Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013

Wrecking Palates... Oh Lordy! Bottles!... Anzac Day Housekeeping... Darren's Back...

We understand that reading this email is strictly a work activity for many of you, so we've rushed this week's news out ahead of schedule, in the hope of catching you before you take a four day weekend.

Wrecking Palates

We're very pleased and relieved to announce that fresh stocks of many of our favourite American beers have arrived. Yes, Bear Republic Racer 5 is back! As are several other notable beers, including some Left Coast Hop Juice that's so fresh it practically walked onto the boat from California.

Most of the shipment is of beers we've had before, but there are one or two newbies, most notably Green Flash Palate Wrecker. This is another Imperial IPA from Green Flash that's only produced seasonally and is sometimes known as Hamilton's Ale. Hamilton's is the name of a legendary San Diego bar that the beer was first brewed for. Brewer Chuck Silva boasts that Palate Wrecker has been shown by testing to be 149 IBUs - and gets to that level without using hop extracts.

So we're going to make Palate Wrecker our new release next Tuesday. It will be on tap from 5pm. To increase anticipation we're holding back our bottle stocks of Palate Wrecker until then.

We have had reports of bottles of Palate Wrecker on sale in Wellington already. Need we emphasise that any bottles of Palate Wrecker that were available in New Zealand before next Tuesday have been parallel-imported with no guarantee of freshness or fair pricing? Caveat emptor.

Oh Lordy! Bottles!

The four gentlemen of Funk Estate are taking another big step towards global domination this week with the launch of bottled Oh Lordy! Pale Ale. The official launch is this Friday evening on the premises of their distributor, which is.. erm.. us! So come on down for a chance to congratulate Dylan, Shiggy, Dan and Jordan on the magnificence of their jet black beer bottles and those bottles' pale contents.

Incidentally the bottles' labels are made of very shiny black vinyl, creating the possibility of peeling the labels off and stitching them together into a gimp suit.

Anzac Day Housekeeping

Hot on the heels of Easter comes one of the other days when our opening hours are restricted. But only by an hour. So we open at 1pm tomorrow, instead of midday. Oh and we can't go past midnight tonight. Otherwise tomorrow's trading is as usual, with NO SURCHARGES. After that it's plain sailing, with no interruptions to our regular opening hours until Christmas.

Darren's Back

Darren Watson and his Underground Blues Band return this Saturday. We recommend coming early.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013

New Snacks... New Release Tuesday... Live Music on Saturday... On Tap Now or Soon... Old Friends Back In Stock...

New Snacks

We've been inspired by the arrival of the nearby charcuterie, Big Bad Wolf. As some of you may have noticed, we've been acquiring some of their meaty offerings - specifically Chilli Venison Jerky - and offering them as a beer friendly snack. And right now, but not for long, venison has been replaced by some even more exotic Alpaca Jerky.

We're also offering beetroot pickled eggs. These are proving surprisingly popular.

New Release Tuesday

For the second week in a row we're giving ourselves a little licence when it comes to describing our 5pm Tuesday beer as a new release. Strictly speaking Renaissance Tribute Barley Wine 2011 was on tap on a few occasions, including the inaugural Pacific Beer Expo. And we understand that Renaissance Tribute Barley Wine 2012 was on tap in at least one bar once.

But on Tuesday we will host the first ever Renaissance Tribute Barley Wine Vertical On Tap. In other words, we'll put kegs from the first two batches of Tribute ever brewed on tap alongside each other. We'll offer half glasses of both vintages for a single price of $10.50.

We think that Tribute is one of Renaissance's best and a magnificent example of a style that still isn't made that often in New Zealand. And if, as predicted, it rains every day from now until Tuesday, we'll all need a suitably warming, wintry beer.

Live Music on Saturday

This Saturday the X-Ray Catz return, bringing with them the threat of public displays of dance moves.

They take the floor at 10pm on Saturday night.

On Tap Now or Soon

Nearly three years ago we served a radical new beer brewed by Joseph Wood under the name of his homebrew supply business, Liberty. That beer was called Summ!t, an Imperial IPA hopped mainly with the US Summit hop. Summit is famous for imparting a "garlic and onion" character which sounds terrible but turns out to be uncannily delicious. We secured as much of the batch as we could and sold it quickly and have been Liberty's biggest customer (and now distributor!) ever since.

In Liberty's repertoire Summ!t has been superseded by C!tra, but for many of us Summ!it remains the one true Imperial IPA. Joe brewed a batch of it on his small brewery before leaving New Plymouth and we have a keg of that beer on tap now.

Speaking of nano-breweries located in a North Island provincial city, some of you may remember an amber ale served at the Pacific Beer Expo last year from new Tauranga brewery Fitzpatrick's. After a slowdown in production due to a sports injury to brewer Craig Fitzpatrick, they're back with a new Pale Ale, that should go on tap next week.

Right now we're pouring Mout & Mocca, an intense, coffee-infused, 11% Imperial Stout from De Molen. When that gets drained it will be replaced by our final keg from last year's extraordinary Pumking by New York State's Southern Tier. There will be more extravagant beers coming from Southern Tier in a while - maybe July.

A rare keg of Nøgne Ø's lemon rind-y Witbier will be on the wheat beer tap soon.

Old Friends Back in Stock

Stocks of certain iconic American beers have been running dangerously low lately, and it's been some time since we've had Bear Republic Racer 5 on tap. Barring industrial action at the wrong port, this will all be put right soon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013

Appy Days

Phil Murray of Brewaucracy Brewing in Hamilton has come up with the first ever Hashigo Zake app for the iPhone. We're indebted to Phil who took up this challenge voluntarily and has done a nice job. To install his free app, just search Hashigo Zake on Apple's App Store.

So the circle is complete and we now have a full suite of Android, Windoze and iOS apps. iPhone users scanning the QR code beside the bar will no longer be rick-rolled!

New Release Tuesday

For the first time ever we're featuring a beer from Nelson's Golden Bear as our new release. Although we may be stretching the definition a little as this beer was once, very briefly, on tap at the Golden Bear Brewery.

It's a beer that the brewery owner, Jim Matranga, describes as "not for the faint hearted". It was a collaboration made in November last year with Chris O'Leary of the $8M brewery, Emersons. It's a White IPA - perhaps the style of 2012-13 - with additions of with lemongrass and sage, and coming out at 7.6% ABV.

We don't have an official name for the beer - maybe it will be scribbled on the keg when it arrives - so for now maybe we'll go with Not For The Faint Hearted. It goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.


We're officially half-way through the new festival of Hopstock. Our part is to serve Renaissance's Benelux Pale Ale - a pale ale made with fresh hops and a blend of English and Belgian yeasts. It will remain on tap until some time tomorrow evening.

Don't forget that some time in the next few weeks we'll be putting as many of this year's wet hopped beers as we can muster on tap at once.

Live Music

We've had a last minute change to our musical offering this Saturday night. The unavailability of one member of Benny and the Jets has led to a reshuffle so the Jelly Rolls (with some of the same members as Benny and the Jets) slot in, bringing a blend of Harlem Stride, Boogie Woogie and Jump Jive.

The Jelly Rolls play from 10pm with zilch cover charge.


That tweet revealed that this email sometimes includes content that makes someone at Yeastie Boys cringe. This is highly disturbing and we wish we knew what the offensive content might be so we can eliminate it. Perhaps someone can enlighten us. The best explanation wins a bottle of Rex Attitude. Runner-up gets two bottles of Rex Attitude.

Speaking of Yeastie Boys' most notorious beer, fans of it may be interested to learn that we are currently arranging a new order from the Nøgne Ø brewery and when it arrives (which won't be until June) it will include bottles of their beer made from only peat smoked malt. Nøgne Ø chose to call their Rex-equivalent "Almost Undrinkable" and Kjetil has confirmed that it was very much inspired by Rex Attitude.

Great IPAs

In our in-box this morning... a link to this article in renowned online magazine the Huffington Post, called Great IPAs To Drink Before You Die. As well as classics like Ballast Point Sculpin and Green Flash West Coast IPA was 8 Wired Hopwired - one of only three from outside the US.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013

Pathway to Hoppiness... Festivals... HopStock... Music... New Release Tuesday... Fame...

Pathway to Hoppiness

The next Craft Beer College tasting is just nine days away and, unusually for one of these events, it's not yet a sell-out. The tasting will act as a primer on the role of hops in beer and the current "hop obsession" and will be enhanced by the presence of Jos, Pete and Phil of Garage Project.

The Pathway to Hoppiness takes place at Hashigo Zake at 2pm on Saturday the 13th. Contact CBC at


Will there be anyone left in Wellington this Saturday? For the first and hopefully the last time, Wellington's beer lovers face a difficult choice between a winding ride over the Rimutaka Hill or a short flight across the strait in a small plane, followed by a regionally focussed beer festival.

Far be it for us to recommend one event over the other, but we do understand that the Greater Wellington Brewday in Martinborough will benefit from the use of some very handy festival furniture.


Speaking of festivals, HopStock is the name of a new initiative coordinating the release of multiple new wet-hopped (or green-hopped, or fresh-hopped) beers in Wellington bars. It starts next Wednesday and lasts three days. Over that time we'll be serving the new Renaissance Benelux Ale while other insanely fresh, wet-hopped beers will be on tap at other bars around town.

Rest assured that we'll be repeating our practice from previous years of scooping up whatever other wet-hopped beers become available. We'll aim to put a number of them on tap once at a later date.


This week Carlos Navae and his band return for an evening of loosely Latin, possibly danceable, eclectic music on Saturday night from 10pm.

New Release Tuesday

This weekend we officially enter a period of "daylight squandering", during which morning people have the luxury of natural light while normal folk huddle in permanent dusk and cold under streetlights.

Which somehow makes next Tuesday the ideal time to scurry underground to try an Imperial Stout from a tropical country. So we look forward to releasing Jungle Beer's Kiasu Stout. It goes on tap at 5pm.


Our secret is out and thanks to the Herald a million Aucklanders have now heard of us. And if we'd sat down to pen a boastful description of ourselves we couldn't have come up with anything finer than Jo Burzynska's inspired précis.

Any regular customers concerned that we'll be overrun by beer commuters popping down from Ponsonby and Remmers for an evening of multi-coloured ales from monumental bottles can be consoled by the Herald's cunning ploy of inserting a Christchurch area code in front of our phone number.