Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29th, 2014

A Modern Times Eve

Every year at this time Wellington becomes a ghost town. To help prove this point, I was in Christchurch last Wednesday enjoying the breweries of Woolston. I tried writing up this email, but the real ales of Cassels and Twisted Hop demanded my attention.

This means I can now announce our plans for new year's eve - so they'll be fresh in your mind two days from now.

Modern Times is a brewery I fell in love with during my visit to San Diego. I love that their core range is not your standard 'lager, pale ale, IPA, and something dark', but consists of a red IPA, hoppy wheat, saison and coffee stout.

All of their core range beers are flawless examples of their styles, so I sent Steve at Beer Without Borders a picture of their cans, insisting they import them. He promptly sent me back a picture of the same cans in the BwB coolstore - coincidentally they'd just received samples.

Luckily they were just as impressed as I was, and the first shipment from Modern Times arrived just before Christmas.
I documented this night with more detail in issue 12 of BorderPost.

We're launching Modern Times core range on new year's eve, this Wednesday.

On tap will be:

  • Fortunate Islands: Hoppy Citrusy Wheat 
  • Blazing World: Hoppy Dank Amber 
  • Black House: Roasty Coffee  Stout 
  • Lomaland: Bright Rustic Saison

If you'd like to have a try of each of these amazing beers to help ring in the new year, we'll be offering a 'four trip ticket' of sorts. This will get you a fancy of each Modern Times tap beer for just $35. That's even slightly better than SOBA discount.
Also, just for fun we'll also have Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter on tap - the last keg in NZ. Because why not?

Stomping in the New Year

New year's eve won't just be about the beer, we've managed to secure the talents of Black Spider Stomp to add to the atmosphere of the night.
They'll be playing adding to the atmosphere from 10pm with their Gypsy Jazz Fusion. And of course, this will cost you nothing.

More Modern Times

While we're on the Modern Times bandwagon, we might as well round it off with a Bottle Pour Saturday of the seasonal beer we're also getting from them.Aurora is one of very few beers from Modern Times that gets the bottle treatment (although it is due to be released in cans in 2015). It is a red rye IPA, weighing in at 6.8% and "loaded with Equinox, Centennial, Motueka, and Experimental Hop 07270."

This Saturday we'll be serving 200ml pours of Aurora for $8.50.

Double Drums

Nick Granville has invited a few friends to have some fun in our lounge this Saturday.
He'll be joined by Nick Tipping on bass, while both Reuben Bradley and John Rae play the drums.
I'm not entirely sure how two drum sets will fit in our wee lounge - but we'll make it work! The double drum funk starts at 10pm this Saturday, and is free for all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18th, 2014

Kegs for Christmas

For the last two years we've collaborated with Garage Project to raise money for charity leading up to Christmas.

Basically Garage Project donate a keg to us, we sell the keg and donate all proceeds to a charity.

This year Garage Project have raised the bar and are expanding kegs for Christmas to "12 Kegs of Christmas."

Twelve Wellington beer bars are participating in the event tomorrow, with each bar hosting a different Garage Project Keg, whose proceeds will be donated to food charity Kaibosh.

We've drawn the recently re-released Summer Sommer as our charity beer. anyone buying a pint of this pohutukawa honey infused golden ale will essentially be making a donation to Kaibosh.

So from opening tomorrow you'll be able to come and get in the charitable spirit by drinking a pint.

Legendary Trio

Anyone who attended the Pacific Beer Expo after party will remember the amazing band Spitfire.

They entertained an enthusiastic crowd with unique and jazzy versions of a diverse array of music from Katy Perry & Brittany Spears to Star Wars classics.

Spitfire consists of the well known Ed Zucullo, Myele Manzanza and Justin 'Firefly' Clarke.
The fun kicks off at 10pm Saturday, and is free as always.

Sort-of-New Release Tuesday

As we approach the end of the year the new beers at our disposal tend to dry up a little bit.

We're stretching the definition of 'new' this Tuesday, with a beer you may recognise from PBE.

Ryan of Beer Without Borders fame traveled to Christchurch a couple of months ago, and put down a unique collaboration with Twisted Hop. It's full name is: Tears... In Rain Vol. 1: Glitter in the Dark.

After brewday no one really knew what style this menagerie of malt and hops was going to fit into.

After tasting it for the first time it was clear that this was the most confusing beer in the world. But it was great.
We tried and fit this bizarre beer into a pre-defined slot, but it was a lost cause. In the end Ryan created a new style just for this beer: "Ameribelgian Scotchbock IPA."

We served Glitter in the Dark at PBE from a cask in the British style, as most of the batch went into casks for a 'less cold, less fizzy' serving. A few small kegs were also filled and carbonated for the more familiar 'cold and fizzy' serving style. We'll be tapping one of these rare kegs on Tuesday at 5pm. Come find out what the hell an Ameribelgian Scotchbock IPA tastes like. Bonus points if you get the film reference in the name.

Blended Weasels

This Saturday we'll be serving two types of blended weasel by the glass.

Mikkeller has teamed up with fellow Danish brewer Amager to create a monster blend of an imperial Stout: H.R. Fredriksen Væsel Brunch.Unsurprisingly, it's a blend of Amager’s H.R. Fredriksen Imperial Stout, and Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel Coffee Imperial Stout. They also threw some in Bourbon Barrels, as you do in Denmark.

We thought it might be interesting to see how the bourbon version compares to the standard version of this 10.7% imperial stout.
So this Saturday we’ll be pouring 125ml glasses of both the standard and bourbon versions for $8.

Fill ya Boot

Every year around Christmas we get requests from customers to buy beer in bulk for their festivities. In the past we've sorted these out on a case-by-case (get it?) basis, but that was before our wholesale subsidiary Beer Without Borders existed.
The guys up the road have managed to obtain a special license from the council to sell cases of beer directly from their coolstore at 24 Abel Smith St on this Saturday 20th of December only.

The cool store is just across the road from plumbing world, next to the Smith & Smith glass.

Here's a FAQ from the last Border Post to answer the quesions you're bound to have:

To be clear to everyone interested, here is a little FAQ about what will go on on the 20th.
  • What’s it all about? This is an experiment in beer retailing, based on our observation that we get a lot of requests to sell people good beer by the case in the run-up to Christmas.
  • Will there be samples? No.
  • Will there be spectacular discounts? Hmm... depends on your point of view. We’re in a position to find some middle ground between wholesale and retail pricing. Given that most liquor retailers aren’t making the kinds of margins that you might think, these differences may or may not get you excited.
  • What will be for sale? Potentially anything in our rather large portfolio. But we’ll present a short list that we think will interest people the most.
  • Will it be cases only? No, we’ll offer half cases, with the condition that you buy two half cases of products that come in the same format… so imagine your two favourite IPAs just there, together in the same carton looking up at you, asking you to take them home for Christmas….
  • When and where? At our Wellington warehouse at 24 Abel Smith St, Wellington, from 1pm to 5pm. We have quite a large forecourt, so you can drive up, park and walk on up to our desk, where we’ll take your order then duck into the cool store to collect it.
  • Will we tidy the forecourt first? Probably.
  • Will there be eftpos? Yes.
  • Will there be anything else for sale? Yes, a little… some fantastic glassware, reusable 20L pubkeg outer shells (hundreds of potential uses) and one or two other goodies that will make perfect Christmas gifts for the beer geek in your life. And if they're back from the printer we'll have copies of the 2015 Craft Beer Calendar for sale.

A Run of Sours

I love my sour beers, so I'm pretty excited about a few beers we've got lined up to come on tap soon.
8 Wired Rastafari Unchained is the first in the run, and should make it on tap tonight. It'll be followed by the sour brown ale also from 8 Wired; Rewired Unchained.

The third in line was a bit of a surprise for us, when we uncovered a keg of Good George Gose up at the cool store.
This one was brewed as a festive beer for Beervana, in the uniquely salty Gose Style.

It's made with lime zest & juice, horopito and Marlborough sea salt and fermented with both their house ale yeast and the souring bacteria Lactobacillus.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11th, 2014

Japan vs NZ: Witbier Battle

Back in October Bryan Baird, head brewer of Japan’s Baird Brewing, visited New Zealand. If you went to PBE you probably saw his fascinating seminar. But Bryan wasn't here just for PBE, he also came over to brew a special beer with Hallertau.

Aucklands renowned Masu restaurant has been a huge supporter of Baird in New Zealand, and as such wanted a special Baird beer to celebrate their first birthday.
Instead of importing all that heavy beer, they opted to import the brewer.

The result of the collaboration is Haru Orchard Ale, a Belgian style witbier made using only NZ ingredients. These include raw wheat, NZ barley, sour malt, NZ hops and infused with grapefruit peel.
I thought this would make a great candidate for this weekend's bottle pour, but wanted to jazz it up a bit with a counterpart.

I browsed the Beer Without Borders catalogue, and saw a beer I've not heard of before: Japan Tale Ale.
A bit of research revealed that Japan Tale Ale is a perfect companion to Haru Orchard Ale, in that it is a wheat beer that uses very Japanese ingredients: Japanese wheat, korizato sugar and ume plums (usually used in plum wine).

Reportedly the final product is "lightly hopped, highly attenuated, pleasantly tart and extremely refreshing."

Pop on down this Saturday afternoon to grab a 250ml pour of either of these two interesting wheat beers for just $9.

King Kreabsley And The Fernets

We have another new act to entertain you this weekend, in the form of King Kreabsley and the Fernets.
Consisting of "the young lion of the Welly city Mambo-Jazz guitar scene," Paul James, and "fresh faced skins man" Cory Champster, under the strict, and truth be told, somewhat capriciously stochastic guidance of the Solid Statesman of that Nu Jazz Sound Kristofer "King" Kreabsley."

Come enjoy their organ funk from 10pm Saturday, which is free as always.

Melbourne Jukebox

Melbourne’s famously off-beat brewers Moon Dog, have made a not so off-beat beer.
Jukebox Hero IPA is a gimmick free, American Style IPA made with Warrior, Cascade, Amarillo & Centennial that weighs in at a standard 7% ABV.
However, the brewers still seem just as excited in their description:

If you'd like to think up your own Jukebox Hero related alliteration, it will be on tap from 5pm Tuesday.

Completely Unrelated to Christmas

We finally got our voucher redesigned to convenient business card size, they are now available over the bar in multiples of $10.
We think they really come into their own when put in a Coronado beer goblet ($10), or Spiegelau Rogue stout glass ($15). Or both.
You could even wrap them in colourful paper and give them to someone on the 25th of December if you felt like it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 4th, 2014

Komugi no Wain

Baird's annual wheat wine, descriptively named West Coast Wheat Wine (WCWW), was released in Japan on November 1st.

Wheat wines are an interesting and versatile style of beer. They tend to be a lot hoppier than their English barley wine cousins, which makes them more suitable to drink fresh. But their high ABV and big malt character makes them suitable for aging as well.

This Tuesday we'll be testing the drinkability of a fresh wheat wine, as Beer Without Borders has secured keg stock of this year's WCWW vintage.
It's been a while since we've had WCWW, so I won't try and describe it from memory. Best leave that up to brewer Bryan Baird:

"A Wheat Wine, generally, is characterized by a rich and hearty complexity that is lightened and made a touch sprite by a predominantly wheat, rather than barley, grain base. It is a style representative of the irreverent creativity and unrelenting passion that are hallmarks of craft brewing on the West Coast of the United States. "

It is hopped with 80IBU worth of whole cone Warrior, Citra, Galena and Centennial which should still be quite prominient in the beer. West Coast Wheat Wine weighs in at 10% ABV, so we'll only be offering it in fancies. Come have a taste from 5pm Tuesday.

New Band, Old Faces

On Saturday night Son Asere will be serving up delicious Cuban/Mexican fusion - for your ears.

The band is new to the HZ lounge, but its members should be familiar names: Roberto Rodriguez (Cuba), Rafael Ferrer (Cuba) and Carlos Navae (Mexico).

They’ll be playing their wide repertoire featuring classics from Cuba and Latin America. The music starts at 10pm and is free as always.

Punkin Pie Wine

Earlier in the week a regular customer asked whether we had Almanac's Heirloom Pumpkin Barley Wine in stock. He'd seen in Beer Without Borders excellent fortnightly newsletter, Border Post (sign up here).

We had quickly snapped up Almanac's sour pumpkin beer, but it seems their 12% pumpkin beast had slipped our minds.
After the reminder I quickly looked up the beer online, after reading a description I thought "shit, I'd like to try that."
So it is by complete coincidence that this beer just happens to be this Saturday's bottle pour...

Heirloom Pumpkin Barley Wine is made with 1000 pounds of organic heirloom pumpkins and the obligitory pumpkin pie spices. Half is then aged in brandy barrels while the other half resides in the rye whisky barrels. After a year the barrels have imparted their flavours of brandy, rye, oak and vanilla and are blended to create the final bottled product.

This is one not to be missed, and on Saturday you'll be able to grab a 125ml pour for just $7. If you really like it you can even buy a whole bottle.

P.S. You can catch up on previous issues of Border Post here.

Some More Beers You Can Drink

Perth based Feral made quite impression last weekend, with their sour Berliner Weisse: Watermelon Warhead - so much so that it is now all gone.
But in its place is another, even sourer beer from Feral: Funky Junkie. We've been chatting to Australian beer lovers on the Twitters, who are considering flying over just to get some Funky Junkie. Apparently impossible to find even in its own country.

Hop heads will be happy to know Hallertau Stuntman IIPA is now on tap, and coming on sometime tonight Bayland's new batch of Rock Soild IPA, which will be followed by a fresh keg of Liberty Yakima Monster.

We've also just received the latest bottle release from NZ's smallest brewer Craftwork Poodlefaker Saison.
It's made using ginger and spices along with Southern Rata honey, to evoke christmas time in New Zealand. I think I'm going to crack one as soon as I hit send on this email.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th, 2014


Mikkeller make some amazing, boundary pushing beer. A side-effect of pushing boundaries is that it tends to push prices up as well.
This makes many Mikkeller beers perfect for bottle pour Saturdays, and this Saturday we'll be serving another rare Mikkeller beer by the glass: Malaga Barrel Aged Hvedegoop.

Mikkeller's 'Goop' series is a collaboration with the legendary brewery Three Floyds from Indiana, in which they challenge themselves to make a barley wine style beer using a large proportion of non-standard grains.
So far they've done oats (Oatgoop), rice (Risgoop), corn (Majsgoop), buckwheat (Boogoop), rye (Ruggoop) and wheat (Hvedegoop).
Three Floyds are one of the most renowned breweries in America, which was evidenced when I attended the Great American Beer Festival in October. Of the hundreds of breweries on offer, Three Floyds was the only stand to have a twenty metre line mere seconds after the doors opened.

Saturdays bottle pour beer is their wheat-wine incarnation, which has been aged in barrels which used to house the Spanish dessert wine, Malaga.
At 10.4% abv it's not for the faint of heart, but it should be interesting to see what kind of oak and oxidation characters these rarely used barrels give the beer.

We'll be serving 125ml pours of Malaga Barrel Aged Hvedegoop for $9.

Emptying the Cellar

Instead of our usual new release this Tuesday, we're holding our annual emptying of the cellar - Santa Session.
Tickets went on sale last week and it's once again looking like it'll be a sellout - only a quarter of places remain so get in quick at Again, tickets are just $35 - or $25 if you're a SOBA member and we'll be featuring beers from the likes of Green Flash, Almanac, Bear Republic, Bellerose and more.

Surf Funk

This Saturday we’re setting the heat pumps to their highest cooling setting thanks to Vincent Vega’s hot blend of surf, funk, soul and blues.
With Chris Armour on guitar, Andy Russell manning the drums and Nick Lissette’s bass.
The music kicks off at 10pm and is free as always.

Some Beers You Can Drink

We've tapped some great beers this week (as usual), which you probably haven't had before or in a while.

In a market that tends towards big, hoppy and extreme beers, I love that Townshend still releases subtle, balanced and perfectly made English ales.

My favourite of his traditional range is Cathcart's NTA, a beautiful golden ale which hasn't been available for quite a while. I was very happy when we were offered a few casks of NTA, which are now quickly working their way through our handpumps.
Tasi's fifth birthday collab with Renaissance The Fifth Element/Chocolate Thunder is back on. This is possibly the best chocolate beer I've ever had, hopefully Renaissance make it again.

Finally, we have a keg of a limited release IPA from San Fransisco's Speakeasy: Untouchable IPA. Untouchable features our own Nelson Sauvin hops blended with US Centennial, in a 6.8% abv package.

Vive la résistance!

Our staff had a blast at last Thursdays photo shoot for the NZ Craft Beer charity calendar. It's been amazing seeing the lengths our beer peers are going to for this brilliant cause.

Below is a low quality preview of what our photo will look like, head over to PledgeMe to secure your calendar and see us in full 1080p high def.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20th, 2014

Jumping the Shark

It's almost like Moon Dog's Jumping the Shark was made for Bottle Pour Saturday.
Their annual high abv experiments tend to be above 14% and contain challenging adjunct ingredients. Even the small 375ml bottles they come in are too much for most to tackle alone.
On Saturday we'll be pouring small glasses of two vintages of Moon Dog Jumping the shark. We've just received stock of the latest 2014 vintage, which is a Hungarian oak barrel-aged, saffron'd imperial red ale, and weighs in at a mere 14.1% abv.
The saffron gives the beer a beautiful red hue, while the oak still manages to be present despite the intensity of everything else going on in the beer.
Alongside this will be last year's vintage, described as a Cognac barrel-aged, truffled imperial stout. This one tips the scales at 15.1%. If you're a fan of massive imperial stouts you should enjoy this one, and the year of age should have calmed it down somewhat.
From 12pm Saturday we'll be serving 125ml pours of these two ridiculous beers.

Hop Trial #2

Next week's New Release Tuesday hearkens back to Garage Project's original 24/24 series, as they continue their new series of beers hopped with yet-to-be-named experimental varieties.
The hop in Hop Trial 2 is not yet named, and as it is still in development, we're not allowed to know anything about it. Not even its batch number or alpha-acids (the bitter oil in hops).
The only thing we will know is what it tastes like. Number two is an Imperial IPA, at 8.5%. It uses a few more specialty malts than the first trial, giving it a deeper colour and more malt depth.
It should be noted that this will be your only chance to try this one on tap as the entirety of the rest of the batch is being packaged in 440ml cans.
Don't miss this unique chance to taste the development of NZ's hop growing industry, from 5pm Tuesday. We might even dust off the old feedback coasters.

Father & Son

This Saturday we have an afrobeat treat, in the form of father & son duo Sam & Myele Manzanza.
Myele Manzanza often plays the HZ lounge as part of his trio, but this is the first HZ appearance of his dad; Sam Manzanza.
Sam is a Congolese musician who is credited with keeping African music alive in New Zealand since arriving here in the 1980s. So come down to the basement this Saturday for Afrobeat, Ska, Funk, Soul, Blues and Reggae with these two percussion maestros. Somehow, this event is still free to enjoy. And as usual it kicks off at 10pm.

Beery Beneficence

After closing tonight, we're turning our lounge area into a French resistance bunker. This isn't just an excuse to crack out our berets and baguettes, it's actually for a good cause.
Well known Wellington beer personalities Megan Whelan and Jess Ducey, purportedly came up with the idea for a charity craft beer calendar during this year's PBE.
It's a testament to their enthusiasm and organisational skills that just a few weeks later we're holding our resistance themed photoshoot in the beer bunker.
The calendar will feature the people and places that make this industry such a wonderful thing to be a part of, and all proceeds will benefit the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. You can support the calendar over at PledgeMe, with various levels of support gaining you high fives, hugs, your own customised day or even a calendar.

Santa's Coming!

It's almost that time of year, the December event that you've been looking forward to for months is upon us.
That's right, our annual Santa Session is back for the fifth year, on Tuesday December 2.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of the Santa Session, the process is pretty simple. We set up a couple of pouring stations 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.
It's a good way for you to taste a few of the beers that are usually overlooked in our fridges, for a set price of just $35 - or $25 if you're a SOBA member.
This year will feature beers from the likes of Green Flash, Almanac, Bear Republic, Bellerose and more.
Tickets are now available over at There's only 60 spots available, so first in first served.

Rogue Revolution

Finally, a quick reminder that tomorrow we're hosting seven Rogue beers on our taps.
On tap will be XS Imperial Stout, Brutal IPA, 7 Hop IPA, Hazelnut Brown, Chocolate Stout,American Amber and Double Dead Guy Ale - courtesy of Beer Without Borders.The beautiful Rogue branded Spiegelau stout glasses will also be on sale for $15 each.
I've put the awesome poster at the end of the email so you can see it in its full glory. Our very own Jimmy put this one together - it won't be the last you see of kiwi farmer rogue guy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 13th, 2014

Inaugural Bottle Pour

Saturday's going to be a big day, with three events happening in succession.

As I mentioned last week, on Saturday we're beginning a new tradition.

I've delved through our bottle list and can now divulge the full details of the inaugural Bottle Pour Saturday.
We decided to launch with a bit of geekiness, by pouring two similar-but-different beers side by side. Cos we can.

So on Saturday from midday you'll be able to order a glass of Mikkeller's USAlive! and/or It's Alive.

It's Alive is Mikkeller's tribute to the legendary beer, Orval.

It's a fairly standard Belgian pale ale made with noble hops, but then dosed with a culture of the wild yeast brettanomyces to allow it to develop in the bottle. This brett adds an interesting earthy aspect to the beer, often described as "sweaty horse blanket" (it's a good thing, trust me).

USAlive! is the exact same beer as It's Alive, except it ditches the noble hops for the more fun American grown Tomahawk, Cascade and Amarillo. It should be interesting to see how these more aromatic hops interact with the brett character.

Usually a bottle of these beers would cost you $30, but on Saturday you can grab a 200ml glass of either for $9 - while stocks last.

Literary Saturday

Before Saturday's musical act we're hosting entertainment of a different kind, as part of this weekend's LitCrawl event.

From 7:15pm to 8pm we'll be hosting three Christchurch poets, who will present some of their work, one with a ukulele.

According to LitCrawl:
"Ben Brown, Andy Coyle and Doc Drumheller are full of charm, music, and style, and together they weave a set of distinctive voices and sounds into something remarkable.."
Entry to all LitCrawl events is by gold coin "donation", but we don't mind doing $1 cash outs for you.

But of course, the music following the event is free as usual.


Louis Thompson-Munn is playing trio styles at HZ this Saturday. They'll bang out a mix of originals and groove staples drawing from funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop and R&B.
Louis is on the keys, the groovin' Rom Smith on bass & bangin' Thomas Friggens on the tubs.
The music kicks off at 10pm and is Free to enjoy.


West Australian based Mash Brewing is back this week for NRT, this time with their renowned Copycat American IPA.

Copycat won Champion Australian Beer at this year’s AIBA awards, which is no small feat.
Mash says of Copycat:

“A 6.8% 70ibu ball tearer of a U.S IPA, laden with a big Piney, Stonefruity nose, enough malt to stop the bitterness getting out of hand and a long lingering resinous bitterness.”
Copycat IPA hits the taps 5pm Tuesday!

Rogues Revolt

You might've noticed a few Rogue beers on special at various supermarkets over the last few months. If you've purchased any of these heavily discounted bottles you may have noticed that the beer wasn't quite tasting as good as you were hoping.

Last year another Wellington company imported a large amount of Rogue beer, even though Rogue was already being imported and distributed. A year later they decided to dump this sub-par stock on the market at cheap prices.
We've been seeing complaints about the old beer coming in over social media, getting increasingly frustrated with each one - so now we'll do something about it.

Friday week (the 21st) we will showcase what Rogue beer should  taste like by hosting seven Rogue beers on our taps. Some of these just arrived from Oregon this week, others have been kept cold up the road at Beer Without Borders.

On tap will be: XS Imperial Stout, Brutal IPA, 7 Hop IPA, Hazelnut Brown, Chocolate Stout
American Amber and Double Dead Guy Ale (on tap for the first time at HZ).

There's also fresh stock of the beautiful Rogue branded Spiegelau stout glasses which will be on sale. Last time they sold out in a few hours.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6th, 2014

Fancy 2.0

We think good beer deserves to be treated with respect. Which is why a couple years ago we introduced the Spiegelau beer tulip or  "Fancy" glass as our standard 300ml pour.

Unfortunately the thin glass design which made the Spiegelau fancy so attractive, also made it susceptible to chipping and cracking when tested by the rigors of a bar environment.

This meant we had to go back to the old glasses and give out fancys on request, to increase the lifespan of these somewhat expensive glasses.

Today those dark days are at an end.

Along with the TeKu glasses we had printed for PBE, we had a pallet load of Rastal's "Lüttich" glasses printed with a 300ml pour line. Today these beautiful glasses become the standard for any 300ml pour.

As you can see, the Rastal Lüttich (left) glass is a very similar shape to the Spiegelau, but with the key differences of slightly thicker glass and more sturdy stem.

Come and give the new fancy a test drive any time.

New R(y)elease Tuesday

Continuing the Aussie invasion series of NRT's, next week's new beer comes from West Australia's Mash Brewing, with their Rye Porter.
According to the font of Aussie beer knowledge that is The Crafty Pint, there were only two kegs of this limited release sent to NZ. One has already been on up at Brothers Beer, making this your last chance to try it.

According to The Crafty Pint:
"Rye Porter is the brewer's attempt, as with his Koffee Stout, to 'squeeze character and complexity into small beers'. It's a 4.2 percent beer, brewed with 'a good whack of rye' in the mix. We're told it's pretty straightforward other than 'an interesting little hop addition'."
Mash Brewing Rye Porter hits our taps at 5pm Tuesday, see you there.

Ear Jelly

This Saturdays musical entertainment is provided by Dayle Jellyman's Three Rays. 

Come on down this Satuday to fill your ear holes with early Ray Charles and Nat King Cole style rock ’n roll blues, boogaloo and boogie-woogie. Courtesy of Dayle Jellyman on keys, John Rae with thedrums, Nick Tipping slappin' da bass.
The music kicks off at 10pm and is Free to enjoy.

Bottle Pour Saturday

While travelling the west coast of the United States of America I tried my fair share of tasting trays.

I came across a few breweries that would offer some of their bottle-only products on the trays as well, which got my mind turning.There are so many wonderful beers in our fridges that don't get the attention they deserve because they're in a big bottle, which tends to come with a big price tag. If you don't have a few mates to split the bottle with you're not really going to be able to enjoy it, which is where Bottle Pour Saturday comes in.

Starting on Saturday the 15th, each Saturday afternoon we'll be serving a selected bottle (or two) from the more rare, strong, and expensive beers in our fridge. This will allow you to try a beer that might cost around $80 a bottle for around $10 a glass.
We're yet to decide which of our many beers we'll launch this new weekly event with, but it's likely to be a couple beers from Europe which will be interesting to compare... More in next weeks news.

New Bottles

Speaking of interesting bottled beers, we've got a couple new ones arriving tomorrow.Sour beer specialists Almanac have released a seasonal Dark Pumpkin Sour ale described as:

"A rich and roasty dark sour ale brewed with organic heirloom pumpkins and spices and aged in used red wine barrels for a year."

Joining Dark Pumpkin Sour will be the infinitely loveable beer from Byron Bay Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, in convenient 330ml bottles.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30th, 2014

Pacific Beer Aftermath

Once again PBE went very smoothly thanks to the help of some wonderful volunteers, well behaved punters, brilliant brewers, amazing caterers (how good was that food! cheers Catering Studio), merciful weather and a pair of beautiful venues.

However if you're one of (what seems to be) the majority of Wellingtonians who left Wellington over the long weekend, you'll have a chance to experience a small slice of the joy that is PBE. As usual, there are plenty of leftovers to get through.

So over the next couple of weeks we'll be tapping beers like Boatrocker Mitte Berliner Weisse, Renaissance Terroir IPAs, Brew Cult Can't Fight The Funk IPA, Kaiju! Cthulhu Black IPA and Garage Project Trip Hazard. These will be short-lived apperances, so keep an eye on your Hashigo beer list apps (available on the right hand side there---> )


We return to our regular New Release Tuesday schedule with a three-way collaboration beer that sets the record for the longest name of any NRT beer ever.
Bridge Road Brewers/To Øl/Birra del Borgo One Autumn Sunday Morning Somewhere Three Hours North Of Melbourne Black Session IPA (yes that's actually its name), with eighteen words takes the title from Yeastie Boys/Firestone Walker/Panhead Englebert Pumpernickel with a paltry seven word name.

It's questionable whether Black Session IPA is actually a style, so the three brewers decided to add fuel to the debate by making one. The hop bill is comprised of the odds and ends the visiting brewers found during breakfast. The beer itself mixes tropical hops with roasty cocoa flavours all in a sessionable 4.5% package.
Come on down at 5pm Tuesday to try this concoction.
(I realise hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a fear of long words, but I couldn't find the term for a fear of long beer names but you get the picture.)

Beertender to Musician

One of our bartenders, Josh, switches roles this Saturday. Not only is he a great beertender, but a hugely talented musician.
Josh is part of the band OyAzoy, who return this Saturday for a second gig in the Hashigo lounge.

OyAzoy bring a fat, soupy blend of Balkan, Latin, and Klezmer music, mixed up with Soul and Ska grooves. It takes seven musicians to create their amazing sound, we'll have to make a bit of extra space so there'll still be space to get up and groove in our wee lounge.

OyAzoy kick off at 10pm Saturday, and as usual is free of charge.

Barrel Ageing 101

Barrel aging isn't just reserved for wine and spirits, many styles of beer can be changed and improved with a bit of time in oak. Craft Beer College will be demonstrating this point in their next class "Big and Barrel Aged".

This tasting will be showcasing the big and barrel aged offerings in our fridge and Beer Without Borders' catalogue. These tend to be on the pricier side of things, so it's a great opportunity to try a range of interesting beers for a bargain price.

If you're free on Saturday 15 November email to book your spot then come on down at 2pm to enlighten your taste buds.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23rd, 2014

The Expo Cometh

It's been such a busy birthday week already, it's hard to believe we've still got the Pacific Beer Expo this weekend.

Nonetheless we've been busy making final preparations, and this week we can release the beer list in its entirety.

You'll notice that a lot of these beers are new releases, or have been brewed just for PBE. We love how local brewers get behind PBE and make us something special.

Local brewer Kereru has put together an intriguing chilli smoked wheat beer, Underparty. The notes for this beer come in haiku form:

Full-bodied wheat beer.

Manuka smoke. Mild chilli.

Fruity with bacon.

Also brewed out at Kereru on their test batch kit is Funk Estate's PBE offering Pash 'n Dash.

Pash 'n Dash is a Berliner Weisse (one of three at the festival), a type of sour wheat beer.
Brewers like Beliner Weisses as as they are soured in the mash then boiled, meaning their equipment isn't tainted with scary bugs like lactobacillus. Which can infect other beers.

Traditionally you'd add a fruit syrup to your pint of Berliner Weisse to cut back the sour bite, but Funk Estate have saved you that effort by adding passionfruit, kaffir lime leaf and chilli.

Before moving into their new brewery Baylands put together a geeky yeast experiment for us. Smokey & The Belgian and Smokey & The Americano are the same imperial stout, but fermented with different yeasts (Belgian & American). This way you can see how fermentation affects the flavour of these 10% behemoths. They'll be on all festival over in the Rowing Club.

Panhead made quite a splash earlier in the year when they released their black barley wine Black Sabbath. Black barley wines usually benefit from a bit of aging so most of this beer went into bottles so punters could throw some in their cellars. There's no reason why you can't age a keg, so we held on to a 20L keg of Black Sabbath and have been cellaring it in our chilled warehouse.

PBE might your last opportunity to have the original Black Sabbath on tap, so visit station 1 from 4.30pm to get yours.

Sunday session goers need not worry, we'll be cutting off sales of Black Sabbath (and similarly rare beers) once half is gone.

So here it is, in all its spreadsheety glory - the 2014 Pacific Beer Expo lineup!

Currently the weather is looking good for Saturday, and we're hoping Sunday's forecast changes soon.
Get your tickets now!

Expo Food

A beer festival can live or die on its culinary offerings, so we're pleased to be teaming up with The Catering Studio for PBE.

The menu they've come up with is mouth watering to say the least. It covers the pacific rim, with a bit of Karaage chicken, some Mexican tostadas, 'murican style cheese-steaks and more.
Check it out in delicious pdf form.

Expo Meet & Greet

In another PBE first, you'll be able to meet one of the overseas brewers whose beers you'll be sampling at the expo.Bryan Baird of Baird Brewing is in town this weekend, visiting from Japan. No doubt he'll be surrounded by adoring fans all festival-long, so to give you a chance to pick his brain we're holding a short tasting with Bryan at the start of each session.

At 3pm each session head over to the Rowing Club to participate. It'll cost two tokens, which gets you all of the Baird offerings at the fest: Brewer's Nightmare Rye IPA, Yabai Yabai Scotch Ale & Wabi Sabi Japan Ale.

Uber Expo

It's best not to drive to or from beer festivals. So with new "Rideshare" technology Uber quickly revolutionising the Wellington taxi-scape, we were stoked when they contacted us with an offer for PBE goers.
New users to Uber can get two free rides (up to $20) by using the code PBE2014
The process is simple:

1. Download the UBER app on an iPhone, Android or Windows device, and create an account.

2. Enter the promo code "PBE2014" when prompted.

3. Check the ETA, 'REQUEST' when you need a car, and enjoy the ride!

Uber's rates are pretty damn reasonable, so $20 will get you a fair way.

Jazzy Bayou Juice

The spirit of jazz visits the HZ lounge this Saturday, with new act The Bayou Bros.
I'm no jazz expert, so here's their description:

The Bayou Bros. Present their medicine Show.
Roll up, roll up, the Bayou Bros. Medicine Show is in town.
Filled with the restorative power of tiger glands, the strength of a hurricane, and the beauty of the taj mahal at midnight; the swinging sounds of the Bayou Bros. cannot be denied.
Feel whole once again, as your spirit returns to bourbon street, and your heart sings with the joy that only the jazz of the bayou bros. can bring. 
The Bayou Bros. are: Lex French - trumpet/ vocals, Daniel Hayles - piano/ vocals, and Daniel Yeabsley - double bass. Pop on down after PBE and wind down with their bayou beats.As usual the show kicks off at 10pm, and is free of charge.

No Release Tuesday

Sad news. Next Tuesday we won't be hosting a new release beer on tap.

We think the combination of it being a virtual Monday following a beer festival and the fact that we threw dozens of new releases out there this week with our birthday and PBE - we think people might be a bit new released out.So we won't waste our precious new releases next Tuesday, but will return to regularly scheduled programming the following week.

On Tap Now/Soon

If you haven't been down to try any of our birthday beers it's not too late. We got a few kegs of each so some are still going, Tasi's collab with Renaissance Fifth Element Porter has been particularly popular.
We're told over 10kg of cocoa nibs went into it and it shows. Most declare it even better than Renaissance's own Craftsman choc stout.
Also still available from Monday are 8 Wired's Wireless Pale Ale & Nieuw Bruin, Cassels & Sons 5 Hour Hoppy Wheat, 666 God Told Me To IPA and Twisted Hop Imperial Twisted Ankle.

Hallertau and Liberty have teamed up again, and for a change they've made a big hoppy IPA.

Haterade IIPA weighs in at 8.5%, so halves only.

For some reason the tap badge declares it 'soured', but in reality it tastes like a traditional hop bomb. Maybe they just want people to hate on Haterade. If you've got any hate for them, there's even a twitter account to vent at: @HateradeIPA