Thursday, December 28, 2017

December 28, 2017

We apologise to readers who rely on this archive to get their dose of news from Hashigo Zake. We haven't been consistently copying each week's news to here. We recommend subscribing to the email itself here.

End of Year Reflections

It seems that this time of year every body is clamouring over themselves to get some kind of list out, Top Ten cat fails, Top Ten viral videos etc, we ony have interest in tap lists down here at Hashigo Zake, read on to see our current and NYE special tap lists.

But this quiet period between Christmas and New Year celebrations does provide us an opportunity to reflect on the past year and, perhaps more importantly, look ahead to all the 2018 has to offer.

Join us, Kristopher King Kreabsley and John Sting Rae and a tap list of fanstastic beers as we say farewell to 2017 and welcome  2018.

 Also RIP Paddles Ardern-Gayford.


Q. Guess What? A. Rock The Cash Bar Is Back!

Hashigo Zake's Music Quiz is coming back in the new year!

From Blondie to Bach; Dusty to Daft Punk; Chris Knox to Chris de Burgh; Rock the Cash Bar is a quiz that'll stretch your musical knowledge to the limit.

There'll be loads of questions on the usual stuff like lyrics, albums, artists but also about music's wider place in the world. Who starred in the movie that featured this song on the soundtrack? Why was this album cover banned? The river mentioned in this song stretches between which two countries?

Hosted by beer writer, trivia nerd, macdaddy & Daddymac Hadyn Greensmith

He'll make you jump (jump)

Monday 15 January 2018 6:30pm – 9:00pm. Lock it in people

Holiday Shenanigans #2 - The Shenaniganing


In 2012 Hancocks got the attention of the Society of Beer Advocates when they applied for a trademark for the term growler. (Growler being a popular term in the US, and to a lesser extent here, for a flagon.) Hancocks were shamed into withdrawing that application, but only after attempting to paint themselves as white knights in the trademarking malarkey, as described in this exchange.

Then in May 2013 Renaissance Brewery won big at the Australian International Beer Awards, particularly for their great Barley Wine called Tribute. Later the same month, Hancocks applied to trademark Tribute. That application was quietly withdrawn within a week. The fact that Renaissance were alerted to Hancocks' application and initiated their own might have had something to do with the withdrawal.

Coincidentally, we have Renaissance's original 2011 batch of Tribute on tap right now! Just the thing for a wintry evening.

Hancocks have been relatively quiet on the Intellectual Property front since 2013. But last Friday (the last working day before Christmas) they snuck in an application for a trademark for "Day of the Dead". This has to be one of their strangest applications yet because Day Of The Dead is already trademarked. For once, even IPONZ should figure this one out without any help.

Beer Of The Month

"We love Brettanomyces! This wild yeast, also known as “Brett,” brings out a wide range of flavors and aromas in beer, from exotic fruits to earthy funk. We added a dozen different Brett strains to our dry-hopped Saison Dolores, then aged it in white wine barrels for several months. The result is an intricate farmhouse ale with the kind of nuance and depth that only Brett can create. Serve alongside soft funky cheeses or as a tangy counterpoint to rich charcuterie."

$25 drink in or $20 take away.

On Tap Now

  • Ritterguts  - Gose
  • To Øl - Black Baal IIIPA with Coffee
  • Baird Brewing - Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale
  • 8 Wired  - Dealers Choice IPA
  • Oskar Blues - Blood Orange Spesh-ale Apeel Belgian Wit
  • Hallertau - No.6 Session IPA
  • Hallertau - No.5 Pilsnah
  • Beer Baroness- Bearded Lady Stout
  • Renaissance - Tribute 2011 Barleywine
  • Pasteur Street - Foolish Destroyer Barleywine (is life)
  • 8 Wired - Flat White (Nitro)
  • Horse Box. - Storm Hopper APA (Handpull)
  • Graphic Brewing - My City Is On Fire Smoked Porter (Handpull)
For those of you unaware we can now download our custom designed app from the WindowsGoogle Play and  App store

New Year, New Beer

New Release Tuesday will be taking a well deserved break next week. But fear not, we will be updating our entire tap line up with some of our favourite beers and a few surprises, as with the limited nature of some of these kegs some will run out during the night but we have a few more surprises tucked up our sleeves. From midday we are SUPER happy to be pouring 
  1. Garage Project - Pils 'n' Thrills
  2. Ballast Point - Victory At Sea
  3. Crooked Concept - Oatmeal Pale 
  4. Renaissance - Voyager IPA
  5. 8 Wired - Farmhouse Pale Ale
  6. Ballast Point - Habanero Sculpin
  7. To Øl - Shameless Santa
  8. Garage Project - White Mischief
  9. 8 Wired - Tropidelic *nitro*
  10. Eddies - Apple Cider
  11. Pasteur Street - Passion Fruit Wheat
  12. North End - Yellow Eye Anglo IPA (Handpull)
  13. Horse Box - Black Stallion Milk Stout (handpull)
Garage Project have had a HUGE 2017 and we've been blown away by their creativity and consistency, Pils n Thrills is a go to beer for many of our staff and it's always a pleasure to have it on tap, same goes for the lesser seen White mischief, poking it's head out of it's rabbit hole we had to be quick to snap up a keg of this low abv salted white peach sour.

After a (too) long absence (covered rather eloquently here) Ballast Point made a rather spectacular return to Hashigo Zake on Spetember 1st this year where we unleashed the entire range on Wellington. we managed to squirrel away a couple of our favourites  in the shape of Victory At Sea (yes we will have ice cream available for floats) and Habanero Sculpin.

Crooked Concept is the latest in Wellingtons latest wave of upstart Brewing Companies, not letting a lack of stainless steel hold them back, this is the VERY FIRST time their beer has been on tap any where. Call it a world exclusive, they're calling it an Oatmeal Pale ale.

Renaissance have had a tough year, but we are pleased to see them slowly but surely getting back to where, we believe, they should be. Producing excellent, enlightening beers, so it was kind of a no brainer when a small batch of their brilliant Voyager IPA recently became available.

Formerly employed by Renaissance, Søren Eriksen has since gone on to, some would say, bigger and better things with his own Warkworth based brewery, 8wired. Regarded world wide as some of the finest examples of the New Zealand brewing scene, we are always excited to have 8 wired on tap and the two beers we have procured for NYE are no exception,

To Øl are a slow burning success story both for themselves and our sister company Beer Without Borders. Firmly camped in the Left Field, To Øl is the free wheeling, rule bending gypsy brewery of two danish highscool mates Tobias Emil Jensen and Tore Gynther who just so happen to study under the watchful eye of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø who happened to be a pretty alright brewer himself. The duo produce irreverent and eclectic beers with a shopping list of juxtaposed ingredients but somehow make it work. They constantly question what beer can be.

Eddies Cider Company is a new kid on the block in Wellington, we dont profess to know much about cider down here at Hashigo, but we know what we like and Eddies Cider is crisp and refreshing, not too sweet not too dry.

Pasteur Street exploded on to the NZ beer scene after some low level rumblings of beer geeks coming back from Vietnam and saying it's not all Bia Hanoi and bags of Chang. Debuting at PBE17 with no fewer than 6 beers, we reckon the pick of the bunch was the  Passion Fruit Wheat so immediately secured a keg for NYE.

North End don't really need an introduction to any body familiar with the Wellington beer scene we're fan of pretty much all of Keirans beers it was kinda hard to pick just one, we got to try some upcoming releases at the brewery a few weeks back, and lets just say 2018 is going to be a GREAT year for North End.

Horse Box aren't seen that much up on tap on the North Island which is kind of a shame, their flavourful beers are always remarkably sessionable and easy to drink. they describe themselves as " Two mates having a bash at something we love" and it shows. 

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 2018

"The party don't stop just because it ain't midnight no mo'"

        -James Brown

"Quotes in weekly E-mails are easily made up, nobody reads them anyway"
     - Abraham Lincoln

Just like James Brown said, Hashigo will continue to bring the party on a Bi-weekly basis in 2018, here are some dates for those shiny new diaries Santa brought you :

Jan 13th   The Jazz Robots - Groove-based jazz inspired by all sorts of styles and greats like The Head Hunters, Jeff Beck, John Coltrane, Steve Coleman, Jimi Hendrix and The Miles Davis Quintet.
Jan 27th   Darren Watson & The Dangerous Experts - Internationally renowned Rhythm & Blues guitar legend Darren Watson returns with his new band
Feb 10th  Chocolate Thunder - A sensuous jazz, funk, soul and fusion maelstrom that strikes without mercy where you least expect it. Sheer groove manship to make your body move and your flowers blossom. Gird your loins, people!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

Sculpin Daze

A couple of weeks ago we announced that our estrangement with the Ballast Point brewery is over. The reasons were outlined here. So far we’ve seen a grand total of two signs of dissent about this, but they were stated with so little conviction that it’s hard to tell if they were even meant seriously.

If anyone is unhappy that service of Ballast Point is resuming we have great news for you. When it comes to Wellington outlets not serving Ballast Point beer, you are spoiled for choice. It’s almost as if there’s a meticulously planned and spectacularly successful boycott going on.

To compensate for that quasi-boycott, we’re pushing the boat out for this tomorrow’s National Sculpin Day. Not only will we be joining around 14 other outlets around the nation serving all FIVE variants of the most celebrated IPA that’s regularly available in New Zealand, we’ll sneak some other Ballast Point beers on tap at the same time.

The centrepiece of Sculpin Day is the limited release that is Unfiltered Sculpin. Now this beer is embargoed and no-one in New Zealand has tried it yet. However if we - hypothetically - had been slipped an embargoed sample of this beer, our guess would be that the slightly reduced bitterness and increased late-hopping make this a fruitier and easier drinking take on the classic.

The full lineup that will be going on tap on Friday then, is as follows:
  • Sculpin
  • Unfiltered Sculpin
  • Grapefruit Sculpin
  • Habanero Sculpin
  • Pineapple Sculpin
And those bonus beers:
  • Longfin Lager
  • Manta Ray Imperial IPA
  • Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
But wait, there’s more.

All the Sculpins will be available in 200ml pours, so you can try all five without over-indulging. We’re also offering Victory at Sea Ice Cream Floats for $15. We’ll have Ballast Point’s own Three Sheets Silver Rum on offer for $10.

There will also be an inspired food special. But we’ll leave that a mystery until tomorrow.

But Wait, There’s Even More

Friday also happens to be the birthday of the amazing Llew of the dormant Wild & Woolly brewery. Somewhere in amongst all the Ballast Point kegs, we’ll find a way to sneak at least one of the remaining kegs of Wild & Woolly beer, so Llew can hold court all night.

The Election

During the living nightmare that was last year’s American presidential election we actually had quite a lot of fun screening those tremendous, tremendous debates and then the actual election night coverage. Could our own parliamentary election be as gripping? The answer isn’t the emphatic no that it might have been a month or so ago. We’ll test that theory tonight. There’s a debate and we’ll try screening it on at least one telly. Come in and yell at the screen.

New Release Tuesday

Next week we’ve got the recent Red IPA created by Cassels and Sons in Christchurch. In their own words… “highly complex malt grist which produces an attractive amber/red hue with an interesting dried fruit and rich malt character”.

On tap from 5pm.


We don’t have live music this week but on Saturday the 9th our old friend Darren Watson will be with us in a format that we haven’t seen from him before – a duo. His partner in blues will be bass player Steve Moodie, who happens to be the bassist for Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts. And we’re looking forward to having that particular four piece back in November.

On Tap Now

  • Wild & Woolly Basilisk
  • North End Collective IPL
  • North End Forty South Green Hop Reserve (handpump)
  • Baird Fruitful Life IPA
  • Adroit Theory God Is An American
  • Townshend Hey Blondie Remix
  • North End Iron Sands Oatmeal Stout
  • Kereru Moonless Stout (handpump)
  • Mike's One More Pale Ale
  • North End Pilsner
  • Beer Baroness Prickly Wilson


Rock The Cash Bar II

Remember that the second installment of our music quiz (well, Hadyn's music quiz, but we're delighted to collaborate with him on this) will be on October 2. Save the date.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017


News bulletin #401

July 27, 2017

Urban Pale & Jealous Plums

Tomorrow night we simultaneously launch two new beers that have quite a bit of significance.

First there’s La Sirène’s Urban Pale Ale.

There’s a school of thought that, once consumers have drunk huge volumes of cleanly fermented, highly hopped pale ale, they start to crave variations that are lighter, subtler or that incorporate other flavours. Which may help explain the phenomenon of the citrus-infused IPA. And it probably contributed to a resurgence of interest in beers with more fermentation character, such as saisons. In turn, this has created interested in hybrids that might bridge the gap between beers defined by their hop flavours and beers defined by their fermentation character, with the so-called Belgian IPA an early example.

But Belgian IPAs can taste like a violent battle between strong phenolic flavours left by the yeast and aggressive hop flavours and bitterness from hops, with the drinker’s palate left as rubble.

La Sirène Urban Pale looks for a far more harmonious relationship between hops and fermentation flavours, by bringing out flavour notes they have in common, such as citrus pith and dry, peppery spice. The brewery’s years-long investment in developing and tuning their house yeast strain has no doubt helped make this possible.

For a short time Almanac in San Francisco made a beer called Mandarina that did this beautifully, but that beer is, sadly, retired. It’s likely that others will attempt this brewing trickery in the near future, but we encourage our customers to come in and snap up the opportunity to drink Urban Pale while it’s on tap.

Meanwhile we get to join several other venues around the country launching Jealous Plums. It’s a Berliner Weisse aged on greengage plums. It’s made and sold by Hallertau, but is based on the National Homebrew Champion beer of Dunedin’s Jamie McQuillan.

Now Jamie will be releasing beer under his own Cell Division brand very soon. In fact on August 12, we’re hosting the Cult Beer Barn, in which beers of a Belgian/farmhousie nature, made by La Sirène, Craftwork and Cell Division, will be on tap simultaneously. Which means tomorrow night’s double launch is a kind of a preview (but with different individual beers).


Speaking of Farmhouse styles of beer and Craftwork themselves… we just received a fresh order from Oamaru’s finest brewers of Belgian styles of beer. It means that the supply in our fridge of their bottled beers has been topped up, while we also have two kegs tucked away for Cult Beer Barn on Aug 12. Those fresh supplies of bottles include four that we’ve had before:
  • Red Bonnet
  • Saison Poire
  • Saison Zest
  • Saison Anise
And two that are new to us:
  • Angel – judging by the lengthy description on the bottle, this beer is inspired by Orval - the original brett-condition, Trappist legend. 
  • Riverstone 10 – a saison brewed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Riverstone Kitchen, the celebrated restaurant on State Highway 1, north of Oamaru. It won a silver medal at this year’s Australian International Beer Awards. (The beer won a medal, not the restaurant.)

New Release Tuesday - Smoke and Arson Edition

On Tuesday we celebrate the arrival of Graphic Brewing's third beer, which curiously coincides with the first anniversary of the time someone tried to burn us down.

Oh how we laughed.

But seriously, My City Is On Fire is a smoked porter, that we get to release on Tuesday before it makes its way around the country in cans and kegs.

We also invite any customers who might be inclined to take it personally that an arsonist tried to burn down a bar that you frequent, to come down and figuratively wave two fingers in their direction by enjoying a glass of My City Is On Fire.

Bottle Pour Saturday

All the new (to New Zealand) products that have arrived from La Sirène give us a chance to dedicate a bottle pour to them. In fact there's every chance that we'll hold more such bottle pours of different La Sirène releases in the weeks to come.

This week we'll be offering small servings by the glass and from the bottle of Cidre and Bière de Provision.

Cidre is La Sirène's first cider and they went to extraordinary lengths to create an authentic French style. Cidre uses a French variety of cider apples grown in North Bendigo. The apples were pressed and exposed to the air at the orchard, to try and capture some local microflora, before being fermented, bottled and aged at the brewery. The final gravity of this is under 1000, yet its fruit flavours more than cancel any perception of dryness.

Here's how they drink it at the brewery. Maybe we'll settle for flutes.

Bière de Provision is a super dry and tart pale ale, fermented with wild yeast and coming out at just 3.9% ABV, making it ideal as a Saturday afternoon post-gardening tonic.

On Tap Now

  • Te Aro Dragon APA
  • Garage Project Garagista IPA
  • Omnipollo Karluminium
  • Beer Baroness Lady Danger Red Ale (Handpump)
  • Hey Day Moongold (Handpump)
  • Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar IIPA
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Baylands Party Pils
  • Leipzig Ritterguts Gose
  • Wild & Woolly Sooty Albatross
  • Mike's Vanilla Coffee Porter


Still on tap are the two pretty amazing beers from Sweden’s Omnipollo that we tapped on Friday, as well as Ritterguts Gose, which (apart from a 40-odd year hiatus) has been made since 1824, making it pretty much the most authentic gose any of us will ever taste.

Look Out For

As well as getting Hallertau to send us Jealous Plums, we picked up a keg of their IPA called I Like Your Speakers. This beer celebrates the sound system at Lovebucket Bar in Karangahape Road in Auckland. Hallertau are the majority owners of Lovebucket, which is a must-visit for some of us when in Auckland.


There's no live music this Saturday, but then we make up forthat with three in two weeks:
On Aug 5 it’s Jellyroll Blues and The Pussycat Dues

Then during the week of Beervana we have live music on both the 11th (the Cosmonauts) and 12th (Nick Granville Funk Trio) of August.

You can subscribe to receive this news in your inbox every week here.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 20, 2017


News bulletin #400

Event Overload

We’re celebrating the 400th issue of this email by bombarding our readers with a hailstorm of event news. Buckle in!

Fredags mys med omnipollo - Friday with Omnipollo

Tomorrow – July 21!
Our friends at Regional Wines, Beers and Spirits recently acquired a load of beer from the Swedish Nomadic Brewery Omnipollo and we couldn't help but scoop up a few kegs and bottles.

This Friday we are tapping both Nebuchadnezzar and Karluminium plus adding Amun, Nebuchadnezzar and Zodiak to our fridges. Plus our in-house Swede is making Swedish meatballs for the occasion.

Beer descriptions from the brewers:
Nebuchadnezzar IIPA (8.5%) “Neb” is a home brew recipe that has been scaled up with no consideration to economies of scale. Some say idiotic, and as an economist I would have to agree. Get fresh or die trying.

Karluminium Sour Wheat Ale w/ Raspberries and Cherries (6%)
"Karl is a magical human. Karl deserves a beer for his birthday. Here it is – a cherry wheat sour."

Amun Oat milk DIPA Collab w/The Veil (8%)
"Working closely with Virginia’s rising beer star, The Veil, we conceived and brewed this soft yet bright Imperial IPA. Mashed in with several grains and topped of with 100 liters of oat milk and an abundance of hops."

Zodiak IPA (6.2%)
"Our house IPA. A blend of grains, untouched post fermentation and aspiringly hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Centennial."

July 24 New Release Tuesday

A few weeks ago in edition #398 of this email we talked about the arrival in New Zealand of actual gose from an actual Leipzig brewer of gose called Rittergutsbrauerei. We also managed to source a keg of that very beer and are going to pop it on tap next Tuesday as our New Release.

Of course, calling a beer that’s hundreds of years old a new release is a bit of a stretch. But we’re giving ourselves a little licence given the plethora of new beers appearing almost daily.

July 28 Double Bill

On July 28 we’re joining in not one, but two, coordinated, nationwide releases of pretty interesting new beers.

First there’s Jealous Plums. There’s plenty to say about this beer. It’s the traditional commercial rebrew of the most recent champion beer at SOBA’s National Homebrew Champs. Once again it’s Hallertau Brewery that hosts this great tradition. The champion home brewer this time is Dunedin’s Jamie McQuillan. Jamie has a pretty interesting background and we recommend having a look at the profile of him that wrote a few months ago.

Jealous Plums is a Berliner Weisse aged on greengage plums from Central Otago.

The timing of this release is fortuitous as Jamie is in the process of going commercial in his own right, albeit on a small scale. Read on to learn more about Cell Division, which might just be the best brewery name we’ve heard in years.

Simultaneously on July 28, we're joining in the nationwide launch of the beer that is comfortably La Sirene's biggest commercial success over in Australia - Urban Pale. This hoppy, citrusy reinterpretation of a saison has been winning friends in Australia since it was launched late last year.


August 1 Smoke Bomb

As mentioned last week, we’ve stumbled across what might be the most bittersweet coincidence of beer release and anniversary ever. Graphic Brewing have a new smoked porter called My City Is On Fire and we’re celebrating the first anniversary of the night we added arson to the list of near disasters we’ve had to live through.

So on August 1, we’re delighted to put My City Is On Fire into our New Release Tuesday slot.

Road to Beervana

The Road to Beervana programme is live and our contribution to the official catalogue of events is in there – namely The Blind Leading The Hype. It’s a little innovation we thought up that involves turning off the flow of product information that we usually work hard to maintain. We’ll put a bunch of probably great IPAs on tap but say as little as possible about them and leave it to the voting consumers to decide which deserve to have a fuss made about them. All of which will lead to a big reveal on August the 9th.

Missing from the official programme are the events that could only be put together more recently, such as Cult Beer Barn. This will be a one night celebration of beers and breweries that nail their colours to the Farmhouse mast. We’ll dedicate most of our taps to beers from Jamie McQuillan’s Cell Division, Craftwork and La Sirène.

On Tap Now

  • Beer Baroness Bearded Lady
  • Beer Baroness Betty BamBaLam BIPA
  • Deep Creek Black Tamarillo Gose
  • Craftwork Crikey Dick
  • North End Fieldway APA
  • Beer Baroness First Lady APA (Handpump)
  • Fitzpatricks Imperial Porter
  • Townshend Lioness Pilsner
  • Adroit Theory Love of the Damned
  • Beer Baroness Rye-ot Grrl IPA (Handpump)
  • Baird Suruga Bay IIPA


The last two weeks' new releases are somehow both still available. One is the distinctly Brettanomyces influenced pale ale from Craftwork called Crikey Dick. And the other is Deep Creek's highly quaffable Tamarillo gose.

For many of us the flagship beer from Tauranga's Fitzpatrick's is the Imperial Porter. It was inspired by the celebrated Gonzo Imperial Porter by Flying Dog that we know Craig Fitzpatrick got to try back in 2009. It's rare and comes in a small keg so we recommend taking advantage promptly.


The Vincent Vega Trio return at 9:30pm this Saturday with their brand of surf rock and brandalised artwork.

Two weeks later (Aug 5) it’s Jellyroll Blues and The Pussycat Dues

Then we break out of the pattern of fortnightly gigs for Beervana week, by hosting live music on both the 11th (the Cosmonauts) and 12th (Nick Granville Funk Trio) of August. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017


Beervana just announced their brewery lineup for this year and there’s less than a month until New Zealand’s highest profile beer festival. It was around the time of Beervana, way back in 2009, that we started trading here at Hashigo Zake. So every Beervana is a kind of anniversary for us.

From this year it’s also the anniversary of something slightly less joyous – the time someone tried to burn us down, on August the 5th, the Friday before Beervana 2016.

It seems that we’ll never know whether the culprit was attempting a little petty vandalism with the paper towel dispenser in the gents or actually wanted to burn the building down and kill all our customers and staff. And perhaps if the arsonist was under the legal purchase age for alcohol then the case would have been quickly solved and we’d know the truth.

But hey, no-one was injured, we got to know how a gender-neutral bathroom works and most of the gents bathroom repairs were funded by insurance, so… no harm, no foul??

And now by glorious coincidence our friends at Graphic Brewing have a new beer to launch. And it’s called… My City Is On Fire. It’s a smoked porter. So on August the 1st we’re launching My City Is On Fire and simultaneously waving extended digits at our unindicted arsonist.

New Release Tuesday, Cook Strait Crossing Permitting

Once again Oamaru’s Craftwork have given (well, sold) us the rare gift of kegged beer.

Crikey Dick is described as a “bretty, hoppy pale ale” and a small keg of it is on its way. In theory it will make it in plenty of time to be next week’s New Release Tuesday. But the odds of it making it here by Tuesday are diminishing by the hour thanks to those fresh breezes we’re enjoying right now.

Is this a good time to remind everyone that there's no weather underground?

On Tap Now

  • Wheaty Brewing Corps/Hawkers Baklava Brown Ale
  • Deep Creek Black Tamarillo Gose
  • Kowloon Bay / Black Kite / Hong Kong Beer Co. CBAHK Wei(zen) The Dragon
  • Willie Smiths Cerasus Sour
  • Fitzpatrick's Fitzy's Special
  • North End Iron Sands Stout (Handpump)
  • Townshend Lioness Pilsner
  • Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale
  • Beer Baroness Rye-ot Grrrl Rye IPA
  • Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
  • Townshend Sutton Hoo (Handpump)


A few goodies remain from last Friday’s Smash ‘n’ GABS, when we featured a very carefully selected set of GABS leftovers. Amazingly there’s even some of the mouth-tingling, szechuan-infused Wei(zen) The Dragon left.

This week’s new release – Deep Creek’s Black Tamarillo Gose is still there as well.

Bottle Pour Saturday

This Saturday we’re doing a bottle pour made up of two recent, local barrel-aged releases. The first is Garage Project’s Rebel County, their collaboration with the Jameson distillery. GP made a beer inspired by Jameson’s whiskey, with Irish malt, maize, honey, hazelnuts, vanilla and dried apricots (although, curiously, no coconut), then aged it in Jameson whiskey barrels. The result is Rebel County.

Alongside that will be Kereru’s Night Spirit. This is an Imperial Stout aged in New Zealand Whiskey Co barrels.

Bottles of both of these beers constitute substantial investments for the adventurous drinker, but on Saturday we’re offering a taste of each for a very reasonable price.


The Saturday after next sees the Vincent Vega Trio return with their distinctive surf rock (or perhaps that's surf RnB).

Next month we'll again have an extra live gig to help entertain patrons on both evenings of Beervana (August 11 and 12). We'll host the Cosmonauts on the Thursday and the Nick Granville Funk Trio on the Saturday.

Our events calendar can be viewed any time here.


It's a while since we bashed New Zealand's industrial brewers in this newsletter, but an opportunity has appeared that's too good to turn down.

One of DB's sibling subsidiaries of Heineken just got slapped with a nice big fine for doing what DB (and Lion) do here better than anyone - behaving anti-competitively. Sadly this ruling was on the other side of the world.

Those of a like mind to us can savour the news here.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017

Smashed 'em Bro

As reported right here, seven days ago, we have committed whatever deeds were necessary and have secured a selection of the very best of this year’s GABS festival. Which means that tomorrow we host the second Smash ‘n’ GABS.

Here’s the lowdown on what will be on tap:

Craft Beer Association of Hong Kong Brewers Guild
We’ve had Singaporean and Japanese beer plenty of times before, but this is almost certainly our first Hong Kong beer. This refreshing citrus spiced Weizen starts with subtle sweetness from dried dates, and finishes with a warm and tingly feeling, provided by Sichuan peppercorns.

Colonial Brewing Co Margaret River
Allow us to submit Western Australia’s entry in this year’s Gose pun contest. “A lightly soured Gose with rye malt, Margaret River seawater and a dosing of West Winds Broadside gin. Finished with a few US hops, if Gin Sling was a beer, it'd be this.”

Feral Brewing Company

Choc, vanilla, coffee, lactose.

Hawkers Beer / @Wheaty Brewing Corps

Hawkers Beer is a Melbourne brewery founded by Lebanese combat brewer Mazen Hajjar, who also happens to be one of Australia’s fiercest critics of the anticompetitive practices of the industrial brewers. For that reason alone, we’re fans.

Wheaty Brewing Corps is the brewing offshoot of Adelaide’s trailblazing Wheatsheaf Hotel.

The idea of these two outfits collaborating on a beer is utterly compelling from the start. But the beer is pretty attractive in its own right. It’s a “Big Brown Ale with Honey, Pistachio, Rosewater, Orange Blossom Water and Spices.”

Nail Brewing Australia

Perth’s Nail Brewing are masters of dark and black beer but this is an over-the-top IPA. “Born of the planet Hoptom, this is a Super VPA sent to planet earth to make the world a better place. The powers of hops will give strength to all those who imbibe.”

Willie Smith's Organic Cider

Our spies at GABS insist that this cider is in fact uncannily like Rodenbach Ale. “A barrel aged sour cherry wine, paying homage to farmhouse fruit beers of Belgium. Wild fermentation of black Lapin cherry, barrel conditioning in ex-Lark Distillery casks and a heady mix of bacteria and yeast.”

Smash ‘n’ GABS starts tomorrow at midday and continues while stocks last. We’ll be offering a six-beer (well, five beer and one cider) ticket.

Gose The Extra Mile

The style known as Gose has made a storming comeback over the last few years, not unlike the way the Belgian Witbier style came back from oblivion a couple of decades earlier.

Some part of this can be explained by brewers’ desire to come up with beers with puns for names. But at least a little can be credited to the merits of this salty, tart and slightly funky take on a wheat beer.

For many of us though, all we’ve got to try are versions of the style made by brewers in countries such as our own. This is simply because there are so few examples of the style that can honestly show some kind of lineage back to the traditional goses from Liepzig. The style was all but lost, after all.

But now a limited supply of beer from Liepzig’s Rittergutsbrauerei , the oldest brewer of Gose there is,has made it to New Zealand. Some of us were allowed a sample and can vouch for its merits. It was also a pleasant surprise to learn that those “new world” interpretations we’ve been trying over the last few years are pretty close to the mark.

But don’t take our word for it. Come on in and grab a bottle of Ritterguts Gose. Or hold out for the day (in the near future) when we sneak it on tap.

On Tap Now

  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA (Handpump)
  • Fitzpatrick's Citra IPA
  • Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • Adroit Theory Love of the Damned
  • Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils
  • Modern Times Mega Fortunate Islands
  • Graphic Origin Story Citrus APA
  • Garage Project Snug (Nitro)
  • Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
  • Townshend American Amber Ale


Our General Manager Rory went to extreme lengths to get our temporary nitro taps pouring Garage Project Snug in time for the Lions game last weekend, so we encourage customers to take advantage of the fruits of that experiment.
And speaking of amazing stouts, don't miss out on a rare keg of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy.

New Release Gose

In keeping with the unintended theme of this broadcast, we can announce that next Tuesday's New Release will be a gose! Brewery of the moment, Deep Creek, have been putting out a series of fruited goses lately, under the Steam Funk name, and they've been goooood.
Coming up next is Black Tamarillo Gose - on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.


This Saturday we welcome Black Spider Stomp back to the lounge, so they can transport us once again to Paris in the mid-20th century and unchain the memory of Django Reinhardt.

If in doubt, have a little listen at bandcamp.

All with no cover charge, naturellement.

Then on the 22nd it will be the turn of the Vincent Vega Trio.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 29, 2017

Downtown Aley

It’s official. According to the Dominion Post we’re having a “meaty street party” in our “garden bar” on Saturday. We’re not sure how these descriptors came to be used to describe our first ever extension into the daylight, but if the cap fits…

And speaking of official, our actual licence to serve drinks above ground on Saturday has come through.

Plans are humming along then and we’re looking forward to bringing the legendary Hashigo Zake portable bar out of mothballs and setting up alongside Salt and Wood’s food offerings, up in our enchanted archway throughout Saturday.

We have a useful piece of info for anyone reading this who is attending the test on Saturday. The stadium shuttle buses bringing patrons back from the stadium will be terminating right across the road from us.

Or… don’t even go to the game, and instead stay and spectate from the comfort of our improvised and mostly weather-proof bar, complete with a two metre-wide screen and a high definition image being projected onto it.

But the improvising doesn’t end there. We’ve had Garage Project deliver a couple of kegs of their nitrogenated stout called Snug, and on Saturday we’ll be pouring that through taps using nitrogen.

Also on tap will be a suitably English offering from Wild Beer Co, in the form of their Smoke 'n Barrels Summer - a smoked orange gose. And on the pilsner tap, both upstairs and downstairs, will be the Townshend brewery's homage to the touring team - Lioness.

Meanwhile our friends at Craft Beer College are staging a couple of Beer Bar and Brewery Walking Tours to coincide with the arrival of supporters of the team whose name can’t be uttered without checking MEMA. One of those just got underway with a stop right here, and there’s another tomorrow afternoon. If you know any visitors (or permanent residents for that matter) who would get a kick out of being guided through several of Wellington’s bars and breweries tomorrow, then we recommend giving them this link.

Here once again is Saturday's food menu, courtesy of our friends at Salt & Wood Collective:
12hr smoked shredded beef, bbq and smoked cheese sauce, served on tortilla chips

jalapenos, smoked beans, smoked cheese sauce served on tortilla chips

pork bratwurst braised in north end beer finished on the smoker served with mustard slaw on a soft bun.

4th of July

We pride ourselves on being a broad church with a diverse congregation, so almost as soon as we see off our guests from the UK and Ireland, we’ll be celebrating the country of origin of many of our favourite beers and bar staff – the United States.

[Let it be stated for the record that any celebration of the United States and the things about it that we like should not in any way be considered an endorsement of that country’s sort-of elected president and what pass for his policies.]

This year’s 4th of July beer list is looking as good as ever, including the last kegs of a few lines that we’ve hung on to, plus a couple of one-off beers brewed by our own staff especially for the occasion.

One of those beers is a clone of Ballast Point Grunion, that we’re calling Funion. The other is a clone of Deschutes Freshly Squeezed IPA that is tentatively called Uncle Sam’s Freedom Nectar, but we think we might be able to improve on that.

The kitchen will be serving Nachos and Freedom Dogs.  And there'll probably be decorations. Certain of us are secretly hoping that our stash of US-themed decorations went up in the fire last year, but the balance of probabilities is that our décor will be compromised by the presence of a little too much red, white and blue.

On Tap Now

  • Wild and Woolly Beast of Burden
  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA (Handpump)
  • Fitzpatricks Fitzpatricks Pale Ale
  • Baird Fruitful IPA
  • Oskar Blues G'knight Imperial RIPA
  • Tiamana Meister
  • Deep Creek Pontoon in a Monsoon
  • Sawmill/Galbraiths Special Bitter
  • Townshend Sutton Hoo (Handpump)
  • Deep Creek Undercurrent Pilsner
  • Mata Wai-iti Waka Pale Ale

Announcing... Smash 'n GABS 2

Once again we've been done what needed to and have procured a selection of some of the biggest hits of this year's GABS festival and we'll be putting a bunch of them on tap at the same time. The date... July 7, a week tomorrow.

The list will include what is probably our first ever beer from Hong Kong, plus a sensational and very sour cider.

We'll give full details seven days from now. 


Live music returns on Saturday week, the 8th, in the form of Black Spider Stomp, bringing a welcome dose of gypsy jazz.

Then on the 22nd it will be the turn of the Vincent Vega Trio.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017


Tomorrow night we get to be the first Wellington bar to serve the beer of West Auckland newbies Colab. We’re expecting a delegation from the brewery featuring some, or maybe even all, of their three founders.

To honour Colab’s German connection we’ll be augmenting our menu with a German dish or two. And not just any old off-the-shelf pretzels either – Oma Erna's Mautaschen Dumplings, prepared by our own staff using a recipe provided by an actual German citizen that one of our staff is related to, by marriage.

As for the Colab beers, we’ll be serving the following:
  • Garden Ale, 4%. “A refreshing collaboration of German Malt along with a smooth lashing of German and New Zealand Hops create this uniquely sessionable Colab Garden Ale.”
  • The Commissioner, Red IPA, 6.2%. “A new world collaboration of German malt and US aroma hops give a rich, red, malt driven West Coast Styled Red IPA.”
  • APA, 5.5%. “A balanced combination of German Malt and American aroma hops delivering a well-rounded West Coast styled Ale.”
  • Seasonal beer - Night Caller Schwarbier 4.7%.
Please note that the brewery are between batches of their Pilsner, which is a pity because it’s a fascinating alternative to the New Zealand pilsners that we generally pour. We’ll have to get that on tap in the near future.

We’ll also be offering a four-trip ticket to let you try the range.

New Release Tuesday

Next week’s New Release is a fitting beer to launch on the day that the Hurricanes take on the Lions. It’s an ESB, described as a NZ/UK fusion ale. “British Base malts from Thomas Fawcett maltings and Kiwi Specialty malts from Gladfield. British hops in the kettle with a light NZ Chinook dry-hop. Chewy and robust with mouth-filling goodness, the best of both Island nations.”

It also happens to be a collaboration between Auckland breweries Sawmill and Galbraiths.

Entertainment of the Sporting Kind

Next week brings the event that the Wellington hospitality industry has been dreaming of for eleven years and eleven months – the arrival of around 20,000 Irish and British Lions supporters. (More about that immediately below.)

For anyone who cares about the fortunes of the All Blacks but also believes in civil discourse between the adults of different countries, it’s going to mean a week of biting tongues and reining in tempers in the face of goading from selectively informed experts who nevertheless will be manuhiri. Which means that watching the first test on Saturday on the telly might be our last chance for a fortnight to say what we think while watching a Lions match.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that we will, naturally, show the first test from Auckland on our TVs on Saturday night. We can then all visualise half of that match’s spectators heading for the airport or their campervans and migrating to Wellington.

While the match is on, we’ll be offering our now-traditional “stadium pie” special – a piping hot mince pie in a paper bag for just $5.

Downtown Aley

With apologies to those who reject the idea of rugby being the source of national identity and personal self-worth, it’s time to bang on again about what we’re up to next week, particularly on July 1.

We’ve been working things out with our guest caterers for July 1 and Salt & Wood have come up with the following menu:
12hr smoked shredded beef, bbq and smoked cheese sauce, served on tortilla chips

jalapenos, smoked beans, smoked cheese sauce served on tortilla chips

pork bratwurst braised in north end beer finished on the smoker served with mustard slaw on a soft bun.

We’ll be open on the 1st by our usual time of midday, but if all goes to plan we’ll be welcoming customers earlier than that – probably 11am. Please bear with us if the complexities of turning our entranceway and footpath into a welcoming hospitality space take longer than we hope.

On Tap Now

  • Beer Baroness First Lady APA
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Good in the Hood (Handpump)
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • Tiamana Meister
  • Kereru Moonless Stout (Handpump)
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Townshend Pouri Lane Pils
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Baird Suruga Bay IIPA
  • North End Visitation Belgian Quad

July 4

While Rugby’s big day is July 1, the United States’ big day is just a few days later. We’ll be following our custom and turning taps over to a special lineup of US beers, with a couple of notable exceptions – homages to two iconic American beers brewed specially for the occasion by the US citizens on our staff.


Chocolate Thunder return with their funk/jazz/soul blend to play in our lounge on Saturday night, starting at 9:30.

Still no cover charge. What is wrong with us?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017


Regular readers will have noticed us talking up our plans for July 1, when Rugby’s most famous circus comes to town. In particular, we’re doing something totally unprecedented in our history - and unlikely to be repeated - by extending Hashigo Zake’s frontier upstairs.

Naturally our plans include food, drink and entertainment. It’s time to elaborate a little on the entertainment. 


Earlier this week we stealthily arranged a test of our solution for screening that July 1 rugby test. We have the use of a high powered, high definition projector and the results from our test were better than we hoped for. So we can announce with confidence that patrons in our above-ground annex will be able to watch a bright and clear screening of the game.


As previously announced we’re looking forward to having Waikanae’s Salt and Wood Collective bring their US-style barbecue expertise to lower Taranaki St on July the 1st.


We’re dusting off our much-loved portable bar and positioning it outside, complete with a couple of taps, a collection of cans and a hand pump. You’ll be able to purchase beer and drink upstairs or head downstairs and choose from the wider range there and bring your drink back above ground.

Rock the Cash Bar

We’re counting down to number one. There are just four and a bit days until our first ever music quiz, conceived and fronted by Hadyn Green. Rock The Cash Bar kicks off at 6:30pm on Monday. All the details are here


Colab Brewing have just announced their newest seasonal beer, which is just in time for us, since it means it will join most of their four core beers when we put them on tap for the first time in Wellington on Friday week, the 23rd.

That new beer is a schwarzbier called Night Caller. Schwarzbier is exactly the kind of traditional style that gets overlooked in these days of hop-forward or tart pale beers. Nevertheless brewer Albrecht van Wallmoden is promising a beer that’s refreshing and smashable, with plenty of bitterness to balance the complex malt flavours.

Albrecht is one of three partners in nano-brewery Colab and has confirmed that he’ll be coming all the way from West Auckland to be with us on the evening.

New Release Tuesday

North End have a new beer for us to try next Tuesday. It’s a Belgian Quad. We’ve learned over the years that when North End’s Kieran Haslett-Moore turns his attention to big, boozy styles, the results can be extraordinary. (We’re looking forward to a commercial batch of a certain Imperial Stout.)

So join us at 5pm on Tuesday the 20th when Visitation goes on tap for the first time.

July 4

While Rugby’s big day is July 1, the United States’ big day is just a few days later. We’ll be following our custom and turning taps over to a special lineup of US beers, with a couple of notable exceptions – homages to two iconic American beers brewed specially for the occasion by the US citizens on our staff.

On Tap Now + Bottle Pour Saturday

  • Garage Project Beer
  • Townshend Divine Intervention
  • Baird Fruitful Life IPA 
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Good in the Hood Porter (handpump)
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • Tiamana Kirsch Cherry Gose
  • Beg Borrow & Brew Mr. Holdsworth Pale Ale (handpump)
  • Te Aro Oatmeal Stout
  • Mike's One More Pale Ale
  • Graphic Origin Story Citrus APA
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
Look out for Tiamana's legendary Berliner Weisse Meister. Rather than leaving drinkers to mix syrup into the beer while drinking it, Meister comes pre-sweetened with woodruff syrup, rendering it an attractive green colour.

Baird Fruitful Life Citrus IPA is now on tap, replacing the delicious (if cloudy) Temple Garden Yuzu Pale Ale. As mentioned last week, Baird have not only been putting citrus fruits into pale beers since long before they became fashionable, they’ve been doing it with Japanese varieties of fruit, making for some distinctive and delicious results.

Our fridges are now quite well stocked with beer from Baird. We recommend that anyone who hasn’t already done so tries the green tea and wasabi beer called Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale, which is the bottle in this photo with the somewhat colour-less label. While the illustration is very pretty and evocative, the overall packaging might not win any awards.

Bottle Pour Saturday – Aged Barley Wine and Wheat Wine Edition

The arrival of new Baird beers prompted us to have a rummage in our cellar. We found bottles of their West Coast Wheat Wine from 2009, 2011 and 2014. Plus we’ve got a supply of a more recent vintage of Ganko Oyaji Barley Wine. All of which means that we can stage a radical bottle pour session of aged Barley Wine and its variant, Wheat Wine.

Wheat Wine was invented by American brewers in the last few decades as a variant of Barley Wine, replacing some of the malted barley with wheat for a brighter and possibly more complex flavour.

Barley/Wheat Wine is one of the few beer styles that is generally considered to have a long shelf life. Since they have high concentrations of a natural preservative (alcohol) and use hops mainly for bitterness rather than for bright but volatile flavours and aromas, they can age gracefully and tolerate a little oxidation.

And of course Barley Wine isn’t really a wine. The Wine suffix was invented a long time ago to get the attention of certain consumers.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8, 2017

Jazz Festival

The Wellington Jazz Festival is underway but for us the action starts tonight when we host the first of three gigs in a row in our lounge. Tonight it’s the Sunlight Band.

Here's our full lineup. All 10pm, no charge.

Tonight - The Sunlight Band
Friday - Nick Granville Funk Trio
Saturday - Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts

We apologise for the last minute change to last Saturday's entertainment, which was forced on us when it was found out very late in the day that band members had schedule conflicts. Many thanks to King Kreabsley's Kalypso Kavalcade for stepping in.

New Release Tuesday

Next week’s New Release Tuesday is a double release from Wairarapa nano-brewer Beg, Borrow and Brew. Their Portly Porter made it into last year’s Pacific Beer Expo. We’ll have two beers that we’ve never served before and that are unlikely to have been tried outside southern Wairarapa.

Those beers will be a NZ-hopped Pale Ale called Rockin Pale Ale and a coffee porter made with organic coffee beans roasted by Martinborough’s Neighbourhood café called Good In The Hood.

Look for both on our hand pumps from 5pm on Tuesday.


As many of you have observed, the Hashigo Zake untappd badge is now officially a thing. Checking in beers with us leads to level after level of untappd badginess.

Over the years we’ve made plenty of use of crowd-sourced beer information via untappd and ratebeer. In particular we have put some value on results from ratebeer, which has compiled years and years of reviews from consumers who are generally well-intentioned and enthusiastic. The sheer volume of reviews, combined with ratebeer’s practice of filtering out reviews of questionable quality, helps to give their collective results some credibility. Overall, ratebeer’s reviewers have some huge biases in terms of styles that they favour, but these biases are clear and obvious to anyone looking and can be allowed for. At its best then, ratebeer serves as a useful complement to more conventional beer judging.

Going back to those biases, ratebeer has a clear and obvious bias against bland beer made by large, industrial brewers. A glance at their "Worst Beers in the World” page lays that bare. One large brewer occupies 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th on that list.

So imagine the consternation among vocal enthusiasts of good beer when it was learned this week that the very brewer that dominates that Worst Of list has bought a stake in ratebeer.

Confused? We were. A good place to read about it is Good Beer Hunting, who were the first to deduce that this buy-in had happened as the people involved had stayed quiet about the transaction. There’s more speculation on what it all means here, but really the news is so utterly bewildering that we barely know how to react. Do we go full Sam Calagione and throw out our own wall-full of awards from ratebeer?

Rote Learning

We had a couple of significant event announcements two weeks that we’re particularly keen for people to retain. 

Rock The Cash Bar.

Hashigo Zake and Hadyn Green do a music quiz! The first instalment of what will surely become a cultural phenomenon is just eleven days away on June 19. Brush up!


West Auckland nano-brewery Colab are sending beer to Wellington for the first time and we’ll have five of their range on tap. That’s on June 23.

You can check what events we have coming up here.

Two Dates in July

Here at our underground lair, planning continues for July 1 and July 4, and indeed for the week leading up to July 1.

We're limited in what we can actually say about June 27 and July 1 by the glorious piece of social justice legislation that is The Major Events Management Act. But we're working hard on ways to make the space outside our front door as hospitable as possible on July 1.

Meanwhile the 4th of July is looming and we plan to celebrate a certain nation's role as a force of amazing change in the science and art of brewing.

On Tap Now

  • Beer Baroness BA Miss Van Der Bier
  • Kereru Big Pigeon Pilsner
  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA (handpump)
  • Liberty Darkest Days Stout
  • Townshend Divine Intervention
  • Tiamana Kirsch Cherry Gose
  • Kereru Moonless Stout (handpump)
  • Funk Estate Mothership Mosaic Pale Ale
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Pirate Life Throwback IPA

Coming Soon

Look out for a new (to us) citrus pale ale from Japan’s Baird. Baird have been putting citrus juice and zest (not to mention stone fruit, figs, apples and strawberries) in pale ales and IPAs since long before Grapefruit Sculpin was a twinkle in Ballast Point’s (big) eye. Temple Garden Yuzu Pale Ale is one of five citrus beers they’ll be releasing in 2017. This beer should come on tap in the next few days, and at the same time we’ll be refreshing our supplies of bottle Baird beer, including their green tea and wasabi beer called Wabi Sabi.

Also on soon will be a the third in a series of romantically named "Hop Trial" beers by Townshend. This one is a pale ale, as were the two previous hop trial beers.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 1, 2017


BorderStop is a popup outlet store for beer, that happens tomorrow afternoon at our sibling business Beer Without Borders.

BWB is strictly a wholesale business, but for the first time this year it has a special licence for one afternoon. So tomorrow only, anyone (of legal purchase age) can rock up and buy six packs, mixed packs and cases of beer straight from the same cool store that retailers get them from. Prices will be somewhere between wholesale and retail.

It’s timed to help anyone wanting to fill their car boot before heading off, or heading home, for the long weekend. And it won’t happen again until Christmas.

Tomorrow, June 2. 1pm – 6pm at 24 Abel Smith St.

Holiday Monday

Speaking of the strangest reason for a holiday in our calendar, are public holiday surcharges even a thing still? We’ve never believed in them and certainly aren’t about to start applying one, so come in on Monday and enjoy surcharge free service and discounts for SOBA members.

Beer of the Month

In collaboration with our own Cult Beer Store, we’re offering specials throughout June on our Beer of the Month, which is La Sirene Super Saison.

This beer is an amped up reinterpretation of La Sirene’s flagship Saison. “Super Saison has a rustic orange hue, pronounced aromas of tropical fruit and a dry spicy finish all allowing the La Sirène signature yeast profile to shine through & crown this Super Saison.”

New Release Tuesday

Last year we had this to say about our October 11 New Release, a Belgian IPA: “full of US grown El Dorado, Chinook and Simcoe with a bit of kiwi Rakau. The Belgian aspect comes in with Carabelge® and Special W® for that real raisiny/candy sweetness. A combination of ESB and Saison yeasts were used to give that lovely Belgian yeast character, while still drying out the beer nicely.”

That beer was Beer Baroness’s Miss Van Der Bier, and a small volume of it spent the summer in pinot noir barrels, which have added even more complexity and decadence to it. And on Tuesday we’re giving Barrel Aged Miss Van Der Bier a North Island release.

Now the long weekend means that next Tuesday will feel like a Monday. We encourage readers to make firm plans to come in and try this beer, put it in your diaries and don’t let the transferred pain of a virtual Monday interfere.


The Irish and British Lions have been in the country for the best part of a day. Have our media overdone the coverage yet?

Never mind if they have because it should start getting interesting once the actual play gets underway at 7:35pm on Saturday. As with most major sporting events, we have the option of putting it on our tellies, and we fully intend to with every tour match.

Not only that, we’re bringing back a food special that proved popular during (of all things) the AFL Grand Final last year. Between kick-off and full-time you can buy our high quality interpretation of the mince pie, served in an authentic, stadium-like paper bag for a mere $5.

This applies on Saturday and next Wednesday night as well.

A Festful of Gigs

Music returns in style, this week and next, with four gigs in our lounge in eight days, thanks partly to the Wellington Jazz Festival. All with no cover charge.

And note that the Jazz Fest gigs (which are the ones next week) start at 10pm. This Saturday's is at the regular time of 9:30pm.

Saturday, June 3 - Vincent Vega Trio
Thursday, June 8 - The Sunlight Band (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Friday, June 9 - Nick Granville Funk Trio (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)
Saturday, June 10 - Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts (part of the Wellington Jazz Fest)

Stand By For July

Anyone thinking of abstaining from alcohol for a period is advised that July might be the worst possible time to try it. A month out, the dates July 1 and July 4 are looking somewhat daunting.

Our plans are well advanced for July 1, when we trust that some tiny minority of the 20,000 people visiting Wellington will join our beloved regular customers. We’re working hard to have extra space, extra taps, extra seating and extra food.

A mere three days later we’ll be turning our taps over to a selection of beers fit for a celebration of Covfefe Day. That will mostly mean a selection of awesome American imports. But after doing a fantastic job of three Modern Times tribute beers earlier this year, our staff are planning to come up with a small batch of a homage to an iconic American beer. More details – and news of special Covfefe-fest food – will be leaked in the weeks to come.

On Tap Now

  • Wild & Woolly Basilisk
  • Liberty Darkest Days Stout
  • Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison
  • De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis
  • Hop Federation Hop Fed Pilsner
  • Hey Day Moongold ((Handpump)
  • Townshends Motueka Pale Ale
  • Duncan's Old English Stout (Handpump)
  • Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Mike's Taranaki IPA


Heyday is a future brewery, in that its a brewpub that hasn't been built yet, but whose beer is being developed by means of contract brewed batches. It will emerge in Upper Cuba St later in the year. What's significant for us is that the Head Brewer is Sam Whitney, who toiled behind the bar here at Hashigo Zake for a number of years before being poached by Panhead to become their assistant brewer. So it's a bit of a thrill for us to have one of Heyday's first beers - Moongold - on the handpump.

Hel & Verdoemenis created a bit of a stir on Tuesday when it went on tap. This beer has four or possibly five years behind it and is a great example of how rewarding it can be to age beer, provided it's the right beer and it is being stored cold.