Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25th, 2016

Craftwork Saison Showdown

It's rare to get kegs out of a brewery as small as Oamaru's Craftwork.
When brewing at their 100L scale, a single 20L keg represents 1/5 of an entire batch, or 40 individual bottles they could get out to consumers.

So we are honoured to be pouring two kegs from Craftwork this Saturday, side-by-side.

From midday this Saturday we'll be pouring Saison Zest (saison with orange zest) and Saison Anise (saison with star anise).

Saison Zest comes across as a traditional saison - refreshingly dry with with bright zesty notes. Saison Anise is interesting as the more floral, spicey aspects of star anise come through, rather than a licoricey flavour.

Saturday only we'll be offering up 200ml pours of both these beautiful beers side-by-side in equally beautiful TeKu glassware for just $12.

Oishi Jibiru for NRT

This week we say konnichiwa to a new shipment from Baird Brewing in Numazu, Japan.
Among old favourites like Rising Sun Pale Ale and Suruga Bay IPA is one new seasonal keg: Baird Pacific Porter (8%).

Pacific Porter isn't your average porter however, it is the rare breed of Baltic Porter - a strong porter made with a lager yeast.

Brewer Bryan Baird says it best himself:

"This is the Baird Beer Pacific ocean version of a classic Baltic Porter (a strong dark beer fermented with Lager yeast whose historical roots are in the Baltic sea region countries). Caramel and roasted malts contribute to a body that is chewy but not thick and to a flavor that is sweet but also subtle and smooth.

Baltic Porter is a style that largely had been forgotten until the craft beer renaissance got underway in the 1980s.
We are doing our part to keep this fascinating style alive and relevant today."

We tap Baird Pacific Porter at 5pm this Tuesday, and keep an eye out for other Baird staples hitting the taps like Rising Sun Pale Ale, Teikoku IPA and Suruga Bay IIPA. Kanpai!

Portland Pours Persevere

The Beervana fallout continues, with this weekend looking like it'll be a mini Portland tap-takeover.

Currently on our IPA tap we have the 8% collaboration IIPA between Ecliptic & Worthy: Hopservatory Tropical IIPA. The tropical bit comes from added Mango.

Following the hopservatory keg is HUB Gear UP IPA, and due next on the taps next to it is Eclipctic Capella Porter and Zenith Grapefruit Gose.

So very shortly we'll have three taps with exciting Portland brews pouring, for you to enjoy.

Fresh in the Fridge

Te Aro Brewing's barrel aging programme is small, with only a single barrel being made of each beer. But what little beer does come out of their small stock of barrels is something to behold.

We've had the pleasure of hosting their BA beers on tap, so it's exciting to now stock them in 330ml bottles. We have:
  • Rhubarb Berliner Weisse (3.5%) - $10
  • Boysenberry Saison (6%) - $10
  • Uncle Tom's Bourbon BA Imperial Stout (10.5%) - $16
  • Pinot BA Imperial Chocolate Stout (12%) - $16
After the article broke today detailing Townshend's disastrous dealings with contract brewing it is fitting that we have added a new vintage of their amazing Flemish Stout to the fridge this week.

The 2015 Vintage of Flemish stout comes in at 9%ABV, up from 7.5%. This vintage is a blend of stout aged in oak barrels for 18 months with the Roeselare blend of yeast & bacteria, and a fresh brew of stout. This attains the perfect balance of tart acidity and roasty richness.

The 2015 vintage of Flemish Stout comes in 500ml bottles (down from the 750ml), meaning it comes in at the split-a-bottle-with-a-friend price of $20 per bottle.

Expect to see Townshend on our handpumps too, with no.9 Stout on now and the classic Old House ESB up next.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 18th, 2016

A Hangover To Enjoy

Woah, that was some Beervana!

Hopefully everyone has recovered from last week's huge week of all things beer. Down here at Hashigo we still have a hangover of a good kind - in the form of leftover beer.

We've managed to get our hands on the leftovers from the much hyped Oregon bar. And hyped for good reason, as we've got beers coming soon from Crux, HUB, Ecliptic and Base Camp.

I visited Crux and HUB on my trip to Oregon, and rated them near the top of all the breweries we visited (it's hard to compete with Cascade and Upright). Crux does amazing mixed fermentation and barrel aged beers, while HUB nails IPAs and classic styles in a big way.

We've got enough goodies to run a 'Best of Oregon' tap for the next wee while, which you can expect to see things like:
- Base Camp Bretta Livin' Apricot (on now)
- Crux Freak Cake Sour
- Crux Flanders Red
- Ecliptic Ultraviolet Blackberry Sour
- Ecliptic Zenith grapefruit gose
- HUB Noggin Floggin'

There's also a fair few IPA kegs from these brewers which will be hitting our import IPA tap soon.

So keep an eye on our apps, website and social media to keep up with what's pouring from Oregon.

NRT From the Steampunk Capital

Craftwork is a tiny brewery down in Oamaru, producing some of the best Belgian style ales in NZ on a 100L brewery.

This tiny size means the majority of their beer is bottled to reach the widest audience possible. But thanks to a certain beer festival we've managed to acquire a rare Craftwork keg, and it's a goodie.

Craftwork brewers Michael O'Brien and Lee-Ann Scotti teamed up with Kerry Gray of Choice Bros to create Autobarn - a strong (9%) Grisette, aged in a Waitaki Valley Gewurztraminer barrel with the 'Dirty Dozen' brettanomyces blend.

"Kerry Gray from Choice Bros came up with an idea for a collaborative beer. He offered us the full blown farmyard of wild yeasts, called the Dirty Dozen.
We poured it into a freshly emptied Waitaki Valley Gewurztraminer barrel, for the secondary fermentation. On top of that we added a strong version of our Grisette farmhouse ale. Then we let it alone for ten months, to fight it out.

More funk than sour, this beer shows off all the farmyard character of a rustic Belgian Saison, done in an American way.

Strong and yet refreshing, dry, yet surprisingly sweet, with a hint of vanilla oak.
Music match to Kraftwerk's Autobahn. As they say in Belgium, Choice Bro! ?"

We tap our only 20L keg of Autobarn at 5pm Tuesday!

Live in the Lounge: Carlos Navae Latin Funk

Carlos Navae is back, funking up the lounge with his band from 9pm this Saturday.

Carlos always gets everyone out of their seats and having a great time.

As usual Carlos comes to you free of charge, with no door fee.

Reality Check: ANZ 'Craft Beer' Report

Our proprieter and dear leader Dominic has been back at blogging after nearly a year on hiatus.

Prompting his return to public writing was the recent release of ANZ's Craft Beer Industy Insights report for 2016.

This report came up with some headline-friendly conclusions, but are they realistic?

Dominic went through the report, and wrote up a great analysis which you can read here.

PBE 2016: Tickets Available Now!

The next major beer festival in Wellington is our very own Pacific Beer Expo!

Planning is in full swing for this year's event, once again at the beautiful waterfront venue(s) of the Boatshed/Rowing Club.
PBE 2016 occurs on the Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend, Oct 22nd & 23rd. Monday is a public holiday so don't worry about booking the Sunday session!

Tickets are just $50 and include a beautiful branded TeKu glass (that is actually made of glass!), some beer tokens to get you going and a couple of food tokens so we're all being responsible.

This year's beer line up is still being finalised, but has already had a huge response from local brewers offering up special festive brews. And BwB are of course organising some exciting beers from across the pacific.

We'll be announcing more beer details right here as they become available, and you can also keep an eye on the Facebook page for up-to-date info.

But for now, lock in your ticket! Book here soon, the Saturday session is looking like a guaranteed sell-out so don't delay!

August 12th, 2016

Unplanned Bathroom Renovations

You may have heard we had some drama at the bar last Friday night.

Don't worry; we're still open for business for this crazy Beervana week! Albeit with a slightly altered toilet arrangement.

At around 11pm on Friday Night our staff began to smell smoke. This is usually a sign that someone has forgotten about a garlic bread in the oven. This time however, the smoky smell was coming from the male toilets.

Upon opening the toilet door our staff were greeted by a wall of thick, black smoke.
The fire had clearly progressed beyond a fire extinguisher’s capabilities, a quick evacuation ensued and the fire brigade were called to combat fire.

Thankfully our amazing fire fighters are situated just up the road, and turned up quickly to put the fire out.

After the carbon monoxide had cleared we were allowed back in, to survey the damage and give statements to police.
The fire investigator found that the fire was deliberately started, by setting a paper towel dispenser alight. Paper towel dispensers don't just spontaneously combust, meaning this potentially life-threatening fire was a malicious act of arson.

As you can see on the left, the male toilets are well and truly out of commission until a full rebuild is carried out. However we are lucky to have enough other toilets in the bar to continue trading. So when you visit this week you'll notice we now have three all-gender toilets.

Please bear with us as we rebuild from this act of vandalism, and we'll have things back to normal as soon as possible.

We also invite anyone with insight into who might have been in or near Hashigo Zake and behaving suspiciously at around 11pm on August 5th to either get in touch with us or call the Police and mention file 160806/5526.

Even Light Can Not Escape 8 Wired

Today is the 8 Wired Blackout, and we now have available four of 8 Wired's most MASSIVE Imperial Stouts.

- 8 Wired iStout 2014 Vintage (10%, 300ml)
- 8 Wired Batch 2.18 Oak Aged Imperial Stout (12%, 200ml)
- 8 Wired Bumaye Imperial Stout Aged in Pinot Noir Barrels (16%, 100ml)

8 Wired Ice Distilled Bumaye (30%, 50ml)

All four of these stouts are available today, and you can try all of them in a four-trip-ticket style flight for just $20.

Ice Distilled Bumaye is the final form of Soren's freeze distillation project. We've seen ice distilled bumaye in its initial 16% form, then 22% a year later, 27% a year after that and now we've reached 30%.

What a beer tastes like after such a treatment will be something to behold, and limited to a lucky few. We've only got a limited amount of this massive beer, which is likely to only be available today so make sure to visit at some stage.

And of course all four stouts will be available on their own if you're just keen on one or two.

Live in the Lounge: Vincent Vega Trio

We've organised a special band outside of our bi-weekly special this Saturday to keep the Beervana energy flowing even after the final session.

Vincent Vega Trio will be performing in the lounge from 10pm this Saturday, continuing on till midnight.

Post-beervana patrons will be treated to a hot blend of surf, funk, soul and blues by Chris Armour - guitar, Greg Crayford - drums and Nick Lissette - bass.

There's no charge for this added entertainment, and we'll likely have some of the delicious blackout/litmus fest leftovers still pouring.

NRT: Beervana Mystery Special

With the insanely packed week of beer that is Beervana week, inevitably comes a lull following. As such, we haven't locked in a rock-star beer for next week's New Release Tuesday.

However, another inevitability following Beervana is a glut of amazing kegs left over from the festival.

We've spied a few pallets of pretty amazing looking US brews chilling out down at the BwB coolstore waiting for this weekend. So on Sunday morning we'll be looking to acquire our favourites from the festival to bring to you over the coming weeks - starting Tuesday.

Keep an eye on our social media for updates on what we've got coming.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August 4th, 2016

Garage Project 24/24 Style

The last BwB shipment had a stowaway on board - in the form of Garage Project's collaboration with Stone & Coedo.

Tsuyu Saison was brought over speically for Garage Project's upcoming Wellington On A Plate events - but a spare keg was reserved to launch this special beer this Friday at Hashigo Zake.

Tsuyu Saison 
was brewed at Coedo in Japan with Japanese ume (plums) and red perilla.
Perilla is a herb of the mint family, often used to give pickled ume their pink hue.

This 9% ABV saison was hopped with American Jarrylo and New Zealand Motueka hops and aged in NZ Chardonnay barrels to complete the triad of countries.
They made a short video documenting the brew day.

Tsuyu has had a fairly long journey getting here. Brewed in Japan, then cold shipped to the US, where it joined the BwB shipment to be cool shipped to NZ. This round about journey had added a significant cost to an already pricy beer, so don't expect a cheap pint tomorrow! In fact, to ration the beer we'll only be serving 200ml TeKu glasses of Tsuyu.

This will be just like an old Garage 24/24 release, with only 20L of the beer available from 5pm. We expect this one to run out fairly quickly even with the rationing - so make sure you get down close to 5pm tomorrow!

Everybody Likes a Sour Honey Stout

Our NRT for Beervana week had to be a special one, and what better beer to launch than one brewed by our very own bar staff: Nobody Likes a Buzzkill.

The crew came up with a recipe for a fairly standard style: Sour Honey Stout.

Having tried some of Rory's more experimental homebrews, I'm confident that Buzzkill will have a good balance between the funky culture harvested from Almanac Mandarina Sour, honey from Tristan's own beehives and roasty malt.

They only brewed 20L of this trend-setting beer, so it's likely to run out on Tuesday. So make sure you pop in to try it before any other RTB events you might have!

We're tapping Nobody Likes a Buzzkill at 5pm this Tuesday, a rare opportunity to be served by the brewers themselves.

Live in the Lounge: Black Spider Stomp

Saturday's live music act comes from Black Spider Stomp this week.

Sam Thurston, Scott Maynard and Adrian Jensen will be playing awesome good-time Gypsy Jazz Fusion from 9pm this Saturday.

All of this musical talent comes to you free of charge, as always!

It's Next Week!

One thing we've learned on the road to The Road To Beervana is that people prefer drop-in events rather than formal sit-down tastings.

To that end, we've sadly had to cancel next week's Beer & Spirits Tasting with Spiritus due to lack of interest. However we are planning on holding this tasting in the future, when there aren't 50 other events competing with it!

We've also had to cancel the sit down tasting component of Love me a Lager with Tiamana, but the good news is that the three Lagers brewed for the event will still be available as a flight of three next Wednesday.

Annika fermented the same wort with three different lager yeasts - Czech, Danish & California. We'll serve up all three side-by-side next Weds so you can pop in any time and discover the flavours different lager yeasts bring to a beer.

Annika will be there to discuss the subtleties of lager yeast as well.

Litmus Fest is still on track, with all five kegs in the house and ready for next Thursday.

The same goes for next Friday's 8 Wired Blackout, with kegs of BA Bumaye, Batch 2.18 and 2014 vintage iStout arrived. While the precious ice distilled Bumaye is being brought down by hand in the brewers luggage.

Real Nice Beer. On Tap Now. Or soon.

ParrotDog's newly rebranded Pitbull IPA - Wood Rose IPA is on tap now and tasting NICE.

The Flora IPA series hasn't disappointed so far, and is getting people even more excited about their equity crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday August 10.

They released full details this morning, check em out here.
Last night's La Sirene tasting with founder Costa Nikias was great fun, and the skype call only dropped out once.

All four of the tap beers from last night's tasting are still going on tap. Botanique was the second favourite, while Praline came third equal with the bottle Saisonette.
The crowd favourite Farmhouse Red along witht the other bottled La Sirene beers are all available in the fridge now.

Modern Times' seasonal APA Oneida was very popular at it's NRT launch a couple weeks back.
​​​​​​​Another keg of this super fresh beer is hitting the taps shortly, and judging by the previous response - won't stick around for long.