Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28th, 2016

Cask Release Tuesday

For PBE 2015 Ryan from Beer Without Borders popped down to The Laboratory in Lincoln and whipped up a couple of special brews.
One of these was an an 8.75% Imperial Horchata Coffee Porter succintly named: Wake Up! Time To Die! ( Rain Vol.2).
A reminder, Horchata is a Mexican dessert drink featuring cinnamon & vanilla.

Following PBE there was a small 20L cask left, untapped. Ryan thought it would be interesting to see how the beer ages, so it's been sitting undisturbed at the BwB coolstore for six months.

Now it is time to find out the results of the aging. Considering it is a strong, dark, spiced beer we're guessing a bit of time would have integrated the beer nicely.

We'll be tapping this final cask at 5pm Tuesday and serving from handpump.

Live in the Lounge: Reuben Bradley's Death Hos

Be a classy bogan this Saturday, with Reuben Bradley and the Death Hos.
They'll be taking the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies then stretching it apart and improvising with it.

Come along anc check out Daniel Hayles on Keys, Nick Tipping on Bass and Reuben Bradley on Drums.

They'll be kicking off at 9pm Saturday, with  no door fee.

Too Many Fresh Hops

Whoopsie, we ordered more fresh hopped beers than we have taps again!

Next Friday's fresh hop takeover (featuring Ramen Shop pop up!) got a little bigger this week. We managed to secure kegs of ParrotDog's fresh hopped sour "Moa" and Webb St Brewing's Nelson Sauvin hopped vienna lager "Freudian Sip".

So now from Midday on Friday May 6th we'll be serving:
- Eagle Brewing Fresh Hopped SIPA
- Hop Federation/Epic Fresh Hopped Sarah IPA
- Hop Federation Fresh Hopped XPA
- Webb St Brewery Freudian Sip
- Sprig & Fern Harvest Pilsner
- Panhead Fresh Hopped Vandal
- 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired
- Wild & Woolly Mulligan Sour
- Mike's Hopstock & Two Smoking Barrels
- Kereru Fresh Hop Special Bitter
- Twisted Hop/Laboratory Wet Weekend Fresh Hopped Motueka IPA

When something runs out we'll be rotating on theParrotDog Moa and North End Forty South - it might just turn into a fresh hop weekend.


A week ago, the German beer purity law of 1516 aka "Reinheitsgebot" had it's 500th birthday.

For many who continue to support this outdated legislation it was a time to celebrate. But for Germany's budding innovative beer scene it was a time to protest.

Back in 1516 the Reinheitsgebot was implemented to ensure that grains like wheat and rye were used to make bread, not beer. It stated brewers can only use barley, hops and water.
It has since been modified to allow for yeast (after its dicovery) and then to allow wheat (though only in top fermenting beers for some reason), and recently it was changed again to allow a wider variety of malts and sugars.

If you're a brewer in Germany wanting to make a beer with any adjunct that doesn't comply with the Reinheitsgebot, you can't call it beer. So enjoy making "malted beverages with natural flavours".

What makes this even more of a raw deal is that the same rules don't apply to imported beers, so from the beginning Germany's more adventurous brewers are on an uneven playing field.

We're about to see two of these innovative German brewers malted beverages make their way to New Zealand for the first time, with the arrival of Freigeist Bierkultur and The Monarchy.
The shipment didn't quite make it in time for the official anniversary protest event, but we're having our own a couple weeks late.

On Friday May 13th we'll be launching Freigeist and The Monarchy on tap and in bottles, with support from Tiamana who has made a special "malted beverage" as well.

Quince gose? Rhubarb gose? How about a salted raspberry porter or a 10% sour hoppy altbier. We'll also have special German snacks available, so come on down and taste the rebellion on Friday May the 13th. That's just two weeks away!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 21st, 2016

A Full House

So you all like sour beers eh? Who woulda thought? Our May 4th sour beer tasting has almost completely sold out with just one place remaining.

So if you're a fan of the tart deliciousness that is sour beer, snap up that last spot for just $55 and you'll be tasting:
Boon Geuze
- Mikkeller Spontanrosehip
- North End Baby Grand
- 8 Wired Le Fut
- Almanac Farmer's Reserve Strawberry
- Almanac Farmer's Reserve Blueberry
- Almanac Farmer's Reserve Citrus
- Bacchus Kriekenbier
- Almanac Dogpatch Cherry
- De Molen Rook & Leer
- Almanac Truthful Statement

Farmhouse Funky Tuesday

The picture to the right is our next New Release Tuesday, in the making.

Tiamana's green-tinged woodruff-infused Miester Berliner Weisse made a huge impression back in February. Now they're ready to release a special raspberry version.

Tiamana Raspberry Meister is a Berliner Weisse, meaning bacteria (lactobacillus/pediococcus) have been introduced to give the beer a funky, acidic aspect.

Some of these wee bugs want to get at the small amount of oxygen at the top of the fermenter, and form a "pellicle", which is the film you can see in the photo.

Tiamana brewer Annika reckons Raspberry Meister will be "pink and sour as fuck" (cue profanity email filters). She's only made 60L of this awesome looking beer, so Tuesday will possibly be your only chance to try it on tap.
We're tapping it at 5pm sharp, see you there.

Live in the Lounge: Vincent Vega Trio

The Vincent Vega Trio are back in the HZ lounge this Saturday.

They'll be playing a hot, sexy blend of surf, funk, soul and blues from the new earlier time of 9pm.

It won't cost you a thing, so come on down and enjoy some live funky music courtesy of Chris Armour - guitar, Greg Crayford - drums and Nick Lissette - bass.

Ramen & Fresh Hops

All eleven of our taps are getting fresh on Friday May 6th, for the fifth year running.

Each year in early may we throw our balanced lineup policy out the window in favour of eleven taps of fresh hopped goodness.

Since the advent of Hopstock, we've strived to find new fresh hopped beers that weren't part of the festival to keep things fresh and interesting for you.
Of course as hopstock grows it gets harder to find new fresh hopped beers, but we've managed to find a few newbies this year.

In a wonderful piece of serendipity, it just so happens that May 6th is three years to the day after Ramen Shop's very first pop-up. So to celebrate they're popping up in our kitchen just like old times for the fresh hop takeover!

They'll be doing their signature ramen bowls and a few interesting sides to keep your hunger satiated while you sample.

All of these amazing beers will be on tap from midday on Friday May 6th:
  • Eagle Brewing Fresh Hopped SIPA
  • Hop Federation/Epic Fresh Hopped Sarah IPA
  • Hop Federation Fresh Hopped XPA
  • Webb St Brewery Fresh Nelson Sauvin Vienna Lager
  • Sprig & Fern Harvest Pilsner
  • Panhead Fresh Hopped Vandal
  • North End Forty South Green Hop Reserve
  • 8 Wired Fresh Hopwired
  • Wild & Woolly Mulligan Sour
  • Mike's Hopstock & Two Smoking Barrels
  • Handpump: Kereru Fresh Hop Special Bitter
  • On CASK: Twisted Hop/Laboratory Wet Weekend Fresh Hopped Motueka IPA
As well as our usual 300ml 'fancy' and 473ml US pint pours, we'll also be offering 200ml TeKu pours of all of these beers so you can make your way through them a little more responsibly!


With another long weekend coming up, there's a tiny alteration to our opening hours.
Next Monday (ANZAC day) instead of our normal opening time of midday we'll be opening our doors at 1pm.

Our usual public holiday policy of no poxy surcharges applies, in fact we'll be offering our usual 10% SOBA discount.

Have a great long weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 14th, 2016

Hopstock Is Here

Wellington's six day long fresh hop pub crawl kicked off yesterday, giving us our first taste of our Hopstock beer: North End Forty South Green Hop Reserve.

We weren't disappointed. FSGHR has the juicy, fruity, super resinous aroma and flavour that you can only get from green hopped beer.
The rich malt base makes for a full on beer, but that amazing hop character keeps it all in check.

After trying it on both tap and handpump, my favourite is neither. Instead you've gotta try a 50/50 blend to get the best of both worlds.
Come on down and have a taste, and 'till Monday we'll stick a stamp in your trail card.
Apparently around 75% of last year's fully stamped cards won prizes, so make sure you grab a trail card from the bar or print one off.

Farmhouse Funky Tuesday

North End's Rivage Brux Reserve was brewed in very limited quantities, so to see it on tap is indeed a rarity. In fact, this year's vintage has only been on tap once before to our knowledge.
So naturally we jumped on the opportunity to have this outstanding barrel aged farmhouse ale on tap for NRT.

"Farmers across Europe used to brew beer from the grain grown on their land. Rustic and robust, these farmhouse ales incorporated all manner of wild, tart and funky yeast characters.
Rivage Brux starts is life as a spicy, tangy dry farmhouse ale style ale before being aged for 12 months in French Oak sauvignon blanc barrels.The result is a lightly tart, dry, fruity beer that's perfect for the dinner table."

Brewer Kieran has confirmed that this is your very last chance to try the 2015 vintage of Rivage Brux on tap.
Don't miss out when it starts pouring from 5pm this coming Tuesday!

Live in the Lounge: JB3 Trio

This Saturday at the slightly earlier time of 9.00pm, JB3 are funking up the lounge.

Jake Baxendale, Shaun Anderson & Daniel Hayles will be cranking out the Boogaloo and New Orleans Funk from 9 till 11.

Best of all, this funk comes free with no door charge.

New from Oamaru

Those brilliant Belgian beer brewers from Oamaru have been at it again on their wee 100L system. Craftwork have released a couple of new barrel aged brews in very limited quantities.

Scotch Bonnet is a slightly tart Flanders Brown ale that has been aged in a whisky barrel from Dunedin's extinct distillery. After cracking a bottle last night I can confirm that it is beautifully complex, yet amazingly balanced.

Sacré Bleu is Craftwork's 'Good Lord Gold' Abbey Tripel which has been aged in an oak quarter cask for six months.
That time in oak has really made a mark on the Tripel, adding a big oaky vanilla note that works to balance the big sweetness that comes with a Tripel.

We've got just a dozen of each (well, eleven now that I've had one of each...), so come on down and make sure you don't miss out on Oamaru's finest.

Five Courses of Sour

In the past few years we've amassed quite the collection of sour ales from all over the world. Some of these are almost all gone - and not likely to return. Some are fresh in from up-and-coming US brewers, some are from Belgian brewers who mastered sour beer centuries ago. Encouragingly more and more are coming from New Zealand brewers.

To highlight the differences and similarities in the incredibly broad category that is 'sour beer' we've put together a tasting of five courses of sour beer for your enjoyment, featuring eleven different sour beers from near and far.
Even better, we've sorted a little pairing for each round to spice things up a bit. You can check out the matches in our witty menu to the right.
Please note, this is NOT a beer & food tasting and we strongly recommend eating dinner beforehand! (don't take the 'menu' seriously....)

It all goes down in the lounge on Wednesday May 4th, and will set you back the meagre sum of $55 per person. That'll get you a taste of:
  • Boon Geuze
  • Mikkeller Spontanrosehip
  • North End Baby Grand
  • 8 Wired Le Fut
  • Almanac Farmer's Reserve Strawberry
  • Almanac Farmer's Reserve Blueberry
  • Almanac Farmer's Reserve Citrus
  • Bacchus Kriekenbier
  • Almanac Dogpatch Cherry
  • De Molen Rook & Leer
  • Almanac Truthful Statement
There are just 20 places for this tasting, so make sure to book your spot on cultbeerstore or over the bar!

May 6th

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7th, 2016

Hopstock Comes Once a Year

Hopstock, Wellington's annual celebration of those wonderful aromatic cones from Riwaka begins next Wednesday.

If you're new to Hopstock, it's essentially a pub-crawl you can spread out over 6 days. This year's trail is slightly smaller than last, with 21 breweries and 21 bars involved which works out to a very civilised 3.5 bars per day.
Each bar will have a different fresh hopped beer on tap which you can taste, and get a stamp in your trail card.

This year's lineup of fresh hopped beers looks amazing - we were stoked to pull North End out of the hat of hoppiness.

North End's fresh hop offering this year is a fresh hopped version of their English IPA: Forty South.
Dubbed Forty South Green Hop Reserve, North End has used NZ Cascade Hops picked fresh from the bines in Riwaka along with the usual Pacific Jade & NZ Styrian Golding.
NZ Mild Malt, English Dark Crystal and Torrified Wheat form a robust malty base for the aromatic Cascade hops, forming what should be a balanced fresh hop experience.

Being an English styled IPA, it seems only natural that we serve Forty South Green Hop Reserve on handpump as well as tap. Personally, I find a 50/50 blend of the handpump and tap versions gives the best of both worlds.
So from midday Wednesday we'll be serving it up in 200ml TeKu tasters, 300ml Fancies and 473ml US Pints.

If you're a fan of fresh hopped beer, keep Friday April 29th free for our annual Fresh Hop Friday tap takeover. We'll be doing our best to source fresh hop beers not involved in hopstock, so you can geek out over a whole new set of fresh hopped beers. More details soon!

Dry Hopped Sour Snake

Wild & Woolly Basilisk is already an amazingly refreshing citrus & mint Berliner Weisse, weighing in at the very civil ABV of 2.5%. 
But what is a brewer to do with the pesky little bits left over at the bottom of a tank?
Into a tiny fermenter with it and add more hops! NZ Chinook to be specific.

Basilisk is possibly the most refreshing beer in the world already. So the addition of more aromatic dry hops should add another dimension to the citrus and mint aromas already there.

There's only one 20L keg of this special editon Basilisk available, and we're serving it up from 5pm this Tuesday. Give in to the FOMO!

Rubbernecking in the Lounge

The Rubberneckers are playing outlaw country with a rocknroll limp in the lounge this Saturday.
Singing about honkytonk dive bars, speeding tickets and girls with scars.

We’ll have Chris Armour on guitar, Gordon Barrell with bass and Richard Te One on drums.

The Rubberneckers kick off at the slightly earlier time of 9pm this Saturday, no door fee!

Belgian Beer Porn

Hopefully your email filters let this pornographic image through, as it would be a shame to miss out on seeing our latest shipment of Belgian Lambic/Sour Kegs.

That's right, our sour tap will keep on going through the winter with help from these amazing old world classic beers.

We've restocked the classic Rodenbach Grand Cru and Lindemans Geuze and also grabbed some new fruity sours from Bacchus, Lindemans and Liefmans.
The only non-lambic/sour keg this time is a very special Whisky Barrel Aged Gulden Draak, which you can look forward to on a New Release Tuesday soon.