Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28th, 2016

Fruit(lands) Salad

The latest BwB shipment hit right in the middle of when Modern Times change the seasonal fruit in their Fruitlands Gose. This means we were able to obtain two versions of the deliciously salty fruit sour.

If you were at our last tasting, you've already had the pleaure of tasting Fruitlands Apricot and Fruitlands Passion Guava side-by-side. The two beers won the tasting (Apricot 1st, Pasion Guava 2nd) so we thought we'd share the experience with everyone this Saturday with a side-by-side bottle pour.

This Saturday from midday we're pouring both the Apricot and Passion Guava versions side-by-side so you can pick your fave.

We'll be pouring 150ml TeKus of each from midday this Saturday, for just $10.

La Sirene Live

Dubbed "possibly the tasting of the year" by a mr @Greasylightbulb, you'd do well to book in for next Wednesday's La Sirene tasting.

Eight La sirene beers will be tasted (pictured right), and you'll be guided by La Sirene founder Costa Nikias joining us live via skype.

Attendees of our previous live-via-skype tastings (Modern Times and Gigantic) will know that this works surprisingly well with punters able to ask questions of the brewer just like they're in the room, all thanks to our experienced IT department.

It's $45 for a spot in the tasting, which includes La Sirene's legendary Praline, and new Imperial Praline beers. You can book over the bar or on

If you don't have the time to spare for the full tasting, we'll also be offering a $20 flight of the four La Sirene beers on tap: Belle French, Botanique, Praline and Biere Henri.
That's next Wednesday only though, so see you there!

NRT: Speakeasy/Brothers Contraband IPA

Back in 2014 Brandon Nash of Speakeasy Brewing (San Francisco) visited NZ, and brewed a collaboration IPA with Brothers Beer: Northern Hemisphere Contraband IPA.
This was a West-Coast style IPA brewed in NZ with all US hops.

Earlier this year, a contingent from Brother Beer headed to San Francisco and returned the favour by brewing Southern Hemisphere Contraband IPA over there.

We managed to secure some of this very interntaional brew in the latest BwB shipment, so this Tuesday we're tapping Southern Hemisphere Contraband IPA for the first time.

Southern Hemisphere Contraband IPA switches up the formula, with the beer being brewed in the US but using only NZ grown hops.

"Made in collaboration with Brothers Beer in New Zealand, Contraband IPA was created using all Southern Hemisphere hops. Pacific Gem and Nelson [Sauvin] were utilized in the boil, then the beer was dry hopped with Wai-iti.
The beer is full of tropical and citrus fruit flavors: lime, lemon, and mandarin orange.
While Contraband IPA is focused on the hops, the malt bill provides a solid backbone of biscuit and caramel flavors."

It's always interesting to see how NZ hops are utilised by US brewers, and the reviews from the states are glowing so far.

We tap Southern Hemisphere Contraband IPA at 5pm this Tuesday, see you there.

Two Weeks To Go

What?! Beervana is just over two weeks away!

Which means our programme of events is less than two weeks away. It's going to be a busy week, so here's what we've got:

Tuesday August 9th: Beyond Barley Beer & Spirits Tasting with Spiritus
Wednesday August 10th: Love Me A Lager with Tiamana
Thursday August 11th: Litmus Fest Sour Tap Takeover
Friday August 12th: 8 Wired Blackout Imperial Stout Takeover

The first three events require bookings, so make sure you lock in your place.

Some Beers You Can Drink Now, or Maybe Later

If there were a Trappist brewery in San Francisco I'd imagine their Quadrupel would taste something like Almanac's Paris of the West Quad.

At 9.5% it's not a starter beer by any means. But it's rich raisiny malt (backed up by actual raisins) works beautifully with the hint of orange. It's all beautifully balanced. If you just want  nip we're serving it up in 200ml Teku or otherwise there's the/ 300ml fancy glass.

I asked Ava what makes Queen About Town a "Winter IPA", thinking there might be a wintery adjunct added.
Thankfully not, she's just amplified the malt character in this NZ hopped IPA to give it a richer base than your usual super-pale west coast style IPA.
It's hopped with Waimea, Brooklyn Moutere, Rakau and Green Bullet.

These four come together very nicely in this very satisfying IPA.

It's Modern Times Blazing World IPA, on tap.
You know it's good, you know it's fresh (kegged mid June), you know you want it.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 21st, 2016

La Sirène, Le Retour

La Sirene stand out from every other Australian brewer, not just because they consistently make some of the best beer in the country - but also their focus on Belgian farmhouse style beers.

We found this out first hand last year when a small shipment came across the ditch for PBE. Since then BwB has been working on second -and it is just days away from arrival.

To give La Sirene the welcome it deserves, we're holding a simultaneous tap takeover and tasting on Wednesday August 3rd.

The best part of it all is: La Sirene Founder Costa Nikias will be joining live via skype to take us through his range of beers!
Costa will take us through these eight beers from his lineup:

Saisonette: "A tribute to the original Saison producers in the Wallonia region of Southern Belgium.
Saisonette is a low alcohol (3.8%) rustic Saison, produced in a true to style manner.

Belle French Ale: "A French farmhouse style table beer for all occassions."

Saison: "La Sirène Saison is a beer that is special to our hearts and is a tribute to the style born in the Wallonia region of Southern Belgium, where these Farmhouse styles were brewed to quench the thirst of field workers."

Farmhouse Red: "La Sirène Farmhouse Red is a rustic style Red Ale brewed using age old Flemish brewing techniques.
5 different Belgian specialty malts were used to brew this recipe along with fresh rose buds, hibiscus & dandelions to provide for a provincial farmhouse style Belgian ale experience."

Botanique (winter): "Our current Winter Botanique incorporates in-season mandarin peel with fresh white whole peppercorns infused into a Saison base beer.
The beer has fresh mandarin citrus aromas that meld wonderfully with our yeast driven characters, and warms with the slight heat & spice of the freshly cracked white pepper. "

Praline: "A very special Belgian chocolate ale. Building on a Belgian stout base, it is brewed with organic vanilla pods, cacao nibs from Mexico and hazelnuts and with a creamy body, it is velvety, dark and seductive."
  • (GABS) Festival Mx People's Choice Award Winner 2014
  • The Local Taphouse Australia's Hottest 100 Beers 2014: #5
Biere Henri: "Bière Henri pays homage to a French flavour invention that revolutionised the the pastry world. Complementary desert flavours with prominent spices to deliver a rounded experience."

Imperial Praline: "The evolution of our renowned and beloved Praline. With it’s own grain bill and the proliferation of cacao, hand scraped vanilla and hazelnut."

very limited quantity of imperial Praline is coming into NZ. So little in fact, that this beer won't be released for sale. Your only chance to try this beer will be at tastings like this!

Tickets to the tasting are just $45, and are available now over the bar or on

If you're keen for a La Sirene fix, but can't make it to the Wednesday tasting - never fear!

On the night of the tasting we'll have four La Sirene beers on tap for the tasting:
  • Belle French Ale
  • Botanique
  • Praline
  • Biere Henri
So naturally we'll also be offering a $20 tasting flight of each of these beers from midday on Wednesday the 3rd.
Meaning if you're short on time you can still get a taste of Aussies best farmhouse brewer.

Live in the Lounge: Tawhiri Funk

This Saturday's live music act is new to HZ, but contains a fimilar face.

Tawhiri Funk is a new band, and contains Uncle Silverback of Rhino-Boogie fame.

From 9pm this Saturday come on down and enjoy their super-heavy, super-tight, super-hype live funk, jazz and hip hop. There'll be original compositions, funky reworkings and free improvised future funk.

Tawhiri funk are: Thomas Friggins - Drums & Samples, Lorenzo Pradel - Alto Sax-Raps, Rainbow Warrior - Tenor Sax, Uncle Silverback - Bass Trombone-Turntablism & Ayrton Foote - Organ Fonk.

NRT: Te Aro Oatmeal Stout

Our next New Release Tuesday is a wintry Oatmeal Stout from Te Aro Brewing Co.

Head brewer Karl made the gutsy call to use 25% oats - increasing the chance of a tough brewday but also upping the thick texture that oats provide to a stout.

We're looking forward to seeing how a beer that is one quarter oats tastes when we tap this 5.1% brew on Tuesday at 5pm.

RTB Simplified

Now that you've had a chance to digest last week's info dump regarding our Road to Beervana events, you can purchase tickets to your selected events over on our special RTB Cultbeerstore page.
You may notice one event there which wasn't mentioned last week: A screening of the movie PDX: Brew City at Lighthouse Cinema Cuba.

This one's being put on by Beer Without Borders, but $30 gets you entry to the film, a glass of Gigantic Brewing Co. Beer and a Yakitori Skewer from "Kushi" (AKA the transformed Grill Meats Beer Yakitori / Baird Brewing Bar as a part of Road to Beervana).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14th, 2016

Fresh 'n Fruity Wednesday

Tickets are still available for our next new shipment tasting, featuring brand new beers from Modern Times, and super fresh IPA's from Speakeasy.

We'll be tasting:
  • Maui Pineapple Mana Wheat
  • Modern Times Fruitlands Passion Guava GoseApricot Gose
  • Modern Times Oneida Pale Ale
  • Modern Times City of the Dead Foreign Extra Stout
  • Speakeasy Vendetta IPA
  • Speakeasy Double Daddy IIPA
Remember, it's just $40 to try all seven of these beers - book your spot on or over the bar. What else are ya gonna do on a Wednesday night?

Bourbon Beer - Balance or Brutality?

Speakeasy Bourbon BA Scarface (9.5%) and Gigantic MOST Most Premium (11.5%) are both bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, but take vastly different approaches to the style.

Speakeasy Scarface was back-blended with a non-barrel aged version, to find a balance between the beer and bourbon.
While Gigatnic MOST Most Premium is the pure  unadulterated, in your face bourbon barrel aged beer.

To compare the two approaches to this extreme style of beer, this Saturday from midday we'll be doing 100ml bottle pours of both of these big bourbony beasts side-by-side for $12.

These usually come at $45 per bottle, so this is a great way to experience the marriage of bourbon and beer.

On-ee-da? Won-ee-dah? Oh-nye-dah?

The chilled container with the next US West Coast shipment is currently on the final leg of its journey, from Auckland to Wellington.

This means we're definitely on for next week's New Release Tuesday: Modern Times Oneida 2016.

This year's Oneida has come down in ABV to 5.2%, putting it squarely in the easy drinking pale ale category:
"Oneida is Hallertau Blanc-centric. The bright tropical fruit and lemongrass notes give it an uber-pungent aroma, with the grapefruity citrus of Cascade providing a touch of balance.
We've also added experimental hop variety 05256 to the mix, adding a nice hop complexity while keeping it a drinkable pale ale.

While more aggressively bitter than Fortunate Islands, Oneida still has a light body and moderate ABV."

Come on down this Tuesday from 5pm to taste Oneida as fresh as possible! Bonus marks to anyone who knows how "Oneida" is correctly pronounced.

Hashigo Zake's Road to Beervana

I teased last week, but this week you get the motherload of Road To Beervana info.

Before we get too deep into the details, here is a quick TL;DR summation of our event lineup for the week:
  • Tuesday Aug 9th, 5pm: NRT; Staffie Series - "Nobody Likes a Buzzkill" Sour Honey Stout
  • Tuesday Aug 9th, 6pm: Beyond Barley, Beer & Spirit tasting with Spiritus
  • Wednesday Aug 10th: Love Me a Lager, lager tasting with Tiamana
  • Thursday Aug 11th: Litmus Fest, sour tap tap takeover
  • Friday Aug 12th: 8 Wired Blackout, 4 x 8 wired imperial stouts on tap.
Now for all the details.

The HZ staff all piled in for this special NRT for RTB: Nobody Likes a Buzzkill.

Rory, Tory, Jonny, Mathias and Tristan all piled in to Wild & Woolly brewery and made  just 20L of this sour honey stout.

Yup, Nobody Likes a Buzzkill is a sour honey stout. The team put together a stout recipe, added sediment harvested from Almanac Mandarina Sour and threw in some honey from Tristan's own beehives.
It's still developing, so we'll have more details about the beer closer to the 9th.

What: Road To Beervana - Beer & Spirit Matching with Spritus
When: Tuesday August 9th, 6pm - 8.30pm
Where: Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington
How Much: $55
Why does barley always steal the show? We give other grains other than barley the spotlight with Hashigo Zake beers matched to Spiritus spirits made with rye, oat, wheat and more.
Spiritus' range features spirits from small US producers like Koval, Few and Mississippi River Distilling. These distillers create small batches of more adventurous spirits, sometimes using non-standard ingredients.
Jonny from Hashigo Zake and Maria from Spiritus will take you through six beers and six spirits, with a few snacks to keep the stomach lined.

Full beer and spirit lineup will be announced on the event page soon.

Book over the bar or on

What: Road To Beervana - Lager Tasting with Tiamana
When: Wednesday August 10th, 6pm-8.30pm
Where: Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington
How Much: $45
Tiamana brewer Annika Naschitzki will take you through the breadth and depth of lager styles, including three beers made specially for the tasting!
Annika has brewed a simple base beer and split it into three 20 litre batches, which were then each fermented with a different lager yeast. 
These three lagers will be tasted side-by-side to really analyse the difference various lager yeasts make.

Annika will also take you through some lesser known lager styles, like Doppelbock, India Pale Lager, and Baltic Porter.

Eight beers will be tasted, along with delicious snacks from Annika's homeland of Germany.

the full lineup will be announced on the event page once Annika's back from Germany.

But you can book now over the bar or on

What: Seriously Sour Tap Takeover
When: Thursday August 11th, 12pm-8pm
Where: Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington
How Much: $60
Litmus Fest is your chance to melt your teeth and dissolve your stomach lining.
Your ticket entitles your to one each of five serious sour beers on tap, and rolling hourly bottle pours of sours from the naughty fridge between 4pm and 8pm.

We're not talking kettle sours, or just 'tart' beers here. We're talking seriously sour, and on tap.
You'll be given a set of five tokens on arrival, each of which you can exchange for their corresponding sour beer.

On tap we'll have beers from Belgium's Bacchus and Liefmans, Almanac from San Francisco and a new sour from our very own 8 Wired.

Between 4pm and 8pm on the hour we'll also be pouring samples of some of the more serious sours from our 'naughty fridge' for Litmus Fest participants to enjoy.
Don't worry, the Gaviscon® is on us.

There's limited beer available, so book now to secure your tokens to Litmus fest.
Book over the bar or on

What: Four MASSIVE 8 Wired Imperial Stouts on tap
When: Friday August 11th, 12pm - late
Where: Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington
How Much: $20 for a glass of each, over the bar

On the Friday of Beervana, grab a tasting flight of four MASSIVE stouts from 8 Wired.

On tap we'll have Ice Distilled Bumaye (30%-ish ABV), a new Barrel Aged version of batch #2 Bumaye (16%-ish ABV), Barrel Aged Batch 2.18 (11% ABV) & 2014 Vintage iStout (10.5% ABV) from our cellar.

These stouts start at 10.5% and only go up from there, so prepare for some HUGE flavours.

For just $20 you can grab a multi-trip ticket for a glass of each of these impressive beers.
Obviously with the strength of these beers, the size of these glasses will vary from small to very small!

On Tap & Coming Soon

The second and final keg of Tasi's Staffie Brew Plummy the Elder Plum Porter is on tap now.

Somehow, a few weeks in the keg has caused the plum aromas and flavours to really amp up.
This'll be your last chance to taste Tasi's handiwork.

ParrotDog recently started to re-brand their plethora of IPA recipes under one label: The Flora Series.
So far Riwaka Secret has become Flora: Kowhai IIPA and BloodyDingo has become Flora: Rata Imperial Red IPA.
They're releasing Flora beers mainly in their now 500ml bottle, but we've managed to grab a keg of Rata which should come on tonight.

Also, check out ParrotDog's hilarious equity crowdfunding announcement 'press conference'.

Once this keg of Croucher Black Forest Sour goes (which is an amazing sour beer in its own right), we'll be tapping a keg of legit Belgian Lambic: Lindemans Gueuze.

We even serve it in pints, so keep an eye out on for this one coming on soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 7th, 2016

New Zeelandt

Zeelandt Brewery hasn't been seen in these parts very often, especially on tap.
Since the brewery opened in 2012 they've been focusing on the local market and upper North Island.
That's about to change this Tuesday, when we tap our first keg from Zeelandt: Negra Royale.

Negra Royale (6.1%) is a blend of two Zeelandt beers: their Schwarzbier and London Porter. This blend has then been aged in a tempranillo barrel for 12 months.
A secondary fermentation has occurred in barrel giving this dark ale a slightly sour acidic kick.

I've never tried Tempranillo barrel aged beer before, so it'll be interesting to see how the barrel comes through - and what the barrel flora has done to the beer.

We're tapping Negra Royale at 5pm this Tuesday, apparently only two kegs are coming to Wellington - so don't miss out!

    Fresh 'n Fruity 'n Hoppy

    A new BwB shipment from the west coast of the US is on its way - that means brand new beers to try!

    This next shipment focuses on San Diego and San Francisco breweries Modern Times and Speakeasy (plus a bit of Maui), so on Wednesday the 20th from 6pm we'll be tasting seven new beers from both.

    These new beers seem to either be fruit-focused or hop-focused, so we'll start off with the fruit and end on some big hops!

    We've managed to secure two versions of Modern Times' sensational seasonal Gose 'Fruitlands' - which we'll be tasting side-by-side to compare the two; Apricot & Passionfruit Guava.

    We'll be tasting:
    • Maui Pineapple Mana Wheat
    • Modern Times Fruitlands Passion Guava GoseApricot Gose
    • Modern Times Oneida Pale Ale
    • Modern Times City of the Dead Foreign Extra Stout
    • Speakeasy Vendetta IPA
    • Speakeasy Double Daddy IIPA
    Even better, it's just $40 to try all seven of these beers - book your spot on or over the bar!

    The Death Ho's Return

    Reuben Bradley and his Death Ho's are back in the HZ lounge this Saturday.

    They're playing "Jazz Metal", which involves taking the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies, stretching it apart & improvising.

    The Death Ho's feature Daniel Hayles on Keys, Nick Tipping on Bass and Reuben Bradley on Drums.

    The Jazz Metal kicks off from 9pm this Saturday, and won't cost you a thing. As always!

    The Road to The Road To Beervana

    It's hard to believe, but there's just one month left before the biggest week in Wellington beer.
    A group of volunteers from Craft Beer Capital, various Welly beer bars and Beervana have been busy putting together the series of beery events known as Road To Beervana, for the third year running.

    It's looking like the biggest RTB yet, with 50+ beer focused events over the week. Apparently there's even a venue in Christchurch getting into it this year.

    We've got four events lined up for the Road To Beervana. We can't give out too many details at the moment, but we have one event a day from Tuesday through Friday. Three of the four are collaborations (with Tiamana, 8 Wired and Spiritus), while the fourth will feature a few hardcore sour beers on our taps....

    Keep an eye out for event announcements on The Road To Beervana's website, Twitter and Facebook so you can book as soon as event go live. Our events have limited places and are likely to sell out!