Thursday, December 24, 2015

December 24th, 2015

Boxing Day Beers

It seems as though almost every bar in Wellington is closed this Boxing Day, but we don't see any reason to close.
In fact, we're open as normal from midday every day this holiday period - bar Christmas Day.

To lay it out in a more traditional manner:
  • Christmas Day: Closed
  • Boxing Day: Open from midday-late
  • Sunday 27th: Open from midday-late
  • Monday 28th: Open from midday-late
  • Tuesday 29th: Open from midday-late
  • Wednesday 30th: Open from midday-late
  • New Year's Eve: Open from midday-late
  • New Year's Day: Open from midday-late
  • Day after New Year's Day: Open from midday-late
  • Every other day in January: Open from midday-late
Easy. And of course on public holidays we won't be adding any poxy surcharges to your pints.

New Release New Year's Eve-eve-eve

There's so many new beers in the latest BwB shipments that our NRT programme can't afford to take a Christmas holiday.

This coming Tuesday we're tapping our first keg of a vary exciting beer from San Francisco's Almanac Beer Co.

Saison de Brettaville is Almanac's year-round Saison Dolores, that has been aged in white wine barrels with a dozen different strains of brettanomyces.
We tasted this at our recent Fresh Off the Boat tasting, and it came in a very clear second place. The white wine barrel character is far bigger than I anticipated, which works really well with the earthy funk of all that brett.

We'll be tapping the keg at 5pm this Tuesday the 29th, and serving it up in 200ml TeKus, 300ml fancies and even 473ml US pints.

A Chilled Out NYE

We're not the type of bar to hold a big New Year's Eve blowout party. Instead we're kinda running business as usual, with a couple of special additions.

Our very organised music booker managed to find us an awesome act to play the lounge, with Kristopher "King" Kreabsley & John "Sting" Rae funking up the lounge with Nu Jazz Soul from 10pm till next year. 

We'll also be tapping a few special kegs from some of our favourite overseas brewers such as:
Rodenbach Grand Cru, Modern Times City of the Sun IPA, Almanac Horchata Almond Milk Stout and it wouldn't have been 2015 without the phenomenal Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin.

The Almanac Horchata Almond Milk Stout will be a new one, and sounds pretty interesting:
"We took the classic ingredients of Horchata and put them into a milk stout, brewed with a blend of dark malts, oats, lactose, and almonds from GL Alfieri Farms and finished with whole vanilla beans and Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon. The result is an inky, dark ale with hints of spice and sweetness." 
We'll have all of the above pouring from midday New Year's Eve.

Fresh in the Fridge

Finally, we've had a few new additions to our fridge from the latest BwB Cali shipment:

  • Almanac Farmers Reserve Blueberry Sour
  • Ballast Point Indra Kunindra (curry stout)
  • Modern Times City of the Sun IPA cans
  • Dogpatch Grand Cru 750ml (10.5% Imperial sour ale aged in red wine barrels with a blend of California-grown Zinfandel, Syrah, Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo grapes)
  • Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
  • Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea 355ml
If you run out of beer on Boxing Day these and all other bottles in our fridge are available to take away for 20% off bar prices, and you can always grab a rigger of anything on tap.

Wishing you all a great day tomorrow, I hope you get to enjoy a few beers in the sun.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17th, 2015

A Christmas Eve-eve-eve Treat

Last night's To Øl tasting showed how great their funky beers can be, with the 3.8% Gose to Hollywood beating out the big 10%+ imperial stouts for crowd favourite - the reverse of normal tasting votes.

Next Tuesday we're tapping a keg of another funky To Øl beer that suits the season - Yeastus Christus, a Brettanomyces fermented farmhouse IPA featuring Tettnanger and Simcoe hops.

I'm careful to say funky rather than sour, as Brettanomyces yeast alone contributes a big earthy 'farmhouse' character rather than the sour acidity created by bacteria.

So this one won't be on the sour tap, but should be a good companion to whatever is on at the time (probably something from 8 Wired).

The brewer's description is typically satirical yet informative:

"Is Jesus alive? We don’t know. Did Jesus get offspring descendants that are living today? We don’t know. But since God created everything, you could call this a collab with God. This a rustic bretty farmhouse IPA, loaded with different grains, hops and godly intervention. “Nobody Fucks with the Jesus!”"

(Cue the profanity filter email rejections)

To Øl Yeastus Christus is tapped on Christmas eve-eve-eve (Tues 22nd) at 5pm.

Stock up at Borderstop

Beer Without Borders has once again acquired a special licence to be able to sell beer directly from the coolest warehouse on Abel Smith St.
Borderstop is a prime opportunity to stock up on cases of your favourite BwB imports. Beers like Sculpin IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin, Habanero Sculpin and.... Others...

In fact the newest shipment from California may arrive just in time for Borderstop, meaning there's a chance you'll be able to be among the first to grab bottles of the returning Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA!

If entire cases are out of your price range, there will be single bottles available for purchase, as well as a bargain bin.

There will be EFTPOS available at Borderstop, but no credit card facilities. So payment on the day will be by cash and EFTPOS only.

Borderstop starts up at 24 Abel Smith Street from  midday this Saturday the 19th and will run till around 4pm.

Live in the Lounge: Vincent Vega Trio

Live music returns to the lounge this Saturday with Vincent Vega Trio playing from 9.30pm.
Catch their hot blend of surf, funk, soul and blues for free with Chris Armour (guitar), Andy Russell (drums), Nick Lissette (bass).

The music kicks off at 9.30pm and runs till 11.30pm.

Open as Usual

If you're one of the three people who stick around in Wellington after Christmas, you'll know how the CBD tends to shut down. But that doesn't mean the few remaining Wellingtonians stop wanting good beer.
So we're continuing our policy of only closing when we're legally required to (and 7's zombie apocalypse), making our Christmas opening hours very easy to remember:

  • We're legally required to be

closed on Christmas Day (that's the 25th of December, aka next Friday).
  • That's all. Otherwise, we're open from midday as usual.

  • Meaning, we're open from midday on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Years Day and the Day After New Years Day.
    Don't forget about our off-licence, meaning you can come grab emergency Boxing Day re-stocks of bottles and riggers any time from midday-11pm.

    Coming Soon to the Sour Tap

    With the popularity of our dedicated sour tap it seems we were right about Wellington being ready for sour beer.

    Currently on tap there's a tiny smidge left in a keg of Almanac Dogpatch Cherry Sour, which will be replaced any second now by 8 Wired Flanders Pale Ale.

    Following the 8 Wired is a new Rarebird kettle sour from ParrotDog: Tomtit. This time it's a refreshing sour ale aged on tamarillos. Yum.

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    December 10th, 2015

    Sur Fest Tomorrow

    It's truly the summer of sour now To Øl has arrived! Just in time for our tap launch tomorrow too.
    From midday tomorrow we'll be tapping three very intriguing To Øl beers:

    Nelson Survin: Sour mashed IIPA feat. Nelson Sauvin (9%)
    Sur Amarillo: Sour Mashed IPA feat. Amarillo (7.5%)
    Likeweisse: Berliner Weisse (sour wheat) dry hopped with Motueka & Citra.

    As with all of our tap sours, we're serving these up in the excellent 200ml TeKu glasses as well as the standard pours.

    Tomorrow only we'll also be serving up all three in a tasting flight of 150ml tasting glasses, which will run you $15.

    Beer is Charity

    We've been part of Garage Project's Kegs for Christmas from the beginning and this year is no different!

    We've drawn the excellent Dirty Boots APA (6.6%) as our K4C beer:
    "Hop into the mosh pit. Dirty Boots, grunge inspired all American pale ale, especially for Music2Brew2, a hard core, hoppy celebration of the tunes that inspire the beer we brew."

    We'll be tapping Dirty boots at midday on Saturday, and all proceeds from the sale of Dirty Boots will be donated to Kaibosh. So basically, you're making a donation to Kaibosh and you get a beer to say thanks!

    Additionally, our tip jar will become a donation jar for Kaibosh in case you feel like adding to your donation.

    NRT: Watermelon Weisse

    To Øl are dominating the email today, but they feature once again in next week's New Release Tuesday slot with Braziller Weisse Watermelon Berliner Weisse.

    Billed as a "Super easy, refreshing, tart Berliner Weisse brewed with watermelon for extra fruitiness. Refreshingly sour with a huge hoppe fruity finish"

    We tap Braziller Weise at 5pm this Tuesday as usual, and will be serving up in 200ml TeKu, 300ml fancy or 473ml US-pints.

    Døn't Miss the Bøat

    Next Wednesday is our final tasting for the year, and we're showcasing the big and exciting beers from To Øl that have just arrived, and a couple of Almanac to top it off.

    We'll be tasting:
    • Baltic Frontier - Seabuckthorn IPA (6.5%)
    • Fuck Art This is Architecture - Belgian Farmhouse Pale Ale (5%)
    • Goliat - Imperial Coffee Stout (10.1%)
    • Gose To Hollywood - Gose brewed with Oranges (3.8%)
    • Liquid Confidential - Imperial Chili Stout (12.2%)
    • Yule Mælk - Barrel Aged Sweet Stout (15%)
    • Almanac Saison de Brettaville - Saison aged in wine barrels with brettanomyces (7.2%)
    • Almanac Paris of the West - Quadrupel with Raisins, Candi Sugar and Oranges. (9.5%)
    The tasting is this Wednesday 16th of December, kicking off at 6pm as usual.
    It's $45 per person, you can grab your spot now at or over the bar next time you're in.

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    December 3rd, 2015

    Sour vs Sour, Hop vs Hop

    The Summer of Sour kicked off with a bang on Tuesday with two sour taps. Our suspicions that Wellington is ready for (a lot) more sour beer were confirmed when a keg of Rodenbach Grand Cru was consumed in a night.
    Very soon we'll be tapping our first keg of Lindemans Gueuze on the sour tap, to be followed by Brouwerij Boon Kriek Boon.

    However yet again this Tuesday we'll be featuring two sour beers on tap, in a very beer-geeky showdown.

    Almanac's new "Hoppy Sour Series" takes new-world hops, and melds them with their wine barrel aged sour blonde ale. Beer Without borders got kegs of the the first two beers in this series, so why not put them both on side-by-side?
    This Tuesday we'll be tapping a keg of each, and serving them up in TeKus side-by-side.
    Hoppy sour beers are a fairly new thing, as traditional gueuze and lambic beers use aged hops to ensure no hop character comes through.
    Almanac are certainly not a traditional brewery, and wanted to see what happens when you couple big characterful new world hops with an earthy lambic-style sour ale.

    They seem to have succeeded, with the Thirsty Bitches going nuts for Citra sour in the latest Border Post.

    The brewery describes Citra Sour thusly:
    "Citra Sour is our very first single-hopped sour release. As the name suggests, Citra hops lend citrusy, fruity flavors and aromas, leaning toward grapefruit or even melon and passionfruit. It’s a popular hop in blends behind big West Coast IPAs, but bold enough to shine solo.
    These fruity aromas blend harmoniously with our tart, earthy sour blonde ale, creating a beer that simultaneously contradicts and compliments itself."
    And Simcoe Sour:
    "Simcoe is a hop that almost needs no introduction. This US-born hop is big on musty, piney flavors and has long been a favorite of brewers on both coasts and everywhere in between.
    These signature Simcoe flavors and aromas blend seamlessly with the fruity, funky character of our wine barrel aged sour blonde base beer, creating a complex sour ale packed with dank, lime-like aromatics and refreshing tartness."
    From 5pm Tuesday you'll be able to grab a 200ml TeKu of each of these beers for a special price, and decide for yourself whether hops and acidity belong together. (hint: the answer is yes).

    Fresh Øff the Bøat

    We've had a small amount of To Øl beer in the past, but in a few days the biggest shipment yet from the Danish brewer will arrive in Wellington.

    There are a few kegs in this shipment, but more on those later. Most of it consists of bottles of To Øl's innovative and out-there beers. These bottles are a great excuse to stage another "Fresh Off The Boat" tasting. 
    Looking down the list of incoming To Øl beer, each line seemed to be more exciting than the last...

    Beers like:
    • Baltic Frontier - Seabuckthorn IPA (6.5%)
    • Fuck Art This is Architecture - Belgian Farmhouse Pale Ale (5%)
    • Goliat - Imperial Coffee Stout (10.1%)
    • Gose To Hollywood - Gose brewed with Oranges (3.8%)
    • Liquid Confidential - Imperial Chili Stout (12.2%)
    • Yule Mælk - Barrel Aged Sweet Stout (15%)
    Rounding off the tasting will be a couple of interesting newbies from Almanac: 
    • Saison de Brettaville - Saison aged in wine barrels with brettanomyces (7.2%)
    • Paris of the West - Quadrupel with Raisins, Candi Sugar and Oranges. (9.5%)
    We'll be tasting these beers on Wednesday the 16th of December, kicking off at 6pm as usual.
    The strength and nature of these beers mean this tasting is a little more expensive than others recently, but at $45 per person still a bargain.
    Grab your spot in this exciting tasting over at now.

    To Øl Sur-Fest

    As I mentioned previously, there are also a few To Øl kegs arriving shortly - and quite a few are sour or funky.

    A lot of these will be featured as Summer of Sour New Release Tuesday beers, but to give you a taste of things to come we're launching with three new To Øl beers on tap next Friday (11th Dec).

    In the spirit of the Summer of Sour all three are sour and funky:
    LikeWeisse Berliner Weisse: "Our take on a traditional Berliner Weisse. 3,8% and packed with Citra and Motueka. The Citra traditionally adds citrus fruits as well as the Motueka, which is known for its lime touch and tropical fruit backbone. This is one thirst quenching drink alllll day mofo Weisse."

    Nelson Survin: "This is our sour DIPA boasting with Nelson Sauvin hops. Crazy tropical sour notes, all in one beer. we call it Sourvin…"

    Sur Amarillo: "An intricate, sour, friendship starts here. Single hopped Amarillo IPA, partly sour mashed to create a fruit bomb seen no where else…"

    We'll have all three tapped from midday Friday 11th December. A pint of each might be out of some peoples budgets and you may not have any tooth enamel left at the end. So to make sure you can try all three we'll be offering tasting flights featuring 150ml of each beer - on Friday the 11th only.

    Jazzy Mosh Pit

    Get in the mosh pit this Saturday when Reuben Bradley and the Death Hos perform their amazing brand of Jazz Metal.

    Featuring the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies. Music will be stretched apart and extemporised upon. 
    Featuring: Daniel Hayles on Keys, Nick Tipping on Bass & Reuben Bradley on Drums

    The Jazz Metal kicks off at 9.30pm this Saturday, and as always there's no door charge.