Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28th, 2015

Welcome to the Whanau

You may notice a couple of fresh faces behind the bar on your next visit.

We've recently had to farewell two staff members - Josh and Jimmy - who have both moved to Europe to live.

Josh has shifted to Berlin to further his already exquisite musical talents, and Jimmy is roaming various European countries on a classic OE.

Josh and Jimmy were valued members of our family behind the bar, so we took a while finding the right replacements. But now we're back at full strength with Janete and Ross joining the team.

Janete comes to us from a Brazilian/Japanese background, so speaks quite a few languages. She's a beer geek from way back and has completed Cicerone (like Sommelier but for beer) courses so has plenty of knowledge to back her up.

Ross hails from Scotland, where he completed a masters of brewing and distilling. This means he has an impressive technical knowledge of beer and is great at matching people to beer.

Please welcome Janete and Ross to the Hashigo whanau next time you're in, and don't be afraid to put them to the test!

Puffinus Huttoni

Fresh from its GABS premiere, this Tuesday ParrotDog have granted us a preview of the second beer in their RareBird series: Puffinus Huttoni Boysenberry Sour.
The RareBird series from ParrotDog consists of their rare one-off beers, named after New Zealand's quirky and rare avian to help raise awareness of our many endangered species.

The bird version of Puffinus Huttoni is more commonly known as the endangered Hutton's Shearwater. Currently only two breeding colonies are known of (in Kaikoura), and are under threat from stoats and habitat loss.

The beer version of Puffinus Huttoni is a delicious 5.5% kettle soured boysenberry beer.

“Tart and refreshing and featuring a slight sourness derived from Lactobacillus, this has been aged on Nelson-grown boysenberries”
Reports from GABS hail it as 'awesome', 'great' and suggest ParrotDog have the Midas touch. I'm really excited to taste ParrotDog's first foray into sour beers, and hop you'll join us and some of the ParrotDog team at 5pm Tuesday 2nd June.

Hopwired in 3D

Don't forget that tomorrow from midday we're simultaneously pouring three versions of 8 Wired Hopwired for the first time outside the brewery.
Original Hopwired will be poured along with Fresh Hopwired and Hopwired Unchained.
For those not wanting a pint or a fancy of each you'll be able to grab a tasting flight with 150ml of all three for $15.

Saucy Rooster

There's heaps happening at HZ on Saturday.
First up is the Rogue Sriracha Stout launch. From midday this Saturday we'll be pouring glasses of Sriracha Stout from the bottle, and/or you can buy a bottle to take away (with our 20% takeaway discount).

If Rogue's interpretation isn't saucy enough, we'll have proper Huy Fong Sriracha sauce on hand to rim your glass.

The perfect snack to go with Sriracha Stout is our new Sriracha Beef Pie, which we'll be launching along with the beer.

Tears... In Rain

For last year's PBE, Beer Without Borders employee and Blade Runner aficionado, Ryan, brewed a beer inspired by the movie with Twisted hop: Tears... In Rain Vol 1: Glitter in the Dark.

It was a stylistically confusing beer, namely an 'Ameribelgian Scotchbock IPA', but whatever went in there worked amazingly.
It turns out a local theatre is showing Blade Runner: The Final Cut this Friday and Saturday.

So to appease Ryan and any other Blade Runner fans we'll be pouring the final keg of Glitter in the Dark from tomorrow, which is completely unrelated to the movie showing... But if you want to drink a beer inspired by the movie before/after seeing the movie, then that's possible now...

Drinking & Dancing

We're squeezing a new four piece into our lounge this Saturday night: The Drinking & Dancing Society.They play "a mix of old time standards and originals that make a toast to the intoxicating old world mélange of New Orleans Swing/Blues that will get fingers clicking and feet stomping."

Mat Enright - Vocals/Guitar/Trumpet
Nils Olsen - Clarinet/Saxophone
Adrian Jensen - Guitar/Banjo/Bass Drum
Dan Yeabsley - Bass Saxophone/Hi Hats

The music starts at 9.30pm and is free, as usual.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21st, 2015


In Rogue's apparent drive to become its own nation, self sufficiency was an important step.

At Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon Rogue grows almost everything that goes into their beers. Hops, barley, rye, pumpkin, jalepeno, marionberries, hazelnuts, honey... You get the picture.

All beers in the 'Rogue Farms' range use only ingredients grown by Rogue. The pale ale of this range is OREgasmic Ale, a simple beer to show off Rogue's hops and barley without anything getting in the way.

It features Dare™, Risk™ & Maier Munich Malts; Rogue Farms Revolution™, Independent™, Newport™, Freedom™ & Liberty™ Hops™™™™; 'Free Range Coastal Water' & Rogue's proprietary Pacman Yeast.

We've had the odd bottle of this one in the fridge, and now our first ever kegs have arrived from Oregon on Tuesday in Beer Without Borders' latest shipment.

So on Tuesday at 5pm we'll be tapping the first keg of Oregasmic Ale, and you can experience Rogue's terrior.

Double Drums

Because one drum kit is never enough, this Saturday night our lounge will house two.

Nick Granville's Double Drum Funk features both Lance Philip and Richard Te One on the drums, with Ross McDermott on bass and of course Nick Granville with guitar.
Double drums should make for a fun night, with the music kicking off at 9.30pm Saturday, with no charge as usual.

The Three Dimensions of Hopwired

Back in March, I attended the Marchfest beer festival in Nelson.

Marchfest is my favourite beer festival to attend in NZ. Partly because I don't have anything to do with organising it, but mostly because it's an incredibly well run event that showcases brand new beers from the Nelson region's brewers.
With their move from Blenheim to Warkworth this year was 8 Wired's final year at Marchfest, and they went out with style.
Easily the most challenging beer of the day (ignoring the red onion stout...) was 8 Wired Hopwired Unchained, a barrel aged version of Hopwired with various bacteria and wild yeast thrown in.

Only one barrel of Hopwired Unchained was filled back in 2013, when a batch of Hopwired was made for 'wort kits' (for home brewers to ferment at home).

It was lucky then that I ran into 8 Wired brewer Søren Eriksen at Marchfest, and managed to put our name on one of the few kegs of Hopwired Unchained remaining.

Of course since then, Fresh Hopwired has been released, along with the second Warkworth-brewed batch of plain old normal Hopwired.

That makes three different versions of Hopwired all out at the same time, which just begs for a side-by-side comparison.
We are happy to oblige. On Friday the 29th of May we'll have all three versions of Hopwired on tap.

We'll be offering tasting flights of all three for a special price, so you can see how the fresh and the funky compare to the original.

Sriracha Beer!

You've probably heard of Sriracha Sauce. Its ability to improve almost any food has made it famous on the internet and is available at almost every Asian takeaway in the U.S.

Huy Fong Foods is largely responsible for Sriracha's popularity in the U.S. - their sauce's distinctive red hue and green cap make it the most recognisable hot sauce in the world. If you've seen it on the shelves in supermarkets, it was probably a knock-off brand - as the proper Huy Fong 'cock brand' sauce is hard to come by in NZ.
Rogue has managed to strike a deal with Huy Fong Foods to turn this iconic hot sauce into a beer.
Speaking to a visiting Rogue brewer last week, I found out the unique Sriracha flavour is imparted to a base beer of Shakespeare Stout by adding both the liquid sauce and powdered Sriracha at various stages of brewing. A long period of R & D went into getting the flavour right, until Rogue Sriracha HOT Stout was released.

It comes in a distinctive red 750ml bottle with a green cap to mimic the hot sauce. The label features the proud rooster, and copies text from the hot sauce bottle with subtle changes (eg. "shake well" changed to "don't shake").

Beer Without Borders has finally secured this in-demand beer, with an entire pallet of it showing up in this week's Rogue container.

To coordinate the launch of Sriracha Stout nationwide the beer will be embargoed till Saturday May 30th, when bars and bottle shops nationwide will unleash the rooster.
At Hashigo Zake we will be pouring glasses of Sriracha Stout from midday on the 30th. We have even sourced proper Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce to rim your glasses with (if you want), and you can match your beer with a special Sriracha Beef Pie.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14th, 2015

If you were worried about us with all the flooding, rest easy. We're still warm and dry down in the beer bunker, so if you need a place to while away the hours till you can get home - we're ready for you.

Stingray Point

Coronado deliver us another new release this Tuesday, with Stingray Point IPA hitting the taps.
This seems to be an occasionally released IPA, with tasting records of it as far back as 2012. These tasting records are also overwhelmingly positive.

While Stingray Point might be "just another US IPA" is seems it's a really good one. With reviews like:

"Coronado does west coast IPAs very well and this is one of my favorites." 
" Taste like a stingray, with a hint of victory."
It seems like we're in for a bit of a hoppy treat come Tuesday. Check it out on tap from 5pm.

This is Just a Tribute

Way back in 2011, Renaissance was one of the first (if not the first) NZ brewer to begin releasing a vintage barley wine each year, à la Thomas Hardy's.Renaissance Tribute is a "mellow, warming ale with layers of biscuit, roasted hazelnut and maple syrup, with hints of black current and toast." and weighs in at 10.8% ABV.

Barley wines are usually pretty massive malt monsters, especially when fresh. The idea behind a vintage barley wine like this is to give it a few years to reach its peak. Time lets the beer mellow out, thins the body a little bit but develops complex aged characters.

After four years we think the original Tribute is tasting pretty great. So to give you chance to try a well-aged barley wine without having to invest in the years, we're pouring 150ml of Tribute this Saturday for $8.

Father & Son

The father and Son percussion duo of Sam and Myele Manzanza return to the HZ lounge this Saturday with Sam & Myele Manzanza's Afrobeats.
Come and enjoy a beer to Afrobeat, Ska, Funk, Soul, Blues and Reggae from these two percussion maestros.

The music starts from 9.30pm, and won’t cost you a thing.

Special Sours

As our NZ vs The World sour beer showdown tasting approaches the beer list is emerging.

On the cards so far we have:
Funk Estate vs Almanac

Craftwork vs Rodenbach

8 Wired vs Wild Beer

8 Wired vs Mikkeller

And we're still finalising a contender to go up against the mighty Green Flash Rayon Vert.

In the last week we've also managed to obtain a couple of NZ brewed sour/wild fermented beers which are yet to be released to the pubic. We'll be throwing these into the tasting as bonus beers, because why not.

Book your spot at or over the bar.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May 7th, 2015


Last week's charity keg of Wild & Woolly and tip jar donations raised over $1100 for victims of the Nepal earthquake.

On behalf of Hashigo Zake and Wild & Woolly, I'd like to thank everyone who helped raise these funds.

The money has been donated to the Red Cross' Nepal earthquake appeal, and will be used to help provide food, shelter, first aid and drinking water to those in need.

Lime Light

Another container has arrived from the west coast of the states, which means another dose of exciting Coronado Brewer's Series releases for you to enjoy.
First up is a beer that may break the first commandment of beer naming:

'thou shalt not have a flavour or ingredient in thou name, that doth not feature in thy beer'
Coronado Lime Light seems to be a fun, easy going witbier to match the scorching San Diego summer. The brewery's description sounds pretty appetising, but doesn't mention the lime that so prominently features in the beer's name:
"Step into the Lime Light, this beer is light in body, and easy drinking. Sneaky, yet sticky notes of chamomile and lemon grass. Refreshingly fresh and citrusy, sure to quench your thirst, and more importantly, light up your life."
Hopefully the citrusy flavours they refer to are limey flavours, or I might have to have a Ekim scale rant in next week's email.
Lime Light hits our wheat beer tap on Tuesday at 5pm.

Stupid Bourbon Beer

Another goodie from the latest U.S. shipment you may remember from last year's Pacific Beer Expo.

We managed to secure a single keg of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stupid Stout for PBE, but it only made it to bottles in early 2015.
We've finally secured a stock of 375ml bottles, but because barrel aging is an lengthy and inefficient way of producing beer they don't come cheap.

To see whether this one is worth adding to your cellar we'll be doing 125ml bottle pours of this beast on Saturday, for just $8.

The Cosmonauts

This Saturday sees another act make their HZ lounge debut.The Cosmonauts play a "high-energy blend of Soviet Folk with Italian Chanson and 19th Century Balkan Pop to stir your gypsy senses."
You've got Frankie Curac on accordion, AJ Jensen playing guitar and Andrew Laking slapping the double bass.

The music starts at 9.30pm Saturday, so pop on down for a beer and some free entertainment.

Gotta be Fresh

Our fresh hop tap takeover is tomorrow! You know the drill - all taps will feature beer made with hops taken straight from the bine.
If you need reminding, here's the full lineup:

On tap:

- Two Thumb Fresh Hop Pale Ale followed by ParrotDog Rare Bird Kakapo IPL

- Garage Project Sea of Green Pilsner

- Panhead Joy Ride Amber followed by Raindogs 17 Seconds ESB

- Three Boys Fresh Hop IPA followed by Three Boys Fresh Hop Golden

- Wild & Woolly Fresh Hop Savvy Llama

- 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired followed by Panhead Fresh Hop Vandal

- Funk Estate Fresh Hop Oh Lordy! followed by Cassels Fresh Hop Pale Ale

- Liberty/Hallertau Bier Das Schwarz Massive (BDSM)

- Mikes Hopstock and Two Smokin Barrels

On Handpump:

- Choice Bros Perichor Red IPA

- Kereru Fresh Hop Special Bitter

(The poster image is a reference to 1980's claymation kids show 'The Trap Door')

Needs More Internet

We've had fibre optic internet for a while now, but a weak router signal, brick walls and bar layout hampered connection speeds and created dead spots.
Last Sunday we hopefully fixed these issues with a fancy new router with heaps of antenna to get a strong signal to all of the bar.
The image to the right demonstrates the change in speed from an old lounge dead spot.

Our new router also handles the new 'ac' standard of wi-fi, and has a separate network on the 5GHz wavelength. If your device is capable, the 5GHz network will be a great backup for busy nights when the standard wi-fi is congested.

We've taken the opportunity to change our wi-fi password for the first time in four years, so make sure you grab it from either the paper or digital menus next time you're in.

Sour About GABS

Melbourne's 'Great Australasian Beer Spectapular' is coming up in two weeks time, and it seems like everyone in Wellington is going except me.
To spite all of those who are going to be enjoying GABS and Melbourne Good Beer Week in two weeks time, I've planned a super exciting sour beer tasting when most of them will be over in Melbourne. Ha!

As more and more kiwi brewers produce them, sour beers are beginning to capture the imagination of NZ beer geeks. We've managed to build up a nice repertoire of New Zealand brewed sour ales, which would not have been possible just a year ago.

I thought it'd be fun to see how these NZ made sours compare to their international counterparts, in an epic showdown of Flemish red vs Flemish red, Lambic vs Lambic, Berliner Weisse vs Berliner Weisse and more.

On Wednesday 20th of May from 6pm we'll taste each style two at a time, one brewed in NZ and one abroad. Whoever comes out on top is up to you.

Featuring beers from:

Craftwork (Oamaru)

8 Wired (Warkworth)

Funk Estate (Wellington)

Almanac (San Fransisco)

Wild Beer (Somerset)

Rodenbach (Roeselare)

Green Flash (San Diego)

Plus more as I finalise the list.

I'll even be cracking out some Green Flash Rayon Vert that we've been aging a few years in this tasting, so fans of that beer should not miss it (unless they're at GABS).

Book your place for $45 over the bar or at Cultbeerstore now.