Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29th, 2014

Mecha Umami Truck

This Saturday we host two new experimental beers from Garage Project - Umami Monster & Mecha Hop. These were launched last weekend at Melbourne's Great Australasian Beer Spectapular festival.

I've actually just returned from said festival, where I was helping the organisers by looking after brewery stalls. Being able to go to all of the festival sessions gave me time to get around a few of the breweries - including Garage Project. After tasting the two new beers, I can say you'll be in for a flavour experience.

I predict Umami Monster will be as divisive a beer as Rex Attitude, with flavours unlike you've experienced in beer before. Some will get it, others will despise it. We'll be serving Umami in a small glass (300ml) or a really small glass (150ml).

Although Mecha Hop is made using 100% extract, I'm informed by Garage Project that they went very out of their way to source the finest malt extract from the US, and even got experimental Warrior, Simcoe and Amarillo hop extract.

The end result is an amazingly resinous imperial IPA, incredibly bitter but still well balanced. At 10% this one will only be coming in a half glass.

We've received the menu from the Fire Truck food truck, which plays on the umami theme - plenty of soy and seaweed

From 3.30pm the truck will be serving:

- BBQ Goat with brussel sprouts, pear, kelp and rosemary with Anchovy mayonnaise

- Pulled pork shoulder with soy pickled mushrooms, adzuki beans and poached quince

- Smoked fish with celeriac, mandarin, toasted nori puree and mint

With the two beers on tap from midday, and amazing fire truck food from 3.30 Don't miss this spectapular afternoon.

The Brown Burn

I also got a wee sample of Liberty's offering for GABS: Brown Burn Chilli Brown Ale - which just so happens to be our next beer for New Release Tuesday.

Brown Burn combines brewer Jo Wood’s love of hops, malt and chilli in one beer. It is an American Brown ale, infused with some of the hottest chilli peppers in the world with scary names like Trinidad Scorpion and Naga Jolokia. The beer shows the classic hoppy-yet-toasty american brown aromas and flavours, but once its in your mouth the burn kicks in strongly.

I'd place the heat level below his previous chilli beers, but it's certainly not for the faint hearted.

Come down at 5pm this Tuesday to feel the burn.

'52 Special

This Saturday head on down for some free, authentic good-time '50s rockabilly with rising star Chris Armour and Tony Mad & Spike of The X-Ray Catz!

Catch this high-energy, feel-good gig for free from 10pm this Saturday in our lounge.

That 'ol Shine

Our whisky list has recently undergone a little revamp, courtesy of our resident whisky lover Richard.

He's replaced a few, and added a few exciting new Scotch, Japanese and even Kiwi whiskies.

New on the list are: Thomson Two Tone (NZ), Ichiro's Malt: The Peated (3yo peaty japanese whisky), Aberlour A'Bundah (cask strength sherry barrel finished), GlenDronach Revival (15yo sherry barrel finished) & Adelphi Blended which becomes our new house pour whisky.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15th, 2014

Get Wet

In less than 24 hours, ten of our taps will be hosting Wet Hopped beers from some of the best breweries from around New Zealand.

I've rattled on about how amazing the beer lineup is going to be, but if you want a reminder check out the Facebook event.

What I haven't yet lectured you about is how amazing the food lineup from Fire Truck is looking!

From 5pm tomorrow the truck will be pulling up out back to serve things like:

- Hop and chilli smoked beef brisket with malted barley and brussels sprouts

- BBQ pork shoulder with split peas, pickled mushroom and rooibos

- Smoked fish with celeriac, orange and a toasted nori purée

Apparently the beef and hop dish tastes like you're eating beer, which should be very interesting!

So to reiterate, ten wet hopped beers on tap from midday tomorrow, and Fire Truck serving amazing food from 5pm!

Get Set

Another new band will be gracing the lounge this Saturday night. Jet Set are a recently formed Jazz trio, consisting of sax, double bass and percussion.

They'll be playing a diverse range of music, from James Brown and Violent Femmes to Buckshot leFonque and Fatboy Slim. These guys sound like a lot of fun, so come on down this Saturday at 10pm to catch them live! For freee!

Get Burned

Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA is one of the most renowned IPAs in the world, winning gold twice at the World Beer Cup.

The world beer cup is often described as 'the Olympics of beer', as only three medals are given out per category. For a beer to win gold twice at this competition is almost unheard of, which might give you an idea about how consistently excellent this beer and brewer are.

We've had Sculpin in stock for years now, so that's not the reason I rattle on about it. We've been hearing about a modified version of Sculpin that until now was only available in the states - Habanero Sculpin. This is the same award-winning beer, but infused with the devilishly spicy yet pleasantly fruity habanero pepper.

Our buddies over at Beer Without Borders have managed to acquire a very small amount of kegs of this highly rated beer, one of which will be tapped at Hashigo Zake this Tuesday at 5pm! I've had a preview of this beer, and it's not one to miss. The tropical fruit flavour of the habanero matches beautifully with Sculpin's hop character, while the spicy aspect is ever present but not overwhelming.

See you Tuesday then!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8th, 2014

Let The Funk Flow

Our very own ex-Hashigan -Shiggy - is the brewer for Wellington based contract brewers Funk Estate. On a recent trip to Christchurch Shiggy took the opportunity to brew a collaborative beer with Twisted Hop, who are renowned for their English style ales.

This new world/old world combination spawned James Brown Ale, an American styled brown ale. It comes in at 5.4%, is made using only Canterbury grown malt and hopped with NZ Pacific Jade, US Centennial & US Chinook.

Expect a roasty toasty hopped up number which Shiggy described as “a little darker than Tui”, though I’m not sure what native birds have to do with it.

Shiggy and the boys from Funk Estate will be in attendance to answer all your questions from 5pm this Tuesday!

Yeasty Beasty

There are still spots available on Saturday afternoon’s Craft Beer College Beer 101 course, entitled “The Beast that is Yeast”.

Not only will you be treated to the diverse flavours that yeast produce, but it is a rare chance to get a sneak peek of two beers from upcoming nano-brewery ‘Wild & Wooly’. Brewer Llew Bardecki will be in attendance explaining his beers, his adventures with yeast - and how bloody hard it is to open a brewery.

The tasting starts at 2pm this Saturday, you can book your place in this tasting by emailing Steph at


The excellent four-piece Rhinoboogie returns to the HZ lounge this Saturday. Their unique use of drums, horns and live samples from the turntables of Uncle Silverback create some amazing funk hip hop fusion.

The boogie starts at the usual time of 10pm Saturday. Grab a beer and bop along!

More Wet Details

For those of you adverse to clicking links, to get you excited for our wet hop takeover weekend on May 16th-18th here is the full list:

  • Behemoth/Twisted Hop Wet Dream (cask)

  • Raindogs 17 Seconds ESB (handpump)

  • Townshend Last of the Summer Ale (handpump)

  • Renaissance Grand Master IIPA

  • Townshend/Liberty Oldham's Tap Pilsner

  • 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired IPA

  • Golden Bear Hopstacle Course

  • Hallertau G.C.S.B. (Green Cone Special Bitter)

  • Baylands Wai Fly IPA

  • Fork & Brewer Hopstepper

  • Tuatara Conehead APA

  • Panhead Fresh Hop Vandal IPA

The eagle-eyed will notice that there are twelve beers listed here, but we only have ten taps. This means the whole lineup won’t all be on at the same time, but you’re used to a bit of tap rotation eh? FYI, we’ve only got 30L of the Baylands Wai Fly, so that’ll rotate pretty quick. We recommend you get in early!

Don’t forget Will will be here with the Fire Truck food truck, serving up delicious food from 5pm on the Friday the 16th!

Fresh off the Boat

Our buddies up the road at Beer Without Borders have just received another exciting shipment from California, containing a few new beers. They've managed to whip some ‘imported by’ stickers on them quick-smart and some now reside in our fridge.

We’ve actually had Bear Republic Apex IPA on tap before, but this is the first time it’s been bottled. It’s a classic US IPA, and weighs in a very specific 8.95% ABV.

We’ve finally got our hands on one of Ballast Point’s most bizarre creations; Indra Kunindra India-Style Export Stout. What makes it India style? Madras curry, caynne pepper, cumin, toasted coconut and kaffir lime leaf are added to make one of the most confusingly delicious stouts you’ll ever try. It’s available in 650ml bottles, so one to share.

Speakeasy continue their limited edition series with the new Vendetta IPA, featuring citra and amarillo hops. It’s now available in some of the most beautiful screen printed 650ml bottles I’ve ever seen.

From closer to home, we’ve just added the canned range from Hot Water Brewing to our fridge. Look for cans of Walker’s Porter, Golden Steamer Ale and Kauri Fall Pale Ale in the fridge now.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1st, 2014

Wet Hop Weekend!

Announcing our annual wet hop takeover! Two weeks from now on Friday the 16th of May, every one of our taps and handpumps will be pouring a wet hopped beer!

This year has been the biggest yet for wet hopped beers, with events like Hopstock encouraging brewers to jump on the fresh hopping bandwagon.

NZ Hops picked fresh hops and overnight freighted them to breweries all over New Zealand, making it far easier for breweries outside of Nelson to join in.

The increased availability as made it easier than ever to fill our taps and pumps - and then some!

We've got a decent amount of most beers, so a few of them will last past Friday and maybe even into Sunday.

Check out the full list of beers here.

Some extra motivation to attend on Friday the 16th is provided by Will Michell & his Fire Truck food truck, who will be serving from 5pm!.

The Fire Truck's menu changes at each location, and Will is creating a menu to match with the many hoppy pale ales on the night but some mouth watering bbq is guarunteed - just look at that burger!

If you'd like to find out more about the Fire Truck check out their FB page here.


Continuing our push to bring cask conditioned real ale to Wellington, we've got some exciting casks coming on soon.

On right now is Townshend's lovely subtley hoppy Bandsaman Bitter, to be followed by casks of Donelan's 2XE and the classic Old House ESB.

Following the traditional Townshends we'll have a cask of Twisted Hop's Hopback Citra IPA, then tying in with our wet hop weekend - a cask of Behemoth/Twisted Hop Wet Dream IIPA.

Look out for the cask logo (shown here) on the digital/paper menus and tap badges to know whether it's cask or not.


The ever popular Nick Granville returns to the HZ lounge this Saturday from 10pm to jazz up the mood. He's just back from a stint in the US, so the late gig should suit his jet-lag!

Joining him is Lauren Ellis on drums and Ali Isdale on bass.

All this musical talent costs you nothing, so why not come and enjoy a jazzy beer?


We're very lucky to have a talented and generous community surrounding the Wellington beer scene. Some of theses talented and generous people have even made smartphone apps for us free of charge for Android, iPhone and even Windows Phone.

The links to all are on the right hand side of this email.

The reason I mention our apps is that our iPhone app has just had an overhaul courtesy of Phil Murray.

The new version's look has been changed to suit the latest version of iOS and the live pie menu is now available. But the main difference is that it now supports push notifications for tap changes!

To take advantage of these on your iOS device, download or update here.

We're incredibly grateful to Phil and the other app developers, as these things usually cost many thousands of dollars to develop. Phil is also one half of Hamilton's Brewaucracy brewing co, so please support Phil by buying a Brewaucracy beer if you see one around town!

What's a Grunion?

A grunion is species of fish native to the west coast of the United States, that has the odd spawning behavior of washing up on beaches en masse. It is also a new pale ale by Ballast Point, which will be on tap this Tuesday.

Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale is made with two new hop varieties: NZ Mosaic and US Calypso. According to the brewery "Both hops give off pungent summer fruit aromas and flavors with hints of pineapple, ripe cantaloupe, basil, cherry blossoms, spruce & grapefruit."

Which sounds pretty great.

At only 5.5%, it won't punish you for your love of hops either.

All going to plan, Grunion will be on tap from 5pm this Tuesday. But it is part of a new shipment arriving Monday, so if customs decide to inspect it we may have to delay. We've got a local backup (Golden Bear Peach Fizz) just in case.

Drink Dutch

Our De Molen tasting on Wednesday the 14th of May is more than half full now.

So if you'd like to try some crazy new dutch creations

- such as a 11.5% smoked imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels with brettanomyces -

book your tickets at or at the bar!