Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26th, 2015

Haight Speech

Many of you have probably heard of San Francisco's Toronado bar. Toronado now exists in many U.S, cities, but the Haight St location was the original.

Toronado has been through and contributed to the entire rise of west coast brewing, and has served as an example for beer bars worldwide.

HZ is lucky to be friends with Toronado's longest serving bartenders, Paul Stanard.

Paul has been bartending at San Fransisco's beery establishments for over 20 years - so he's seen some shit. On my recent trip to SF we got a thorough 'behind the scenes' tour from Paul.

It was amazing to see how Paul was known to every bar and brewery we visited, gaining us  many impromptu tours and tastings. It was quite the day.

Denise & Paul at Magnolia Brewery
Paul happens to be on his annual Wellington visit, so we thought we'd ask him to run a tasting of some of his favourite SF brewed beers that we stock, along with some of his favourite NZ beers.

So if you're free this Tuesday (March 3), come on down and join us.

Expect beer from Speakeasy, Almanac and Bear Republic and an abundance of opinions and war stories from craft beer’s frontline.

Even better, this entertaining evening of beer tasting will only cost you $25. To book your place head to or hit up one of our lovey bartenders.

Feijoa is Weird.

Last week I mentioned that 8 Wired's Wild Feijoa is finally in bottles. Unfortunately the nature of barrel aged sour beers means a bottle is not what you'd call 'cheap and accessable'.

But that's exactly what Bottle Pour Saturday is for.
So if you're not sure if you're keen on the weird taste of feijoa, or can't convince your mates to split one with you, this Saturday we'll be doing a 150ml bottle pour for $7.50.


The Rhinos always get people moving when they play the HZ lounge.
Their combination of Jazz-funk fusion mixed with live samples from DJ Uncle Silverback create some amazingly fun tunes.
They're once again playing in our lounge this Saturday at 9.30pm, with no door charge as usual.

Fear Is Your Only God

Perhaps to make up for their tiny batch size, Adroit Theory do everything else big.

Their names, for example, do not just describe the beer but the attitude you should have while drinking it.

The name Fear Is Your Only God perhaps implies we should fear this imperial saison, because Adroit Theory have managed to push this quenching Belgian style ale to 8.6%.

To prevent riots this we'll only be serving it up in 300ml glasses when it hits our taps for the first time at 5pm this Tuesday.


The Black Caps have possibly the best chance ever to take the title at the world cup this year.

If you care about that sort of thing, and don't have a 'test-matches-are-the-only-real-form-of-cricket' kinda attitude you'll be please to know we're making good use of our Sky Sports subscription.

We'll be showing all world cup matches (except when there's two on simultaneously) on the Red Room tele, so you can enjoy some civilised sport with delicious civilised beer in a civilised environment.

Save The Date

A quick heads up, that something Wild And a little Woolly from Mt. Cook will be taking over four of our taps for the first time on Thursday March 12th. Make sure you can come along.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

February 19th, 2015

Darren Aid

During his time in New Zealand studying for his PhD, Darren Mckenna became quite well known to all of us here at HZ.
He was a big supporter of the bar and the Wellington beer scene, and became fast friends with most of the staff before returning back to the UK.

It's now our turn to support Darren. We recently learned that Darren has been diagnosed with cancer, and needs a new and expensive treatment to save his life.
This treatment isn't covered by the NHS, so it's up to Darren to find the £20,000 cost of the procedure.

To help raise funds for this procedure, tonight we'll be donating the proceeds from two kegs to his fund.
We selected the beers carefully - keeping in mind that we don't want Darren to be a dead guy, we want him to say "wahoo!" when he's healthy again...

So buy a Rogue Dead Guy and/or a Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat on tap tonight to support Darren and help fund a life.
Josh has even organised a few of his jazzy mates to keep you entertained from 8pm with some live jazz.

So please come on down tonight, and have a pint for our mate.

Mmmmm, Doughnut....

The beer

After many delays, Beer Without Borders have received a large shipment of fresh Rogue beers direct from Oregon. Among many restocks of old favourites, there are a few newbies. One of which comes in a bright pink bottle... That's right, the next installment of the Voodoo Doughnut series is here.
If you don't know already, Voodoo Doughnuts is a dougnut shop in Portland, Oregon that has Whittakers Chocolate Milk levels of hype surrounding their dougnuts. Rogue has been collaborating with them to recreate their doughnuts in beer form.

The Doughnut

I visited on my recent trip to the states and can confirm their doughnuts are very good. But I wouldn't line up for an hour to eat one...

This beer is based on the Lemon Chiffon Crueller doughnut described as "French crueller with vanilla frosting, lemon dust and three marshmallows!". It should then come as no surprise than that the beer's ingredients list lemon, vanilla and marshmallow among the usual malt, hops, yeast and free range coastal water.

The dougnutty sweetness and odd flavours mean a 750ml bottle is definitely too much for one person to tackle alone. So this Saturday we'll be offering 250ml pours of the new Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale for $10.
If you time it right you might even be able to nab a bottle for your collection

Not the French Liqueur

This Saturday's musical entertainment sees the return of King Kreabslet & 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 guidance of the "Solid Statesman of that Nu Jazz sound": Kristofer "King" Kreabsley."

Come enjoy their organ funk from 9.30pm Saturday, which is free as always.

The Ol' Fat Hand

Back in mid 2013 we got a couple of our kegs filled with Townshend Fat Hand, an 8.5% English strong ale. We put the first keg on tap, and after tasting it decided that it would be fun to see how such a malt-driven beer would age. So the second keg was stashed away in our coolstore.

A year and a half later, we think it should have picked up some interesting aged character without thinning out too much. So this Tuesday at 5pm we'll be tapping what is probably the last remaining keg of the 2013 vintage of fat hand.
Come along and see for yourself how time affects a big, warming malty ale.

Fresh in the Fridge

As mentioned earlier, Beer Without Borders have a new shipment from Rogue on hand.

As well as the new Voodoo, we have the new Fresh Roast Brown Ale and Allegro Coffee Porter from the Oregon brewer.

Fresh Roast applies the 'fresh hopping' attitude to malt:

"Rogue Fresh Roast is made with Rogue Farms barley fresh roasted at the brewery. The barley is taken directly out of the roaster and rushed 273 feet over to the brew kettle. We don’t think it gets much fresher than that, and we know you’ll taste the difference."

Surprisingly, Allegro Coffee Porter is a porter with Allegro Coffee in it. We've also got fresh 355ml bottles of the misleadingly-named Brutal IPA.

New from NZ we have 8 Wired's legendary Wild Feijoa - a lambic style sour fruit beer featuring that weird fruit Feijoa. We've had it on tap a few times over its barrel aging period, always to rave reviews. So it's great to have the final product.
Funk Estate Super Afrodisiac was launched last Saturday, and is now in 500ml bottles. This years vintage is my favourite yet, with decadent chocolate flavours layered on a robust imperial stout base.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 12th, 2015


My partner Denise and I mark our anniversary this Saturday. For some reason, other couples worldwide choose to celebrate their own relationships on the date of our anniversary as well.
We're pretty touched that so many people care.
It's become a bit of a tradition to eat chocolate on the 14th, so we thought it would be good business practice to cater to this increased demand with a couple of Rogue's chocolatiest (yes, that's a word...) beers.

Being that it's Bottle Pour Saturday, we'll be serving Rogue Double Chocolate Stout from the distinctive red painted bottle.

This 9%ABV stout is flavoured with "imported Dutch bittersweet chocolate", giving the big roasty stout a super chocolaty finish. You can grab a 250ml glass for $9.50 this Saturday only.

We'll also have Rogue's regular chocolate stout on tap by the pint for you to compare it with. The word decadent comes to mind.


You can have some jelly with you chocolate on Saturday, with Dayle Jellyman’s Three Rays playing in the lounge from 9.30pm.They'll be playing some early Ray Charles and Nat King Cole style rocknroll blues, boogaloo and boogie-woogie.

We'll even cover the cost of the band, so you can enjoy their talents for free. That's 9.30pm this Saturday.

Something Pale from the Crown City

When I visited the Coronado brewery late last year, it was great to see all the small batch one-off and experimental brews available from on their little brewpub kit.
We were lucky enough to obtain a few kegs of these limited release batches, another of which will go on tap this coming Tuesday.
There is not a lot of information on Coronado 435 Pale Ale online, but the brewery provided this info:

"4-3-5 refers to Coronado’s landline and the 3 hop additions in our American pale ale, 4 pounds northern brewer, 3 pounds chinook, and 5 pounds cascade per 10 barrels. A well balanced beer with a clean malt character that supports the hop presence."
It's also 45IBU, which is up there for a 5% beer. 435 Pale Ale will be on tap from 5pm this Tuesday.


Our great and fearless leader, Dominic Kelly, recently had a guest spot on's Beerhive Blog. Read his typically eloquent letter to young drinkers here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February 5th, 2015

Batten Down the Hatches!

The Sevens are upon us, so today we're putting up the barbed wire and nailing crooked pieces of wood over our window.

But reports of ticket severely lacking ticket sales give us hope. The fact that 14,000 seats remain empty only a day away from the event is a good sign that we are growing out of the costumed booze fest format.

We'll be treating tomorrow as a normal Friday, no surcharges etc, but may close earlier than our usual 1am if costumed revelers become too much of an issue.

On Saturday we'll be closed to the public, but will open from 3pm-7pm for those that have bought tickets to our '7's Session' event.

The 7's Session has sold out, so sorry if you missed out. If you're one of the lucky 40 who did manage to secure a spot, you can look forward to some interesting beers.
We've almost finalised the list, here's a preview:

On tap - Left Coast Una Mas & Tommy Session Ale
Bottles - Almanac Honey Saison, Nøgne Ø Saison & IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Bear Republic Red Rocket & Peter Brown Tribute Ale, Moon Dog Mummy Have a Bite & Bock Naked, and many more...

We're hopeful that with less attendees and new council restrictions the usual chaos will be lessened, to a point where we may actually be able to open next year. But that remains to be seen.

Barrel o' Brown

Continuing our run of Coronado seasonals, next Tuesday's release is Barrelman's Brown.

Barrelman's is an easy going malty brown ale. Don't expect a brown IPA. It's hard to find any actual info on this one, seeing as it was a once off batch meant to be exclusively served on tap at the brew pub in San Diego.
Join me in some research on this subject when we tap the keg at 5pm this Tuesday.

Some Beers You Can Drink Now

I'm extra stoked with our tap lineup at the moment.

We've had a new shipment from Fitzpatrick's Brewing, including their take on a hoppy session ale: Baby Pale Ale. It manages a robust malty body at 4.5% and piles aromatic NZ hops on top.

Also pouring from Fitzy is their lovely Oatmeal stout, with their standard Pale Ale coming soon.

We've decided it's the summer of imperial stouts &porters.

Crowd equity enthusiasts Yeastie Boys have their His Majesty 2014 on tap now. It's a masterfully balanced 9%ABV Belgian porter, mixing funky yeast and roasty malt perfectly.

After that runs out we're throwing a keg of Mikkeller Black on tap, in case all of this sun puts you in the mood for a 17.5%ABV imperial stout...

There's a little bit of Tuesdays releases Garage Project Hop Trial #3 & Almanac Saison Dolores going. Also, Sculpin IPA hit the taps last night.

New in bottles is the long awaited Liberty C!tra Jnr, a 4.5% version of the famous IIPA, Parrotdog Pitbull, Rogue Double Chocolate Stout and cans of Garage Project Death From Above.


You'll be pleased to learn that the application to trademark the term 'Farmhouse' has been withdrawn, guaranteeing Farmhouse Ales stay in the NZ beer vocabulary for the foreseeable future.