It's our bumper pre-BrewNZ edition. We sincerely hope you find time to take in everything below, because there really is a ridiculous amount going on over the next nine days.
- Next Week's Events
- T Shirts
- Other BrewNZ Week Treats
- But Wait There's More
- And Finally...
In the ensuing paragraphs, you will find many examples of self-promotion and show-boating as we try to draw attention to the special events and drinks that we have over the next week or two. But it's important to remember that BrewNZ and Beervana represent the best opportunity of the year to catch up with regular customers, suppliers and foreign guests and to celebrate the magnificent benefits we get from having high quality and steadily improving beer at our disposal. If a little of this celebrating takes place on Hashigo Zake's premises then all the better.
So we sincerely encourage readers to enter into the spirit of the event and look for opportunities to socialise and participate. We'll even try and take this advice ourselves.
And when the dust settles, remember our boast that Hashigo Zake runs what is essentially a never-ending beer festival.
Next Week's Events
Next week is without doubt the biggest of the year for the New Zealand craft brewing industry. And not just because of the two days of unashamed beer geekery that make up Beervana. All next week there will be a true festival's worth of events, not least of which are the judging and presentation of the BrewNZ Beer Awards.
We are playing our part in making BrewNZ a city-wide, week-long festival by squeezing in a succession of events next week, in addition to turning up at Beervana with the planet's most outrageously festive beers.
It starts on Monday when the Winston Reid of New Zealand Brewing, Søren Erikson, will take a break from judging the beer awards and will be on the premises from 5pm to 7pm. We'll see if we can bring ourselves to give away some samples of Hopwired (in case there's anyone left that hasn't tried it). In fact Søren has said that he'll make available a one-off keg of Hopwired that has been dry-hopped in the keg. We are also hoping that the same delivery will bring brand new batches of Rewired Brown Ale and Big Smoke Smoked Porter.
The next day it's the turn of Søren's bosses at his day job - Renaissance. The latest batch of Marlborough Pale Ale is being released at 5pm and it has already raised a few eyebrows among the lucky few who have tried it. It is moving further from a typical American style Imperial IPA to something darker, maltier and not so far from a Barley Wine. But it's still extremely hoppy and bitter. There will be samples available and Brian Thiel and, we hope, others from the brewery will be on hand to accept bouquets or even brickbats.
Then on Wednesday we're welcoming Ron Trigg of Mike's Brewery to answer any questions you've been saving up regarding our Passport Beer - Mike's Organic Imperial IPA. Not only that, he has promised to bring samples of this year's release of their Whisky Porter. Ron will be in the house from 4:30pm until 6pm.
We're still hoping to line up another big name from the New Zealand craft brewing industry to take the limelight on Thursday evening.
For Beervana itself, we're killing the fatted calf, selling the family silver and slaughtering the goose that lays the golden egg. Onto the taps of our much loved portable bar will be going the jewels in the crown that is our beer cellar. In no particular, guaranteed order:
- Meantime IPA
- Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine
- Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter
- Rogue XS Imperial Stout
- Jamieson’s The Beast IPA
- Liberty Brewing Summit Imperial IPA
People have been asking us for ages when we'd get around to printing some more Hashigo Zake T-shirts. The day has finally come. What's more, we have agreed to be an outlet for Beervana T Shirts. So right now, today even, you can come on down and smarten up your wardrobe enormously while showing your support for the consumption of quality beer.
Here is the full, new season catalogue:
|Beervana T-shirts in a variety of colours, sizes and styles.||$25|
|Hashigo Zake T-shirts in basic black or charcoal and in a variety of sizes.||$35|
|Hashigo Zake polo shirts in black and a variety of sizes.||$40|
|Baird Brewery T-shirts - a few left in a variety of sizes and styles, made from wagyu cotton and imported from Japan at enormous expense.||$65|
Other BrewNZ Week Treats
If the above snippets of news aren't enough to get you salivating, then the news isn't over.
Sprig and Fern's Harvest Pilsner was the hit of this year's Marchfest and was a roaring success when we snaffled some shortly afterwards. The brewery held back a small amount to enter in the Beer Awards and what was then leftover has been shipped to us. The first keg will come on stream over the next couple of days.
And because the rest of the Sprig and Fern's range is too good to ignore, look out for their Dopplebock, Pale Ale and new IPA. The Three Berry Cider is possibly the brewery's most famous beverage. Last time we put it on it proved a handful to pour on our system and caused a lot of angst and one or two breakdowns behind the bar. But the fact is, it's too popular for us not to give it another try.
Auckland's celebrated Hallertau brewpub have forwarded another pallet of their marvellous beer. This time we have a mix of their Luxe Kolsch, Statesman Pale Ale and Copper Tart Red Ale. And because Hallertau is where the amazing Liberty Summ!t Imperial IPA was brewed, we picked up an extra couple of kegs. (See our list of Beervana beers, above.)
Now we've been teasing regular readers with hints about our Australian (specifically Victorian) shipments for weeks. Well they've finally arrived. Bridge Road's beers have been turning up in New Zealand off and on since, well, last year's Beervana. We've got them to send over their unique Chestnut Pilsner, Beechworth Pale Ale and no fewer than three kegs of the great Bling IPA. We've also been tipped off that Bridge Rd will be at the Brewer's Guild stall at Beervana.
And last but not least comes... The Beast. This is a big, American style IPA made by Jamieson's Brewery, also in Victoria. It's an extraordinary beer and we've acquired more kegs of it than you can shake a stick at. Look out for it on tap in the bar and at the portable cult beer bar at Beervana.
But Wait There's More
Could we have any more surprises up our sleeves? Not after you read the following:
Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is one of the craft beer world's most famous brewers, but he doesn't own a brewery and hasn't quit his job as a school teacher. So he's the last person who should be shipping draught beer around the world. But he does, albeit in small and extremely expensive quantities. We have precisely one 30L keg of his Mikkeller Y Pale Ale. And in honour of our equal-favourite Danish brewer Søren Erikson we'll tap this on Monday night. Which means SOBA members can take advantage of their discount to get this beer at an almost normal price!
An unexpected piece of news dropped into our inbox this morning. Beer and Brewer Magazine, which we subscribe to and leave lying around at Hashigo Zake, have announced the opening of voting in their awards to find the best beer venues in Australasia. There are a number of categories, including "Best Beer Venue - Small Bar/Pub (under 150 patrons)". (Yes there really are fewer than 150 people in on Friday evenings.)
Now we don't want to exert any pressure on you, our subscribers, to take any kind of a stand here. It's a conscience vote. But here, for your edification, is a link: http://www.beerandbrewer.com/index.php?option=com_rsform&formId=14.