Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017

Cucumbers and Beer - A Comprehensive History

Pliny the Elder has almost mythical status in the beer world on account of being credited for first identifying and naming the hop plant.

But his friend and Roman Emperor Tiberius was a massive fan of the cucumber. Pliny recorded that Tiberius had his kitchen-gardeners build what were the ancient equivalent of green houses so he could eat cucumber as part of every meal regardless of the season.

(We couldn’t find a picture of Tiberius with a cucumber, but here is one of him with Centurion Picard.)

Now if Tiberius hadn’t been so obsessed with getting boozed on wine then perhaps, with Pliny's help, beer, cucumbers and hops could have been combined long ago.

It took no fewer than two millennia before cucumbers and hops were brought together in a style of German beer that had been on the verge of extinction just a few years earlier – the Berliner Weisse. But given the contempt that the ancient Romans held Germans and beer in, we shouldn’t be surprised that the opportunity was missed all those years ago.


Live in the Lounge

Saturday sees the return of surf rock exponents the Vincent Vega Trio.

Often when the Vincent Vega Trio are booked to play at Hashigo Zake, they make up a new poster, generally based on an old movie poster built around an image of a scantily clad young woman in a pose that…  reflects the mores of a different era.

Here’s the one they sent us this time. It’s relatively mild so we have fewer reservations about this one. It’s based on the poster of a 1971 British movie called Creatures the World Forgot. The French title for the same film was “Violence et Sexe Aux Temps Prehistoriques”. So maybe that’s the theme for Saturday night’s performance – “Violence and Sex in Prehistoric Times”.

You’ve been warned. No cover charge, from 9:30.

Cucumber Hippy

The 8 Wired brewing company was launched at about the same time as Hashigo Zake in late 2009. When their second beer, Hopwired IPA, was first released around Christmas that year, we and a lot of other people really took notice and their place as one of New Zealand’s most adventurous and promising breweries was confirmed. In the seven and a bit years since we’ve lost none of our enthusiasm for 8 Wired and their dedication to continually pushing boundaries while maintaining incredibly high standards.

So when 8 Wired’s down to earth founder Søren Eriksen refers to a new release as a game changer it’s probably worth paying attention. That release is the canned version of Cucumber Hippy - a spin-off of their hoppy Berliner Weisse called Hippy Berliner.

While Cucumber Hippy has been appearing on tap occasionally for over a year now, putting it into 440ml cans is a dramatic move by 8 Wired. To celebrate, this Saturday, we’ll have it available to buy – or maybe even score for free - in cans. But to give it full honours we’ll have a couple of its siblings on tap as well – the original Hippy Berliner and Cascara Hippy Berliner.

And to turn Saturday into a true celebration of the Cucumber, we’ll have a food special in the form of BBQ Brisket & BBQ Jackfruit tacos served on corn tortillas with cucumber slaw, salsa verde, sour cream, fresh coriander, and a slice of lime.

Our recommendation for Saturday? Come in for Cuba Dupa and at the first sign of rain duck for cover, a taco and a cucumber hippy.

On Tap Now

  • Cassels & Sons Alchemist Pale Ale (handpump)
  • Cassels & Sons Best Bitter (handpump)
  • Modern Times Blazing World IPA
  • Oskar Blues G'knight Imperial RIPA
  • Hashigo Zake Staffie Series Island Hopper
  • Hashigo Sake Staffie Series Moalland
  • Garage Project Pils 'n' Thrills
  • Baird Suruga Bay IIPA
  • Mike's Taranaki IPA
  • Almanac Wakatu Sour
  • Hashigo Zake Staffie Series Whare Pango


Did we mention how pleased we are with how our trio of Staffie Series/Modern Times clone beers came out? Seriously they're fresh and delicious and there's one keg only of each.

Almanac have announced that they won't be exporting kegged beer any more. Now they implemented this policy once before and then changed their minds, so we hope that this isn't final. But the supply of kegs of their hoppy sour series is dwindling and we believe that this is the last keg of the Wakatu version in New Zealand.

New in the Fridge!

Look out for the latest releases under the name There Be Dragons. This is the brand of globetrotting beer and winemaker Mike Kush. As part of his annual stint in Central Otago he brews a red ale that incorporates some Pinot Noir juice and puts it in barrels until his next visit.

His latest releases are the 2015 vintage of his beer, which he calls Chasing Harvest, and the blend across multiple vintages called Royal Blood.

Both come in 500ml bottles costing $21.50.

New Release Tuesday - Wild & Woolly/Craftwork Collab Edition

Michael and Lee-Ann from Craftwork have been in Wellington a few times lately and took the opportunity to work with Wild & Woolly on a beer called Cœur de Cerise. Here's the official description:
this beer is a sour cherry and lavender Saison.  The lavender came from W&W brewer Llew's garden in Wellington, while Lee-Ann from Craftwork provided the cherries.  The name comes from the fact that a relatively small quantity of cherries (5kg in 200L of beer) were used, but the beer was left on them for several weeks, thus giving them little cherry colour or fruit flavour, but definite marzipan-y notes that come from the cherry pits.  The NRT keg is only 20L, one of two produced (the other will head down to Oamaru.)  The remainder of the beer will be part of W&W's first ever bottle release in a few weeks time, packaged in 750ml bottles condioned with Brettanomyces for an even more interesting experience as it ages.
Cœur de Cerise is keg conditioned and 4.5% ABV.

But Wait, There's More!

The resourceful Llew Bardecki has another new beer to put on tap alongside Cœur de Cerise. It's called That Tall Tosser. Take it away Llew..:
A table beer whose primary ferment was done with Brettanomyces Clausenii.  This brew was made from leftover wort from W&W's bitter, Badger Me, and once again only one 20L keg was produced for NRT.  It was also the yeast starter for the Brett used in bottle conditioning Coeur de Cerise.  Often primary ferment Brett beers have very little of the funky, barnyard-y aromas that come from secondary fermentation with Brett, but there are definite notes of them here, along with some grass and light fruity aromas from the hops and yeast.  The name is a tip of the hat to the designer of the Badger Me tap badge, as it was his original suggestion for the name of that beer.
That Tall Tosser is 3.5% ABV.

Both beers go on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 16, 2017

New Release Extravaganza

Next week we take New Release Tuesday to new levels, with an unprecedented three beer, in-person homage to San Diego’s Modern Times. Confused?

Modern Times head brewer Matt Walsh is back in New Zealand. In fact, as this is being written, he’s visiting a certain much-loved Nelson brewery to collaborate on a beer. On Tuesday we’ll have him on the premises and we hope he’ll give his seal of approval to no fewer than three beers, made specially at The Occasional Brewer by our very own staff, and based on versions of their own recipes that Modern Times make available.


Saturday Bottle Pour

On Saturday we’re continuing the theme of this week’s not so new release, in that we’re seeing off the dwindling supply of beer from Rogue. There are still a few cases around of Rogue’s Honey Kölsch and there’s the odd bottle of their Oregon Single Malt Whisky (ocean aged for an extravagant three months). We thought this combo would be ideal for a boilermaker. So this week’s bottle pour is a first for us, in that customers will walk away with two glasses, one of which won’t contain beer.

For those who don’t know, Rogue’s Honey Kölsch is one of their ‘Rogue Farms” beers, which means that most or all of the ingredients, including the honey, come from their own farms. Plus the beer is in one of Rogue’s beloved painted 750ml bottles, meaning it’s destined to become a collector’s item.

On Tap Now

  • Modern Times City of the Sun IPA
  • Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout
  • North End E.S.B (Handpump)
  • NOMAD Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose
  • Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils
  • Mike's One More Pale Ale
  • 8 Wired Milou
  • Graphic Origin Story Citrus APA
  • Rogue XS Imperial Stout 2014
  • North End Yellow Eye Anglo IPA (Handpump)
  • North End Yellow Eye Anglo IPA

St Patricks Day

We could scramble to find a stout to offer tomorrow, St Patrick’s Day, but that would be kind of pointless. At the time of writing we have both Eagle Coalface Stout and Rogue Imperial Stout on tap, and they’re likely to still be going tomorrow. And Coalface will be replaced by 8 Wired Big Smoke. Oh and we have 20 bottled beers that are either stouts or imperial stouts. Not to mention a few porters.

What we will be offering is a food special in the form of an Irish Beef Stew, made with Northend Iron Sands Stout.

Coming Soon

Look out for :-
  • Te Aro Seven of Diamonds. Here's what the brewery say about their latest release: "4.3% NZ Pale Ale. Clean, refreshing and sessionable. Perfect for this extended summer we have been having." Everyone's a comedian.
  • Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale. Second chance time! Oskar Blues' flagship beer returns soon.


“the act of forbidding something”
Last weekend some news emerged that shocked and concerned us here at Hashigo Zake and even more so at our importing arm Beer Without Borders. It was announced that production at one of our favourite overseas breweries – Speakeasy - was stopping immediately, while the bank that loaned Speakeasy a ton of money to expand decides what to do. It looks as though the chances of saving the brand and the brewery aren’t quite as low as zero, but to have got this far things must be pretty desperate.
So like Rogue, New Zealand’s supply of Speakeasy beer is dwindling. (It’s just as well Oskar Blues have emerged to fill the gap.) And one of Speakeasy’s best is their amber ale Prohibition. We’ll be putting one of the last kegs in the country on tap shortly.

Live in the Lounge

Live music takes this Saturday off but Vincent Vega Trio will bring surf rock on Saturday the 25th.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017

We're Legal

Hashigo Zake has not one, but two liquor licences - one each for on- and off-premise sales. This week both of them were renewed.

Same hours as before, no new conditions.

Not So New Release Tuesday

Every now and then we throw away the imaginary NRT rulebook and put on something decidedly old. Next Tuesday our "release" will be what is probably the last keg in New Zealand of the legendary Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout.

Back in 2009 the Rogue XS range included probably the most extreme beers that we could put on sale. They came in austere but handsome 750ml ceramic bottles and because the Imperial Stout packed some of the most concentrated flavours we’d ever come across, it was our ultimate finishing beer. Apparently the ABV on this is 11%, but back then we were convinced it was higher.

The keg we have is nearly three years old, but (naturally) it’s been kept cold all that time, so we’re expecting that time will have done little to change the beer except, perhaps, help its intense flavours meld just a little more.

Plus we get to use this amazing tap handle one last time.

It goes on tap at 5pm on Tuesday.

SOBA Awards Reminder

After seven and a half years of trading we’re still incredibly grateful to SOBA and its members for their patronage, and for the fact that there’s a society whose aim is to promote attitudes to beer and the beer business that are kind of similar our own.

So it’s a genuine pleasure to get to host their annual presentation of awards resulting from SOBA’s 2016 membership survey. That takes place in our lounge at 2pm on Saturday. We encourage any SOBA members reading this to come down and enjoy what should be a pretty social sort of a prizegiving. There will be some perks being given away randomly and we’ve got a hand in at least one of those.

Tasting Delayed

Our planned tasting (with guest appearance via Skype) of Oskar Blues beer hasn't quite been confirmed yet. It's frustrating for all concerned but we hope to have this nailed very soon.

On Tap Now

* Modern Times Blazing World IPA
* Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout
* Beer Baroness Danger Lass
* Mikes Full Nelson IPA
* Wild & Woolly Little Brown Kiwi (hand pump)
* Deep Creek Long White Cloudy
* Modern Times Mega Fortunate Islands
* Cassels & Sons Milk Stout (hand pump)
* Baylands Party Pils
* Deep Creek Passionfruit Berliner
* Kakariki Beer Company Thirst Aid


  • Way back in 2011 the beer that made Wellington drinkers sit up and take notice of Cassels and Sons was their Milk Stout. There were few if any milk stouts (stouts that get extra body and sweetness from the non-fermentable sugar lactose) on the NZ market back then and this beer did well at awards and won over drinkers. It's on hand pump at the moment.
  • Making its first appearance since the arrival of fresh stock from California is Modern Times Blazing World, their Nelson Sauvin-imbued amber ale that is so dank and bracing that it's often mistaken for an IPA.
  • Also from Modern Times, and still on tap after being this week's new release, is Mega Fortunate Islands, their hoppy wheat scaled up to an Imperial IPA.

Coming Soon

Look out for :-

  • Northend Yellow Eye. The Waikanae brewery's new sorta English IPA, which will be on tap and on handpump - maybe even simultaneously.
  • Oskar Blues IPA. This wasn't part of the range that we launched Oskar Blues with a fortnight ago, so this will be new to us on tap.
  • 8 Wired - a new shipment of 8 Wired will be with us any moment, including Hopwired, Big Smoke, Tall Poppy and Milou (a new Belgian session beer).

Live in the Lounge

Live music returns on Saturday in the form of Chocolate Thunder. In the words of either the band or our booker:
A sensuous jazz, funk, soul and fusion maelstrom that strikes without mercy where you least expect it. Sheer groovemanship to make your body move and your flowers blossom. Gird your loins, people!

- Conway Jeune - Guitar, excellent vibes
- Bryn van Vliet - Saxophones, Vocoder, Wind Chimes
- Makura Tomoana - Bass
- Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa - Drums

HopStock 2017

HopStock 2017 takes place next month, during the week after Easter. April 19-24, to be precise.

For those who don't know, it's when Wellington bars showcase one beer each from 20 or so brewers who have made beers with fresh, unkilned hops.

In last week's ballot Hashigo Zake and Baylands Brewery were drawn together, which we're pretty pleased with.

Anyone following the facebook accounts of certain Welington brewers will know that there has been some added drama this year regarding the way the hops have been shipped. No doubt it will all sort itself out but it's adding a little frisson to build up.

Stay tuned for more info.

Off Premise

As mentioned above, Hashigo Zake has our own off-licence, meaning that until 11pm we can sell products from our range for you to take away. Takeaway sales are at a discount to bar prices.

We also have the Cult Beer Store - our online store enabling delivery anywhere in New Zealand. The Cult Beer Store features absolutely no grey market beer, and all stock is stored cold. So you can shop with confidence.

You can even click and collect - shop on the Cult Beer Store and collect from Hashigo Zake.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2nd, 2017

Superbowl LI

Something changes when you watch major sporting events while in a neutral country. The ugly, tribal aspects of sports-watching can be dispensed with. Instead spectators take more genuine pleasure in the sport and the occasion and competing supporters seem to get on better when they’re in a neutral place.

It’s apparent when you see New Zealanders and Australians watching a trans-Tasman rugby test in a third country.

And this effect may be why we always find screening the Superbowl very enjoyable. It’s unlikely that the self-esteem of anyone joining us on Monday afternoon will depend on the outcome of the game. A gloom won’t descend on the homes and workplaces of supporters of the losing side. Instead everyone can just enjoy the spectacle, the sense of occasion, possibly some athleticism and drama and the fact that it’s a holiday.

Oh yeah – did we mention the holiday? Once again America’s biggest sporting event lands in the middle of the afternoon on a New Zealand holiday.

To help turn Superbowl into a festival of civil sports-watching we’re reaching into our repertoire of great comfort food and comfort beer. In a nod to the host city of Houston, there’ll be both beef and vegan chillies, served with sour cream, corn chips, cheese and white onion. There will also be hot dogs, chilli dogs and pulled buns (with pork, chicken or jackfruit).

On the taps we’ll have the last keg in New Zealand of Modern Times’ wonderful, Mosaic-accented IPA called Orderville. We've also found a keg of Modern Times Fortunate Islands with Grapefruit. We’ll have many people’s favourite amber ale in the form of Speakeasy Prohibition. And we’ll have Speakeasy’s luxurious Imperial IPA Double Daddy.

We’ve also learned that the Atlanta Falcons are sometimes known as the Dirty Birds, so we’ll be doing specials on bottles of Pelican’s Red IPA called Dirty Bird. There will also be specials on Pelican Umbrella, Coronado Islander, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, Karl Strauss Tower 10 and Rogue Shakespeare Stout.

For the record, Superbowl LI (51) is on Monday the 6th and we think that kick-off is at 12:30pm our time, although with all the ceremony it's sometimes difficult to tell.

We'll be doing our best to blend ESPN/Sky's broadcast of the game with a feed off the web of the advertising, including Budweiser's latest attempt to offend consumers of the breweries that they've been buying out.

It's being staged at NRG Stadium in Houston and the Atlanta Falcons play the New England Patriots.

Here's a little in-joke about what happened the last time the Patriots contested the Superbowl.

On Tap Now

  • Modern Times Aurora Red Rye IPA
  • GP/Mata/Kereru/Tiamana Banaenae
  • Freigeist/NØGNE Ø Best Brewjob Ever
  • Townshend BlitzGreig IPA
  • Te Aro Fred's US IPA
  • To Øl Frostbite APA
  • Mikes Hopstock & Two Smokin Barrels
  • Twisted Hop Nokabollokov
  • Townshend Old House ESB
  • Tiamana Pilski
  • Tiamana Quincee Jones Gose


There's still a rare chance to enjoy the legendary Frostbite, To Øl's pine needle and orange peel infused APA.

And the beer that won the voting in last night's tasting happens to be on tap right now. that's Freigist's surprisingly smokey Imperial Alt beer called The Best Brewjob Ever. (We aren't fans of the name.)

At the moment we're continuing to work through many of the not so conventional beers of Denmark's To Øl and Germany's Freigeist. In the queue to come on is To Øl's Sur Amarillo, which was one of the hits of last night's To Øl/Freigeist tasting. It's a kettle soured IPA packed with juicy Amarillo hops.

And returning soon, after its appearance a couple of Fridays ago, is the radical Freigeist Pfefferkorner, which is so peppery it's thought to induce sneezing.

Waitangi Day

We'll be open as usual with absolutely no public holiday surcharge. (Does that still even exist?)

And as mentioned nearby, we'll be spicing things up in the afternoon with our screening of Superbowl.


New Release Tuesday

To Øl's Sur Amarillo is mentioned elsewhere here. Another in their series of sour mashed hoppy pale ales is Sur Simcoe. It came as a surprise to us that we hadn't had this beer before, having worked through Sur Citra, Sur Amarillo, Sur Galaxy and one or two others already.

Sur Simcoe is classified as a "session IPA", being just 4.5%. And the only hop in it is the pungent, sometimes sweaty and much loved cornerstone of many an-American IPA - Simcoe. We expect earthy deliciousness.

New Bottles!

Finally, new bottles from To Øl, Freigeist and The Monarchy have reached our fridges. Some of these were in last night's tasting. But not all were, so regardless, we all have homework to do. And remember - 20% off for takeaways.

To Øl Totem Pale Ale 
2.2% Gluten Reduced Pale Ale / $10

To Øl Brett & Butter
3.6%  Bretted Table Beer / $10

To Øl Gose to Hollywood 
3.8%  Gose w/oranges / $11.5

To Øl Santa Gose F&#%! It All 
4% Gose w/ Passionfruit, Guava, and Mango / $10

To Øl Ginie in  a Bottle
4.2% Gin-Inspired Gose / $10

To Øl Surt Til
5% Sour Mashed Table Beer (750ml) / $30

To Øl Surt Til Hibiscus & Cran
5% Sour Mashed w/Hibiscus & Cranberries / $18

To Øl Sur Yule
5.4% Sour Mashed Winter Pale Ale with Cherries / $12

Freigeist Miss Florida 
5.5% IPA w/Oranges, Citrus, & Blood Orange  / $13

To Øl  Frost Bite
6% Winter Pale Ale w/Orange Peel & Pine / $12

To Øl Sur Galaxy
7% Dry Hopped Sour Black IPA / $14

To Øl Sur Amarillo
7.5% Sourmashed IPA / $14

To Øl F%$^ Art Winter Is Coming
8% Tripel w/Cardamom, Coriander, & Orange (750ML) / $35

Freigeist Mango Unchained
9% Mango Gose Eisbock / $28

The Monarchy Methusalem Holunderheimer
10% Imperial Altbier w/Elderberry / $18

To Øl Shameless Santa 
10% Belgian Strong Ale (750ml) / $36

To Øl Jule Maelk
15% Imperial Sweet Stout w/Lactose / $25

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!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 15th, 2016

Kaibosh Kegs

This Saturday is Garage Project's annual Christmas fundraiser for local food-rescue charity Kaibosh.
Every year Garage Project donates twelve kegs of GP beer to twelve beery Wellington venues. The venues then donate every cent of each pint to Kaibosh, so essentially you get a beer for donating to Kaibosh.

We've been involved every year, and are proud to support Kaibosh once again. Kaibosh were forced from their premises due to the recent earthquake, so need help more than ever.

We drew the delightful Red Rocks Reserve as our Kegs for Christmas keg, which we'll be tapping at midday Saturday.

Many people plan a 'charity crawl' during Kegs for Christmas - this year Craft Beer College have made it easy to join in.
You can join the Craft Beer College Kegs For Christmas Walking Tour from midday Saturday for just $65.
100% of the $65 is donated to Kaibosh, and you'll visit nine venues with beers and snack included:
- Garage Project (for Pernicious Weed)
- Rogue and Vagabond (for Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubard)
- Goldings Free Dive (for Party and Bullshit - seriously!)
- Little Beer Quarter (for VPA)
- Fork and Brewer (for Death From Above)
- Bin 44 (for Nectarivore)
- Hashigo Zake (for Red Rocks Reserve)
- Basque (for La Calvera Catrina)
- Malthouse (for Dirty Boots)

Portland in Saison

Thanks to a shipping delay and a shipping mix-up we have kegs of saison from two renowned Portland brewers.
Commons Brewery was one of the brewers I was most impressed with when I visited Portland. They absolutely nail Belgian farmhouse-style ales. Their flagship easy dinking Urban Farmhouse Ale (5.3%) has an amazing yeast character but remains simple and refreshing, something that was very much appreciated in the 30°C+ summer heat.
We were supposed to feature Commons Urban Farmhouse in PBE this year, however the Oregon shipment was delayed and didn't quite make it in time. So we get to enjoy it this Tuesday!

The same Oregon shipment held a saisony surprise for us - in the form of Gigantic Hearts & Stars Saison (5.5%). Due to a loading mix-up BwB received kegs of Hearts & Stars supposed to go the Scandinavia, meaning we get a double saison NRT.
With a mascot like Tolly Peppercorn the Battle Raccoon, we're expecting great things from Gigantic Hearts & Stars.

Both Portlandian Saisons will be tapped at 5pm this Tuesday.

Borderstop 2016

Beer Without Borders are turning their coolstore into a pop-up beer shop this Saturday, with this year's Borderstop.

Borderstop opens up everything in the wholesale warehouse for sale to the public, in whatever quantities required. There will also be mix-pack specials (IPA 24 Pack, Summer Session 24 Pack, Modern Times 12 Pack), bottle specials, closeout cases of ending lines, 6 pack specials and even a 'cooking beer' bargain bin.

Borderstop runs from 11:00–15:00 this Saturday at 24 Abel Smith St.
If you can't make it this Saturday, Borderstop will be running again next week on December 23rd for last minute xmas beer purchases!

Last Minute Calendars

Last night we held a pool party in the bar, for our NZ Beer Calendar photo shoot. We even managed to empty the pool without causing another flood!
As you can tell, it's going to be the best photo of the calendar, so to see it in all its glory head to Pledgeme now and lock it in.

There's just one day left to pledge so don't delay in supporting this great cause.

Complicated Holiday Hours

It's heading in to that time of year when businesses change up their operating hours over the holiday period. 
So you know when Hashigo is open, here are our hours over the Christmas/New Year period:

Dec 25 Christmas Day: Closed

Every other day: Midday to late

Easy. We're open from Midday every single day this holiday period, except Christmas (as we're not allowed to be open). Of course this includes off licence sales too, so see you in the beer bunker for some festive beers and relaxation.