Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 27th, 2014

Profanity Filter

A few weeks ago this email alerted you to the launch of the first in a series of beers by Danish brewer To Øl.

It so happens that the name of this series contains the 'F-word', and as such I was bombarded by server messages of rejected emails due to "inappropriate language". Fair enough.

So to make sure everyone gets notified of the next in the F%*k Art series this will be a rare occasion in which I will censor myself.

We missed out on the middle beer in the F&^k Art series 'F@$k Art - Let's Dance', so now we're skipping to the end with the strongest of the three: 'F¿‽k Art - This is Advertising'.

F∞εk Art - This is Advertising is a Belgian Quadrupel style beer, the granddaddy of the Belgian strongs. As such, it weighs in at 11.3%. Usually, quads are full bodied and sweet with a big yeast character. In typical To Øl style, they've tried to balance the usual quad-sweetness with a truck load of hops. They also reckon "The yeast gives notes of acidic apples, which blends well together with the hops."

Come try Fuc.... I mean F⌂™k Art - This is Advertising on tap from 5pm this Tuesday!

Festival in a Festival

Once again we're sending a contingent of staff down to Christchurch to help create "The World of Beer" marquee at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Hagley Park on Saturday. Though this year the Beer Without Borders banner will be flying, but the beers will be just as varied and exciting as the last two years.

Indications are that the Christchurch City Council haven't imposed heavy handed restrictions on GKBF. So if you're attending, come along to the big World of Beer tent and enjoy an actual full glass of one of the 13+ beers on tap.

Black Spider Stomp

The gypsy dudes with guitars are back this Saturday in the lounge, with Black Spider Stomp filling the room with a swinging gypsy mix of original compositions and Django Reinhardt classics. No cover charge, starts at 10pm!

Go to College with the Yeastie Boys

I'm usually giving you warning of Craft Beer College tastings when there's only a couple places left, but this time I'm on to it!

On Saturday the 12th of April, Craft Beer College is teaming up with Stu from Yeastie Boys to host a hop focused tasting at the bar. In the words of Steph from CBC:

"You will taste seven beers with a variety of New Zealand and international hops, and that build up in hop intensity. You will learn about the historical importance of hops, and the birth of the popular India Pale Ale (IPA) style of beer."

To book your place while there's still space, email Steph at

Newbies from Denmark

We're making space in the fridge for an incoming container-load of beer from California (watch this space). Until that arrives we'll keep filling most of the gaps with exciting new beers, like the three newbies in there this week.

Two are from Mikkeller:Tequila Barrel Aged Mexas Ranger and Mielcke & Hurtigkarl(pronounced "mile-kuh ov hoot-ti-karl" or something...)

The former is a 6.6% stout brewed with spices, almond milk, cocoa, chilies, black beans, avocado leaves & aged in tequila barrels.

The latter is a beautifully delicate 8.7% Belgian strong ale, aged in rare Château d’Yquem barrels.

We also have bottles of a new beer from Panhead; Trekken Saison. They've taken a new-world approach to the Saison style, throwing in hops like Citra and Sorachi Ace. It's a pretty amazing beer, so grab a bottle or look out for it on tap soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20th, 2014

The end is Nigh

The Hopocalypse is coming! In fact, it's here!

As mentioned in last week's email; today only we have the 2013 and 2014 vintages of Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse on tap, side by side. To help you make the most of this rare opportunity, you can grab a 150ml serve of both vintages for just $11.

Just cos we can, we've also got two vintages of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter on side by side with the same deal applying.

So come get some!

Blackball Tuesday

Beer Without Borders kindly imported a few single kegs of special beers just for us in their last shipment from Denmark.

One of these was Blackball Porter from To Øl, the guys who were once students of the famous Mikkel. Blackball Porter is their take on the recent Black IPA craze, although they prefer the term hoppy porter: "Black IPA? No way! Hoppy Porters is here to stay!".

Blackball is pumped up to 7.1% abv with the help of dark cassonade sugar, then assaulted with lashings of US grown hops (Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade to be exact). According to To Øl the result "does not leave the mouth voluntarily".

Grab some on tap this Tuesday from 5pm.


It's Ramen time again this Friday night! Asher and Tsubasa will be taking over our kitchen & creating delicious noodley delicacies from 5pm till about 8.30pm.

If you're after something a bit different next to your bowl, they're now offering a mixed pickle plate including pickled; shiitake, fennel, daikon, carrot, celery, onion and also some kimchi.

If I wasn't in Nelson for Marchfest I'd totally be there getting my Kimchi Noodle bowl on.

Navae Saturday

The Carlos Navae Quartet will be providing sensual entertainment of the latino jazz variety, this Saturday at 10pm.

Their music always inspires a lil' bit of salsa dancing, making it a fun night even if you're just there for a beer.

Get here by 10pm to join the fun, and as usual, this gig is free of charge.

New in the Fridge

Lovers of Rodenbach Grand Cru should get a kick out of De Molen's interpretation of the Flemish Red style, Lief & Leed.

Lovers of local beer will be pleased to hear we now stock the entire Panhead range in 330ml bottles. You can now get your fix of Quickchange XPA, Super Charger APA, Blacktop Stout or Port Road Pils whenever you want.

If you're after a sweet gift or a neat gimmick at your next dinner party, we've got 5L cans of Rogue Yellow Snow IPA back in stock. For obvious reasons, these cans are only available for takeaway.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13th, 2014

Geek Out!

Kereru's For Great Justice coconut porter has made a name for itself, being a hugely rich and moreish beer at only 4.5%. But have you ever wondered what flavours come from the underlying brown porter and which come from the big sack of toasted coconut? Brewer Chris Mills has, and so have we.

To this end, Kereru has kindly made available to us a rare keg of un-coconutted FGJ base beer, aptly named For Science! This Tuesday from 5pm, Chris will be at the bar for a very beer-geeky event. You'll be able to have a 300ml serve of both beers side-by-side, for a special price. I predict some blending.

Needs less Hops

Speaking of Kereru, Chris the brewer will be at the Craft Beer College's "Miracle of Malt" tasting this Saturday.

The tasting will feature the more malt focused beers of the Kereru range and a few from other breweries.

Chris will be answering all your pertinent barley related questions and explaining what goes in to making such balanced beers.

There's less than 5 spots left in this tasting, so if you'd like to bulk up your knowledge of malt, email to book your place.

JB3 Trio

This Saturday night JB3 are bringing the Boogaloo and New Orleans Funk with Reuben Bradley - drums, Callum Allardice - guitar, Jake Baxendale - sax. As usual, this is a free gig for your listening pleasure while you enjoy a Saturday night beer or two.

Geek Out Some More

A rare opportunity for some extra special beer-geekery has presented itself, and we simply couldn't pass it up.

The Four Horsemen of the Hopocalypse is a Triple IPA. A collaboration between four of the best brewers NZ has to offer: Luke Nicholas (Epic), Steve Ploughman (Hallertau), Joe Wood (Liberty) and Kelly Ryan (Good George). They get together once a year to brew the, strongest, most bitter, hoppiest beer possible with the equipment at their disposal.

Hops are added to this beer at almost every single point of the brewing process, maxing out bitterness and hop aroma (they reckon it's about 160IBU). To balance the extreme hopping a huge amount of malt is used, pushing the ABV up to 12%.

This years 4 Horsemen IIIPA has just been released, and we've scored a rare keg fresh from Hallertau. Fortuitiously we've been aging a wee keg of last year's 4 Horsemen at our coolstore, so why not see how age affects such an insane beer by having them both on side by side?!

While we're at it, why not compare how big malty beer ages as well? So along side the Hopocalypse will be fresh and aged kegs of Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter on side-by-side!

The date for this geekery is Thursday 20th of March, one week from now. With both beers being rather strong, we'll be offering a smaller serve of each to compare side by side for a special price.

Now and Coming Soon

Slightly by accident, we've currently got Liberty C!tra IIPA (9%, 99IBU) and C!tra Junior Mini IPA (4.5%, 45IBU) on tap - you guessed it - side by side.

Because I haven't mentioned IPA's enough in this email, I'd better let you know we've also got a keg of Epic Hop Zombie lined up to come on this week, so keep an eye out for that.

For those who are sick and tired of big hoppy pale ales, the trusty Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale is on now, Green Flash Double Stout is coming on tap shortly, and we'll have Funk Estate Berliner Weisse sour wheat beer on tonight sometime.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6th, 2014

It's Beetnik Time!

This Tuesday marks the beginning of a new series of beers, brewed by Hashigo Zake staff, and made possible by the kind folks at Baylands Brewery.

The first in the series is my own creation, Beetnik IPA.

Beetnik started out a few years ago, when I was living in a mouldy student flat in Aro Valley. The State of Origin rugby league series was coming up, and being an ardent Queensland fan I wanted as much maroon (Queensland's colour) as possible around when my New South Wales supporting mates came round to watch the game.

As I'd just started homebrewing, it seemed a good chance to try and brew a maroon coloured beer for everyone to drink during the match. Not wanting to just use food colouring, I asked my girlfriend's father (who has decades of commercial brewing experience) for advice on how to colour the beer naturally, to which he suggested using Beetroot.

My first few attempts only gave the beer a slight pink hue, nothing noticable. After a few batches and some experimentation, I'd figured out a beetroot infusion technique® that struck a good balance between beet colour and beet flavour (earthy beet flavour in a fruity IPA is not a good thing). Once perfected, I brewed this recipe a couple times a year, leading up to the State of Origin series.

I had a lot of fun sharing Beetnik around, seeing how people react when they taste a bitter, hoppy IPA from a beer that looks like a sweet, pink fruit beer.

Thanks to Baylands Brewery I can now share the experience with many more people, with a 50L keg of Beetnik coming on tap this Tuesday from 5pm.

Experience tells me that it won't last long, so I'd suggest getting in at around 5pm.

The next Staffie Series brew is scheduled to be Sauvin Oatmeal Stout, brewed by our recently departed staff member Shigeo Takagi.

Noodleday Friday

Tomorrow Ramen Shop once again take over our wee kitchen, with noodley goodness taking the place of our normal menu from 5pm to 9pm-ish.

If you haven't heard Ramen Shop's exciting news this week, they've signed the lease for a restaurant premises! We're still waiting for the location to be revealed...

Congratulations to Asher and Tsubasa on this big step, we wish you all the best and I'm sure our staff and customers be visiting you regularly once the restaurant opens!

Reuben Bradley Trio

This Saturday night's free musical entertainment comes from the very talented Reuben Bradley trio.

Reuben's world class credentials are rock solid, winning the prestigious Tui Award for Best Jazz Album in 2011 and working with high profile artists like Mickey Dolenz (the Monkees). Reuben and co kick off at 10pm this Saturday.

Lost & Found

You may be aware that our wholesale counterparts - Beer without Borders - recently moved into a new central Wellington warehouse. During the move, some interesting kegs were found hiding in the dark, corners of the chilled room.

Like the Takahe, these beers were previously thought to be extinct. Luckily they've been stored at a beer-friendly 4°C the whole time, so should still be in good condition. We'll be working our way through these kegs in the next week or two, so keep a lookout for: ParrotDog Otis Stout, Liberty Sauvignon Bomb and Libertau KomissionA IPA on tap soon, and if you're quick you might catch some Green Flash Symposium IPA which is on tap now.