These are frantic days at HZHQ. We have a container load of ultra-fresh Californian beer somewhere between the wharf and our warehouse, we're working day and night to spread the word about Nøgne ø beer while the brewery's head brewer is in New Zealand and we're planning for next week's Townshend tasting. Even so two of our staff found time to do particularly well at last night's Regional Wines and Spirits Beer Options Competition. (Dave's team made it three wins in a row, while Shiggy's were hot on their heals.)
So please understand if this week's news is low on details.
We can report with pleasure though, that the visit of Nøgne ø's Kjetil Jikiun has been a roller coaster of brewery visits, interviews, collaborative brews, formal and informal tastings but most of all a LOT of travel in planes, cars and boats. If our goal was to exhaust our guest then we may just have succeeded. We are indebted to the energetic, charismatic and knowledgeable Kjetil and his business partner and wife Cathie for their commitment to this whirlwind tour.
It's important that we acknowledge the assistance of the fabulous Museum Art Hotel, near us over on Cable St, for putting up our guests here in Wellington.
As previously mentioned our tasting dedicated to the work of ex-pat Englishman and Nelson ale brewer Martin Townshend is creeping up on us. This tasting takes place on November 29 at 6:30pm. You can book at the bar or here.
Adam Page and The Counts
We had high expectations for last Saturday's first instalment by Adam Page and the Counts and those of us who squeezed into the lounge that night weren't disappointed. Our first use of the room for a late night gig proved that it's a fantastic and intimate venue for music of this kind, even if Adam banged his head on one of the light fittings disturbingly often.
This series of gigs continues next Saturday at 11pm and continues for three more lively, skilled and thoroughly entertaining Saturday nights. And best of all there is no charge.
Garage Project 22/24
Actually the 22nd beer is going to wait another week as the guys toy with us by returning with another rebrew. After all this is an exercise in research and development, and part of research is repeating your experiments. That means the 22nd, 23rd and 24th brews will fittingly come out on the last three Tuesdays before Xmas (and well before the end of 24 weeks).
So it's to be a rebrew of Pernicious Weed which some of us remember as being a particular hit back on August 2nd when the guys brought their first three beers down to Hashigo Zake. It's a 7.5% assault of Rakau and Nelson Sauvin hops, named in honour of the threat to social and moral standards that the hop plant represented in the 1500s and perhaps does again today.
We've heard whispers that the embryonic brewery might be close to ordering more brewing equipment that won't be so.. er.. bonsai. While it will be slightly sad for Hashigo Zake that our privileged position as the brewery's only regular outlet will be lost, it really will be great for everyone if more of their recipes get brewed on full-sized equipment.