Thursday, March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

At some moment during Friday afternoon we’ll stop playing music and serving customers for the two minutes of silence being generally observed at the time. (If anyone knows precisely when this is going to happen, please let us know.)

Given that it will probably be the early afternoon, this is a pretty minor gesture for us. But at this time is there anything that we could or should be doing? Other than refusing service to white supremacists, if we could recognise them?

Anyone who’d like to provide a constructive answer to this is encouraged to write a comment here where these emails are archived.

Capacity for Flux

You may be familiar with the recent news regarding Sci Fi- and photography-themed bar PhotonFlux, who were shut out of their own premises under incredibly dubious circumstances. Nina and Anton of PhotonFlux are longstanding friends of Hashigo Zake, so we have enormous sympathy for them. In that spirit we’re providing a venue to help keep alive one of PhotonFlux’s most popular inventions – their Sci Fi quiz.

So next Wednesday – the 27th – we’ll throw about two thirds of our floor space over to them to hold another instance of this celebrated quiz. The event also gives PhotonFlux a chance to pull in just a little cash to help with their expenses over their premature closure.

Anyone wanting to take part is encouraged to pop along to the event’s facebook page here.

We want to emphasise that there will still be space for casual drinkers with no desire to get pulled into the event.

Rock The Cash Bar

Speaking of quizzes… unfortunate external circumstances mean that we are having to move the next Rock The Cash Bar back two days, to April 10.

Bookings are already being accepted over at the event's facebook page, so get along here.

On Tap Now

  • Kereru Big Pigeon Pilsner
  • Urbanaut Brixton Pale Ale (Hand pump)
  • Hallertau Copper Tart Red Ale
  • Kereru For Great Justice Porter
  • Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale
  • Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black
  • Hallertau Strawberry & Watermelon Sour
  • Kereru Velvet Boot
  • Deep Creek Waikiki Sour
  • Yeastie Boys White Noise
  • Deep Creek Wisdom IPA

By The Glass

On Saturday, we’ll continue our Bottle Pour programme by opening the cap on as many bottles as we need to of Coronado Cognac Barrel-Aged Punkin Drublic.

This stock dates back to 2015, which is shortly after Coronado were named Champion Mid-Size Brewery at the World Beer Cup, and we’re down to the last few bottles of this gem from their barrel programme.

We’ll be offering 100mls at a time for $12, from 3pm until 9pm.

The Beat Goes On

On Saturday evening we host another new band for us. The Deadbeat Dads got in touch a couple of months ago, announcing themselves as a 2 piece blues band from Kapiti, performing a mixture of originals and covers by the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Hendrix. Our booker kept an open mind, listened to some samples and got on board.

For anyone wanting to do some homework, those samples are on the Deadbeat Dads’ facebook page. Or simply take the plunge and come along on Saturday night at 10pm – we still don’t charge anything for admission.

By the way, here’s a recording of Townes Van Zandt in 1990 at the music venue that was known as Paisley Park, directly across the road from where we are on Taranaki St.

The Cult Goes On

Time for some more Takashi Miike, the prolific and provocative Japanese director.

The Happiness of the Katakuris was described as his “oddest and most infuriating film yet”, and yet is generally favourably reviewed. It’s described as a surreal horror-comedy, featuring claymation sequences, musical and dance numbers, a karaoke-style sing-along scene, and dream sequences.

It screens at 7pm on Sunday in our Lounge, at no charge and with complimentary popcorn.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

It's An Ill Wind...

Quite a few years ago, a property developer hatched a plan to build an eleven story apartment block over (yes, literally in the air space above) the premises from which we trade. That plan came to nothing, presumably because of lack of customer interest in the apartments themselves.

Over the last two or three years the plan has been revived by another developer. This incredibly difficult construction project involves erecting a tower on the carpark behind us - a space with no convenient access to a road - then extending that tower into the air space above the historic former police station that we operate from. We made an OIA request and acquired the draft construction management plan that the developer and his appointed construction company submitted to the Wellington City Council. And we were unimpressed, since their plan would cause enormous disruption to our business, with no meaningful mitigating measures.

(At this time it seems appropriate to acknowledge the Minister for the Environment from the previous government. He amended the Resource Management Act to enable a developer to get a resource consent while expressly disregarding the effects on the occupants of the land directly under a development. A neglected lowlight of your career, Dr Smith!)

Last week the developer’s slated construction company, Arrow International, put itself into voluntary administration.

During another recent construction project, Arrow were responsible for repeatedly disrupting our business by, for instance, flooding our premises three times, all without compensation.

So while we have a lot of sympathy for the workers and subcontractors affected by Arrow's difficulties, this is, quite frankly, the best news we’ve had in a long, long time.

New Release Tuesday

This week’s new release was a last minute and not-actually-new affair, so we didn’t give a lot of notice. But we should have because on Tuesday evening we got to tap a rare keg of Rodenbach Grand Cru. The good news is that this is still on tap.
For those who aren’t familiar with this beer, its maker claims that it is the archetypal Flanders Red. That is, it is a blend of batches of a sweet malty ale that have spent long periods in barrels, picking up complex (and sour) flavours from bacteria in the oak.
Kegs like this don’t come cheap and so the prices that we need to charge mean that we don’t expect to win many converts. You have to be dedicated to pay $13.50 for a 200ml glass of beer. But we know that there are some of you out there.

Next week we have a very different kind of sour beer in the New Release Tuesday slot. It’s Strawberry and Watermelon Sour from Hallertau. Here’s the brewery’s own spiel: “Subtle berryish aromas with a super xxtra[sic] flavour of quenching melons and hints of slightly rotten lychee.”

Finally, a beer that wears its slightly rotten lychee hints with pride!

Hallertau Strawberry & Watermelon Sour goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

By The Glass

It’s time to use a La Sirène beer in the Bottle Pour Saturday slot. Possibly the biggest highlight of the last shipment from the Melbourne brewery was their Reserve Saison.

It’s a blend of barrellings (if that’s a word) of a couple of batches of their Saison, dating from 2015 and 2016. We poured a keg of this beer late last year and it was magnificent. And we have a handful of bottles left. Expect oak and brett flavours, layered on the already rich and complex flavours of La Sirène’s flagship saison.

We’ll offer 120mls at a time of this beer for $14, from 3pm on Saturday.

Evil Lesson

For the second time ever we're bringing a Takashi Miike movie to the Cult Film Basement. This time it's Lesson of the Evil, a slasher pic, set in a Japanese high school.

It screens in our lounge and screening room at 7pm on Sunday. No charge!

Live Music

We have good news and we have bad news.

Bad news first – we learned just a couple of days ago that an accident to a band member means that we won’t get to host Black Spider Trio’s CD release party on the 16th (Saturday week). Our booker is arranging a replacement act for that date. At least we assume he is! Stay tuned for news on which splendid local band will fill the void.

The good news is that on Saturday night Darren Watson and the Dangerous Experts appear as a complete four-piece band for the first time since June last year.

10pm until midnight on Saturday - no cover charge!

On Tap Now

  • Deep Creek Black Doris Berliner
  • South Cider Crisp Apple Cider
  • Heyday Floating Mountain
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Kereru Imperial Nibs
  • Heyday Moonstone
  • HeyDay Primo Pils
  • Deep Creek Redwood APA
  • Chasing Harvest There Be Dragons 2017
  • Kereru Wee Heavy (hand pump)
  • Deep Creek Wisdom IPA

As mentioned above, we have Rodenbach Grand Cru on tap right now, but it's part of a rare alignment of three sour beers. The other two are Deep Creek Black Doris Berliner and the extraordinary 2017 vintage of There Be Dragons, Chasing Harvest Ale.

Also of note is the long promised, finally delivered keg of Deep Creek's new West Coast IPA called Wisdom. It made a terrific impression when we finally snuck it on tap last night.


Hashigo Zake says Happy 80th Birthday to an incredibly important and loyal customer.