Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 19th, 2017

Eurozone - Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we tap seven beers from rebellious, pioneering European brewers To Øl and Freigeist.

From midday you can get your hands on the following in 200ml TeKu, 300ml fancies or 473ml US pints:

From To Øl:
Kaffe og Røg - Smoked Dark Ale with Coffee - 9%
Sur Amarillo - Sour Mashed IPA - 7%
Frost Bite APA - With orange peel and pine needles - 6%
Snowball - Hoppy saison with brettanomyces - 7%

From Freigeist:
Original Pfefferkørner White - Peppercorn Wheat - 5.3%
Miss Florida IPA - Citrus IPA - 5.5%
Berlinner Sheisse Strawberry - Berliner Braunbier with Strawberry - 5%

Two further beers will be available tomorrow only on bottle pour. The first is from neither To Øl or Freigeist but from German brewer The Monarchy, who is famous for brewing historic styles as they were hundreds of years ago.
The Monarchy Methusalem Holunderheimer is their big malty 10% Altbier that we had on tap last shipment, but with elderberry juice added.

The other bottle pour tomorrow will be an interesting one from To Øl: Chateau Øl (10.4%).
With Chateau Øl, To Øl have tried to emulate a wine without using crazy adjuncts:

"We decided to produce a Belgian Tripel style beer that is aimed at replicating a crisp wine, using a “melody” of wine yeasts to ferment the beer.
On top of this we chose to use Hallertauer Blanc hops for both kettle and dry hopping to produce the grape, pear like flavours we desired. A touch of Flaked Rye gives a spice kick, with the Pilsner malt base giving a clean finish that helps to balance the flavours."

You can pick up a 200ml bottle pour of either of these tomorrow for $10.

Eurozone Tasting Unification

If you want more European weirdness, get in on the Eurozone tastingWednesday Feb 1st at 6pm.
We've selected nine of weirdest beers of the shipment, which you can taste for just $35:

- To Øl Brett & Butter Mosaic Pale Ale with Brett 3.6%
- To Øl/Põhjala Ginie in  a Bottle Gin-Inspired Gose 4.2%
-  To Øl Sur Yule Sour Mashed Winter Pale Ale with Cherries 5.4%
- To Øl Sur Galaxy Galaxy Hopped Sourmashed Black IPA 7%
- To Øl Sur Amarillo Amarillo Hopped Sourmashed IPA 7.5%
- Freigeist Mango Unchained Mango Gose Eisbock 9%
- Freigeist/Nogne O Best Brewjob Ever
(sorry, worst beer name ever.) Imperial Altbier 11%
- To Øl Chateau Øl Wine Style Ale 10.4%
- To Øl Pineapple Express Imperial Stout with Pineapple and Coffee 10%

This will be the last tasting I run, so I'll make it a fun one. You can book your spot over the bar or at

The Wellyest Weekend

From Saturday we're kicking out the imports and celebrating Wellington's exploding brewing scene with only Wellington brewed beers on tap.

It'll also be the first tapping of Graphic Brewing's new lemongrass pacific ale: "Kick Grass".

In addition to Kick Grass, from midday Sat we'll be tapping:

-Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout
-Choice Bros Reet Petite
-Tiamana/GP/Mata Banaenae (banana spice ale)
-Te Aro Fred's IPA
-Kereru Imperial Nibs
-Duncan's Pilsner
-Tiamana Quincee Jones Gose
-Wild & Woolly Beast of Burden
-North End Iron Sands Stout

In case some run out we've also got Baylands Skull Cracker Zythra IIPA, Wild & Woolly Badger Me and Kereru SPA in backup.

In addition to the all-star Wellington tap lineup on Saturday we'll be doing a bottle pour of some rare North End Salt & Wood sours.
Kieran has let us have a few bottles each of his Eucharist Blackberry Wild Ale, Barrel Stout Sour and Blanco Sherry BA Sour.

You can grab a flight of 150ml pours of these three for $20 on Saturday.

Then on Sunday night while we have our very later Christmas party, two Wellington brewers will be behind the bar: Wild & Wooly's Llew "Behind the Bar"decki and former Panhead brewer Sam "Bear Belly" Whitney.

So if you're not leaving for the long weekend, pop down and get amongst Wellington's best.

Oscar Blues

After last week's cryptic clue, I can reveal that we will soon be launching renowned US brewer Oscar Blues on tap and in cans!
Oscar Blues were one of the first brewers to go exclusively to cans, and are often credited with kicking off the 'craft canning revolution'.

We'll soon be launching with six Oscar Blues beers on tap and a very special can-pour.
Currently the launch date is up in the air due to uncertain freight, so for now this teaser will have to do.
As soon as we confirm the launch date I'll send out a special edition email with all of the details.

(Dave) WoodStock

After working at Hashigo for seven years, it's time for me to move on. I'm heading to Europe with my partner Denise, to experience the world while we're still young.
Working at HZ has been a dream job for me, and it's kinda scary giving up a job that I enjoy in an industry I love. But most things in life that are worthwhile doing seem scary before.

Next week will be my last week at Hashigo, so of course I've organised a bit of a farewell party. It's been pointed out that organising my own farewell party is a little unorthodox. But ever since I had the idea to brew some of my favourite homebrew recipes for my last day, there's been no getting around it.
Since December I've been brewing a few small batches of my most successful homebrews at three amazing local breweries. I brewed four beers all together, which will all be on tap from 5pm Thursday the 26th. In addition to brewing beers at friend's breweries, all of the artwork for the beers was done by artistically talented friends.

Mr. Brown is actually a recipe I stole from Dylan Jauslin (of Golding's). When he wanted to brew a brown ale on my homebrew kit we got a recipe from Jo Wood, which was tweaked many times over the years. This version is one I adapted for the US election, minus the insane amount of dry hopping so you can still taste the lovely Gladfield malts. The NZ Taiheke and US Colombus hops still shine through though.

Artwork for Mr. Brown is by my best friend, ex Goldings bartender and insanely talented artist Steven Driessen.
See his other works at Steven Driessen Art.
Mr. Brown was brewed at Wild & Woolly.

Midnight Tantrum has a bit of a story behind the the name.
After tasting Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace Saison I was dermined to emulate the amazing interaction of Sorachi Ace hops with funky Saison yeast.
After two attempts to become acquainted with the overpowering nature of Sorachi Ace, the third batch had the perfect balance of Saison farmhouse funk and weird earthy/lemony Sorachi.
I kegged & carbed the batch, and enjoyed a couple pints with Steve & Denise before heading to the pub(s).
Upon returning around midnight, I was greeted by a house inundated by the distinctive smell of Sorachi Ace... and a massive puddle of beer.
One of the keg seals had failed while we were out, creating a slow leak that dumped 90% of the keg on the carpet. I then loudly expressed my frustration of losing weeks of work on the keg itself - which found itself across the other side of the room fairly quickly. Possibly with a few new dents.
Ever since that night, subsequent batches of Sorachi Saison were named Midnight Tantrum.
This batch was also brewed with Llew at Wild & Woolly.

The essence of this story is masterfully captured in the tap badge by HZ regular and artist extraordinaire Matt Gane. Check out his other excellent work on instagram.

Beetnik IPA was the very first Staffie Series beer way back in 2014, it's also the recipe I've brewed the most (by far) so I had to bring it back.
Beetnik came about through an idea to brew a maroon beer to drink during State of Origin 2010 (Denise & I support the Maroons).
Denise's Dad came up with the idea of adding beets to impart the red hue, which took quite a while to perfect. Not enough beets and it just looked like a normal IPA, too much and the earthy beet flavour came through to clash horribly with the fruity US hops.
After a lot of experimentation I found the right balance, and discovered that a bright red IPA with a fluffy pink head that tastes like normal IPA really messes with people's heads.
For this version I swapped out the Simcoe for Citra hops, and upped the dry-hopping to really please you hop heads.
The artwork for Beetnik was prepared by former HZ manager, current Golding's GM and all round excellent beer guy Dylan Jauslin. Check out his thoughtful and entertaining beer blog The Bottleneck.
Just like the original Staffie Series batch, this Beetnik was brewed out at Baylands Brewery.

SPOT came about when I wanted to brew a dark beer for winter, and threw together a recipe from the top of my head. Surprisingly it turned out to be quite a hit, but when thinking up a name I couldn't decide whether it was a stout or a porter.
In the end I realised that the only difference between stouts and porters is that stouts say 'Stout' on the label and porters say 'Porter' on the label. So I named it 'Stouty Portery Oatmealy Thingy' in homage.

Artwork for SPOT was done by HZ regular, llama enthusiast and keg-cap vandaliser Sarah Sparks.
It should be noted that I added the text at the bottom so all font hate should be sent in my direction. Long live comic sans!
SPOT was brewed at Te Aro Brewing, although it was kind of contract brewed. I left this one fairly late, and when our arranged brew date fell through I though it would be dropped. But the amazing crew at Te Aro went ahead and brewed a batch of SPOT to my recipe, meaning it'll be ready just in time!
All four of the above beers will be tapped at 5pm next Thursday for my farewell do, Dave Fest.
Of course there will also be cake and sappy speeches. The beers are likely to run out on the night  with just 30-50L of each. So get along early to try em all (200ml serves will be available). I'm looking forward to being on the other side of the bar with you all before I head off.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 12th, 2017

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled weekly news emails for 2017.

There seems to be a consensus that 2016 was overall a pretty rubbish year, in most aspects -except in beer. We're lucky in Wellington to have such a diverse range of beers at our fingertips, and this will only increase over the next year.
But if we're honest 2017 will probably be worse than 2016 in many other aspects, so let's remain positive and enjoy the hell out of our amazing beer scene this year.
To begin 2017 on the right note, here is a picture of George the Tibetan Spaniel Papillon who came for a visit today:

Eurozone - Tap Unification

A deluge of European beers is upon us. 
Beer Without Borders' first shipment of 2017 is full of kegs from pioneering Eurobrewers Freigeist (Germany) To Øl (Denmark).

To celebrate European camaraderie we will be tapping seven kegs from these two brewers on Friday January 20th.

From To Øl:
Kaffe og Røg - Smoked Dark Ale with Coffee - 9%
Sur Amarillo - Sour Mashed IPA - 7.%
Frost Bite APA - With orange peel and pine needles - 6%
Snowball - Hoppy saison with brettanomyces - 7%

From Freigeist:
Original Pfefferkørner White - Peppercorn Wheat - 5.3%
Miss Florida IPA - Citrus IPA - 5.5%
Berlinner Sheisse Strawberry - Berliner Braunbier with Strawberry - 5%

We will also be offering bottle pours of a few of the more interesting bottles (strong/large/ expensive) from both.

All will be available from midday on Friday the 20th, and we'll be offering a 200ml pour on all so you can work your way through the selection sensibly.

Just Peachy

After an unprecedented three week break, NRT is back for 2017!

The first shipment of 2017 is from Europe, and the first NRT is of the iconic Berliner Weisse style - Freigeist's Köpenickiade (correct pronunciation here).
Apparently Köpenickiade translates to the (very speicifict) act of "a deception/prank made possible by wearing a uniform."

If you're unfamiliar with the style, Berliner Weisse is a kettle-soured wheat beer which tends to be around 3-4% abv, this one's 3.5%. Locals usually sweeten the Berliner Weisse with a syrup of raspberry or woodruff.
The style has been in vogue locally for a while, with lots of great examples. So we're looking forward to trying a legit German-brewed Berliner Weisse, and see how close our local brewers are. This one's had peaches added too, so no syrup required.
We tap Köpenickiade at 5pm Tuesday, as usual!

A Very Welly Weekend

To celebrate our exploding local brewing scene we're kick out the imports and only host Wellington brewed beers on our taps for all of Wellington Anniversary Weekend.

From Saturday Jan 21st to Monday Jan 23rd all of our taps will feature locally brewed beers from the likes of: Tiamana, Wild & Woolly, Garage Project, Kereru, Choice Bros, Baylands & Te Aro.

On Saturday the 21st we'll be launching Graphic Brewing's new lemongrass APA 'Kick Grass', and to top it off we'll have a bottle pour flight of some rare North End bottles.

Kieran has kindly allowed us some of his Barrel Stout Sour and Eucharist. We'll round off the flight with the spontaneously fermented Rustica.
Sunday night we'll be having our extra-late staff Christmas party. That means we'll have fill-in bartenders, and it seemed an apt time to get some Wellington brewers behind the bar.
So on Sunday the 22nd the bar will be run by guest bartenders Llew Bardecki (head brewer at Wild & Woolly) and Sam Whitney (ex-hashigan and ex-Panhead brewer).

Save the Dates

We're packing January full of awesome beer events, some of which we're still confirming the last details on.
But here's a teaser of what's coming up soon:

EuroZone Tasting Weds Jan 25th: Taste a range of bottles from the Euro shipment. Look out for the event on FB once we've confirmed pricing.

Dave Fest Thurs Jan 26th: My official HZ farewell party. I've brewed four of my favourite homebrew recipes with local brewers, and asked artistic friends to make up the tap art.
My Midnight Tantrum Sorachi Saison will be one of the four (amazing artwork by Matt Gane on the right), plus three others of varying styles.
Full details will be in next week's email - there will be cake!
New US Brewery Launch Fri Jan 27th: The second shipment of 2017 mainly contains an exciting new brewer who we're launching on the 27th.
We'll have a huge tap takeover with their beers, and even offer can-pours of their more expensive canned offerings (hint-hint).
We'll have the full line up confirmed in next week's email!