't contractually bound to pour Mike's beer through the Mike's machine, we can take advantage of this new diversity we're getting from Fitzpatrick's. And next week we'll make Fitzpatrick's ESB our new release. On tap from 5pm on Tuesday.


Tomorrow is a Ramen Friday. Delicious porky broth and freshly made noodles go on sale from around 11:30am tomorrow. Thanks to the Ramen Shop.


Tonight is the Night of Pretending To Be Out, so tomorrow must be the Day Of The Dead. Which presumably explains the unheralded arrival of these:

They look like anything but a vessel containing beer, and we don't know if there are more where they came from. But they and a couple of kegs that appeared at the same time came with some message about an embargo that will run out some time tomorrow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

Final Pacific Beer Expo Update... Music on Saturday... New Release Tuesday... Labour Day Surcharge - Just Kidding...

Pacific Beer Expo Update

We're just three days from what we think is the highlight of the year for anyone who appreciates the same kind of beer that we do. A couple of days ago we announced the nearly final lineup for the Pacific Beer Expo on facebook and twitter. You can read that announcement here.

One particular beer didn't quite make Tuesday's announcement on account of the fact that we hadn't talked to its brewer for a week or two and it is not the kind of beer we want to bait people with then switch. It's an early preview from the extensive barrel ageing programme that 8 Wired is running. The particular beer we're serving on Sunday has the working title of Wild Feijoa. It's a strong pale ale brewed almost two years ago that has been sitting in a barrel with some feijoas.

Pooh Beer

We've also been slow to reveal details of what might be one of the most interesting beers at the event. But here goes... on a recent trip to Vietnam the Hashigo Zake delegation was given the chance to buy some authentic civet cat (or "weasel") coffee - coffee beans collected after passing through the digestive system of the coffee cherry-addicted civet cat. There were two varieties available - unwashed, unroasted free range beans, still in a form best described as actual cat poo. Fearing that NZ Customs might not look kindly on a random passenger flying in with a jar of cat poo, we plumped for the alternative - washed and roasted beans from farmed cats.

As sensible as this sounds, it seems that there is growing disquiet around the world about "farmed" - or perhaps "battery" - civet cat coffee. So unless and until we find a source of weasel coffee that's guaranteed to have been excreted humanely, we're viewing this exercise as a one-off.

Nevertheless, having transported our small packet of maybe-not-so-humanely farmed civet cat coffee we weren't going to waste it. We entrusted it with Garage Project who already have done great things with coffee-laced beer and they created a small batch of their gold medal winning Ca Phe Da. We believe that the result is New Zealand's first, commercial, civet cat coffee beer. And it might be the last for a while.


Did we mention that we've persuaded Ruth Pretty Catering to try and come up with foods to match the festival beers? We treated them to a taste of a few representative beers, including Ballast Point Victory at Sea and Southern Tier Crème Brûlée. Check out the menu they've come up with:

  • Caramelised Chilli Almonds
  • Rugelach with Apricot, Walnut and Chocolate
  • Turkish Cheese Pastry
  • Turmeric Chicken Satay with Caramelised Peanut Sauce and Flatbread
  • Turmeric Vegetable Satay with Caramelised Peanut Sauce and Flatbread (v)
  • Toasted Sandwich with Braised Beef Bavette, Swiss Cheese and Pickled Red Onion
  • Toasted Sandwich with Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese and Pickled Red Onion (v)
  • Mocha Crème Brûlée


With a new venue, a legendary caterer and a beer list that tops just about anything we've ever seen, this year's event is looking pretty exciting. But not everything automatically goes our way and there is one cloud on the horizon. We're hearing lots of grizzles about the booking fee that is imposed on anyone buying online. We aren't unsympathetic but ask supporters to save their complaints for now. The ticket agent comes with the venue. We either use them or hold the festival in a swamp.

We were given permission to sell a few tickets in our own right, which we duly did. Surprisingly we've just been allowed another allocation, so for a little while we are once again able to sell a few over the bar. Apart from those few tickets, any additional purchases have to be via the official ticket vendor and the relevant web page is here.

Music on Saturday

It may be a long weekend with a rugby final on one evening, a beer festival the next day and a day of rest to top it all off, but regular traditions remain unaffected. In other words, we will have live music, as usual, in the Lounge on Saturday night.

In fact Saturday sees the triumphant return from illness of Darren Watson and his Underground Blues Band. From 10pm with the customary non-existent cover charge.

New Release Tuesday

This one takes some explaining. It's one of the latest Moon Dog beers - kind of. We recently took delivery of Mummy Have A Bite, which is a calvados barrel aged amber ale. The brewery also filled a 20L keg for us with the base beer before it went into barrels. It has been referred to as "beer from fermenter #2" and "Toffee Apple Beer (without the apple)". So maybe we'll just go with Toffee Apple, even if it is meaningless without the correct context. (And context will be a few feet away in the form of bottled Mummy Have A Bite.)

Moon Dog Toffee Apple will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.

Labour Day Surcharge - Just Kidding

Do we need to keep making this point or have the advocates of public holiday surcharges crawled into a hole?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013

Pacific Beer Expo Update... On Tap Now or Soon... Saturday Music... New Release Tuesday... Ra Ra... Recommended Reading...

Pacific Beer Expo Update

There are just ten days to go now until the Third Pacific Beer Expo. We're encouraging breweries to supply new and even experimental beers for the event, which inevitably means that even this close to the date there are question marks over places in the lineup. It's disconcerting but all part of the fun. Nevertheless we're getting closer to a final lineup and can make a few more announcements:

From Taranaki's Mike's comes their latest hemp beer - a 5% IPA. From the sounds of things there's a lot of hemp at their disposal up there in Urenui and they're doing their darnedest to come up with a beer that can take advantage. And it seems like a nice follow-up to last year's Kava beer from Garage Project.

The nation's champion brewery - Renaissance - have a new beer that we know little about except that it's a fruit wheat beer. That will make at least three fruit-infused wheat beers on tap during the event. The other two confirmed are Baylands Brewery's Blueberry Wheat, which apparently has come out an interesting shade of pink, and Jungle Brewery's Tropical Wheat - Orange & Mango, all the way from Singapore. Having three fruit infused wheat beers on tap at the same time and place is not something we would normally embrace, but festivals are all about expanding horizons, right?

As an antidote to all the wheaty fruitiness we can also reveal that there will be at least four beers, and possibly more, that fit loosely into the Imperial Stout category, including a face off between the two biggest show ponies of the world of dark, high gravity beers - Ballast Point Victory at Sea and Southern Tier Crème Brûlée.

From Nelson's Golden Bear we have a beer they're calling an IPAL. It's essentially an IPA but fermented with a blended yeast in a fashion that puts it somewhere between an ale and a lager.

Finally (for now) we can announce a collaboration between Hamilton breweries 666 and Brewaucracy. The premise, as described to us, was to take the recipe for Brewaucracy's In Triplicate, which is a Belgian Tripel, and subject it to the kind of hopping regime that 666 specialises in. Presumably the result will resemble an Imperial Belgian IPA. It's to be called Devil In The Details.

At the time of writing our own supply of tickets here at the bar has been exhausted. We're hoping to re-stock, but in the meantime please use Ticketek. And if you go in and book in person you don't have to reveal all your personal information just to make a purchase.

On Tap Now or Soon

There are some goodies backed up, waiting to come on. But of course we'd say that. Anyway, here's the proof:

Last week's promised Epic Coffee & Fig Imperial Stout is coming, honest.

With a massive order of Californian beer about to arrive it's time to clear our stocks from the last such order. Which amounts to: about one keg of Ballast Point Dorado Imperial IPA.

Minumus is Hallertau's much-admired version of brewing's holy grail :- the hoppy session beer. On tap shortly.

We've snapped up a couple of kegs of Schippers beer - one each of Mistress Pilsner and Scallywag.

And not on tap but new and spanking fresh in bottles is this year's batch of Peckham's Elderflower Cider.

Saturday Music

This Saturday's band was particularly popular with staff last time round, so comes with an even more sincere than usual recommendation. The Digg's fusion of jazz and Hendriks-meets-Tarantino psychedelic surf rock was our idea of a good time back in June, so we're looking forward to having them back at 10pm on Saturday night. In the lounge and at no charge.

New Release Tuesday

We're following this week's sensational Spontonframboos from Mikkeller (of which a few servings remain) with another sour of a sort from the Danish gypsy brewer. It's Funky E-Star or perhaps Funky E★ if we're all writing and reading this on compatible devices.

On tap from 5pm on Tuesday.

Ra Ra

Tomorrow, being an every second Friday, is Ramen Shop Friday here at Hashigo Zake. Come in from 11:30 for lunch from the best ramen vendors in the Southern Hemisphere. (Can we say that?)

Recommended Reading

The collective known as the Thirsty Boys are paragons of both loyalty (being regular attendees at New Release Tuesday) and fine beer writing. But even they surpassed themselves this week when they handed the keys to the blog over to their own Ladies Auxiliary.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013

Pacific Beer Expo Update... IP Watch... On Tap Now or Soon... Saturday Music... New Release Tuesday...

Pacific Beer Expo Update

There's a danger when building a lineup of beers and taking advantage of the choicest imports and seasonals at our disposal, that we end up with a very "bottom-heavy" festival. That is, this may seem a danger to some attendees. To others a lineup packed with high-gravity, flavour-packed beers is the best news possible.

Nevertheless we're tailoring the 2013 PBE lineup with extra care this year to make sure that there are plenty of sensible, easy drinking but still very interesting options. And so, we can announce the following inclusions in our lineup:

  • Left Coast Tommy - a 4.1% session ale from the makers of Hop Juice.
  • Green Flash Citra Session Ale - a 4.3% session beer that, admittedly, strongly resembles a 6.5% IPA in flavour, but without the loss of judgement.
  • Kereru Pohutakawa Golden Ale - straight from a conditioning tank at Kereru's beautiful new facility near Maidstone Park in Upper Hutt, comes their easy drinking summer beer.

Of course we've already announced two inclusions from Singapore's Jungle Brewing - their Orange and Mango Tropical Wheat and Nutmeg and Mace Steam Lager will round out the easy drinking end of our spectrum of flavours.

Tickets continue to sell steadily. We recommend buying early for your and our peace of mind, either at Ticketek, or (while stocks last) here at the bar.

IP Watch

It's been a slow news day here at Hashigo Zake's Global News Headquarters, but on days like this a glance on the IPONZ website to see what trademarks are being applied for can salvage things a little.

Today's shocker was pretty obscure until we started putting the web's best known search engine to use. Because really... a simple application to trademark "Beer O'Clock" as a beer name seems pretty harmless. But it turns out that "Beer O'Clock" was more than just a one time slogan of one of New Zealand's mega-breweries. It's one of the most used colloquialisms the world of beer has. It has an entry in, there are multiple websites whose very names are based on the phrase and there's more merchandise out there (clothes, clocks etc) incorporating the phrase than you can shake a stick at.

Only an IP lawyer could explain whether that complete lack of originality is enough to warrant throwing the application out. But it begs the question, what opportunist would try and grab a trademark on a phrase that's so patently unoriginal? Turns out it's someone called Bruce Calvin Clark of Darwin in Australia.

Mr Clark has made quite a few interesting trademark applications over the years - in both Australia and New Zealand. For instance there's one across the Tasman for "New. Real. Lager.". Apparently those full stops are part of the name and really important. He made another trademark application for a beer called "Very Fine Lager". There's no sign that VFL and N.R.L. are actual beers. But for some reason there was a need to trademark them as beer names.

Clark's application for a trademark on "Beer O'Clock" went through a Lower Hutt firm called A J Pietras & Co. They've helped apply for trademarks on some pretty interesting names. There's "666", which we know as a Hamilton-based brewery but in some countries is an energy drink. But here "666" has been trademarked by the low-profile "Premium Brands Marketing Limited", along with other energy drink names like "Jolt". A J Pietra & Co, bless them, also represented the energy drinks company that trademarked "Big Cock" and "Huge Cock" and another drinks company that felt the need to trademark "S.H.I.T.".

The things you can learn on a simple government department's website.

On Tap Now or Soon

Right now, kitchen sink beer Green Flash Le Freak is on tap and will be followed by Ballast Point's hop bomb Dorado IIPA.

Nøgne Ø's malty Christmas beer God Jul (one of their three Christmas beers) is on tap right now, though not for much longer. It will be followed by the Twisted Hop's hop-less and trophy winning festive beer called Cheery, then Epic's legendary Coffee & Fig Imperial Oatmeal Stout.

We have an imposter on the wheat beer tap at the moment - Peckhams Kingston Black Cider. When it's gone look out for some Canterbury wheat beer in the form of Brew Moon Luna Wit and Twisted Hop Hefeweizen.

Also look out for up and coming locals Kereru Moonless Stout (on already) and Deeble's Pale Ale from Remedy Brewing.

And Lobethal Bierhaus' India Pale Al, the unassuming little brother to Double Hop IPA, is on tap right now and exceeding expectations.

Saturday Music

Carlos Navae returns on Saturday night to bring Latin Jazz and other testosterone-fuelled musical forms to our lounge. All cover charge-less and from 10pm.

New Release Tuesday

We've been waiting for the perfect time to unleash Mikkeller Spontenframboos on unsuspecting drinkers and Tuesday is it. It's a wild-fermented, raspberry-infused, barrel-aged sour beer. We've had others in the sponten- series by the bottle before and they've all been pretty mouth-puckeringly sour. This time the sourness will be on tap. From 5pm on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013

Pacific Beer Expo Update... Kimchi... New Release Tuesday... Saturday Music... Ramen Friday... Stop Press...

Pacific Beer Expo Update

Somewhere between here and California is a 40ft refrigerated container with, among other things, our latest order from Ballast Point Brewing. In that order will be a number of the highlights of this year's Pacific Beer Expo. For instance we're expecting kegs of a batch of their Black Marlin Porter that has been infused with cocoa nibs, chipotle chillies and orange peel. We're also bringing over some Fathom India Pale Lager, one of ratebeer's highest rated Imperial Pilsners.

Also this month we're expecting supplies of another offshore collaboration by Yeastie Boys. This time their co-conspirators were Massachusetts brewery Pretty Things. The result is Pretty BoysOur Turn Your Turn, a hoppy pale wheat ale, with added Lindenflower.

Tickets for the Pacific Beer Expo are on sale now. They cost $50 each, and that gets attendees a souvenir Spiegelau glass (that doesn't resemble a sex-toy), programme and a significant number of starting tokens to spend on food and beer. We have a few for sale here at Hashigo Zake or you can get them from Ticketek here (or for mobiles here).


We're on a mission, that in all likelihood will never end, to develop the perfect menu of beer-friendly snack foods. The latest addition is the classic Korean appetiser, seasoning and general miracle food - kimchi. And a bowl of this spicy, stinky deliciousness costs just $4.

To celebrate its arrival we also have a Venison, Beef and Kimchi pie available for a limited time.

New Release Tuesday

On Tuesday we're going back to the well of fine beer that is our recent shipment from Adelaide's Lobethal Bierhaus. This time it's their India Pale Al. Yes you read that correctly - India Pale Al is partly named after its own brewer, Al. It's a very traditional English style of IPA in marked contrast with their delicious Double Hop IPA.

India Pale Al goes on tap at 5pm next Tuesday.

Saturday Music

We apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced by our last minute change in musical act last Saturday. Blues stalwart Darren Watson had to cancel on Saturday due to illness. Our booker and some of Wellington's most dedicated musicians scrambled, and a replacement act was improvised at the last minute. And it was great! Many thanks to Chris Armour, Neil Billington, Richard Te One and Richie P.

This Saturday's act is a new one for us:- Reece McNaughten & Justin Firefly Clarke, featuring "Eastern European-influenced new and old school Jazz grooves and loops". From 10pm in the lounge.

Ramen Friday

Tomorrow the Ramen Shop return to combine their freshly made noodles, delicious broth and various toppings into the nicest lunch on offer. To make things even easier we'll make sure we're open by 11:30am tomorrow. And we'll be offering some kind of ramen+beer special.

Stop Press

Gravity pouring is back! Tonight and maybe tomorrow we have a firkin of Garage Project Cockswain's Extraordinary Ordinary, sitting on the bar, dispensing cask-conditioned session beer.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 26, 2013

Pacific Beer Expo Tickets... Double Newish Release Tuesday... Darren Watson... Old Dogs, New Bottles... On Tap Shortly...

Pacific Beer Expo Tickets

We can now announce that Pacific Beer Expo tickets are on sale. We've even been allowed to sell a few of them ourselves, which can be bought over the counter at the bar. Or you can get them from Ticketek here (or for mobiles here).

We can also start to reveal details of some of the beers we'll be serving. Last year shipping delays meant that beer from Singapore brewery Jungle didn't make it in time for the festival and we had to make do with serving them at the bar (and also taking some to the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch). But Jungle's beers - or at least the slightly flamboyant styles that we've brought over - really belong in a festival. At the time of writing our order is closer to Wellington than it is to Singapore, so this year we're confident that we'll be serving some or all of their fruit-infused Tropical Wheat, Kiasu Stout, and the very intriguing sounding Nutmeg & Mace Steam Lager.

Here are the essential details about the 2013 Pacific Beer Expo:The 2013 instalment of Australasia’s most exclusive beer festival takes place on the Sunday of Labour Weekend at Wellington’s St James Theatre Gallery. Attendees will get to enjoy over thirty carefully selected beers from some of the Pacific Rim’s most highly regarded breweries. Look out for new releases and special one-off beers from some of New Zealand’s best breweries, plus rare or seasonal releases from breweries in Australia, Singapore and the United States. Ticket holders gain entry, a souvenir glass, a programme and plenty of tokens for food and drink to get you started. The event runs from 2pm until 7pm on October 27, 2013.

Double Newish Release Tuesday

This week we have not one but too typically unconventional beers from Garage Project. They were both tasted by a handful of people at the Yeast Feast, during Wellington On A Plate, so aren't strictly new, but we make the rules, thanks.

The first is called an "Egyptian" beer, in that it borrows certain techniques and ingredients that would have been used thousands of years ago. For instance there's honey, emmer wheat and the yeast was cultured from the skins of organic raisins and dates.

And from the same family of tiny batches made for Yeast Feast comes a "slightly sour" Flanders Red.

Garage Project Egyptian Beer and Flanders Red go on tap at 5pm on Tuesday. Stocks are very limited.

Darren's Back

Darren Watson and his Underground Blues Band are back on Saturday night. Judging by his recent facebook posts, following a certain early morning sporting event has taken an emotional toll on Darren, so he probably needs the catharsis that will come from a transcendent musical performance.

Our Saturday night gig starts at 10pm and there's no charge. Darren's gigs are usually pretty popular, so come early.

Old Dogs, New Bottles

It's a good week for interesting new bottle offerings from breweries with canine aspirations. First of all, arriving in our fridges on Friday or Monday will be the three latest bottlings from Melbourne's Moon Dog:

  • Jumping The Shark 2013 - Moon Dog's statement beer - a 15.5% Cognac barrel-aged truffled Imperial Stout, packaged in 375ml wax-dipped mini champagne bottles.
  • Mummy Have a Bite - an 8.2% "toffee apple beer" (red/amber ale aged in calvados barrels).
  • Bock Naked - a 7.7% chipotle'd dark lager.

Now that they have achieved complete domination over their difficult bottling plant, ParrotDog have branched out and started bottling a couple of their seasonals. The bottles have a different and much darker style of label that we think will look pretty striking on bar and supermarket shelves:

  • Otis Oatmeal Stout.
  • SleuthHound Scotch Ale.

As with the Moon Dog bottles, we hope to have these on the shelves on Friday evening, but it's in the hands of the freight companies.

On Tap Soon

Christmas is less than a year away, so what better time to enjoy the biggest of Nøgne Ø's three Christmas beers - God Jul. (Pronounced more like goo yule than gojjul.)

Lobethal Double Hop IPA (not actually an IIPA, just a beautifully hoppy IPA) will be on soon, possibly when the beer below runs out:

Waiting out the back is the final keg of the most recent batch of Sculpin IPA to be imported from and with the approval of the Ballast Point Brewing Company. Once it's gone have no fear - the odd keg of Big Eye IPA, Dorado IIPA and one or two others are still in the country. And we're expecting more goodies from Ballast Point in time for the Pacific Beer Expo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013

Debate Aftermath

Our Mayoral Candidates Debate took place last night. We're genuinely impressed at and thankful for the support that was shown for this event by the candidates, by our moderators and their helpers and by We're disappointed and a little embarrassed that all our hopes for streaming proceedings over the internet fell through due to technical problems. These will be corrected in any similar, future events.

All the feedback we've received has confirmed that the moderators did a great job, the candidates got their messages across and the whole thing was pretty informative. For anyone who missed out Wellingtonista have compiled the only thing better than a verbatim transcript.

In spite of the technical failings we're sufficiently encouraged by last night's proceedings to consider doing something similar again in future.

Beard Beer

At the risk of drawing attention to the fact that a high proportion of our staff and customers struggle with finding razors, we take pleasure in bringing our customers the long awaited Rogue Beard Beer.

Clearly this is a beer that confuses people and causes a little discomfort. The story is that Rogue brewery were looking for yeasts that may have evolved spontaneously in or around the brewery; and as an afterthought, or maybe just a joke, they tested hairs from the beard of brewer John Maier. It turned out that the only viable brewing yeast they identified was from Maier's beard. calls the resulting beer an "American Wild Ale". But call it a "Belgian Ale". Maybe this says something about perceptions of hygiene around the world. Or maybe it's more to do with where John Maier had been holidaying. The surprising thing is that consumers are getting past the ick factor and are actually said to be enjoying Beard Beer.

We'll find out for ourselves tomorrow evening when New Zealand's first case of Beard Beer goes on sale.

New Release Tuesday

There are at least four commercial beers called Vuur & Vlam (Fire & Flame). About the same number as there are called Zombie Hopocalypse in fact, but probably less of a coincidence. We previously had a small amount of the beer by this name from Midtfyns Bryghus in Denmark. We now have what we suspect was the original from De Molen. (In fact this blog provides a likely explanation of the proliferations of Vuur & Vlams.)

So De Molen Vuur & Vlam, which is, by the way, an American IPA, goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Ramen Friday

We're onto a fortnightly cycle with Tsubasa and Asher from the Ramen Shop. They'll be back at noon tomorrow with supplies of their Ramen for lunchtime diners. They'll stay until interest and/or supplies dwindle - between one and two hours.

Saturday Music

Appearing this week in our Lounge are the Wellington City Shake 'Em On Downers. We say they're appearing in the Lounge but last time this heavily populated swing band appeared at Hashigo Zake they chose not to be confined by the four walls of the lounge and played en promenade.

The fun starts as usual at 10pm.


We've been fielding a lot of queries lately about the Pacific Beer Expo. There was a good reason for delaying any announcements - we've been working through the implications of a shift in venue from the Boatshed to the First Floor Gallery at the St James Theatre. It's a much bigger venue and it's only available to us on one day of Labour Weekend, which means that this year PBE takes place on one day only, Sunday October 27.

Tickets will go on sale early next week. As a condition of using the venue the ticket agent is going to be Ticketek.

This year's event will feature, as usual:

  • More geographic and stylistic variety and quality than any beer festival in New Zealand.
  • A number of beers that have never been available in New Zealand before.
  • High quality food.
  • A generous allocation of starting tokens for food and drink.

We can also make a few other firm promises about the 2013 Pacific Beer Expo:

  • No oompah music.
  • No-one (or no event staff at least) will be wearing lederhosen.
  • No $22,500 ratepayer subsidy.
  • The Pacific Beer Expo proudly remains, perhaps, the only beer festival held in New Zealand in October, that isn't called Oktoberfest.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September 12, 2013

The Debate... Music This Saturday... New Release Tuesday... Ramen... On Tap Now or Soon...

The Debate

We're pleased to announce that Councillor Morrison has declared his availability and we now have a full complement of mayoral candidates coming along next Wednesday evening for our debate. So for the third and final time we invite readers of this email to propose questions (by replying to this email) that our moderators might put to the candidates next week.

The debate starts at 5:30pm on Wednesday in our lounge. We plan to mic the participants and broadcast proceedings throughout the bar. We encourage our regular customers to take this opportunity to participate in the democratic process by submitting questions and/or attending on Wednesday.

Speaking of the Wellington City Council, they (and we) were in the news earlier this week over modifications to their proposed local alcohol policy. The main reason we saw for relief was the apparent rejection of the "entertainment precinct" concept. For those who haven't heard, that proposal was that operators wanting to create a venue with a late licence would only be allowed to do so in parts of town that are already saturated with bars.

They also appear to have rejected the idea that those of you wanting to take home a bottle of exceptional beer from our selection would have to do so by 9pm.

What seems to have been overlooked by the media in the Council's revision of their own plans is that they have added a fleeting mention of large events and the Wellington Sevens. It doesn't say much but we're relieved to see a passing acknowledgement that there might be improvements in the way alcohol is used over the period of the Sevens. It probably won't be enough to persuade us to risk staying open on February the 7th and 8th next year, but it's a start.

Music This Saturday

We've another new (to us) act this week in a the form of Rhinoboogie, a four-piece side-project of local "hip-hop neo-soul chunk-funk" outfit Brockaflowersaurus-rex. We expect horns, drums and samples.

As always, music comes at no charge to customers and kicks off at 10pm.

New Release Tuesday

Next week's new release is another collaboration between a relatively new brewery and one of the country's most respected brewers. The new brewery is Taupo's Lakeman. The wise old head that assures us we're getting something good belongs to Graeme Mahy of 666.

So at 5pm next week we're putting the new Lakeman/666 IPA on tap - we believe for the first time in Wellington.


After two test runs with popup restaurant The Ramen Shop, they're happy, we're happy and there seemed to be quite a few happy customers as well. So we're taking our relationship to the next level and we don't care who knows.

The Ramen Shop will now be bringing their broth, pork, tofu and fresh noodles to Hashigo Zake once a fortnight for Friday lunches. This new arrangement starts next Friday (the 20th) and will run until Christmas.

On Tap Now or Soon

We're pretty impressed with our current lineup, if we may say so ourselves, with a local collab helped by a rockstar Californian brewery, an always popular staple from Green Flash, a rauchbier from upstarts Brewaucracy, a pilsner from next big thing Panhead and the experimental Screwtop on a hand pump.

But there's always room to tweak things, so look out for:

  • Baylands Brewery's Berry Brownie - the berry-infused brown ale that just about everyone reading it thinks is "Berry Brownlee" and some kind of reference to a certain politician. We're assured that no such connection was intended.
  • Liberty's 'Ow'd ye' like 'dem Apples, the beer made without yeast or water, unless you count wild yeast and apple juice.
  • Christchurch's Wigram Brewery have a Hefeweizen and it's time it had a turn on our wheat beer tap.
  • Coronado's citrus peel-infused IPA known as Frog's Breath.

Oh and bottles of Ben Middlemiss's Nota Bene and Baird Red Rose Amber Ale are back in stock.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 2013

May Or Rill Candidates Debate... Degustation Dinners... Ramen Returns... On Tap Now or Soon... Finally...

May Or Rill Candidates Debate

Save the date - September 18. At the office worker-friendly time of 5:30pm, Wellington's mayoral candidates and the city's best informed voters will squeeze into our lounge to listen and watch as a few truths about those candidates are systematically exposed. That is all the mayoral candidates except the one to whom invitations seem as ephemeral and inconsequential as the "autumn leaves" that his left-arm orthodox spin used to be known as.

We've appointed (well, begged) journalists Hadyn Green and Megan Whelan to be moderators for the debate. They'll pass on questions from readers of this email (yes, that's an invitation to submit questions), ruthlessly stamp out obfuscation, pivoting and bridging, keep candidates on topic and expose all the vital differences in their platforms.

So we're doing our best to make it easy for voters to actually participate in what passes for democracy. Please don't write local body politics off as unimportant and consider submitting questions and coming along on the 18th.

Degustation Dinners

Just a few tickets remain for next week's collaborative dinner with Big Bad Wolf. So there's little point elaborating.

Slightly more remain for next month's event at Tatsushi. The previous season of this dinner was an enormous success. This time the meal and drinks will be similar but a little different. Wellington's foremost expert in the art of matching beer with Japanese food will be running proceedings. (That's our Shiggy for those who don't realise.) Tickets are on sale now at the Cult Beer Store.

Ramen Returns

Another different but special opportunity to eat Japanese food is making a return. The Ramen Shop - popup ramen restaurant - returns to our kitchen this Friday lunchtime. That would be tomorrow - or if you were away today, last week.

When the Ramen Shop came along a few weeks ago they brought limited supplies and ran out of food within about an hour of kick-off, which was at noon. They'll be bringing double the supplies this time, but again it will pay to get in quick.

On Tap Now or Soon

It's time to get some iconic American IPAs back on tap. So look out for our old friend Big Eye from Ballast Point some time in the next few days. Likewise Southern Tier IPA. Oh, and Green Flash West Coast IPA is on tap right now.

From Wellington breweries, we'll be pouring Garage Project's Trip Hop and Pils 'n Thrills, ParrotDog's Dead Canary (on now) and Panhead's Port Road Pils. Oh and Garage Project's Extraordinary Ordinary will be back on the hand pump.

Having drained a two year old keg from the first ever batch of 8 Wired iStout we now have a more recent keg of the same beer.

It's time we dipped into our recent shipment of kegs from Adelaide's Lobethal, so it's going to be great to welcome back their amazing Chocolate Stout - which incidentally has absolutely no cocoa added, just some really carefully chosen malts. Speaking of Lobethal, see below!

Lastly... *Cult Beer Alert* Invercargill Smoking Bishop is on tap now!

New Release Tuesday

Last month's Lobethal shipment included a couple of new (to us) beers, including the brewery's Pale Ale. As Yeastie Boys will attest, Lobethal is one of the great unsung heroes of Australian brewing. Their consistency is amazing but for the most part they quietly plug away in their Adelaide Hills retreat, making great beer that's mostly consumed at their own bar (and at Adelaide's Wheatsheaf Hotel).

As a consequence of Yeastie Boys' collaboration with Lobethal, we got the chance to bring an order of kegged Lobethal beer across the Tasman.

Lobethal Pale Ale goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.


Is there much significance in a fourth birthday? Perhaps - if you were given a life expectancy of a few months. So for anyone who worries about these things, we turn four on Tuesday. We'll wait another year to really make a song and dance.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013

Remedy Brewing... Music This Saturday... Degustation Dinners... On Tap Now or Soon...

Remedy Brewing

Next week's new release marks the arrival of another new Wellington brewing company. Richard Deeble won the "champion beer" prize at last year's SOBA National Homebrew Competition. After having a batch of his winning pale ale brewed commercially as a result, he has taken the next step and partnered with James King to start Remedy Brewing. They've taken the winning Deeble's Pale Ale recipe, adapted it a little and taken it to Panhead to be brewed.

This is almost certainly the first contract brewed beer made at Panhead, which is an interesting milestone in its own right. Mike Neilson intentionally built more capacity into his Upper Hutt brewery than most recent startups, confident that demand for his beer would justify the capacity in the medium term, while in the short term contract brewers would put his brewhouse to good use, as is proving to be the case.

Deeble's Pale Ale has been beefed up to 6.2%ABV and is a hoppy pale ale made with English malt and local hops. All the kettle hops are added at the very end of the boil, with quite a few more added for dry-hopping.

It goes on tap at 5pm next Tuesday.

Music This Saturday

The enormously talented percussionist Myele Manzanza returns on Saturday, teaming up with Ed Zuccollo on keys and Scott Maynard on bass. It's only the second time we've managed to book the in-demand Manzanza - come along and check him out in our intimate lounge at no charge.

Degustation Dinners

Bookings are open for the two upcoming dinners that we are collaborating on with Big Bad Wolf and Tatsushi respectively.

We're taking our beer to Big Bad Wolf while they host a dinner on September 15. It's a Sunday and to allow everyone time to enjoy all five courses we're starting at 4pm. Tickets are on sale for $75 from the Cult Beer Store.

And we're reviving our collaborative dinner that was a sellout at Tatsushi back during Choice Beer Week. It's on October 1 and 2. As with our Big Bad Wolf event, diners can expect a five course dinner, with each course matched to a beer. Bookings are open also at the Cult Beer Store.

On Tap Now or Soon

We've got a couple of returning favourites on tap right now or very soon. A couple of them come from Green Flash:

Does anyone think "Pale Ale" is an adequate style name to describe 30th Street Pale Ale. It's hoppier than plenty of IPAs and a favourite of many our staff. On tap now.

Green Flash West Coast IPA is probably the beer that relegates 30th Street to "pale ale" status. It's back on tap soon.

Brewaucracy's Bean Counter vanilla bean infused porter is back shortly for the first time in how long? Years?

Of all things, we have a pale lager called Longfin on tap right now from San Diego IPA masters Ballast Point.

And surely the hoppiest beer to come out of Christchurch's Harrington's brewery is on tap right now. It's their Imperial APA. The brewery are very keen to get feedback on this, so anyone with an opinion on this (or any other) beer should feel free to let us know by telling our staff or replying to this email.

August 22, 2013

The Pacific Beer Expo... Acting Local... Music This Saturday... Degustation Dinners... New Release Tuesday...

The Pacific Beer Expo

We've fielded a few questions lately about our annual showcase of our favourite beers from the Pacific rim. Planning is indeed underway for the 2013 edition. The venue will be different from our preferred one for 2011, 2012 and 2014. It seems 12 months notice wasn't enough to secure the Boatshed this year. We'll be announcing the venue and other details in due course. But the event will take place on Labour Weekend, as before and as in the future.

Now it has come to our attention that another beer-related event is to take place in Wellington just a fortnight earlier. It also seems that the Wellington City Council is in the business of subsidising providing seed funding for beer festivals, which is great news. Since the last thing the council would want is for its "seed funding" to give a new event an unfair advantage over an established one, we look forward to receiving our own five figure grant. Would Councillor Morrison please forward a cheque to 25 Taranaki St, made out to Central Area Society of Hopheads (just the acronym will do)?

Acting Local

Speaking of Councillor Morrison, he's one of several mayoral candidates that we've invited to come along and join us in a candidates' debate here on our own premises. Yes you read that correctly - Hashigo Zake is going to host a debate of Wellington's mayoral candidates. Need we remind anyone on today of all days what the consequences of apathy regarding the political process can be?

The debate will take place on the evening of September 18. We'll reveal more details over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime we invite readers of this email to submit questions for the mayoral candidates. (Just replying to this email will do.) We'll collate them and feed them to our specially selected debate moderators to come up with suitably probing questions that will help inform everyone's voting choice.

At this stage we have acceptances from the mayor and at least one other candidate. Whether he's writing us a cheque or not, Councillor Morrison is encouraged to respond and come along and make his pitch for the informed beer drinker's vote.

Music This Saturday

Barely a couple of weeks after helping entertain the throng that visited us during Beer Week, Darren Watson is back with his Underground Blues Band. From 10pm on Saturday in the lounge.

Degustation Dinners

We believe that the imminent end of Wellington On A Plate is no reason to stop treating the art of Beer and Food Matching seriously. And after getting great feedback (and waiting lists) for our recent collaborative events with Tatsushi and Big Bad Wolf, we're forging ahead.

Firstly, after two popular events in our own lounge where we served selected products from Big Bad Wolf's range, we're swapping roles slightly and taking our beer to Big Bad Wolf while they host a dinner on September 15. It's a Sunday and to allow everyone time to enjoy all five courses we're starting at 4pm. Tickets are on sale from today for $75 from the Cult Beer Store.

Next, after turning people away from our evening of Japanese food and beer at Tatsushi, we're reviving our collaborative dinner. It will be back on October 1 and 2. As with our Big Bad Wolf event, diners can expect a five course dinner, with each course matched to a beer. Bookings are open also at the Cult Beer Store.

New Release Tuesday

Next week we make another dip into our stocks of beer from Netherlands brewery De Molen. This time it's Spik & Span which is in the modest (by De Molen standards) style of a Golden Ale. We're confident that the resulting beer will not be quite so modest. Spik & Span goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, 2013

The Ramen Shop... Music This Saturday... Southern Tier and Compass Sparkling Ale... Craft Beer College 200-level Series... New in Bottles... Finally...

The Ramen Shop

Cult popup restaurant The Ramen Shop pops down to Hashigo Zake tomorrow, for a Friday lunchtime special. Salarymen and OLs are invited to leave their sandwiches in their briefcases and come down for some hearty broth, noodles and assorted toppings from Wellington's up-and-coming ramen maestros.

Music This Saturday

Our musical programme took an unexpected turn this week, when we learned that our booker had signed a local jazz band featuring one of our own staff. Not that we didn't realise that Josh had another career playing Klezmer, Balkan and Gypsy Jazz, we just hope it doesn't interfere with his beer-related studies.

We're still working through some of the implications of this, not least of which is getting someone to cover his shift. But we ask customers on Saturday not to pass your empty glasses to the saxophonist.

In summary then, The Flying Gypsy Biscuits, featuring at least one accomplished bartender, play at 10pm on Saturday in our lounge, with the customary cover charge of $0.

Southern Tier and Compass Sparkling Ale

A couple of nights ago we brought a keg of Southern Tier Plum Noir pretty much straight from the wharf to have on tap as our Tuesday New Release. We've since had time to receive the rest of the order from Southern Tier that Plum Noir is part of. The order certainly impresses us, with the only downside being the sad news that Southern Tier have decided to suspend exporting and concentrate on markets closer to home. So this is, in fact, the last delivery of Southern Tier beer for the foreseeable future.

For one thing, we now have fresh stock of old favourites like their IPA, 2XIPA, Iniquity Black IPA, Unearthly IIPA and (drum roll, please) Crème Brûlée. And we also have one more new beer, in the form of Compass.

Compass is described as a "Sparkling Ale w/ Rose Hips". It may be the easiest drinking 9% beer ever made. It's made with pilsner malts and torrified wheat, giving it a malt profile not much different from a witbier. With hops chosen for citrus-like qualities and the addition of rose-hip, you'd swear that this beer was designed to be quaffable and refreshing, which it is, but at the end of the night you'll be glad we didn't serve it in pints. It's confusing the hell out of ratebeer but scoring highly nevertheless.

It's our new release next Tuesday, so will be on tap from 5pm.

Craft Beer College 200-level Series

The future of beer education kicks off on Saturday with Craft Beer College's first 200-level tasting.

We have a little insight into the selection of beers for the "Weird and Wonderful" Tasting and can vouch for the fact that it's going to be a great way to taste some of the planet's more successful experiments in brewing in one convenient Saturday afternoon.

To apply for a last minute enrolment, email craft beer college.

New in Bottles

We've had several interesting deliveries in the last week or two. First there was a long-overdue sailing all the way from Western Europe with multiple treats from Nøgne Ø. Treats such as:

  • Dark Horizon 4th Edition. Nøgne Ø's original ludicrously strong, coffee-infused imperial stout, now in a toblerone-type cardboard box.
  • Red Horizon 2nd Edition and Red Horizon 3rd Edition. The sake yeast-fermented red ale in distinctive tins.
  • Almost Undrinkable. Some troll left a bottle of Rex Attitude at the Nøgne Ø brewery a couple of years ago. This is their response.
  • Tindved - sour ale brewed with Norwegian malted barley, raw wheat and added juice from pressed sea buckthorn (tindved). Get some before sea buckthorn beers become passé.
  • Aurora Australis - a Quad brewed collaboratively at Bridge Road in Beechworth, Australia, then matured in red wine barrels sailing to Norway.

Along with the aforementioned Southern Tier order we picked up fresh supplies of a few core beers from Ballast Point and Green Flash, including Hop Head Red.

Meanwhile Garage Project have finally got around to bottling some of their legendary, Greg Broadmore-inspired Lord Cockswain's Courage. What made it into the bottles is a blend of the year-old barrel-aged beer that won a trophy at the Brewers Guild Awards last week and a fresh batch of the same beer. We gather from the beer's distributor that only a few cases of this beer were released to the market, so be quick.


Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made last week one long celebration of all the good things in the brewing industry. Of course the biggest winners were Renaissance Brewery, who took out the Champion Brewery Award, to go with a similar accolade from the Australian awards earlier this year. The great thing is that Renaissance would certainly make the short list for a "hardest working brewery" award too, so it's great to see the country's biggest gong go to someone we know deserves it. As happens most years.

But really the whole beer consuming public of Wellington and the visitors who made up the numbers deserve massive back-pats for showing that good beer is being created and consumed with imagination, enthusiasm and common sense by a growing number.

August 8, 2013

Liberty/Panhead/Fitzpatrick's... Live Music... New Release Tuesday...


During a brief window this evening we'll be joined by brewers Joseph Wood (Liberty), Mike Neilson (Panhead) and Craig Fitzpatrick (Fitzpatrick's) before take a wheelbarrow to the Brewers Guild Awards Dinner to collect their trophies. And at the same time we'll be making sure we have several of their beers on tap. Fitzpatrick's have found a second and final keg of their magnificent Imperial Porter. We've got two of the first kegs of Panhead's XPA and Pilsner. And from Liberty we've got some Sauvignon Bomb a rare keg of Bhuty Chocolate Stout.

As a wise bartender once said of the Bhuty Chocolate - "Deep chocolate love burns so good".

Live Music

Tonight marks the start of a mini-festival of live music at 10pm each night in our lounge, to coincide with all the other Beer Week festivities.

This evening it's the Tony Mad Trio playing Texas Boogie in a Stevie Ray Vaughan-soft of way.

Tomorrow it's regular favourite and living legend Darren Watson with his Underground Blues Band.

Finally on Saturday night it's another regular favourite - the X-Ray Catz.

Remember that every gig is completely free.

New Release Tuesday

We've pencilled in a pretty exciting beer for next Tuesday, in the hope that a certain container full of beer will have reached us by then. It's Southern Tier Plum Noir - an Imperial Stout made with Italian plums. Yes this is the same brewery that came up with Pumking and Crème Brûlée, so expect something ambitious and unusual.

There is an element of risk in naming this beer before our shipment has arrived, but all going well Plum Noir will go on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1, 2013

A Week Of It... GP2... Jed Soane's Third Exhibition... Reel Ale... Collaborative Launches... New Release Tuesday - The 8 Wired Mega-Mix... Liberty/Panhead Night... Music Nano-Fest... In other news... Craft Beer College 200 Level... Finally...

A Week Of It

On Saturday we begin a week of festivities around the annual events known as Beervana and the Brewers Guild Awards. We say a week, but really we mean two weekends and the days in between. Yes, we're defying the Guild and starting two days early on Saturday, rather than on the official Choice Beer Week start date of August 5th.

Why? Well for two reasons. Firstly if you fast forward to Friday and Saturday of next week, it's pretty hard to host anything else when Beervana is on. The night before Beervana is Awards night and the night before that is when the brewers get together at a secret location to have couple of jars. So if we want to host events involving our favourite brewers we really have to hold them pretty early in the week. Or simply start this weekend. The other reason is that Garage Project's second birthday happens to be this week.

There's more about most, if not all, of the events we're planning below. But we should add that this calendar of events has been like a greased pig when it comes to finalising the details, so they've been changing up until the moment this email goes out and may well change again.


Garage Project turns 2 this week. We're celebrating it on Saturday.

For a brewery struggling to push product out the door at a rate that will satisfy anyone, it's remarkable what gems they were able to conjure for their own birthday. These aren't just words. We were genuinely surprised and amazed at the birthday list:

  • Angry Peaches
  • Pernicious Weed
  • Smoke & Mirrors
  • Bastard Rye Raspberry
  • Cherry Bomb
  • Cockswain's Extraordinary Ordinary - a new release that is a low gravity ordinary bitter.
  • Spezial K - also a new release - a keller bier to be served from a pitch lined barrel on the bar top.
  • Pils & Thrills
  • Chai Brown Stout - a new release and a collaboration with Moon Dog Brewery

We'll have all of these beers on tap by 4pm on Saturday. Possibly a little earlier for some of them.

We had previously announced a special food option to coincide with the festivities but that has fallen through. We apologise for any inconvenience, but trust that the occasion's other highlights will compensate.

Jed Soane's Third Exhibition

For the third time we're throwing our Red Room over to photographer Jed Soane. The theme of next week's exhibition is New Wellington Breweries. Although - let's face it - there aren't many old ones. Jed's put up a sneak preview here.

To add to the occasion of Garage Project's 2nd birthday, the exhibition should be ready for public viewing by 4pm on Saturday.

Reel Ale

So it might be stretching the point to call this a film festival and give it a pretentious title, BUT... we have legit, high quality copies of two recent and very cool documentaries relating to the beverage that we obsess about, and we're out to entertain you all as much as possible next week. So at 3pm every day from Monday to Thursday we'll be screening, alternately, Beer Hunter: The Movie and Suds County, USA.

For the sharp-eyed, Beer Hunter: The Movie is the very same film that is receiving its New Zealand premiere on Sunday night, courtesy of SOBA. The SOBA screening will be in a superior setting and it will be the local premiere so we encourage readers to go along and walk along the red carpet.

Collaborative Launches

We have not one, but three brand new beers to launch in the next few days that are the results of collaborations between New Zealand and Australian breweries. The first has already been mentioned - it was cooked up by Garage Project and Melbourne's Moon Dog way back in February when Josh and Karl from Moon Dog were over here.

The other two date from May, when a legion of New Zealand breweries infiltrated Australia. Fly By Night is a collaboration between ParrotDog, Two Birds and 3 Ravens. It's a Black IPA. We had hoped to have it here to launch on Monday but it looks as though it's not going to make it in time. So we're transferring its launch to Wednesday, by which time we hope that Jayne from Two Birds will be in Wellington.

Finally Wendy is the second collaboration between Yeastie Boys and Lobethal Bierhaus. There's no official statement on the beer's style but we understand that it will be a strongish porter with a secret ingredient that is a variant on another unconventional adjunct that Yeastie Boys have been using a lot of lately. Wendy was always going to be launched on Wednesday, because that's when they're launching it in Adelaide. And we believe the kegs will actually arrive in time.

New Release Tuesday -The 8 Wired Mega-Mix

We could never settle for any old new release next Tuesday. And after protracted negotiations (actually quite short negotiations with long periods of inactivity) we've come to an arrangement with New Zealand's champion brewer of 2011. Not only are we releasing 8 Wired's most challenging beer ever, we're going to dip into our own stocks and bring out some forgotten 8 Wired gems.

So on Tuesday we will be serving, in extremely small portions, Ice-Distilled Bumaye. A sample has gone to a lab to be tested, but this beer is estimated to be over 30% ABV.

To prepare everyone for this finisher, we will also be serving:

  • Mighty Imperial Ale
  • the newly released Barrel Aged Saison
  • a keg from the first commercial batch of iStout
  • the last known keg of Ø for Awesome by 8 Wired, Nøgne Ø and Renaissance

Liberty/Panhead Night

Liberty Brewing are in the process of converting Auckland's Hallertau brewpub into a much larger brewing facility for themselves and Hallertau to share. And Panhead are releasing the first batches of a range of beers from their brand new Upper Hutt brewery. But it's not that long since Liberty's Joe Wood and Panhead's Mike Neilson had day jobs and brewing was purely a hobby.

So on Thursday evening we hope to take advantage of a small window before the Brewers Guild Awards to celebrate their progression from home brewers to entrepreneurs. We'll pick a couple of kegs from our stash of great Liberty beers and will sneak two of Mike's first releases on tap as well. And we hope that in between grooming themselves and turning up at the Awards the pair will grace us with a walkabout.

Music Nano-Fest

As mentioned above, we're not just here to supply beer next week, we also want to provide entertainment. And as we've seen, there's often someone with an axe to grind after the awards are given out so on Thursday night it's fitting that we provide some sounds to soothe any savage breasts.

In fact we're providing live music every evening from Thursday to Saturday of next week, plus of course a performance this Saturday. So here's the lineup:

  • Saturday August 3, the Reuben Bradley Trio. Jazz,
  • Thursday August 8, the Tony Mad Trio. Texas Boogie.
  • Friday August 9, Darren Watson's Underground Blues Band.
  • Saturday August 10, the X-Ray Catz. Rockabilly.

The music starts at 10pm each night and there is no cover charge.

In other news... Craft Beer College 200 Level

It would be a travesty if the following news got lost amongst the fuss about next week, so we beg readers to hang in there.

We get occasional queries about the fate of the regular tastings that we used to run ourselves, often featuring the beers we import ourselves and usually happening about once a month. It would be fair to say that we ran up a certain amount of fatigue from running these events, and have recently concentrated our efforts on the New Release Tuesday slot while being kept increasingly busy with our importing business. Meanwhile Craft Beer College have emerged and are talking the art and promotion of beer tastings to another level.

So with a certain amount of encouragement from us, Craft Beer College have developed their repertoire of tastings and have just announced the 200-level series, taking place in the second half of this year. We think they will achieve a lot of what we used to try to with our own tastings programme and more. And they also look like a lot of fun.

The series features a glassware tasting, at which the claims of glassmakers about the difference a glass can make to the taste of a beer will be put to the test. And participants will get to keep not only the beers they drink, but the glassware they try them from. There will also be a couple of tastings dedicated to the exploration of styles that, shall we say, new beer drinkers might struggle with. All the details are here.


IPA Day? Every day is IPA Day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

Today!... Music On Saturday... Whoops Apocalypse... New Release Tuesday... Photography...


Years of planning and manoeuvring by Wellington brewer Andrew Childs come to what should be a triumphant climax this evening with the release of Celia Wade Brown Ale (a.k.a. Celia Wade Coffee Brown Ale) under his own brand - Behemoth Brewing.

The beer was brewed a year ago under the "Wellington in a Pint" umbrella, as a collaboration with Yeastie Boys at Invercargill Brewery. This time it's purely a Behemoth release, and was brewed at the Twisted Hop in Christchurch.

In Andrew's own words:

A coffee brown ale that symbolises Wellington, the city I adore. With Havana PNG organic coffee beans, New Zealand Hops, British malts and yeast (the Mayor is British after all) this beer has combined what Wellington runs on coffee and craft beer, with just a hint of politics, that melds together into something beautiful.

We're launching the beer at 5:30pm tonight. Andrew's flying down from his flash job in Auckland and we believe the person the beer is named after might be in attendance as well. And as certain people have been quick to point out on the social networks, there will be a few complimentary glasses of it for early birds.

Come and see how a homage to Wellington, brewed by an Auckland resident at a Christchurch brewery tastes.

Music on Saturday

This Saturday Darren Watson's Underground Blues Band return.

Now shortly after the recent seismic activity Darren joked on facebook about wanting danger money for playing here. Perhaps this is a good time to point out that Hashigo Zake is not on the City Council's list of earthquake prone buildings. In fact not only are we not on that list, we have a letter from the council stating that our building has been surveyed and is quite definitely above the threshold for being considered earthquake prone. So any ground-shaking and consequent building damage that goes on while Darren plays is purely his responsibility.

We'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to correlate the list of earthquake prone buildings with the list of recently earthquake-damaged buildings.

The blues begin at 10pm.

Whoops Apocalypse

A couple of months ago the "Four Horseman of the Hopocalypse" - Steve Plowman of Hallertau, Luke Nicholas of Epic, Joe Wood of Liberty and Kelly Ryan of Good George - got back together to brew another ludicrously hoppy Triple IPA. Some of our kegs were lying around at the brewery and so they were filled and dispatched to our warehouse with so little fanfare that we didn't even know they'd arrived.

We've been alerted to their existence and one of those kegs is lined up to come on tap. Fittingly it will replace Liberty Sauvignon Bomb when that finishes.

Now feedback from the Auckland launch of this beer suggested that some of the locals there found it "too hoppy". We're taking that as Auckland speak for "just about right".

New Release Tuesday

Next week we're going back to the deep well of interesting beer that is our recent De Molen shipment. This time it's an all-Citra sessionable IPA, weighing in at just 4.8%. It goes by the imaginative name of De Molen Single Hop Citra. In fact De Molen have a whole series of single hop IPAs at this strength. If this goes well we may invest in other varieties in future orders.

De Molen Single Hop Citra goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

By the way, this week's new release - Fitzpatrick's Imperial Porter - is still on tap and we were pretty impressed at how well it turned out.


Regular readers may recall that during "Choice" Beer Week next month, we're not only having our very own nano-film festival, we're once again showing an exhibition by popular local photographer Jed Soane.

But there's more. Only it's not here. Nearby bar Goldings Free Dive are holding a competition to uncover great examples of amateur beer photography. Sound a little left field? We're confident that some pretty cool images are going to emerge from it. And possibly some pretty disturbing ones. The mind boggles.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013

The Latest from Tauranga

Last month we managed to acquire a keg of Fitzpatrick's New Zealand Pale Ale, which confirmed what we already believed - that the Tauranga nano-brewery is destined to make some great beer.

Next week we're putting the brewery's third beer (that we and Untappd know of) on tap. In fact it's going to be our official new release. It's an Imperial Porter that Craig Fitzpatrick says is modelled on the great Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog. This isn't a complete surprise given the way Craig talked up Gonzo after he had been a steward at the 2009 Brewers Guild Awards. (Gonzo took away a gold medal.)

In Craig's words it "weighs in at 75 IBU... has a heap of Cascade and Centennial. Finished full bodied at 1.022 and 8%."

Fitzpatrick's Imperial Porter goes on tap on Tuesday at 5pm.

SOBA Winter Ale Festival

The lineup at SOBA's Winter Ale Festival is actually looking pretty stellar, and we say this not only because a few of the goodies are coming from Hashigo Zake's own stocks. For one thing it looks like it will be the first time any of us can sample the output of Mike Neilson's new Panhead Brewery. And then there's the infamous Super-Afrodisiac from Funk Estate. Not to mention new beers from Baylands and Garage Project. In fact it could be the most stellar lineup of festival beers outside of the Pacific Beer Expo.

Any tickets that are left are at

More Beer Week Events

Plans for week starting on August the 3rd are evolving. Today we can announce a few more details:

As we did last year, we'll be extending our usual Saturday night musical offering to include the Thursday and Friday. So we'll have live music from 10pm on the 8th, 9th and 10th of August. Specifically:

  • On Thursday the 8th it will be the Tony Mad Trio.
  • On the 9th we host the always popular Darren Watson's Underground Blues Band.
  • And on the 10th we'll host the X-Ray Catz.

Since the season of beer events once again clashes horribly with the Wellington Film Festival, we're coming to the rescue of those frustrated that they can't quite enjoy both simultaneously by hosting our own nano-festival of beer related documentary films. And yes, we have the perfect name for this event: Reel Ale.

Reel Ale will kick off at 3pm on Monday the 5th. On that afternoon we'll host New Zealand's second official screening of Beer Hunter: The Movie, the recently completed documentary profiling the late, great Michael Jackson. We'll rescreen Beer Hunter on Wednesday the 7th.

On Tuesday the 6th and Thursday the 8th at 3pm, we'll be screening Suds Country USA. This film is all about San Diego and its recent brewing history. We think this is an interesting documentary for a couple of reasons. One is that it features a lot of our favourite breweries. But for anyone enjoying the current resurgence in brewing in Wellington the parallels with what went on in San Diego are glaring. So watching Suds County USA is weirdly like watching present-day events but presented as history.

The even better news is that these will be no dodgy hand-held captures or torrented screeners. Both films are legit copies that we have the right to screen publicly.

Finally we can elaborate a little on what we're up to on Saturday August the 3rd. Not only is Jed Soane's exhibition of photography of Wellington breweries opening at the same time as we celebrate Garage Project's second birthday :- between 4pm and 7pm we'll have Vicky from the Dumpling House on the premises, frying and selling her full range of dumplings on the spot.

Also, it looks as though one of the goodies that Garage Project will offer up for their birthday will be a collaboration brewed when Josh and Karl from Moon Dog visited Wellington back in February.

Remember to go to to see our calendar of events during Beer Week.

Music on Saturday

In true Wellington fashion our music this Saturday comes from another permutation of some of the same musicians we've seen in different combos over the last year or so. So from 10pm it's Nick Granville playing guitar, James Illingworth on keyboards and Lauren Ellis on drums making up Granville, Ellis and Illingworth.

Behemoth Celia Wade Coffee Brown Ale

Last year Andrew Childs devised Celia Wade Coffee Brown Ale as part of Wellington In A Pint. The beer was one of the competition winners and a batch was brewed. The competition may have been consigned to the recycling bin of history, but the beer remains part of Andrew's plans for world domination. Nor has he let being turned into a temporary Jafa stop him from revisiting his very Wellington creation.

So... now operating under the Behemoth brand, Andrew returns in 2013 with a new edition of Celia Wade Coffee Brown Ale. And the new version gets a launch at Hashigo Zake on July 25 - a week tonight.

In the interests of balance in an election year, we invite any brewers out there to be inspired by the candidacy of any other mayoral contenders.

Old Friends in New Packages

Anyone who has been pining for Rogue's Double Dead Guy should be advised that it has returned in a new form. It's now labelled XS Dead Guy and comes in the same magnificent resealable ceramic bottle as beers such as Old Crustacean. And anyone purchasing the bottle for consumption on the premises may ask to get the empty bottle rinsed and put in a paper bag to take home and put whatever you like in.

Finally, Liberty's New Zealand IPA, Sauvignon Bomb, which was a huge hit when Joe brewed a small amount a few months ago, hits the market properly this week, with kegs and bottles becoming generally available. We'll have bottles in our fridges by knock-off time tomorrow and should have it on tap some time soon as well.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 2013

Craft Beer College Exam... Voodoo Doughnut Beers... Princess Lost... SOBA Winter Ale Festival... More Beer Week Events... Next Week's New Release... Music On Saturday...

Craft Beer College Exam

The Craft Beer College's "Exam" takes place on Saturday. We use inverted commas because final / lolly-scramble / game / tasting might be a better description. Beers will be served and questions asked that are intended to reveal who has been paying attention during previous tastings. But the event can also be seen a chance to sample some pretty tasty beers AND pick up some very nice swag. In fact some of that very swag will come from our own collection of brewery-sourced glassware, attire and, maybe, prophylactics.

To join in the mayhem, contact Craft Beer College by email.

Voodoo Doughnut Beers

In all the excitement surrounding the Fourth of July last week we may not have made it clear that some of that day's tap offerings came from a very large shipment of Rogue beer that had just arrived. There are more treats to elaborate on from that shipment, starting with not one, but two beers inspired by doughnuts from Portland's Voodoo Doughnuts.

A while ago we were lucky enough to get a supply of Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale. That proved popular and sold out, so now we've not only been resupplied, but have gone one better and got a supply of Voodoo 2 - Voodoo Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Ale.

Rogue's mastery of, ahem, unconventional methods of brewing and packaging will also be enjoyed by anyone ordering Chipotle Ale soon in the near future. Insist on drinking from the correct glassware!

Princess Lost

From a couple of nights ago there is a massive hole in Hashigo Zake's personnel. Our very own princess is to return to Japan. Rei was with us back on opening night on September 10, 2009 and apart from the occasional absence while she holidayed in her homeland, she has been an incredibly popular member of staff ever since. As someone who claims to not actually like beer, Rei has been a complete anomaly amongst our staff, but employed an encyclopaedic recall of beer descriptions and some degree of personal charm to more than compensate. She will be missed.

Any regular customers wanting to farewell Rei can come along next Monday evening and get in the queue to buy her a plum wine.

SOBA Winter Ale Festival

The SOBA Winter Ale Festival is approaching quickly. July 20 is just nine days away. SOBA's ruling elite are crowing about how good the lineup is going to be, especially since it includes a couple of goodies from Hashigo Zake's own stash. Specifically :- Moon Dog Dasher's Envy (a Christmas beer, which is appropriate for a winter festival) and De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis (meaning Hell and Damnation, which is kind of puzzling alongside a Christmas beer).

Tickets are at SOBA's website.

More Beer Week Events

Last week we announced a few of our Beer Week events, starting with the Garage Project Second Birthday Celebration on Saturday, August 3. Now it turns out that August 3 is two days too early to be considered part of the Brewers Guild's Choice Beer Week, which leaves us with no choice but to label our agenda simply Beer Week. Sigh.

As some of you are probably tired of hearing, Melbourne celebrated Good Beer Week back in May. (Is this a good time to mention that Good Beer Week ran for nine days?) Anyway, some of our brewing friends made good use of their time in Australia. ParrotDog took advantage of the chance to team up with 3 Ravens and Two Birds to brew a beer they called Fly By Night. It's a Black IPA made with, naturally, Falconer's Flight hops. And a handful of kegs from this batch are on their way to us.

Yeastie Boys meanwhile made a second visit to the fabulous Lobethal Bierhaus in the Adelaide hills for a second collaboration there. (The first, a moderate strength golden bitter called Bruce has become a hit in Adelaide and is permanently on tap at the Wheatsheaf.) This year they've gone for a darker, stronger beer with a twist that might just still be a secret. It's to be called Wendy, named after the other bulldog of Lobethal's owner/brewer Alistair.

From left, 8 Wired's Søren Erikson (just a visitor that day), Sam Possenniskie, Stu McKinlay and Lobethal's Alistair Turnbull.

The following announcements might just be subject to change as both beers still have to be extracted from Australia:

On Monday, August the 5th we'll launch Fly By Night. And on Wednesday, August 7th we'll launch Wendy.

By the way, we're also taking advantage of this order of Wendy to bring over a pallet-load of other Lobethal beers, which is pretty good news, we believe.

To view the full range of events at Hashigo Zake between the 3rd and 10th of August follow this link.

Next Week's New Release

This week's new release was from De Molen which may have alerted some of you to the fact that a new shipment has arrived from the Dutch brewer. So we're gonna ride this wave and make next week's new release a De Molen beer as well. It's Lentehop, an IPA fermented as a lager, which some people therefore dub an India Pale Lager.

The arrival of this shipment also means that we have some pretty extraordinary bottled beer to sneak into the fridges as and when we can make space.

Lentehop goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Music On Saturday

This Saturday harmonica virtuoso Neil Billington returns with his band for two hours of Chicago blues. From 10pm and at no charge.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013

Today... Tatsushi Collaborative Dinner... Garage Project Second Birthday... Wellington Brewing Photography Exhibition... 10,000 Pies and New Release Tuesday... Music This Saturday...


Today's the Fourth of July. (Another June has gone by.) Our once-a-year opportunity to celebrate our favourite citizens of the world's one and only superpower - people like Jon Stewart, Daniel Ellsberg, Stephen Colbert, Edward Snowden, Sam Whitney... Not to mention the brewers who transformed the phrase "American beer" from a joke into an unstoppable movement.

So we've turned almost all of our taps over to US beer today and we think it makes for a compelling and varied line up and some pretty ostentatious tap handles. Specifically:

  • Speakeasy BIG DADDY IPA
  • Left Coast HOP JUICE IIPA
  • Coronado OLD BLIGHTY ESB

While regular customers will need little in the way of guidance regarding these beers, we must add a couple of comments:

  • Today marks the launch in New Zealand of San Francisco's Speakeasy brewery. We're confident that Big Daddy IPA will meet everyone's expectations of a great northern Californian IPA.
  • Rogue's Shakespeare Stout is nitrogenated rather than carbonated. Serving beer this way is new for us and this may be the first time that a nitrogenated stout has been dispensed from a key keg in New Zealand. We're looking forward to trying this famous oatmeal stout with the promised silky texture that should come from this particular treatment.

Better still, in something of a departure for us, we invited American-style barbecue specialists Three Little Pigs to set up in the nearby outside space that we, ahem, don't actually own, and serve their amazing food. From late this afternoon they'll be offering the following menu:

  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Beef Sandwich
  • BBQ Tasting Plate

Tatsushi Collaborative Dinner

It is with great pleasure that we make the first of a number of announcements about what we'll be up to during the week of the Brewers Guild Beer Awards and Beervana.

Tatsushi is the new favourite restaurant of our in-house expert on things Japanese and food-related - Shigeo Takagi. He's worked with Tatsushi's founder, Tatsushi Mikuni, to come up with a menu matching the restaurant's food with fine beer, most of which will come from a fresh shipment from the acclaimed Japanese brewery Baird.

So on August the 6th and 7th we're proud to co-host a dinner at Tatsushi of Japanese cuisine matched with beer. Tatsushi is one of Wellington's littler eating places and there will be room for just 16 diners each night. So booking is essential. Get along to this page at the Cult Beer Store to book.

Garage Project Second Birthday

And it's with equally great pleasure that we make our second announcement regarding the week leading up to the Brewers Guild Awards and Beervana. On or about the 2nd of August it will be two years since Garage Project's Jos and Pete carried three puny cornie kegs of beer, brewed on their pilot plant, down the stairs to Hashigo Zake. Though the token volumes of beer lasted about 45 minutes, that launch event signalled the return of commercial brewing to Wellington.

Who'd have thought that in just two years they would be rapidly growing out of a brewery 50 times bigger than the one those beers were brewed on? And more significantly Wellington has been transformed into a thriving brewing centre instead of just being the place where the rest of New Zealand sent the beer they couldn't sell to their own locals.

To commemorate their second birthday Garage Project are venturing into the deepest, darkest recesses of their Aro Street site to dig out some kegged treats. We'll be putting them on tap at 4pm on Saturday August 3.

Wellington Brewing Photography Exhibition

Finally we can announce a third component of our Beer Week celebrations. Photographer Laureate of the New Zealand Brewing Industry, Jed Soane, will use our Red Room for the third time to exhibit a collection of his photos, this time showcasing the booming Wellington brewing industry. The exhibition will go up on the afternoon of August the 3rd, in time for the Garage Project 2nd Birthday celebrations starting at 4pm. They'll be up until the 11th.

10,000 Pies and New Release Tuesday

A quick query against the database behind our till system revealed that we're closing in on 10,000 pies served at Hashigo Zake. We're extrapolating that we'll pass the 10,000 mark next Tuesday.

Anyway, to celebrate 10,000 pies fittingly we've asked our own Sam Whitney to come up with a once in a lifetime pie filling that will go on sale next Tuesday, along with De Molen Pijl & Boog, a strong Belgian Ale that we just received from the Dutch brewery. Our commemorate pie will be the most decadent pie that we could conceive of without actually barrel-ageing the filling, incorporating oysters, mushrooms and truffles.

Pie and Pijl go on tap at 5pm next Tuesday, the 9th.

Music This Saturday

Appearing for the first time this Saturday are The Sly Collective - a new collaboration between Wellington musicians Ashton Sellars (Brockaflower), Ayrton Foote (The Bandits), Adrian Laird (Wellington Mingus Ensemble), Richard Thai (The Bandits) and Thomas Friggens (John the Baptist) paying homage to Jazz Fusion greats such as Herbie Hancock and John Scofield.

They're on from 10pm on Saturday night, with the traditional non-existent cover charge.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

Frog's Breath... SOBA Winter Ale Festival... Craft Beer College Exam... Weekend Music... Fourth of July... Next Tuesday's New Release... This Weekend's Charcuterie Tasting...

Frog's Breath

A year ago a slightly unusual beer snuck onto our shelves - Frog's Breath was then a new beer from San Diego's Coronado. It was a 6.5% IPA with the rind of limes, oranges and lemons added to the boil. The result was a beer many of us thought was absolutely delicious, even if it had more sediment than just about any commercial beer.

The second ever batch of Frog's Breath is back in 2013 and we've snapped up an extra large order of it. It will make an appearance on tap and we'll be waiting nervously to see what becomes of all that pith when it's poured from a keg.

For those wondering, the name is a reference to the beer's origin as a home brew developed by two former navy frogmen.

SOBA Winter Ale Festival

The SOBA Winter Ale Festival, also known occasionally as "Matariki", is back in 2013 after an extended search for a new date and venue. That venue is the Hunter Lounge at Victoria University and the date is Saturday July 20. This event sold out easily in 2011 and 2012 and is an incredibly popular get-together for Wellington's community of beer lovers. But then the readers of this email probably already know that.

Tickets are at SOBA's website.

Craft Beer College Exam

Craft Beer College's 2013 curriculum comes to a close with the world's least demanding exam on Saturday July 13. That is to say it's undemanding unless you're keen on taking home some fairly desirable prizes, in which case it might actually be a little competitive.

Participants in the tastings they've been running might be at a slight advantage, but the event is open to all. To join in, get in touch with CBC by email.

Weekend Music

It's a rare double header this weekend and both acts are heavy hitters. First on Friday it's a rare appearance by the one and only Adam Page and the Counts. Adam will be joined by regular collaborator Riki Gooch and Phoenix Foundation's Tom Callwood.

To reinforce just how funk-forward tomorrow evening will be, we've dubbed it Fat Funk Friday and will be encouraging all present to partake of some Funk Estate Oh Lordy!

Then on Saturday night it's the turn of a man who can play the blues with absolute credibility even when he's right in front of an air conditioner. That would be Darren Watson and his Underground Blues Band.

And what would you expect to pay for not one but two nights of amazing live entertainment in the same underground lounge? That's right $0.

Fourth of July

It's seven days until American Independence Day, which is quickly turning into the unofficial, worldwide day of celebration of US craft beer. This year we're not only raiding our keg store, we're also fast-tracking the arrival and distribution of orders of beer from multiple US breweries so we can line up a whole eight taps of American beer.

We've already announced that we'll have Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA (as discussed last week) and Coronado Frog's Breath IPA (see above). We can also announce that we'll have Rogue Shakespeare Stout on tap, which isn't completely new, except that this keg will be nitrogenated and so will be poured with the famously silky texture of a nitro stout.

Remaining details will be liberated independently between now and July the 4th, but will include some pretty amazing returning favourites.

We're also going to try something pretty revolutionary (for us) in the way of food, with American-style barbecue being prepared by Three Little Pigs just outside our premises and for sale to our customers.

Next Tuesday's New Release

Next week it's another one-off keg from Left Coast that's particularly fitting for the middle of winter. This time it's their Oatmeal Stout. We aren't spoiled with information on this beer, but have reason to believe that it's also known as Zombified. It will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.

This Weekend's Charcuterie Tasting

This Sunday our second ever Charcuterie Tasting, in collaboration with Big Bad Wolf, takes place in our lounge. We were afraid that we might be forced to postpone as Big Bad Wolf have been closed for a couple of weeks after a nasty refrigeration failure. But we've been assured that we're all good to go on Sunday afternoon. (This event is sold out.)