Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 30th, 2016

Smash 'n' GABS

Seeing as we sent out a special email on Tuesday, this is just a quick reminder that the first six Smash 'n' GABS beers are on tap now!

The lunch crowd had a good go at them, taking advantage of the 200ml Teku pours to try a wide variety. At the moment it's looking like the Biere Henri is going to be the first to go, so get in soon!

We have three more to come on as the beers pictured right run out:
  • 8 Wired Palate Trip IPA
  • Croucher Black Forest Sour
  • Kereru Black Ruby Imperial Stout

Barley Wine vs Barrel-y Wine

Winter is Barley Wine's time to shine, and this Saturday we've got two amazing massive barley wines from Dutch brewer De Molen to keep you warm.

Bommen & Granaten translates to 'Bombs & Grenades' - a fitting name considering its strength of 15.2ABV!!

When tasting Bommen & Granaten in the past I've found it been sweet, malty and complex. The kind of barley wine that gives you sticky lips. It's been a while since I last had it, so it may have dried out a bit by now.

This Saturday we'll be tasting two different versions of the 2013 vintage head to head.
The Bourdeaux barrel aged version will be going up against its non-barrel aged counterpart. From midday we'll be pouring 100ml of each for $12 - believe me, 100ml is plenty with these beers!

So come on down this Saturday and see how Bordeaux barrels change the flavour of a massive beer. If you like them, don't forget you can take some home for your cellar - these beasts have a best before of July 2038.

Four on the Fourth

Every year at Hashigo we celebrate USA beer on the anniversary of their independence.
July 4th is a Monday this year, but we're still partying with four beers brewed in the U-S-of-A on tap, and enough red, white and blue to that you'll have an instant need to own a semi-automatic rifle.

On tap this Monday will be:
Gigantic The Business Pale Ale
Gigantic IPA
Giganic Ginormous IIPA
Almanac Peach de Brettaville

Even better, for just $35 you can grab a flight of all four; including a US-pint of The Business, a Fancy of Gigantic IPA & Ginormous and a TeKu of Peach de Brettaville.

We'll have some special food available in keeping with the USA theme, inlcuding Beef Chilli & Corn Chips, Hot Dogs and Warm Apple Pie with Ice Cream!

Old Smokey

After four years of aging our final keg of Nøgne Ø Sunturnbrew is coming out of its snow cave up at the BwB cool-store to blow some minds.

After aging, this 11% Barley Wine with 30% smoked malt should have calmed down somewhat and integrated into the big, barleywine malt base.
Being a barley wine, Sunturnbrew was originally quite sweet, but with four years age the sweetness should have dropped. Replaced by port-like aged characters that should work well.

"Brewed just before Christmas, the Sunturnbrew honors the Norwegian legend that says that the sun turns on December 21st, the shortest day of the year. While the rest of the world argues that the sun doesn’t turn at all, Nøgne Ø raises a glass to Norwegian stubbornness with this celebratory beer!
It’s a smoked barleywine, brewed with 30% smoked malt and 20% rye. Brewmaster Kjetil reportedly had great fun playing with the recipe, ending up with a wonderful beer way out of style."

We're tapping our final keg of Sunturnbrew at 5pm this Tuesday. Here's hoping for a cold day!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

July 23rd, 2016

Auckland Tasted Like Jaffas

Last weekend Auckland showed it has what it takes to be a great beer city, when the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular made it's way across the ditch for the first time.

I was lucky enough to have been to the original GABS in Melbourne in May, so know how slick GABS is when run in its home town. I was very curious to see whether the magic of GABS Melbourne translated to New Zealand, and whether Aucklanders would even show up.

We arrived on Friday, and headed straight to Auckland's beer Mecca Galbraiths.
The hype created by SOBA's 'Auckland Beer Week' events was palpable when we walked in. Galbraiths was hosting a U.K. tap-takeover, and a table full of excited Wellingtonian & Auckland brewers and importers greeted us.

Over pints of Bob's and Bitter & Twisted we learned that the stall-holders present were impressed with the communication and organisation of GABS so far, and were excited to head in and set up. This boded well for Saturday.

Saturday arrived, and with minor hangovers we set out for the ASB showgrounds. This is where Auckland's main weakness as a beer city showed itself.
Urban sprawl is rampant in Auckland, and all of Auckland's large event venues are spread far and wide, away from the CBD and main public transport routes. Luckily SOBA had organised busses from the Britomart hub, which saved many from an expensive taxi ride stuck in traffic.

The main hall setup was impressive. "Wow" was the main description heard when people entered. A festive mood was set with a huge "#GABS2016" sign, hundreds of festive lanterns and four big screens displaying social media photos.

The guts of GABS is tasting paddles, and many GABS veterans were initially confused and frustrated by ABV restrictions imposed by Auckland's draconian Liquor Licensing Authority.
Tasting paddles were restricted to five tasters less than 9%ABV OR two tasters of beer over 9%ABV.

This meant many peoples paddle plans went out the window, which seemed to cause a lot of intial delays and lines. The lines diminished over the session as volunteers got the hang of pouring and punters paddle planning improved.

While enjoying my first paddle, the magic of GABS emerged, when the roving acrobats began performing by the nearby giant jenga set.
While enjoying a Croucher Black Forest Sour, the three acrobats proceeded to stack on top of each other. They then formed a human tunnel which the roving band marched through while playing. It's these surreal moments that make GABS really stand out for me. 

GABS also had plenty of brewery stalls, which came in handy when the festival stands were crowded. So after my first paddle I ventured over to the Mata stand nearby to try their two new festive brews.

Tammy and Gloria had a small crowd at their stand, but still found time to catch up. Mata's Caribbian Queen was back, and tasting deliciously full of coconut and vanilla as it's Beervana release.

Jaffa Junkie Porter (5.5%) was a brand new addition to the Mata line up, and was one of my stand out beers of GABS Auckland.

Tammy explained how she spent hours zesting hundreds of oranges to achieve the massive orange aroma and flavour present in Jaffa Junkie. The base porter is super chocolaty, which is brought out even more with cacao nibs and coconut. 
The overall flavour is incredibly close to the orange lollies, while not being too sweet to have a pint.
I don't even like Jaffa lollies, but I loved this beer.

Jaffa Junkie stood out so much for me, we asked to hold the Wellington launch.

​​​​​​​So if you want to see what all the fuss is about, we'll be tapping Jaffa Junkie at 5pm this Tuesday. We'll even provide Jaffa lollies to compare!

The food stalls at GABS Auckland were varied and of high quality. American BBQ, Chinese Bao, Japanese Temaki, French crepes and more were on offer. However there were only six or seven stalls to feed over two thousand people, so two thirds through the session the wait for food was approaching 45 minutes.

Overall I left GABS Auckland feeling like they captured the essence of what they succesfully achieved in Melbourne and Sydney and will only continue to perfect Auckland in years to come.
Hopefully the liquor licensing authority relaxes next year, after seeing how well behaved everyone was this year. And I'm sure many more food vendors will flock to next year's event after the word gets round.

If you can't make it to Melbourne for GABS next year, I'highly recommend attending GABS Auckland 2017.

Surf Rock Saturday

This Saturday the Vincent Vega Trio are back the lounge, playing their awesome surf rock and funk.

Chris Armour (guitar), Greg Crayford (drums) and Nick Lisette (bass) kick off at 9pm, and will play through to 11.

As usual there is no charge to enjoy the Vincent Vega Trio. But our highly trained staff can recommend some excellent beers to match the surf rock/funk - and perhaps even induce synaesthesia.

New & Coming Soon

If reading about GABS triggered your beer FOMO, we've got you covered with a couple of festival beers on tap this week.

Funk Estate Jungle Boogie was at all three instances of GABS and features in the festival six packs which are making their way around Liquorlands at the moment.

"With blood orange, lemon and passionfruit, embrace the sour fruit. Hazy and slightly pink beer with touch of citrus on the nose and sour on the tongue."

Hallertau's Auckland GABS offering was a re-brew of the orignal recipe Maximus Humulus Lupulus IPA.

This is a beer I have many fond memories of, and would make a huge splash every year it was released.
Since then Maximus has been toned back to 5.8%, and is a completely different beer.

This one took me straight back to 2009, having my taste buds ruined by biterness and loving it.
Look out for it on the NZ IPA tap shortly.

After our planned NRT beer was recalled by the brewery, we decided to tap something special from our Belgian keg stock instead.
Lindemans Pecheresse was tapped, and is still going today. It's certainly not a sour lambic, but is packed to the brim with peach flavour. It's the most fun beer I've tasted all year, and it's only 2.5%!
If you need sourness, don't worry. We've got a keg of Rodenbach Grand Cru on next.

We missed out on To Øl's Releaf Me in the first shipment, so it's great to see it coming on tap this weekend. It sounds like a reminder of summer:
"A bright and refreshing Belgian Blonde Ale,, infused and brewed with the freshest Thai Lime Leaves. Lime aromas on the nose turns to a sweet fruit flavour, counteracted by the dry Nelson Sauvin and bitterness from Citra.

Keep and eye on your HZ app for this one.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

June 16th, 2016

It's Alive! Alive! Alive!

Mikkeller are renowned for their super-geeky series of beers. From single hop IPA series to their many fruited Spontanale series, and even a single yeast series. These experiments make many Mikkeller beers suitable for fun, geeky flights.

As Mikkeller seems incapable of not doing a barrel aged version of any and all of their beers, we've ended up with quite a few different versions of their quite interesing It's Alive!
This Saturday we'll be putting three different versions of this Bretted Belgian Pale Ale in a a fun, geeky flight for you to nerd out with.

The base It's Alive! is based on the legendary Trappist ale, Orval. 
As such, the wild yeast Brettanomyces is added to the beer for bottle conditioning.

Brettanomyces is a lot hungrier than normal beer yeast, so over time it devours the sugars left by lazy ol' saccharomyces and develops the flavour of the beer in the bottle. A farmhouse-y flavour characteristic of brett (that some describe as 'horse blanket') comes out with time. This works great in Belgian pale ales, so as The Flight of The Conchords say "Brett you've got it goin' on."

The It's Alives in our flight are over a year old now, meaning the brett character should be fully developed.

But Brett is a common factor to all three beers in this flight. Barrels are what we'll be comparing this Saturday. We'll have:
  • It's Alive White Wine Barrel Aged
  • It's Alive Grand Marnier Barrel Aged
  • It's Alive Chardonnay Barrel Aged with Mangoes
This Saturday only you can try all three of these beers in a 3x125ml flight for just $20, and taste the difference that various barrels and fruit can make to a bretted pale ale.

The Return of GABS FOMO

This weekend is the third and final showing of the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular, when it hits Auckland for the first time.

If you're not making it up for it, prepare to mute your social media and untappd feeds for a while as thousands enjoy the many beers brewed specifically for GABS.

However once it's all over, the embargoes on serving the GABS beers expires, and we can get our hands on them down in little ol' Welly.

This Tuesday you can begin to cure your GABS FOMO with Beer Baroness' GABS Beer: Madame Buderfly IPL.

Rice is generally frowned upon among beer enthusiasts, tainted by big-lager using it as a cost cutting measure. However it can be used to great effect in certain styles of beer to lighten the body, as Ava has done in Madame Buderfly:

"Madame Bud-erfly is a hoppy strong lager made with rice added to the mash. Rice gives the beer a lightness and a uniquely complex malt balance unlike many lagers.
Combined with a blend of some of NZ's and the USA's most interesting and flavourful hops to give sweet lemon and mandarin flavours with delicate floral notes. The hops combine well to give the beer a thirst quenching bitterness and layered flavour profile."

We're tapping Madame Buderfly IPL at 5pm this Tuesday. First person to make a marijuana joke gets a high five!

New & Coming Soon

If you failed to make it down on Tuesday for Tasi's Staffie Series beer release "Plummy The Elder", there is a wee bit left in the keg for tonight, but it wont last long.
Failing that, if you're lucky this weekend you might even get some of the 10L that was made for handpump which will be showing up soon.

Nelson's Townshend Brewery is back in a big way, with the always-excellent Old House ESB currently on handpump.

Keep an eye on your HZ apps for Cathcart's NTA and No.9 Stout on pump and their new Chain Mail APA & Fresh Hopped Oldham's Tap Pilsner on tap.

Also in bottles is limited stock of the amazing Townshend/Yeastie Boys Wynnes Fall Apple beer. This 8.7% barrel aged mixture of beer and cider manages to taste like neither, and wowed audiences at PBE 2015. We just got two cases in, which will no doubt be the last we see of it!

After a faaaar too long hiatus, Garage Project Venusian Pale Ale is coming back!
If you don't remember, that's the Garage Project beer with all the adjuncts, that end up working amazingly with the base beer. Wait....
VPA substitutes some of the more aromatic hop characters for the actual ingredients: Lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf and grapefruit peel.
There's also a load of hops to reinforce the tropical flavours of this excellent IPA.
Catch it soon on the NZIPA tap.

An old friend from Oregon is returning soon, but be careful because they party hard.
Rogue's 9.5% ABV XS Imperial IPA is back on the import IPA tap soon.
XS IIPA was one of the very first imperial IPAs to be released back in the 90's. You'll be able to taste a little bit of IPA history - but only in small glasses!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 9th, 2016

Tasi's Staffie Brew

Tasi's been with us since almost the beginning, so it's about time she made her staffie brew.

Tasi loves her dark beers, so it's no surprise she formulated a Porter to brew a 100L batch of, down at Te Aro Brewing Company.

As you may have guessed there is a plummy twist with this porter. It has been infused with freeze dried plums post-fermentation to add a more of the delicious dark fruit character that Tasi loves.
She wanted something sessionable, so Plummy The Elder (what a great name!) should be around 5.5%.

The brew day went very smoothly under the supervision of Karl from Te Aro Brewing, who have looked after the beer's fermentation and packaging. We can't do Staffie Brews without the support of awesome local brewers, and we're very grateful for Karl's help.

Tasi will pour the first pint of Plummy The Elder at 5pm this Tuesday, come along and show your support!

All The Jazz!

The Wellington Jazz festival kicked off this week, and once again we've tripled our musical offerings to mark the occasion.

We've got three gigs this week, all starting at the slightly later time of 10pm so you have time to make it in after any earlier gigs.

We kick off at 10pm tonight with the Reuben Bradley Quartet feat. Roger Manins:
"Tui Award winning jazz drummer Reuben Bradley presents a selection of hits from his three acclaimed albums - Resonator (Jazz Album of the Year 2011), Mantis (runner up Jazz Album of the Year 2013) and his latest release Cthulhu Rising (2015).
From beats to the avant-garde, swing to electronica, Roger Manins (Tenor Sax), Matt Steele (Keys) and Nick Tipping (Bass) will travel the depths of time and space to bring you jazz like you've never had before.

Tomorrow night we have JB3 bringing the Soul, Jazz and Funk with Jake Baxendale, Chris Yeabsley and Cory Champion.

Then on Saturday the legendary Darren Watson debuts his new band 'Darren Watson & The Dangerous Experts.' Featuring Rick Cranson - drums, Steve Moodie - bass and Dayle Raymond Jellyman on the keys.
This is the first gig the Dangerous experts have played, so it is sure to pack out. Make sure you arrive early to stake out your spot in the lounge with a couple of beers.

All of these gigs are free of charge and start at 10pm. To summarise:
Tonight, 10pm: Reuben Bradley Quartet feat. Roger Manins
Tomorrow, 10pm: JB3
Saturday, 10pm: Darren Watson & The Dangerous Experts.

New & Coming Soon

Some great stuff is coming up on tap soon.

From our stash of Belgian kegs we'll be tapping Lindemans Faro Lambic. Faro is Lindemans' geuze which as been slighly sweetened to offset the acidity and make it more widely appealing. All the funk with less heartburn!

Last week we tapped a keg of Beer Baroness' Modern Times Collab Rye-ot Grrrrl IPA.

The keg evaporated so quickly we've got another one lined up for the weekend.
Also tapped tonight will be To Ol Gose To Hollywood, their orange gose. I'm pretty excited about having this one on tap as it easily won crowd favourite at our To Ol tasting over imperial stouts and barrel aged beers.

If you missed out on a ticket to Saturday's SOBA Winter Ale Festival, we've got a couple of WAF beers coming. On tap now is Twisted Hop Nokabollokov Stout 2014, and on tap tomorrow is 8 Wired's new Palate Trip Sour IPA.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2nd, 2016

Stock Up for the Long Weekend

Are you prepared for the upcoming long weekend? Beer Without Borders' warehouse sale of beer is usually reserved for the festive season, but they've decided to put on a Queens Birthday weekend special edition so you can be ready for long weekend revels.

Between 3pm and 6pm tomorrow they'll be swinging open the Coolstore doors offering all kinds of awesome beer deals on mixed cases, full cases, cellar specials, vintage deals and brewery glassware. You can even pick up empty one-way keg shells to use as planters or bins.
Handily, there'll be a food truck present, with Eat Street catering for you if you need a late lunch while you shop.

Beer Without Borders are announcing tomorrows deals over on the event page, where you can learn more about what's available.
Borderstop starts at 3pm tomorrow, down at the BwB Warehouse on Abel Smith St.

It's Business Time

Next Tuesday's NRT comes from the latest shipment from Oregon.

In the biggest clash between Britain and America since Parliament spent 3 hours mocking Donald Trump, Gigantic The Business takes the best English malts and throws a heap of bright American hops at them.
Apparently it's so good you'll be saying it's "the business".

We're tapping The Business for the first time at 5pm this Tuesday.

Learn to Count Next Wednesday

It's less than a week now 'till our new shipment tasting featuring Rogue's new IPA series and some exciting new arrivals from Gigantic.
If you're wondering what we'll be tasting, here's the full list:
  • Rogue 4 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 6 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 7 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 8 Hop IPA
  • Rogue 19 Colonies mead
  • Gigantic The Business Pale Ale
  • Gigantic /Magic Rock Holy Oak Boubon Sour
  • Gigantic MASSIVE! barley wine.
The tasting happens at 6pm next Wednesday (the 8th of June), and will only set you back $40.
You can book you place at cultbeerstore now, or over the bar next time you're in.

New & Coming Soon

New beers from near and far are gracing our taps and fridges this weekend.

New in the fridge we have Rogue's 4 Hop & 7 Hop IPAs in 355ml bottles, and fresh Pelican Umbrella IPA in 355ml bottles.

Coming very soon on tap we have a couple of new beers out of Christchurch.
Pomeroys & Three Boys got together to brew an IPA tribute to the lesser known (or even vilified) hop varieties of Green Bullet and Super Alpha (now known as Dr. Rudi).
The brewers say "Its aroma is a blend of ripe melon and damp moss, full on hop flavour and bitter finish."
A couple of months ago Modern Times head brewer Matt Walsh popped down to Christchurch and whipped up a collaboration with Beer Baroness. Rye-ot Grrrl is a rich 6.4% IPA with plenty of bite to offset the rye richness. Look out for them coming on tap with our app or website.