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.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 8th, 2016

Green Flash Returns

Well, kind of.

Back in 2014 we stopped receiving Green Flash beers due to a change in their export policy. This meant no more West Coast IPA, Double Stout or Palate Wrecker but did open up space for exciting new brewers like Modern Times.
In our final shipment we acquired a 50L keg of their 8.8% American Stout, the afore mentioned Double Stout.
Double Stout is fairly hoppy (for a stout), and also has a huge roasty malt profile. I thought it would be interesting to age a hoppy stout such as this, so the keg has been hanging out up at the BwB coolstore for a couple of years.
With our Old Beer tasting coming up next Wednesday, it's time to crack open the keg and see what's happened to it.
My guess is that it's probably dropped some body and hop character over the years, and picked up aged characters that should work well with the roast. However we won't know until we tap the keg at 5pm this Tuesday.

Is Fresh Best?

Contrary to last week's confusing November date (thanks to everyone that pointed that out...), our Old Beer Tasting is actually happening this Wednesday the 14th.

It's only $35, and kicks off at 6pm. We'll be tasting nine aged beers, some of which you'd expect to age well, others to see how they've aged.
The full list is:
  • Green Flash Rayon Vert 2012
  • Moon Dog Dashers Envy 2014
  • Mikkeller Mielcke & Hurtigkarl 2014
  • Green Flash Double Stout 2013
  • Iron Fist Imperial Rebellion 2013
  • Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine 2008
  • Green Flash Barley Wine 2012
  • Renaissance Tribute Barley Wine 2011
  • Moon Dog Jumping the Shark 2013
There'll be plenty of vintage cheddar to match with your vintage beers, and there'll even be a special 2004 vintage beer from Dominic's personal cellar.

Book your spot in our last tasting of 2016 over the bar or at .

VV3 @ HZ

It's surf rock Saturday at HZ, with the Vincent Vega Trio playing the lounge.
According to the band: "We have sensed a great disturbance in the force, since a certain person become president-elect.
We have deliberated... and come to the unified decision that the only way to combat this is through the power of loud, fast surf rock."

From 9pm Saturday you can hear Chris Armour, Nick Lissette and Greg Crayford loud and personal in the lounge or just chill and chat in the red room. Either way, there will be excellent live music and beer.

Freshly Canned & Kegged

We've been very impressed with the Pirate Life beers we've had on tap so far, so we've grabbed a few of the Adelaide brewer's cans to grace the fridge.
Their Throwback IPA is an excellent option for taking it easy, at just 3.5%. It's got the bitterness and aroma you expect from an IPA, and plenty of specialty malts to back it up with body.
Pirate Life Pale Ale is a classic APA, featuring Mosaic and Cascade aroma hops. While their IPA (6.8%) features a more eclectic mix of Centennial, Riwaka and Simcoe.

Excitingly for cider drinkers, Peckhams have also got on the canning bandwagon and have released a new off-dry canned cider: Alex's Apple Cider.
It's less challenging than Peckham's other traditional ciders, but still has that real cider apple kick.
We're now stocking it as our house cider, and will be keeping an eye out for other can releases from Peckhams.

I was incredibly impressed by North End's new Blackcurrant sour La Mure on a recent trip to Salt & Wood.
So much so that we've got cans in our fridge right now.
Also, Salt & Wood's American BBQ and extensive North End beer range is well worth the train trip out to Waikanae.

We've also got quite a few exciting things coming very soon (probably tonight) in the big 50L cans.
Graphic Brewing's inaugural release origin story Citrus IPA is coming on, I'm looking forward to having Dale and Nolen's beers in the future.
North End's collaboration brew with UK beer writer Melissa Cole is on tap any second and should be interesting. It's a Grisette-style Farmhouse Ale with odd adjuncts: kawakawa leaves & pods, lemon leaf, bay & citrus peel.
La Sirene are back on the sour tap soon with the soured version of their Farmhouse Red, aptly named Sour Red.
They found a pre-sale keg of Ballast Point Indra Kunindra up at the warehouse, so you'll get on last chance to try this incredibly bizarre curry stout on tap. Seriously, curry powder in a stout? It's super weird but somehow it works.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1st, 2016

Modern Times Discovers Pilsner

The thing about NZ beer I missed the most during my time in the USA was the lack of anything resembling a NZ style pilsner.

The light and thirst quenching yet still hoppy and interesting style has no real equivalent outside of NZ. When I asked US beer people why not, they usually replied 'lagering takes too long'. Which is no excuse - the majority of NZ pilsners are actually ales...

The Pilsners I did find in the US tended to resemble European style pils. Clean and earthy/grassy with a light dry finish. Great on  a hot West Coast day, but get boring pretty quickly.

Perhaps Modern Times' head brewer Matt Walsh's visits to NZ have inspired him, with the release of their first ever pilsner: Modern Times Ice Pilsner.
It's the first pilsner to come out of Modern Times, and by the looks of it they've taken a more 'new world' approach:

"The flavor: cold. The crushability: maximum. Ice is our very first pils, and it brings the noise.
Hopped with Czech Saaz and Australian Summer hops, before, like, so many weeks of lagering, Ice packs the flavor of the mighty San Diego mountains into a compact 4.8% ABV package."

We're tapping Modern Times Ice at 5pm - leaving you an hour and a half to enjoy it before Santa Session kicks off.
Speaking of which, Santa Session is now sold out. If you missed out on a spot and want to be put on the wait list, just reply to this email and I'll stick your name on.

Coffee Beer Three Ways

This Saturday's bottle pour flight looks at  how coffee can be used in various styles of beer.

Coffee has been shown to work well in dark beers, so Mout & Mocca Imperial Porter from De Molen is a safe (albeit 11.6%) bet.
Brown ales are more subtle so Modern Times' new Sleepless City will be interesting.
But a coffee IPA? Sounds weird. Rogue's new Cold Brew IPA apparently integrates coffee and hops... but you be the judge.

We'll be pouring 150ml flights of each of these three styles for $15 from midday Saturday.

Bare Beer Calendar 2017

This year's Craft Beer Calendar pledge campaign is almost over, so it's time to jump on board!
Offering a standard and NSFW calendar was quite a bit of work for the organisers last year, so this year the calendar photos will be a mix of clothed and less-than-clothed beery people.

However all of the more revealing photos are done very tastefully, as you can see with Van and I on the right.

The photo ideas I've heard so far sounds like a lot of fun and involve your favourite brewers, bar staff and bar regulars.

The calendar again supports the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network (SAPN), an amazing group that is making a big difference in Wellington. I've personally attended their 'It's Our Business' sexual violence prevention programme for people in the hospitality and came away feeling empowered to intervene when appropriate.

More details on SAPN, the calendar and the pledge rewards are available over on the pledgeme page, where you should pledge now!

Old Beer 2: Another Evening of Aged Beer

Last year's 'old beer' tasting went so well, we've decided to hold it again!
We'll be seeing how a few of the beers are tasting a year on, and a whole lot of new old beers.
Traditionally beers that age well are strong and malty, but recently this wisdom has been challenged by a few members of the beer community who claim other styles age just as well.
At this tasting we'll be trying aged examples of both, in a quest to answer the age old question: "is fresh best?"
Beer Without Borders has a back catalogue of beers ranging from a few years to almost a decade old, and spanning styles from spiced ale and saison to imperial stout and barley wine.
We'll be seeing what happens to a bretted pale ale after four years, how a barley wine evolves over time and learn about how things like oxidation, autolysis affect the flavour of beer.
We're only charging $35 for this tasting, which takes place at 6pm on Wednesday the 14th of December at Hashigo Zake.
We'll also provide plenty of aged cheddar to match with these massive beers:
  • Green Flash Rayon Vert 2012
  • Moon Dog Dashers Envy 2014
  • Mikkeller Mielcke & Hurtigkarl 2014
  • Green Flash Double Stout 2013
  • Iron Fist Imperial Rebellion 2013
  • Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine 2008
  • Green Flash Barley Wine 2012
  • Renaissance Tribute Barley Wine 2011
  • Moon Dog Jumping the Shark 2013
PLUS a very old beer out the boss's personal cellar, from a legendary but now defunct NZ brewer.

Book you spot for just $35 over the bar or on now.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

November 24th, 2016

Don't Miss Santa!

Our annual emptying of the cellar that is Santa Session is two weeks away, but it's almost sold out!

This year's event is from 6.30pm to 9pm on Tuesday December 6th. Basically we declare open season on any stock that's outstayed it's welcome between those hours.

Santa session costs $35, or $25 for SOBA members.
We've got an indication from BwB of which stock they'll be contributing to this year's festivities, and it'll include beers from Pelican, Rogue, Baird, and Bear Republic. Some of which we've never actually seen down here at the bar.
Towards the end of Santa Session we'll also be looking to make space in the 'naughty fridge' (the fridge on the back bar with the pricier beers in it). So don't assume it'll all be old Panhead stock!

There are just 13 spots left for this year's Santa session - so book now or miss out!

Lincoln's Finest

You'll struggle to find beer from The Laboratory outside of its Lincoln brewpub.
This Twisted Hop related pub opened last year and quickly became a pillar of the Lincoln community. They brew enough on their small kit to keep up with the local's demand, but there's just not enough beer for them to distribute this far north.

We were delighted then, to see on the most recent Twisted Hop pallet that a sneaky keg of Laboratory beer had made it on.

Succinctly named Hopping Round The World: Fuggle Edition ESB, it appears to be the first in a series of single hop beers. They're approaching it in a more sensible manner, choosing a classic hop to showcase in a classic style. For example the next in the series is a Hefeweizen featuring Hallertau (don't think we'll be seeing any of that one sadly).
Eschewing the usual handpump serving of ESB, this one's in a keg so it'll be served cold and fizzy. Sorrynotsorry CAMRA.
There's just the one keg, which we'll be tapping as usual at 5pm this Tuesday.

Bogan Jazz

The amazing Death Hos return to then HZ lounge this Saturday, and they're bringing the Jazz metal

Featuring the music of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Steely Dan and Band of Gypsies which will be stretched apart and extemporised upon by the trio of:
- Dayle Jellyman on Keys
- Tom Callwood on Bass
- Reuben Bradley on Drums

And of course, there's no door charge as usual.

Rogue Taps

The latest Oregon shipment is working its way into the bar, with three much loved Rogue beers to be flowing soon.

In the bottle we've just go in the new rye IPA from Rogue: Promise Gone Aw-Rye IPA. I figured given the name that it had Golden Promise and rye malts, but nope. It does have plenty of Rogue Farms malts, and Rogue Farms Dream Rye. Weighing in at 7.5%, it's hefty, hoppy and reminds me a lot of the classic Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic.

On tap soon we'll have the new 7.77% 7 Hop IPA, the addictively delicious Hazelnut Brown Ale and possibly Rogue's most well-known beer: Dead Guy.

It's not a Rogue beer, but the newest release from Wild & Woolly is coming on tap soon and I'm SUPER excited about it.

Back when we were getting a regular supply of Green Flash from San Diego, W&W brewer Llew fell in love with their heavily Summit hopped Imperial IPA.
Now that we can't get GFIIPA, Llew has created an Imperial IPA of his own in the image of GF IIPA: Ogopogo. And I'd say it's better than the original.
Just like Green Flash's it weighs in at 9% and heavily features the uniquely distinct fruity/oniony (in a good way) Summit hop. It's in your face yet dangerously drinkable, and on tap soon.