Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 28th, 2014

It's Over

What a week! We're back to normal after one of the busiest weeks of the year. But spare a thought for the dedicated and hard working bar staff at Hashigo and beer bars around Wellington that miss out on the Beervana fun so we can enjoy it.
But the fun isn't over yet. We've managed to get our hands on a few kegs of the more interesting Beervana leftovers.

Keep an eye out over the next week or two for a keg of California Common from nano-contract-brewer NineBarnyardOwls, more barrel aged & sour goodness from 8 Wired and some interesting ones from Commons Brewery & Gigantic all the way from Oregon.

Rhinocerotidae Saltatus

We're back to the usual one band a week now, the wonderful Rhino Boogie will be playing funk hip hop fusion from live horns and drums combined with samples from the turntables of Uncle Silverback.

Interestingly, I'm told 'Rhino Boogie' in Japanese could be translated to "Rhino bugi wugi o odoru"

The bugi wugi o odoru starts at 10pm Saturday, and will cost you not even one yen.

Consume Life - Drink Art

Due to their batch size of just a few hundred litres, it's hard enough to find Adroit Theory's beer in their hometown of Purceville, Virginia. To find it here on the other side of the world would be impossible right?
Wrong. Thanks to a bit of serendipitous kiwi collaboration with 666 Brewing, Beer Without borders has managed to secure (very limited) stocks of a few of Adroit Theory's range.

Graeme Mahy of 666 brewing helped set up a small shipment from Adroit to bring their collaboration to Aotearoa, and there happened to be a bit of space left on the pallet.
That space was filled with a mixture of bottles and kegs from Adroit Theory's range, which will be featuring in a few upcoming New Release Tuesdays and in October's Pacific Beer Expo.

This Tuesday sees the first of Adroit Theory's beers hit the taps at Hashigo, Scorpion Black IIPA (8.1%). 
As you can tell from their branding and artwork, Adroit is a very 'metal' brewery which is reflected in their description of this beer:
"I am the SCORPION…and I know. In ways normal men cannot: I know. I see into things: beyond things. I see the strands of Fate that bind us: victims to victors. I AM THE SCORPION. And I rise up from the lower depths…."
It's easy to imagine that screamed or growled into a microphone.

Less lyrical descriptions have Scorpion pegged as roasty, earthy and complex with a good hop bite.
There were very few kegs of this beer imported, so just 20L will be available from 5pm Tuesday.


This Sunday I leave for North America for a month, on a pilgrimage down the west coast to take in the sights and suds of the area which inspired so much growth in our beer industry.
If you'd like to keep up with what we're up to I'll be doing the occasional update post over on my Girlfriend's blog
In the meantime, renowned wordsmith and bar owned Dominic Kelly will be taking back over our weekly updates, no doubt teasing about what you can expect in this year's Pacific Beer Expo.
So until October - farewell and cheers!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21st, 2014

The Big Weekend

It's been a great week of beer already, but it's about to go to the next level as beer lovers from around New Zealand descend upon Wellington to try and attain beervana. Please excuse the brevity of this week's email - with all this week's happenings I've not had the usual amount of time to put it together.

Our final official "HashtagRoadToBeervana" event is today, with five Karl Strauss beers on tap from 5pm. We're not planning any extra events on Friday and Saturday, except to have one of the most bad-ass beer lineups in the country.

On Friday we'll be tapping the first keg of Mikkeller Texas Ranger from the shipment which arrived last Friday, along with some super fresh Sculpin IPA & Liberty C!tra IIPA pluse a few kegs we've been hoarding such as Funk Estate Berliner Weisse, Super Afrodisiac, Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter & Golden Gate Gose.
For people just wanting a refreshing, easy going beer after having their taste buds assaulted at Beervana we'll also have Stone & Wood Pacific Ale on tap. Thanks to Stone & Wood air freighting some over specially for the Beervana crowd.

Complimenting our wonderful lineup will be some wonderful live music, starting tonight!

Musical Trilogy

To keep the beer loving public entertained this weekend we've sorted out three bands, one for each night starting tonight.
Tonight check out Nick Granville Drum Funk Quartet, following on Friday is the Tony Mad Trio’s Texas Boogie, then rounding off the trilogy on Saturday with some Surf Rock Funk from Vincent Vega Trio.
All start at 10pm, and all are free.


The week following Beervana tends to be a quiet one, but that's not stopping us from continuing our New Release Tuesday programme.
When Craig and Catherine Fitzpatrick arrived in Wellington for Beervana they brought with them a car-load of kegs full of Tauranga's best.
Included in this was a new brew, an Oatmeal Stout.
Fitzpatrick's record of brewing classic styles consistently and perfectly means this Stout is probably going to be a doozie.

Fizpatrick's Oatmeal Stout will be hitting the taps on Tuesday at 5pm.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14th, 2014

Spider Stompin'

To prevent our musical act this week being buried by the huge amount of Beervana related news this week, I've put it first.
Hashigo favourite Black Spider Stomp are back this Saturday, with their lively take on gypsy jazz classics by artists such as Django Reinhardt.

The Spiders always manage to get the crowd on their feet, so join in from 10pm this Saturday and catch the show. For no charge, of course.


It's almost that time again. The biggest week of beer in New Zealand is about to kick off in Wellington, bringing with it almost every beer geek in the country.
Traditionally, we plan a bumper week of events to cater for the increased beer geek density. This year is no different.
We have special events planned from Monday through Thursday, before the pre/post Beervana crowds descend on Friday and Saturday... Though we are planning on having some pretty special beers on those days too...
Here's the day-by-day breakdown of what's happening at Hashigo Zake next week.

Monday: Rogue Stout Glass Launch

Rogue has worked with glass manufacturer Spiegelau and Left Hand Brewery to create a glass specifically for stouts.
Rogue and Left Hand were rewarded for their help with special, branded versions of the unique glass. The Rogue version has 'Rogue' printed on two sides of the glass, and even the nucleation points on the bottom of the glass form the Rogue logo. Otherwise, it resembles the (in)famous IPA glass, but wider and without the 'ribbing' on the base.

We have a couple of cases of these unique, branded glasses which will be available to buy at HZ from Monday. If you're not convinced, we'll be serving Rogue Nitro Shakespeare Stout in the stout glass on Monday from 5pm.

Tuesday: Barrel Aged and Sour Beer Meats Grill & New Release Tuesday
As announced in last week's email, we've teamed up with Grill Meats Beer to bring you a night of extreme beers matched with delicious foods.
This evening may have been inspired by a certain food reviewer claiming beer just can't provide the acid that wine does. Bollocks to that.
So to prove a point, we have worked with GMB and to select some wonderful barrel aged and sour beers to match their excellent food.

Tickets are $75 and can be booked by calling Grill Meats Beer on 801 8787. Please note this event will be held at Grill Meats Beer, 227 Cuba St, and the evening starts at 6pm.

That gives you time to check out our new release before dinner, Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale.
At 5.5% ABV it's a very.... American interpretation of 'session ale', but nonetheless it sounds pretty delicious.
Mosaic Session Ale is part of Karl Strauss's Coastal Reserve limited edition series, and showcases the relatively new hop, Mosaic (duh). They use a special dry-hopping technique to get the most out of Mosaic, to deliver "an incredibly drinkable, lower ABV beer; without sacrificing hop appeal."
Mosaic will be on tap from 5pm Tuesday, giving you an hour to get to Grill Meats Beer for dinner.

Wednesday: 8 Wired Barrel Blowout
On Wednesday we will be showcasing 8 Wired's barrel aging programme, hosting at least four new barrel aged and/or wild fermented and/or sour beers on our taps. In addition to these we'll have the Oregon brewed collaboration with Gigantic Brewing, and maybe even a Bridge Road collab from Aussie.
8 Wired brewer Søren Eriksen himself will be in attendance so feel free to bathe him in glowing compliments.
So far, the tap lineup is looking like this:
  • Feijoa Sour
  • Wireless Farmhouse
  • Rastafari Unchained (sour stout)
  • Rewired Unchained (sour brown)
  • 8 Wired/Gigantic PDXNWESB (Brewed with NZ Pacifica & Oregon Crystal hops, 6.8%)
  • We'll see what else they can pull out of barrels....
These will all be on from 5pm, you won't have many chances to try these beers on tap otherwise, so don't miss out.

Thursday: Karl Strauss Brewery Launch
After Tuesday's teaser, come along on Thursday to be among the first in New Zealand to try the range of this pioneering San Diego brewery's wares on tap.
Karl Strauss has been at it since 1989, helping create the current craft beer boom with beers such as Pin Tail Pale Ale, Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA.
We'll be showcasing beers from the first ever shipment direct from Karl Strauss to New Zealand.
On tap will be:
  • Tower 10 IPA
  • Mosaic Session Ale
  • Pin Tail Pale Ale
  • Red Trolley Irish Red Ale
  • Wreck Alley Imperial Stout
We'll have the beers on from opening on Thursday, and being that it's the night of the BGNZ awards we expect there to be a few brewers down before the night's awards.

For Friday and Saturday we'll be raiding our keg cellar, so look out for some interesting beers like Funk Estate Berliner Weisse and Almanac Bourbon Sour Porter, along with super fresh offerings fresh off the boat from Ballast Point.

Extinguish Your Hunger

Kim & Will from The Fire Truck food truck have you sorted for dinner tomorrow. They're setting up in the carpark tomorrow afternoon, and from 5pm serving:

- BBQ pork with barley miso and pickled daikon.
- BBQ Beef brisket or pickled mushrooms with pinto beans, cavlo nero and blue cheese.

Hopefully the weather will be better than what just hit, but even if it's miserable you can order from the warmth of the bar, and your food will be delivered to your table. Fancy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7th, 2014

Duncan's Debut

Tuesday's new release is not only just a new beer, but comes from a brand new brewer as well.
George Duncan is a homebrewer based on the Kapiti Coast. He recently decided to take his beer to the next level, and has brewed his first commercial beer on the small kit at Massey University Palmerston North.

George's first brew is Duncan's Pale Ale. It sounds like a classic NZ Pale ale, described as having a "hopa-tropical" taste and a malty back bone.
Some may say he's playing it safe launching with a pale ale. But lets be honest - you feel like a pale ale more often than say, a porter, so it's a smart move to get his beer in as many hands as possible.

I guess the only way to know for sure is to be here at 5pm on Tuesday to see what Duncan's Pale Ale has to offer. The tiny batch size at Massey means there's only 3 kegs of this beer in existence - so don't miss out!

Darren's Back

It's been a while since the ever-popular Darren Watson graced the HZ lounge with his legendary Blues swagger. This Saturday he's back, with a new band.
Dayle Jellyman's Three Rays will be performing early Ray Charles and Nat King Cole blues, boogie-woogie and boogaloo. Naturally, Darren will be manning the guitar, with Dayle Jellyman on keys and Dan Yeabsly on upright bass.

The blues kicks off at 10pm, but if Darren's previous gigs are anything to go by you'll want to get here earlier than that to secure yourself a spot. Oh, and as always, there is no charge to enjoy Three Ray's musical talent.

The Bookbinder's Beers

Last week I got an email from a new nano-brewery, Craftwork, who are running a 50 litre commercial brewery in Oamaru. I'd say that qualifies for the nano prefix.
Craftwork is a collaborative effort between Michael O'Brien and Lee-Ann Scotti, who bought a 50 litre Braumiester system in 2013 and began brewing Belgian inspired ales. After gaining some brewing experience and winning a few medals in the SOBA National Homebrew Competition, the pair decided to get their site signed off to legally produce beer for sale.

Michael works as a bookbinder during the day, one of a handful still practicing the profession in New Zealand. Apparently a famous Dunedin brewery even named a beer after him...
Since launching Craftwork (named for the German electronic band) in March, Michael and Lee-Ann have struggled to keep up with demand. Luckily, they were able to spare some bottles for us Wellingtonians.
We managed to get our hands on their three saisons: Saison Anise, Saison Poire and Saison Zest.
These are well made and beautifully understated beers, with complex yet subtle belgian flavours - the Saison Anise is particularly amazing. We've only got two dozen initially, so I recommend popping in soon to try them.


We've got more real ale goodness coming your way soon, with two shipments of cask conditioned ales arriving in quick succession. We currently have Cassels & Sons ESB on, with another cask of their wonderful Milk Stout coming soon.
From Townshend we have a newbie; Golden Pale Ale which will be on soon, followed by casks of Black Strap Porter, the classic Old House ESB and smokey King's Landing Scotch Ale.

kiwi CRAFT

It has been years, probably more than a decade, since a snapshot of New Zealand's beer culture was taken in book form. Ex-Hashigo employee Jules Van Cruysen is taking it upon himself to change that.
I think it is important to have a record of where our beer industry is at, especially now when the status-quo is changing so radically. It would be a shame if in ten years all we have to look back on are peoples untappd or ratebeer reviews - if those sites still even exist in a decade.
Jules's book would be a great asset to the NZ beer scene, so please support him over at kickstarter, where you can learn more about the project.

Stop Press

Just as I was about to hit the send button the details are coming to light of our "Road to Beervana" collaborative beer & food matching night with Grill Meats Beer.
"Barrel-Aged and Sour Beer Meats Grill" will be held at Grill Meats Beer on Tuesday the 19th of August, starting at 6pm. Beers such as Mikkeller SpontanSeaBuckthorn & 8 Wired Feijoa Sour will be matched with a specially prepared menu from GMB. Tickets are $75 and can be booked by calling Grill Meats Beer on 801-8787.
Full details of our Road to Beervana schedule will be in next week's email, best book a place in this one soon, as places are limited.