Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017

New Territory

Nearly eight years after we opened, there are still plenty of innovations we haven’t tried at Hashigo Zake. And if it wasn’t for the person who suggested it, hosting a music quiz might have stayed in the untried category.

But beer and technology writer Hadyn Green is something of an expert at both quizzes and Hashigo Zake and we’re going to put ourselves and the lounge in Hadyn’s hands on June 19.

Hadyn will be quizmaster. We’ll be providing prizes. And the subject will be music.

So get in training for Rock the Cash Bar.

Bottle Pour Saturday

Many of you may be aware that Llew Bardecki’s Wild & Woolly brand is about to take an extended break. Ironically, one of his final acts before doing that has been to venture into bottled product for the first time. He recently packaged three of his last and most extravagant releases.

The beers are:
Cœur De Cerise. This collaboration with Craftwork was launched in our very own New Release Tuesday slot back in March. It’s a Farmhouse Ale with lavender from Llew's backyard and sour cherries from Otago. Officially it’s 4.5%, although some brettanomyces went into the bottles along with the beer, so there’s every chance that the ABV has crept up and the beer will have evolved since March.

From the Ashes: Wine barrel aged sour ale 6%

Sooty Albatross: Peat smoked imperial IPA 9.5%

All three went into champagne bottles that happen to be green, and since green bottles aren’t so good for keeping light out, Llew decided to forgo plain old labels and gave the bottles an old school paper wrap instead. Nice.

On Saturday only we’re offering a chance to sample 100mls of all three of these for just $15.

July 1 Update

Even more good news... a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that on July 1 we'll be extending our premises up the stairs and into the space outside our front door and even onto the footpath - all so we'll have more space to welcome patrons on the day of the All Blacks vs the Irish & British Lions match in Wellington. We've never done this before and we may never do it again, but since the car park behind us is officially closed right now, we can do it this once!

Today we can announce that Waikanae's Salt and Wood Collective, who did a great job of catering at last year's Pacific Beer Expo, are going to join us and serve food from within our extended premises.

Vintage Release Tuesday

Once again we can’t resist the opportunity to go with a variation on the traditional Tuesday new release. A keg of De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis has somehow remained hidden (but refrigerated) for four long years. Since De Molen like to put best before dates 25 years in the future on their bottles, we’re pretty sure that nothing bad will have happened to this keg in the last four years.

Here’s what the brewery say about this beer:

Hel & Verdoemenis is bursting with flavors. Bitter, roasted, chocolate, coffee. All times 2. It's this why it's our Flag Ship and best selling Imperial Stout. Flavour indication: chocolate, coffee. Translates as  Hell & Damnation

Water. Pale, brown, chocolate,roasted and caramel barley malts. Premian and saaz bitter hop. Yeast (top fermenting).

Bonus Beer!

It turns out that our newest purchase from Kereru is embargoed until Tuesday. It's Night Spirit, their new barrel-aged imperial stout. There were only 1,344 bottles made and we have a tiny allocation.

Night Spirit is not aged in any common or garden used whisky or bourbon barrel either. These ones aged a local whisky for no fewer than 20 years.

Colab Brewing

Colab Brewing is a new brewery (established in 2016) based in west Auckland, in the same neighbourhood as Hallertau and Liberty. For the time being their scale is pretty small – a batch size of 300L puts them at the upper end of nano-brewery status, comparable to our friends at Fitzpatrick’s, Wild & Woolly and Tiamana. And so far their beer has barely made it south of Auckland, the exception being an appearance in Rotorua.

While the vast majority of our favourite up and coming local breweries are ventures by small brewers who have got serious, Colab is one of a handful where a brewer with significant commercial experience – in Colab’s case, Albrecht van Wallmoden - has scaled down. Albrecht is also a well known beer judge, so we feel entitled to expect utterly flawless beer, some of which will be in German styles.

After chatting on and off for some time, we’ve hatched a plan to showcase their beer at Hashigo Zake on June 23.

We’ll put their core range of four beers on tap, plus a seasonal. And if the stars align we’ll host the founders of Colab themselves.

So save the date – June 23 – for Wellington’s first chance to try Colab beer.

Live in the Lounge

Live music takes a break this Saturday, but we'll be more than making up for that the week after. Check out the schedule:

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)