Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015

Immediately below...
  • Hyper Afrodisiac
  • 4/7/15
  • Wry July
  • Jazz Metal
  • Chasing Dragons

Hyper Afrodisiac

Funk Estate are trying to retain the euphoria and excitement around Super Afrodisiac with another variation, called Hyper Afrodisiac. So it's a 12% Imperial Stout, made with fig, honey, vanilla, cacao and ginseng, which replaces maca root.
There still room for this family of aphrodisiacal beers to grow, since the boys still haven't used power or loneliness as ingredients.
Hyper Afrodisiac will be our new release next Tuesday, on tap from 5pm.


Plans are well underway for this year’s instalment of our ongoing project of turning the anniversary previously known as American Independence Day into American Beer Day.
It’s the day of the year when we forget about the death penalty, industrial farming, fast food, the loss of privacy, reality TV, the Bush family, Fox news, Ann Coulter, gun culture, the TSA, the NSA, the NRA, the arms race, McCarthyism, Sarah Palin, sausages wrapped in pancakes, aerosol cheese, Donald Trump, Jim Jones, the Shawshank Redemption, scientology, torture, the Ku Klux Klan, Bill Cosby, social networking, slavery, clickbait lists, starbucks, tipping, the Iraq War, the Afghan War, the Vietnam War, the Secret War, the war on drugs, the war on terror, mm/dd/yy dates, open carry, the Patriot Act, X-Key Score, truthers, the guy who used to own the LA Clippers, Windows Vista, midichlorians, PACs, Super PACs… and instead concentrate on what we think the USA does best, which is make high quality, distinctive, often intensely flavoured beer.
Now it’s become a tradition at Hashigo Zake for the staff to take liberties with the d├ęcor on July the 4th. Back in 2011 this meant little more than a few bits of coloured paper hanging off the taps.
At some point in the last few years someone stumbled across a clearance sale on US flags and ever since it’s looked as though Uncle Sam projectile vomited all over our bar.
It’s unclear what this year’s decorating sub-committee have planned.
But we can say a little about the tap lineup. And it’s pretty stellar. Here are some teasers...
  • Speakeasy Blind Tiger IIIPA. This special beer has never been on tap in the southern hemisphere before. It’s the hoppiest beer made by San Francisco’s Speakeasy. 
  • Almanac Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry. We’re pretty lucky to get one of Alamanac’s sour beers in a keg. This is a blond sour ale that has spent months in a barrel with stawberries from Dirty Girl Farms.
  • Ballast Point Indra Kunindra. The curry stout that sounds like a disaster but is somehow delicious. Back for the first time this year.
If things go well this Saturday then some of you will be dropping by on the 4th of July for pre- and post-Super Rugby Final drinks. Others will be regretting not having bought a ticket and will need somewhere to watch the game. Either way we’ve got your back. Rest assured that should some famous beer run out then it will be replaced by another one of equivalent extraordinariness.
The Firetruck will be on the premises, serving suitably American fare – we’ll confirm the menu next week.

Wry July

At last… for everyone who’s felt bullied or guilt-tripped by campaigns like Dry July, we bring you Wry July. Now you can say “yeah, nah” to abstinence. During July anyone dropping a gold coin in our collection jar for Kaibosh can have a bottle of Speakeasy Scarlett Red Rye Ale for a price so low that if we mentioned it we would be in breach of the "Responsible Promotion of Alcohol" section of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (2012).

Jazz Hos

Jazz Metal returns on Saturday in the form of Reuben Bradley's Death Hos. Music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies will, allegedly, be stretched apart and extemporised upon by the following:
  • Daniel Hayles on Keys 
  • Nick Tipping on Bass 
  • Reuben Bradley on Drums
This free entertainment kicks off at 9:30pm, dovetailing nicely with the Super XV semi final.
In the meantime, let's enjoy one of Jazz Metal's seminal moments:

Chasing Dragons

This Saturday's Bottle Pour beer is ostensibly a local beer and yet is incredibly rare in New Zealand. It's the 2013 vintage of There Be Dragons, the Belgian red ale made by nomadic winemaker Mike Kush in Central Otago, that's developing some of the most delicious sour flavours you could wish for. You'd have to go offshore to find any more of this release, but it will be our bottle pour on Saturday.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18th, 2015

Beer + Gin

Melding beer and gin is not a new thing to Fritz Kuckuck and Maria Grau, the brains behind Rough Hands.

They are perhaps best known for creating the world's first fresh hopped gin, back when they ran Nelson's Liquid Alchemy distillery.

Fritz & Maria have once again brought together beer and gin, this time in beer form with 'beerNgin'.

An oak barrel was seasoned with their own gin, while a biere de garde was brewed at Golden Bear in Mapua to go into it.

"beerNgin aims to balance the fruity and spicy complexity of the beer with suggestions of juniper, coriander, citrus and cardamom from the gin. In the aroma of this rich golden ale you will notice the collaboration of Motueka and Amarillo hops with the slightly sweet barrel notes, and the spicy yeast and gin character. This beer is an approachable, refreshing showcase of pine and citrus with a hint of roasted wheat in the finish."
We'll be tapping beerNgin at 5pm on Tuesday.

The Shadow Blasters

Another new band graces the HZ lounge this Saturday, The Shadow Blasters.

"Fresh from recording their self-titled album and single “Tongue Tied And Twisted” with Lee Prebble of The Surgery Studio, The Shadow Blasters are an energetic 4-piece blend of blues, white soul and rock ‘n’ roll."

The Blasters kick off at 9.30pm on Saturday and is free as always.

People's Choice

I'm sure most of you went to last weekend's Winter Ale Festival, run by SOBA. If you missed out, make sure you buy your tickets early next year!

But missing out on the festival doesn't mean missing out on the beer, and we've secured some of the peoples choice beer of the festival: Imperial Nibs.
Imperial Nibs is For Even Greater Justice coconut porter, aged on cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

The coconut, chocolate and vanilla come together amazingly so keep an eye on our apps for when this comes on tap.

Sadly I'll most likely be missing out on Imperial Nibs, as I'm off on holiday from tomorrow for a week. Which means next week's email will be a Dominic Kelly special edition which is sure to make waves.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 11th, 2015

Townshend Takeover Tomorrow

Don't forget that we have New Zealand's champion brewer (BGONZA's 2014) visiting tomorrow, and he's bringing nine of his beers with him.

Martin Townshend of Townshend Brewery should be arriving at around 5pm, and we'll be tapping his beers from midday:

On tap:

Last of the Summer Ale fresh hop ESB
Oldhams Tap fresh hop pils
Aotearoa Pale Ale
Black Arrow Pils
Black Strap Porter
Blue Shadow Dry Stout
Flemish Stout

On pump:

Donelan's IPA
Sun Kisser Golden Ale

Personally I'm quite looking forward to trying his fresh hop beers and sour stout.

Most importantly, Martin Townshend himself will be in attendance and fielding all your questions and admiration.

Chocolate Thunder

No, Tasi's amazing chocolate beer isn't back. Chocolate Thunder is also a sensuous Jazz/Funk/Soul/Fusion band who share its name and are playing the HZ lounge this Saturday.
Chocolate Thunder are a "maelstrom that strikes without mercy where you least expect it. Sheer groovemanship to make your body move and your flowers blossom. Gird your loins, people!"

Conway Jeune – Guitar, excellent vibes

Bryn van Vliet – Saxophones, Vocoder, Wind Chimes

Makura Tomoana – Bass

Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa - Drums

Chocolate Thunder start at 9.30pm, and are free as always.

Staffie Series #3

You might not have seen Tristan behind the bar in a while. He’s been off on a big trip to the Middle East for a couple months.

But just before he set off, Tristan popped down the Occasional Brewer and made 30L of one of his favourite homebrews for our Staffie Series of beers: Silk Road Spiced Amber Ale.
If you've forgotten, the Staffie Series are beers brewed by our multi-talented bar staff, most of which are also homebrewers. So far we've had my own Beeetnik IPA and Chris's Citron Fest Saison.

Tristan's Silk Road features a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest on a rich malty 7.5% amber ale base. The melange of Gladfields malts used such as 'Shepherd's Delight' and 'Aurora' really stand up to the spices.

The unfermented beer tasted amazing with the spices, fruit and malt nicely balanced. During the weeks Tristan was away we fermented the beer, and gave it plenty of warm and then cold conditioning to help the spices meld together with the base beer.

Silk Road has been conditioning for two months now, and is ready to pour just in time for Tristan’s return.

Tristan will tap Silk Road at 5pm on Tuesday the 16th of June. Only 30L was brewed so don’t miss out!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4th, 2015

Hashigo Jazzy

Starting tonight, the Wellington Jazz Festival will descend upon the Hashigo Zake lounge.

We've got three free gigs this weekend, starting from 10pm tonight when we squeeze the six piece Sunlight Band in to play some jazz-based funk.

Tomorrow from 10pm we'll be hosting The Doublenecks, whose funky improv will be mixed with groove classics.

The grand finale from 10pm Saturday is the legendary blues man Darren Watson, who will be playing solo. Fingers crossed for a rousing rendition of Planet Key.

All of these gigs start at 10pm to allow a bit of a jazz crawl from some of the earlier finishing gigs elsewhere in town. What better way to wrap up a night of jazz than more jazz?

An Old New Release

Back in 2012 we had Hallertau brewery fill some of our kegs with their new Double Stout, a beer inspired by one of our imports from Green Flash.

It was quite popular back in 2012, but we held onto one 20L keg. The big rich 8% pitch black stout seemed like something that would age well, so it's been hanging out up at our cool store since then.

Even though Hallertau's brewer thinks we're "dicks" (1 min 22 seconds in the video) 2 years, 7 months, and 15 days later (i.e. Tuesday) we'll be tapping that last keg to see how it's held up over time. It'll hit the taps at 5pm, and being that there's only 20L we don't expect it to last long.

Townshend's Tap Takeover

Surprisingly, Townshend Brewery has never taken part in a tap takeover event before. This will change on Friday the 12th of June, when we host the first ever Townshend Tap Takeover.

New Zealand's 2014 champion brewer usually lets his beer do the talking, and since winning the title has been busy trying to create enough of it to fulfill the increased demand.

I was lucky enough to visit Townshend Brewery with a SOBA tour back in March. Unless you know where you're going it would be impossible to find, but if you want to have a go just look for the unmarked driveway off a long gravel road in Upper Moutere...

The brewery was idyllic, bathed in sunshine just metres from brewer Martin's home and covered in hop bines.
Martin and his dog were amazing hosts and made sure everyone didn't want to leave when the time came.

Townshend made their name in English style cask conditioned real ales, with beers like Old House ESB often gracing the Hashigo handpumps since we first opened.

In more recent years new-world styles have begun to enter the Townshend range, with beers like Scissor Jack India Pale Lager and Aotearoa Pale Ale.

Next Friday's tap takeover will feature 7 beers on tap including both of his fresh hop beers and two on handpump.

On tap:

Last of the Summer Ale fresh hop ESB
Oldhams Tap fresh hop pils
Aotearoa Pale Ale
Black Arrow Pils
Black Strap Porter
Blue Shadow Dry Stout
Flemish Stout
On pump:
Donelan's IPA
Sun Kisser Golden Ale

Most importantly, Martin Townshend himself will be in attendance and fielding all your questions and admiration.
The beers will be on tap from midday, and we expect Martin to arrive closer to 5pm.