- Baird Kegs
- Importing Beer
- This Week's Highlights
The Baird Kegs delivered last week have been disappearing at a rate that is pleasing but almost alarming. A keg each of Rising Sun Pale Ale, Teikoku IPA and Suruga Bay IIPA gone in six days. Fortunately there is more of each of those. But the keg of Red Rose Amber Ale that went on last night (Wednesday) is definitely the only one in the country.
Now it seems that over the last year or so Bryan Baird has been going out of his way to incorporate New Zealand hops into the Baird lineup. Earlier in the year we secured a few cases of their Kiwi IPA and there have been a couple of other seasonals that we missed out on. But in a day or two we will tap one of two kegs of Baird's NZ Cascade Single Hop Pale Ale. We also have a similar single hop pale ale made using NZ Hallertau Aroma hops.
None of us have tasted these two new Baird beers yet, but past experience suggests that foreign beers made with New Zealand hops can defy expectations.
We've had a steady stream of Australian, Japanese and Norwegian beer lately. And we hope there will be plenty more from the west coast of the US in the near future too. So this seemed a good time to reveal that there is more than just indiscriminate importation going on here. There is in fact a strategy.
Most of the Australian beer we've served lately (in particular those from Jamieson's and Bridge Road) have been sent to us in kegs that are owned by either Hashigo Zake or a New Zealand brewery. These kegs were earlier used to deliver New Zealand craft beer over there. These small orders are a small step towards the goal of creating a network of brewers, bars and discerning drinkers around the Pacific, sharing fresh stocks of each other's distinctive craft beer. This loosely defined ambition is still relatively new, but is shared by like-minded people dotted around some of the countries mentioned above.
The point is that in a roundabout way the consumption of such imports is indirectly helping New Zealand craft brewers get their products abroad. So we can all sip our Beasts and Blings with peace of mind. By contrast, the only thing being sent abroad when you drink the products of this country's industrial brewers is profit.
This Week's Highlights
We have already given a few clues to this week's highlights in the preceding paragraphs. Look out for more exciting instalments in our serialised drama - The Baird Kegs, including Red Rose Amber Ale (now showing) and NZ Cascade Single Hop Pale Ale.
We have more Hargreaves Hill ESB and Jamieson's The Beast IPA to dispense.
We're throwing a new variable into the Pilsner equation - Harrington's Rogue Hop. And while we're at it, we've sourced a keg of Harrington's Wobbly Boot Porter.
Mata's Jaysen came all the way from Kawerau with a keg of the latest batch of Mata's Blondie Wheat.
And in case we were getting predictable with our porters, we're putting on a keg of Emerson's London Porter before reverting to the highest rated Australasian Porter on ratebeer.com - Renaissance's Elemental.
Hallertau's Statesman Pale Ale is on right now, with more Luxe and Stuntman to follow.
Finally... with Christmas coming and certain large import orders on the water or nearly ready to ship, we've cast our eye across our overflowing shelves, looking for anywhere that we might make room for new and returning products. And it is with mixed emotions we note that we have a glut of a certain precious range of beer. It's the Mikkeller Single Hop IPA series, made up of eight different but uniformly delicious IPAs, each flavoured with one and only one hop. They're beautiful beers that have come a long way and still have a year before they expire, but they're taking up a lot of space and are selling slowly. So for the immediately future we're reducing the price on each to a barely sane $12.