Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 29th, 2016

Fortunate Islands Two Ways


Making fruit infused beer properly is a pain the arse. I can understand why the majority of 'fruited' IPAs use fruit essences, using real fruit is a hell of a lot harder to scale up.

While visiting New Zealand last year, Modern Times head brewer Matt Walsh told us about the ridiculous amount of time it took to zest thousands of grapefruit for the amazing Fortunate Islands with Grapefruit Zest.

He swore (I think it was the f-word) that they would never ever make that beer again.

Luckily for us Matt wasn't true to his word - with the latest US shipment Grapefruit Fortunate Islands has returned!

This Tuesday we're tapping 2016 Grapefruit Fortunate Islands at 5pm. We thought it would be fun to have the standard Fortunate Islands on next to it, so we'll tap a keg of that at 5 as well!

We'll serve both in 200ml TeKu, 300ml Fancy and 473ml US Pints so you can choose how

Aussie Rules, Aussie Beers & Mince Pies

This Saturday is the biggest event on the Aussie sporting calendar - the AFL Grand Final.

The Sydney Swans have yet again made the final, with Western Bulldogs also making it in - for the first time since 1961. The game kicks off at 4.30pm and will be accompanied by some amazing Aussie brewers on tap. We'll have:

- Stone & Wood Pacific Ale (4.4%, classic thirst quencher)
- N.O.M.A.D. Without a Paddle (5.8%, delicious Kriek from GABS)
Akasha Iago's Revenge (9.8%, Imperial Black IPA from GABS)

For the authentic AFL experience we'll even serve up some classic stadium mince pies for a special price. Well, they'll be served like a stadium mince pie: in a bag with a squeezy tomato sauce. The filling will be a little classier, with angus beef mince cooked in 8 Wired Batch 2.18 Imperial Stout.

If you're not familiar with the rules of Aussie rules, there will be plenty of authentic Australians around to explain them to you. So come on down at 4, grab a pie and stake out a spot.

JB3 & Special Guests

This Saturday at 9pm JB3 bring the Boogaloo and New Orleans Funk to the HZ lounge.

JB3 are Jake Baxendale, Shaun Anderson & Daniel Hayles - but this weekend they've got friends in Welly for a different gig. And they'll be joining in as well.

So you get six for the price of three - and that price is free!

The VPs Duke it Out

Thanks to everyone who came down for Tuesday's very... interesting presidential debate. We had a packed house and thankfully the stream only dropped once just before things got underway.

RNZ even sent a reporter down and interviewed a couple of ex-pat attendees. We think John Campbell did a pretty good job of pronouncing our name.

The next debate may not be as entertaining, as it is between two politicians - Vice Presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.
It probably won't attract the same crowd, but we'll still be showing the VP debate Wednesday from 2pm for anyone interested.

Weekly PBE Digest

This week saw PBE beer announcements local and overseas, new and old. Here's what's been shared this week over on the PBE Facebook page in case you missed them.

Our first Vintage Keg Announcement: This Imperial Brown Ale has been aging nicely at Beer Without Borders coolstore since 2014 and will be released for PBE16!

From Austrailian brewery Nail Brewing, this batch of Hughe Dunn (named in honour of WA brewing guru Hugh Dunn) won a trophy and a medal at Australian's International Beer Awards and is described by the brewer as:

"a deeply brown beer with tonnes of creamy caramel, chocolate and nut aromas" coming in at 8%ABV.

We're excited to welcome Mount Brewing Co. from Mt. Maunganui to this year's PBE!

They will be debuting Crimson Tide, an American Amber Ale.

This red ale is brewed with a generous amount of Columbus, Amarillo, and Nelson Sauvin.

Another from Nomad Brewing Co. coming to PBE16 is Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose.

Here's their story on Freshie:

The brain child of Leo and Brooks while sitting staring out at the beautiful ocean off Freshwater Beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The ocean mist and its fantastic smell had to be somehow put into a beer, so why not add sea water directly to the beer. Hold up, don't they add salt to Goses in Germany??!!

Traditionally Goses are slightly tart, savory and spicy (coriander), and light in body and ABV. We tried to get as close as possible to tradition as far as malts, yeast, and salt dosage but obviously gave it our very own Nomad twist by adding the sea water and Tasmanian pepper."


Brewed for their 1st Birthday, The Laboratory is bringing a cask of their Double Dodo, Imperial Brown Ale to PBE16!
This cask conditioned real ale is both rich and nutty, a bit stronger and a bit more hoppy.


Llew from Wild and Woolly Brewing is bringing a little bit of Mexico to PBE16: introducing Chelonii Verde!

"Chelonii Verde is a chelada, a Mexican beer cocktail.
Tart, savoury and lightly spicy it's flavoured with lime juice, a hint of chili and a variety of umami-rich seasonings. Pleasantly refreshing, it's just the thing to cleanse the palate in between hefty festival beers or enjoy a glass of in the (hopefully) sunny outdoor seating areas."


Yeastie Boys are remixing one of their signature beers, Pot Kettle Black into Pale Kettle Black for PBE16.

Essentially it's "that lovable rogue PKB but without the chocolate or roasted malt."

The lovable rogue Stu McKinlay models what could be the new label art.

That's all of this week's announcements, keep an eye on the PBE page for more daily updates. But we'll chronicle them here next week if FB ain't your thing.

It's looking more like a sell-out PBE each week, keep an eye out for some eye-catching posters around town soon. Get your tickets here before it's too late.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016

The Democalypse Begins


The US presidential election has so far been... interesting to say the least.

Next Tuesday they kick into a higher gear, with the first of three presidential debates. Seeing the different debating styles of Clinton and Drumpf Trump go head to head will almost certainly be spectacular.

The timing for all of the debates works out fairly well for us, with all debates happening at 2pm New Zealand time.

So we'll be screening them live from 2pm - 3:30pm, starting on Tuesday. Take a long lunch and join us for some democracy.
Here's the full schedule:

Sept 27th, 2pm: Presidential Debate #1
October 5th, 2pm: Vice Presidential Debate
October 10th, 2pm: Presidential Debate #2 (town hall style)
October 20th, 2pm: Presidential Debate #3

We'll be showing all of them live - probably only time our TVs will be tuned to Fox News.

NRT Gets Real

Aidan from Baylands recently went to Christchurch, and collaborated with Jim Holly of Twisted Hop.
Together they created a cask conditioned American Brown Ale, for the Twisted Hop's recent 'Firkin Fest' (which sounded awesome - 15 beers on cask).

Their creation has been dubbed "Brown is the New Black" and features the increasingly rare US hops Citra and Amarillo.

We're getting out the mallet and tapping a 20L cask at 5pm this Tuesday and serving it through one of our handpumps.

Get in!

Te Aro Imperial Stout-Off

It's impressive that Te Aro Brewing have managed to fit a 1000L brewery in the limited space available out the back of Brewtopia. Even more impressive is the fact that they squeezed in a small but excellent barrel aging programme going on, and we've got their first bottled releases available now.

This Saturday we'll be pouring the two big hitters from the initial release side by side:

Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Chocolate Stout (12%) &
Uncle Tom's Bourbon Barrel Stout (10.5%)

Grab a 150ml pour of each for $12.5 this Saturday only.

Weekly PBE Digest

This year Choice Bros. are bringing "SUPER HELDEN":
"A super version of our standard Pilsner ‘Helden’ - Hoppy New World German Pilsner with secondary fermentation using a private bug blend from Portland, Oregon.
Something that would piss off the Germans."

And from Nomad, their award-winning Long Trip Saison:
"Combination of pale and wheat malts, with the addition into the mash of a special variety of coffee beans from a local specialist roaster.
European and American hops then get combined with some fantastic unique Australian ingredients, like wattle seeds added at the end of the boil.
Our aim is to create a dry, clean and very sessionable Saison, with hints of coffee, citrus and spice.."

North End Brewing are releasing a new Barrel-Aged beer from the Salt & Wood range at PBE16. Introducing: La Voile Noir
"La Voile Noir (or Dark Veil) is a blend of three different base beers aged and given secondary fermentation in our wood cellar. The result is a dark funky barrel aged beer loosely in the Saison tradition."
Our good friends Kereru from the Upper Hutt are brewing something new for PBE16: Guava Weisse
"A refreshing kettle soured Berliner Weisse with loads of guava puree"

Outlier Cartel will be debuting a new American-style Fruit IPA named Punica & Herb on handpump at PBE.
"Loosely based on an IPA, fermented to dryness by an english ale yeast with pomegranate molasses, NZ, and US hops and juicy goodness. Unfiltered but well conditioned"


This year Craftwork Brewery is offering their Anniversaire 2016, a Barrel-aged Saison, with Brett and Redcurrants!

"A red brett Saison, aged in a Pinot Noir barrel on Redcurrants, for 6 months. Sweet, tart and fruity. Keg conditioned"



You maybe forgiven for thinking that is a large coffee pot sitting in a brewery, but it is the kit that il gufo is brewed on.

il gufo (the owl) is a collab with Ninebarnyardowls and Nomad Brewing Co that was brewed in Sydney. It is "a 9% Belgian Style Sour Tripel finished in secondary with the addition of slurry taken from both NOMAD Wild Mongrel (Wild Fruit Ale) and NOMAD Without a Paddle (Kriek)."

This keg is very limited, and will only be offered in small pours.

Get your tickets soon - Saturday is getting close to selling out!

Hate, Love & Coffee

Haterade is back! Liberty and Hallertau got together again to recreate this Soured IIPA, last seen a couple years ago.
Haterade isn't a sour beer as such, but has had a sour mash and contains a large percentage of acidulated malt.
This clever brewing wizardry makes Haterade dry and super drinkable without making it thin.

Garage Project brewed Hatsukoi for their Tokyo Taphouse WOAP event, and have now released the leftover kegs.

"Meaning "First love", Hatsukoi is a Japanese inspired pilsner, brewed with light malted barley and rice using the traditional first press method. Clean, crisp with a delicate noble hop character."


8 Wired have been nailing the dark beers recently, and the latest batch of Flat White continues this trend.
The coffee flavour isn't over extracted, and just tastes like good coffee. The added lactose adds body and rounds out the coffee and roast malt bitterness perfectly.

September 15th, 2016

Jumped the Gun


Our next New Release Tuesday beer was a small batch from Mt Cook's Wild & Woolly brewing that you may have tried at their Beervana stand this year: Mother Superior Barrel Fermented Belgian Style Tripel.

Only a single barrel of of Mother Superior was made, and we're tapping the last keg at 5pm Tuesday.

This tripel received the glowing praise of Michael from Craftwork Brewery - a master of Belgian styles. With praise like that it's only fair we make Mother Superior available for people like me who missed out on going to Beervana

We asked Wild & Woolly head brewer Llew Bardecki what Mother Superior is all aboot. We learned that Mother Superior spawned another beer, named Bitter Novice.

"The two beers were brewed as a partigyle, meaning that they both came from the same mash on the same brewday. Mother Superior was made from the first, sweetest wort out of the mash tun. Once this was drained off a bit of crystal malt was added to the mash and the lower gravity runnings made the wort for Bitter Novice.

"Mother Superior is a huge barrel-fermented Belgian-style Tripel (indeed, at 11.5% it's too strong to be a tripel by most style guidelines.)   Expect big yeast-derived aromas of bubblegum, white wine, pepper, and pineapple topped off with a bit of alcohol warmth."

"Bitter Novice begins with a huge noseful of hops, smelling of orange blossoms and sweet grasses. US Centennial and NZ Pacifica are at the heart of the flavour as well. The palate is dry and balanced towards the bitter: there's no mistaking this beer's IPA lineage but at 4.2% it's an easy drinking variety."

"Yeasty vs Hoppy, Wood Fermented vs Stainless Steel, Powerfully Boozy vs Easily Sessionable. Two sisters separated at birth that took very different directions thereafter."

With a story like that, we pretty much have to put these two sister beers on tap side by side. We'll make sure they're re-united on our taps at 5pm this Tuesday.

Seeing as she's a strong one, we'll make Mother Superior available in 200ml TeKu pours as well as 300ml fancies.

P(re)BE - Ramen & Hoppy Sours


Our Next US shipment contains a lot of exciting kegs, both new and returning. But when I saw what was coming over from Almanac, I got extra excited.

Kegs of eight different Almanac hoppy sours are coming in this next shipment.
With that many kegs of beers from a single hop series, I knew we had to do something special with them.

Single hop series like these are supposed to highlight the difference that each hop makes in a certain style of beer - in this case barrel aged sour ale.
So to feed these out over a few weeks of NRT's seemed like a waste, as you wouldn't be able to compare them very well.

So I thought "stuff it, let's chuck 'em all on at once!" But after a little bit more thought, having all eight of our taps as hoppy sours is probably unfair on people who aren't fans of sour beers...

So instead, on Saturday October 15th we're having something of a mini X-Ale and are bringing in extra taps to the bar and tapping six Almanac hoppy sours!

We'll be serving up El Dorado, Mosaic, Mandarina, Wakatu, Citra and Simcoe hoppy sours. You'll be able to grab a 150ml TeKu pour of each for just $35.

This all kicks off at midday on Oct 15th, so we got our buddies from The Ramen Shop to pop up in our kitchen for lunch!
You can chow down on amazing ramen while you decide what hop you like the best in your sour flight.

This is still a few weeks away, but make sure you get it in your calendar now.

Live in the Lounge: Tawhiri Funk

Tawhiri Funk are back, from 9pm this Saturday come on down and enjoy their super-heavy, super-tight, super-hype live funk, jazz and hip hop. There'll be original compositions, funky reworkings and free improvised future funk.

Tawhiri funk are: Thomas Friggins - Drums & Samples, Lorenzo Pradel - Alto Sax-Raps, Rainbow Warrior - Tenor Sax, Uncle Silverback (of Rhino-Boogie fame) - Bass Trombone/Turntablism & Ayrton Foote - Organ Fonk.

And of course Tawhiri funk come to you free of charge.

AFL Grand Final @ HZ

Another quick heads up about an upcoming event in two weeks: The AFL Grand Final on October 1st. Every year we show it, and this year the AFL Grand Final will be accompanied by some of the best Aussie brewers - on tap. We'll have:

- Stone & Wood Pacific Ale (4.4%, classic thirst quencher)
- N.O.M.A.D. Without a Paddle (5.8%, delicious Kriek from GABS)
- Akasha Iago's Revenge (9.8%, Imperial Black IPA from GABS)


For the authentic AFL experience we'll even serve up some classic stadium mince pies.

The game kicks off at 4.30pm on Saturday October 1st so get in before-hand to stake out a spot in front of a TV with pie in hand.

A Beer Or Three You Might Enjoy

It's Yakima Monster! It's been a while since we've had the monster on, too long. Jo Wood is still making amazing beer up in Auckland, make sure you get in on it.

Coming after Yakima Monster: C!tra IIPA....

Beer Baroness' collaboration Rye IPA with Modern Times is back.
Such a huge rye base for the hops to build on makes this stand out from your standard IPAs.


It's 11%, it's made with vanilla and jaggery sugar, it's aged in oak, it's 8 Wired Batch 2.18 and it's on tap now.




PBE 2016 Announcements


Daily PBE 2016 announcements have begun today, with Salt and Wood from Waikanae announced as this year's caterer:

"Almost as important as what you're going to drink this year is what you're going to eat...So we are super super stoked to announce that the Salt and Wood Collective are bringing their superstar BBQ skills down to the capital!!That's right, Waikanae's (not so) best kept secret is bringing the smoke to the The Pacific Beer Expo 2016!
and Vegetarians and don't worry, you will not be treated like 2nd class citizens! There will be BBQ delights for Carnivores, Herbivores & All those in-between."

Beer announcements should be starting over on the Facebook page tomorrow, but if you're not into FB I'll be sending out each week's announcements weekly right here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 8th, 2016

Another Draak On Tap


Aren't rules great?

It's not often that rules mean you get to drink MORE beer, but that's the case with this Tuesday's NRT.

North End always have some pretty amazing beers aging away in barrels. Thier 'Salt and Wood' series of Barrel aged beers has been impressive so far, and only seems to be getting more adventurous.
So naturally they'd want to enter them into the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards (BGONZAs) this November to get some recognition.

However, it is a rule of the BGONZAs that all beer entered has to have been 'commercially available'. 
Which is fair enough, and is probably meant to discourage the likes of WilliamsWarn using the BGONZAs as a promotion for their equipment.
So to make sure it's all above board, North End are giving us a sneak preview keg of their next Salt & Wood release - Oude Draak Barrel Aged Sour Brown.

That's right, following this week's NRT of BA Gulden Draak we've got another 'Draak' beer. However the story behind Oude Draak's name is no relation to the Belgian beer.

Apparntly the name "Oude Draak" refers to a bi-annual phenomenon where the setting sun makes Kapiti Island look like a dragon breathing fire.

I couldn't imagine it with any pictures I found, but after putting my professional MSPaint skills of an artist to work, I think I see what they're getting at:



Oude Draak is the barrel aged incarnation of North End's Oud Bruin, which was released at the SOBA Winter Ale Fest back in July. It's been hanging out in an oak barrel since then, developing its wild yeast and bacteria character. We should have a very different beer on our hands by now.

We've got just 25L of Oude Draak to share with you, and as usual we're tapping it this Tuesday at 5pm. 

Apple + Beer + Barrel


At PBE 2015 Townshend released an amazing barrel aged beer/cider/something called 'Wynnes Fall'. It was a Yeastie Boys Collab, named after Yeastie Boys brewer Stu's mother.

It's a confusing one to explain, because it doesn't taste like beer and it doesn't taste like cider. 'Apple Beer' is probably the best term for it.
Wynnes Fall is a 8.7% ABV 50/50 blend of beer and cider apple juice, that has been aged for 6 months in oak.
After its launch at PBE bottles quickly sold out, and I thought we'd seen the last of it. But Martin Townshend recently found some more cases, and we acquired a couple.

With the hype around this apple beer we thought it'd be gone in a few weeks, but it seems to have flown under the radar.

So to bring back the apple beer hype we're featuring Wynnes fall in this Saturday's bottle pour deal, alongside another amazing appley barrely beverage - Peckham's Knotted Kernel.

Knotted Kernel is the single apple variety used in this cider. Apparently it is rarely grown due to its "unreliable crop and small fruit."
But Peckhams got enough juice out of theirs to fill a barrel they previously used for their apple brandy. 
The result is a super-serious cider, dry with plenty of tannins to provide body.
The barrel aging adds complexity, making this cider probably the furthest you can get from standard sweet NZ "cider". And check out that awesome colour!

Oregon Heavy Hitters - On Tap NOW


We have an inordinate amount of excellent Oregon beers on tap at the moment. It's getting really hard to decide on a staffie...
However I find it hard to go past Crux Freakcake Barrel-Aged Oud Bruin - an American take on the Belgian sour brown style. Being American, this one is bigger (10.5%!) and has more pronounced barrel and mixed-ferment characters.
It's definitely one of the best beers I've had this year, possibly ever. Don't miss out.

Crux also do tamer Belgian styles - like their Farmhouse Saison.
This one sits at a (relatively) sessionable 6.6%ABV, and demonstrates what saison yeast character is in a big way.

The yeast is the centre of attention with this beer, with everything else balanced around it.

Base Camp also followed the trend of adding fruit to IPA with their Nomadic Blood Orange Double IPA - although they've added a dash of Brettanomyces to the mix.
Nomadic weighs in at 8.5%ABV but keeps the malt profile fairly pale, leaving plenty of space for the blood orange to shine through with a hint of bretty funk.

Because we've got so many big beers on tap at the moment, we've tapped a couple of lower ABV kegs to balance the line up out.
Deep Creek continues to impress with their Redwood APA, featuring a big hop aroma in a superbly balanced pale ale.
And of course 8 Wired Semi-Conductor needs no introduction. It's tasting great.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1st, 2016

The Dragon Returns


A few weeks back we thought we were getting a keg of the rare, whiskey barrel aged Brewmasters Edition of Gulden Draak.

Sadly due to a shipping error we were sent a keg of plain ol' normal Gulden Draak. Which meant cancelling our planned NRT.

It was a boon for us then, when the importer got a surprise keg of actual Brewmasters Edition Gulden Draak in a recent shipment. We quickly put our name on it, and this time before announcing anything we waited until we had the keg on site.

So now with the keg on hand, we're excited to be tapping a keg of 2015 Gulden Draak this Tuesday at 5pm.

If you've forgotten what GDBE 2015 is all about, here's the spiel:

"Our brewmaster Jef Versele crafted this exclusive ‘Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition’ as a tribute to his grandfather ‘Jozef Van
Steenberge’ and the 230th birthday of the brewery.
His inspiration came from his numerous trips to the United States and his deepest respect for the Crafted Beer Culture."
"The Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition is brewed just once a year and requires 7 months to complete its brewing and maturation process. ‘You can’t just shorten that period. But this is what we call a luxury problem in Belgium. It’s worth the wait.’"

In true Belgian style, GDBE 2015 weighs in at a hefty 10.5% ABV. So we'll be serving it up in small fancies or even smaller TeKu glasses. Judging by online responses to this beer, the wait will have been worth it but we'll see for ourselves 5pm Tuesday.

Chocolate Thunder™


You may know our Tasi has the nickname Chocolate Thunder, with her famous Renaissance collaboration stout being named as such.

But it turns out there's a local funk ensemble competing for the name.
Chocolate Thunder (the band) is returning to the HZ lounge this Saturday with a "sensuous jazz, funk, soul and fusion maelstrom that strikes without mercy where you least expect it."

From 9.30pm, Chocolate Thunder's sheer groovemanship will "make your body move and your flowers blossom."
The following people can expect a C & D letter from Tasi:
- Conway Jeune - Guitar, excellent vibes
- Bryn van Vliet - Saxophones, Vocoder, Wind Chimes
- Makura Tomoana - Bass
- Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa - Drums

The funk kicks off at 9.30pm, and is free as always!

Non-Alcoholic? Not forgotten!

I recently took a couple of months off alcohol, which can be difficult in my line of work - especially while Beervana is on!

One thing you notice when you're off the beers is how cloyingly sweet and boring a lot of venues non-alcoholic ranges of drinks are. It's hard to 'socially' drink things like coke, which becomes sickening and boring very quickly. So I've made sure that Hashigo Zake has a great range of interesting non-alcoholic drinks to suit those of us not able to imbibe.

Good Buzz Booch was one of the first alternatives we took onboard. It's a kombucha, which is tea fermented with a symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast (SCOBY).
Because it is fermented there's only 5-7g of sugar per bottle, and the bacteria give it a tartness not unfamiliar to lambic lovers.
These are fermented in the bottle and as such a little bit of the SCOBY sits at the top of each bottle, kinda like a little sour jelly.

We're stocking Green Jasmine, Feijoa and Lemon & Ginger flavours.

Brod Kvas is the most recent addition to our non-alcoholic range.
Kvas is a traditional fermented Russian drink, kind of like kombucha but made with rye bread. In Russia it has been commercialised and many sugary versions exist, but more traditional kvas is home brewed all over Russia.
Brod is made by The Kvas Company in Christchurch, and is the first to be making kvas commercially in NZ. But they go all out traditional and even bake the rye bread used.
They're very small at the moment, with just tiny batches being made but we've got four flavours in the fridge now:
Original Rye:  Traditional, unadulterated Kvas.
Lemon: Original Rye with heaps of lemon zest added for an awesome lemony bite.
Rosé: With added rose petals and cardamom pods, this one tastes like a non-alcoholic witbier!
Violtet: An exotic combination of the traditional kvas, lemon and lavender. Floral & aromatic.

Then of course there's the classic ginger beer, our Gladstone's is still fairly sweet but has the biggest ginger kick we could find in a stable ginger beer (ie. that won't explode).

Kereru have been keeping us stocked with their Birch Beer for years now. The distinctive 'root beer' taste of star anise and wintergreen isn't for everyone but will be familiar to those who love sarsparilla.

We've also recently discovered Schneider Tap 3 Mein Alkoholfrei. This is a alcohol free version of their Weissbier, with the classic banana yeast character albeit a lot sweeter due to the halted fermentation.

So if you're at HZ and can't have a beer, don't forget we've got you covered.

Beers You Can Drink That May Interest You


It's not often you can get legit Lambic on tap, let alone in a full sized 473ml US Pint.
Lindeman's excellently balance Gueuze is on tap now and a we're pouring it by the pint.

It's certainly sour, with the distinctive Lambic bacterial character coming through. The tartness only serves to make it more refreshing, and at 4% this is a great session beer.

After last week's hype around Deep Creek's insanely bitter Hoppy McHopface IIPA, it's good to see they can brew balanced beer too!
Along with our (now extinct) keg of Hoppy McHopface we also grabbed a keg of Deep Creek's flagship IPA Pontoon in a Monsoon which is on tap now.

It's got a nice round malt base, hinted at by its beautiful deep amber colour. The hop aroma is huge with a big hit of Nelson Sauvin and Centennial. It all comes together in a beautiful balance, making it very drinkable for its 6.9%.

Following our keg of Lindemans Gueuze goes, we've got an exciting leftover from Beervana's Oregon bar coming on - Ecliptic Ultra Violet Blackberry Sour.
"UltraViolet is brewed with Oregon Blackberries, soured in the brewhouse and fermented with Belgian yeast. The result is a tart and crisp sour ale, with ripe blackberry flavors radiating through it like cosmic rays traversing the universe."

Keep an eye on your apps for this one popping up.

We've got the newest batch of Choice Bros' Red IPA Reet Petite hitting the taps shortly.
Choice Bros had this batch brewed out at North End, and seriously upped the ginger this time round.
What was a tiny hint of ginger in the first batch is now much more recognisable in the latest version.
Reviews of this latest batch are so far very positive, so we're looking forward to this coming on soon.

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.