Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 29th, 2015

Modern Times Visits Wellington

We've been enjoying Modern Times beer fresh from San Diego for almost a year now, and in that time it's made a huge impression in Wellington.

Exciting news then, that Beer Without Borders has organised a visit next week from their head brewer, Matt Walsh.

To make the most of Matt's visit he'll be doing some collaborations with local brewers, and participating in a couple of tasting events.

The first of which is a dinner organised by BwB, at our upstairs neighbours Zibbibo.

Chef Glen Taylor has recently become involved with Zibbibo, and is keen to get involved in beer events. So a Modern Times collaboration dinner was a natural choice for Matt's visit.

The dinner will consist of five courses each matched to a Modern Times beer, with Matt explaining each beer and chef explaining the food match.

A five-course dinner like this would usually cost well over $100 a person, but you'll be able to experience these five matches for just $85 per person. That's some amazing value, especially after seeing the preliminary menu which looks ridiculously delicious.

The dinner is 7pm next Wednesday (4th) however, so book quickly by calling Zibbibo on 04-385 6650.

If you can't make the dinner, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on meeting the man behind Modern Times. Next Thursday (5th) we're holding a more informal "meet the brewer" evening at the bar.

Matt Walsh will be hanging out at the bar, available for hand shaking and geeky question answering. Plus we'll be putting three exciting Modern Times beers on tap.

PBE favourites Fruitlands Cherry Gose and Grapefruit Fortunate Islands will make a return, along with the classic Lomaland Saison.

Rhino Boogie

The Rhino boys are back in the lounge this Saturday, with funk hip hop fusion from live horns and drums, combined with looped samples from the turntables of Uncle Silverback.
Their innovative funky/jazzy tunes start at 9.30pm this Saturday, with no cover charge as per usual.

Day of the Horchata

Horchata is a Mexican dessert-drink made from rice and featuring cinnamon and vanilla. It's quite delicious and worth a go if you see it on the menu at your next mexican dinner.

Until then, why not try a beer based on the drink?
There was in fact a Horchata-inspired beer at PBE - the Laboratory/Kinocine Wake up! Time to Die! was a horchata-imperial porter.

After making that beer, brewer Jim Holly wanted to make the antithesis of WUTTD - an horchata imperial cream ale.

Horchata Blanca is a collaboration between Kinocine (Ryan from BwB) and Steampunk (Jim from Twisted Hop/Laboratory). Being a cream ale, Horchata Blanca is quite pale and contains some corn adjunct. However it weighs in at a hefty 7.8%, hence the 'imperial' prefix. The bigger body provides a nice base for the traditional horchata ingredients of cinnamon and vanilla.

We'll be tapping Horchata Blanca this Tuesday at 5pm, it's gonna be an interesting one.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 22nd, 2015

Two Sleeps 'till PBE!

PBE 2015 is upon us, in just two days we take over the Boatshed and the Rowing Club and insert the best beer selection the Waterfront has seen all year.

This year we will have 46 beers available each day, which is a lot to wrap your head around. We'll be making sure that no beers are drunk dry on the Saturday, so don't fret if you're coming Sunday.

If you'd like to plan your drinking order ahead of time, we've got you covered. You can now access the entire beer list in convenient spreadsheet form, so you'll be able to use your elite spreadsheet skills to order all the beers by ABV, serving station, which half they're on or whatever your heart desires.

There's also a map of the layout so you'll know where you're going for each beer as soon as you arrive.

One thing I noticed is that this is possibly our lowest ABV festival yet, with 25 of the 46 beers being less than 6%.

Tokens are the same poker-chip style as last year, but each one has now been marked with its dollar value and token type.

In your TeKu at the start of the session you'll get two red $2.50 "Food Only" tokens, and four white $2.50 "Food/Beer" tokens.

Your PBE TeKu has two markings on the back, one at 100ml and one at 200ml. All beers are one token per 100ml. ie. one token for a 100ml "taste" and two tokens for a 200ml pour.

This pricing is standard across all beers at the festival, although some of the stronger/rare beers will only be available in 100ml pours.

One other thing to note is that we don't quite have enough taps to have all 46 beers on at once. So there'll be ten beers that are only on for the first half (2pm-4.30pm) and ten beers that are only on for the second half (4.30-7pm).

There are still tickets available, so it's not too late if you've left it to the last minute.

Post PBE Robots

If you're hungry for some jazz after PBE on Saturday, we'll be hosting the Jazz Robots in the lounge post-fest.

The Jazz Robots (not actual robots, sorry) will be playing groove-based jazz inspired by all sorts of styles and greats like The Head Hunters, Jeff Beck, John Coltrane, Steve Coleman, Jimi Hendrix and The Miles Davis Quintet.

Their innovative funky/jazzy tunes start at 9.30pm this Saturday, with no cover charge as per usual.

Murray's Moon Boy

We didn't quite have space for all of the Aussie beers that arrived for PBE, so one beer from Murray's in NSW will be relegated to next week's New Release Tuesday.
The Murray's/NZ connection is former 666 brewer Graeme Mahy, who has been head over at Murray's for a few months now.

He's pretty happy with how the beers are now, so was open to sending a few kegs back home for PBE.

The straggler we'll be tapping on Tuesday is their golden ale Moon Boy. 

"Moon Boy has a very light Australian Pilsner malt backbone with a crisp, dry, very moreish finish.

Extensive dry hopping with the New Zealand Motueka and Australia Ella hops gives a late tropical fruit aroma to spice things up - but without too much residual hop bitterness. Light, dry, lightly filtered, Moon Boy is great warm weather drinking."

Sounds like an easy going beer to warm down from the craziness of PBE. We'll be tapping Moon Boy at 5pm this Tuesday.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 15th, 2015

When's Our Birthday Again?

PBE preparation and planning has been dominating our world down here, so much that we nearly managed to forget our next big milestone.
It was a surprise then, to receive an email from the lovely folk down at Garage Project, letting us know they've brewed us a special beer for our 6th birthday!

"Ohh yeah, it's about that time isn't it?"

It doesn't seem like six years since we first opened our doors. But thinking back to the beer scene in 2009 I can really appreciate how far Wellington has come in just six years. Going from a city with no breweries just a few years back to over ten now. Wellington has now become a world class beer city, not only consuming more good beer but also producing it. Beer bars have popped up all across town, with momentum showing no signs of slowing. Good beer has become expected as standard.

So next Tuesday we're celebrating our sixth birthday with the help of our birthday beer 'Fú Rú Dōng Hǎi' - that's a traditional Chinese birthday wish meaning "May your luck be as immense as the Eastern Sea."

The beer Fú Rú Dōng Hǎi is a pilsner with Chinese influenced adjuncts added, namely Red Rice, Ginger and Szechuan Pepper. It sounds like a beer reminiscent of some of the original 24/24, and should impress.

Fú Rú Dōng Hǎi will be tapped this Tuesday at 5pm.

There will be cake.

Just 9 Sleeps till PBE

Things are really clicking into place for PBE now. Beers are arriving, glasses have arrived, caterers are sorted (see below) and the beer list is finalised after a few late entries.

We've been announcing beers over on the social medias all week, but if you've not seen them yet check out the last week's announcements below (click on each beer for more info):

- Wild & Woolly Goose Dog & Bobby Leach's Mandarin Comeuppance

- Lord Almighty Salsus Ursus Salted Imperial Stout

- Baylands Thai Delaksa

- 8 Wired Hippy Berliner - Cucumber Edition

The full beer list and spreadsheet will be released next week, and I'll include a link in next week's email. That should leave you with plenty of time to plan your PBE day(s).

If you don't have your tickets yet, what the hell? Grab 'em at

Delicious TeKu

The pallet of PBE glassware arrived this week, fresh from the Rastal factory in Germany.

That's right, GLASSware - thankfully our liquor license didn't force you to drink out of a glorified plastic cup. So at PBE you get treated like an adult, and get to drink out of a glass designed to enhance your beer.

This year we've stuck with the same TeKu glass that proved so popular last year. The TeKus have 100ml and 200ml markings on the back, which are mainly for our volunteers to know where to pour to - but will also come in handy afterwards if you're splitting a bottle into a few of them.

The other PBE milestone this week was finalising the food available. This year the talented Fire Truck crew is looking after catering, and have put together a sizable and delicious looking menu:

This will all be available from the Boatshed kitchen during PBE 2015, so make sure you use up your complimentary $5 of food tokens on something tasty.

The Inclinators Live in the Lounge

The massively talented Inclinators return to our lounge this Saturday.

They'll be dishing out some Big Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Sonny Terry, James Cotton and Slim Harpo.
Come along by 9.30pm this Saturday to enjoy the blues harp of maestro Terry Casey, guitar of Chris Armour, Richard Te One on drums and Steve Moodie with bass.

And as always, no cover charge!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 8th, 2015

Mahalo Maui

Maui Brewing Co. have been on my radar for a few years now. They were one of the first breweries to challenge my perceptions of beer cans as an early adopter in the "micro-canning revolution" (as they call it).

Their CoCoNut PorTeR blew my mind back in 2009 when I tasted it stewarding for the BGoNZAs. It must have impressed Chris from Kereru too - I'm fairly sure it's part of the inspiration of For Great Justice.

Later, I picked up a can of Big Swell IPA from Thorndon New World. Despite being mistreated grey market beer (don't tell Dom) it had kept remarkably well in its can. So after tasting what properly treated can of Big Swell tastes like last month, I'm pretty excited to find out what a properly imported keg tastes like tomorrow.

Because tomorrow from midday we'll be tapping our first ever kegs of both Big Swell IPA and CoCoNut PorTeR - as well as a newbie: Mana Wheat.

Mana Wheat sounds pretty intriguing too, not your normal boring American wheat ale. Mana has Maui Gold Pineapple added for 'extra fruity sweetness'.

We tap all three of these Hawaiian beauties at midday, so pop on down any time tomorrow to try some of Hawaii's best.

16 Sleeps till PBE

Wooooah, that's just over two weeks to go. It's getting reeeal.

We've now finalised the list of brewers to be showcased at PBE 2015, which is now available on the FB event.

Our daily announcements also continue on the FB event/page and twitter.

On Tuesday we announced that renowned Austrailian farmhouse brewer La Sirene will be available on tap for the first time at PBE. We even did a press release.

Four La Sirene beers will be on tap at PBE 2015: Belgian Praline (GABS people's choice), Botanique, Belle-French Ale and Saison Nouveau.

There's also bottles coming over with these kegs, which include their legendary brettanomyces dosed Wild Saison. Bottles of which will be available at the bar following PBE.

We announced plenty of other beers over the last week, check them out below (click on each beer for more info):

- Choice Bros Peanut Slab Stout

- Te Aro Brewing Grapefruit Gulpin' IIPA

- Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

- Coronado Punk’In Drublic & Ballast Point Pumpkin Down

- Brewcult Milk & Two Sugars Imperial Coffee Milk Stout

We'll be releasing the whole beer list in spreadsheet form, the week of the event. It'll include columns for ABV, country, brewery, which half it'll be on and more. So those of you who like to plan your drinking lineup can rest assured.

If you don't have em yet, grab your tickets at

Jazz Vocalised

It's not our just instrumentals this Saturday in the lounge, with vocalist Moira Jean joining Reuben Bradley (drums), Tom Callwood (bass) and Ayrton Foote (keys) to form the Reuben Bradley Quartet.

They'll be whipping out a fine assortment of new and old soul, jazz & rock treats that are apparently "for the filthy animal in you."

The Reuben Bradley Quartet kicks off at 9.30pm this Saturday night, and as usual, there's no charge for coming along.


Parrotdog weren't the only ones collaborating in Portland. Panhead brewer Mike Neilson also found time to collaborate with Widmer Brothers Brewing while recently visiting for the Portland Brewer's festival.

Mike & Widmer teamed up to create the Wid Hog xIPA. The 'x' is for experimental, as they used un-named experimental varieties of hops in this 7% IPA.

Kegs of this beer just arrived from the states, so we’re tapping it fresh at 5pm next Tuesday the 13th of October.

Fresh Off The Boat

Last week we announced our 'Fresh Off The Boat' tasting, which occurs next Wednesday the 14th.

We had some weirdness with our online store making it go 'out of stock' whenever anyone booked a spot, so you might have thought you'd missed out.

Fear not! There's still a few places left, and we've fixed the issue with the store, so head over to and lock in your spot for  just $35.

We'll be tasting all the newbies from the latest shipment including:

Modern Times Fortunate Islands With Grapefruit Zest - hoppy wheat ale with grapefruit

Ballast Point Calm Before the Storm - vanilla coffee cream ale

Gigantic SOLID! - hoppy wheat ale

Gigantic/ParrotDog/Het Utilje Sun Never Sets - India wheat lager

Gigantic Ume Umai - plum & black rice ale

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down - spiced pumpkin scotch ale

Coronado Punk'in Drublic - imperial pumpkin ale

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1st, 2015

Croucher's Four Track IPAs

The Croucher SingleTrack IPA series is a wonderfully geeky sequence of hoppy pale ales, each brewed to the same recipe but with one ingredient varied: the single hop used.

It's a great way of showing what a certain hop does in a beer, and how it presents in terms of bitterness, flavour and aroma.

A few weeks back we had a New Release Tuesday featuring two of these IPAs side by side... But we thought we'd take the geekiness to the next level.

So we asked the brewery to hold onto a keg of each of the four most recent SingleTracks; Citra, Amarillo, Centennial & Riwaka - for a special event....

This Saturday the 3rd of October we'll be tapping all four of these kegs, and offering 150ml tasting flights featuring each of the four most recent SingleTrack IPAs.

Not only will you be able to go full geek and compare Citra, Amarillo, Centennial & Riwaka hops, we'll give you a voting token with your flight to vote for your favourite by popping it in the corresponding hop's box. If you're not happy with the four voting options on offer, make sure to start a social media campaign for a fifth. This hop referendum is just a distraction from the real issues anyway.

These flights will only be available on Saturday the 3rd of October, so don't miss out.

23 Sleeps till PBE

That's right, just 23 sleeps till the Wellington's coolest little beer festival!

We've been busily announcing the beers as they become confirmed, feeding out info on the FB event/page & twitter.

If you need any more convincing, here's what we announced over the past week (click on each beer for more info):

- Modern Times Fruitlands Cherry Gose

- Modern Times Fortunate Islands with Grapefruit Zest

- North End 'Become the Ocean' Gose

- Tiamana Gerda Gruit

- Craftwork/Choice Bros Autobarn

- Renaissance Barrel Aged 2013 Tribute Barley Wine

There's still a plethora of amazing beers to reveal, so keep an eye on the social medias.

Next week you'll even start seeing posters about town, so don't forget to exclaim loudly to everyone in earshot how great PBE is whenever you see one.

If for some reason you haven't got your ticket yet, quick being a slacker grab one for you and all your friends at

Doublenecks + Big Wednesday

This Saturday the dynamic duo Doublenecks are back. Local legends Nick Granville (guitar & bass) and Lance Philip (drums & loops)  will be creating masterpieces mixing funky-improv & groove-classics.

The Doublenecks kick off in the lounge this Saturday at 9.30pm, and as usual, no cover fee.

But that's not the only gig we've got over the next week. On Wednesday the 7th we have a special guest gig, featuring local greats Nick Granville, Rodger Fox, Tom Warrington, Lance Phillip... and a secret surprise international guest!

It's a bit of a secret who the international guest is, but perhaps those who can look slightly to the left can figure it out.
All I can say is that this U.S. based blues guitar legend is in town for a short time, and this is your chance to watch him perform up close and personal for free. 

Being a school night this one kicks off a little earlier at 8.30pm, this coming Wednesday.


Back in July a bunch of Kiwi brewers went to Portland for the Oregon Brewer's Festival, the idea being a bunch of Portland brewers reciprocate for Beervana.

Among these brewers was Matt Warnerdog of ParrotDog.

While in the beer mecca that is Portland, Matt teamed up with local Portlandian brewer Gigantic and Netherlands brewer Het Uiltje to make a unique 7.3% "India Wheat Lager" - The Sun Never Sets.

It seems such an international beer caused a stir in Oregon's beer capital, with the three guys making the local news (that video is also handy if you want to know how to pronounce 'Uiltje').

The latest Beer Without Borders shipment (which arrived today), contains both kegs and bottles of this beer. So we're rushing it on tap for the next New Release Tuesday to get it drunk as fresh as possible.

Gigantic describes the beer thusly:

"A 3 way collabo with our friends from ParrotDog in New Zealand and Brouwerij Het Uiltje in the Netherlands. Much like in an empire of old, the day never ends for the brewers who made this beer - an India Wheat Lager, brewed with New Zealand Hops for tropical and melony goodness."

Luckily it's the off season for Tuesday night basketball, so we should see a few of the ParrotDog Matts down for the first NZ tapping of Sun Never Sets at 5pm this coming Tuesday.

Taste 'em Fresh Off The Boat

As mentioned above, a brand new shipment has arrived from the U.S. - which always means new goodies from the best brewers in the West.

This shipment contains seven new beers in bottles from various West Coast brewers, so what better way to check them all out by holding a tasting?

We want to make sure you taste 'em fresh, so in just under two weeks on Wednesday the 14th of October we'll be tasting the following beers:

Modern Times Fortunate Islands With Grapefruit Zest - hoppy wheat ale with grapefruit

Ballast Point Calm Before the Storm - vanilla coffee cream ale

Gigantic SOLID! - hoppy wheat ale

Gigantic/ParrotDog/Het Utilje Sun Never Sets - India wheat lager

Gigantic Ume Umai - plum & black rice ale

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down - spiced pumpkin scotch ale

Coronado Punk'in Drublic - imperial pumpkin ale

A place in this tasting costs just $35, a mere fraction of what it would cost to taste all of these astounding beers on your own.

It'll be a pretty relaxed couple of hours, I'll take you through all seven beers and provide a little bit of extra info and discussion around each beer. The customary vote for the favourite at the end always creates some friction.

So come along with friends, or come alone and make friends - book your spot(s) at