Southstralian Invasion 1 - New Release Tuesday
We promised that a bumper shipment of South Australian beer was on its way and it has arrived. So to warm everyone up for next Wednesday's synchronised, trans-Tasman release of Bruce, we're launching two of South Australia's favourite dark beers next Tuesday. First up is Brew Boys Ace of Spaces, a legendary Australian stout that we've been hearing about and looking forward to for many years.
And alongside it will be Woolshed Brewery's Judas the Dark. This one hasn't had as much fuss made about it, but what we hear is definitely interesting. Described as a "dark ale with native roasted wattleseed" and referencing the legend of the Judas Sheep, which is already engrained in the deepest memories of fans of seminal Australian rock band, Hunters and Collectors, this beer oozes intrigue.
And I said our friend the Judas sheep
Today's companion tomorrow's fresh meat
Both will come on tap at 5pm next Tuesday.
Southstralian Invasion 2 - Bruce
It's a long time since we've got to host a Yeastie Boys release, and it took a lot of patience and the loan of 18 kegs to make it happen, but on Wednesday we join Adelaide's Wheatsheaf Hotel in opening the sluices and pouring Bruce.
Bruce is reportedly a 3.5% golden bitter, made with Maris Otter malt and Golden Naked Oats and hopped with Challenger and Big Banger. Yes, you read that right, apparently Big Banger was the nickname of a new New Zealand hop variety, with an extremely high alpha acid percentage, now known as Waimea.
Sadly, Bruce isn't a humorous reference to a Monty Python sketch, but in fact is the name of Alistair Turnbull's bulldog. And Alistair is the brewer at Lobethal Bierhaus where this collaborative beer was conceived. For more insight on how Bruce came to be brewed, check out the yeasties blog.
To help make a night of it, Stu has revealed that a small volume of 2011's PKB Weemix has surfaced and will be made available for us to put on a hand pump next Wednesday.
The Adelaide launch is at 6pm their time. For true trans-Tasman harmonisation we could hold off pouring Bruce until 8:30pm NZT. But it's a school night, so 5pm sounds much better.
Southstralian Invasion 3 - Alistair Turnbull
Now Lobethal's Alistair is so chuffed that a metric pallet-load of his beer has made it to Wellington that he's going to follow it over. Not next Wednesday for our launch of Bruce, as he'll be at the Wheatsheaf in Adelaide, pouring the first pint over there. Instead he's coming over on the weekend of Beervana, where Bruce will be poured along with around 270 other beers at Westpac Stadium. As mentioned above Bruce isn't the only Lobethal beer to make it to us, so on the evening of Saturday August 19 we'll turn a number of Hashigo Zake's taps over to Lobethal beer. There's quite a lot to choose from - a Double IPA, a Stout, a Porter and something called Goodbier, a Citra hopped lager.
And fittingly, or not, there's an Australia vs New Zealand rugby test the same evening.
Choice Beer Week
Choice Beer Week is the new term to describe the week of events that include the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards and Beervana. In the past the name BrewNZ was used sometimes to describe the awards and sometimes as an umbrella term to describe the week. We now have Choice Beer Week.
Now regardless of what it's called it has always been our goal to help ensure that there is a festival atmosphere during that week with plenty of high quality events going on before, during and between the Awards and Beervana. This year is no different.
From Monday August 13 until Sunday August 19 we're maintaining a busy schedule of events. We even listed one above - an appearance by South Australian brewer Alistair Turnbull, with a number of Lobethal Bierhaus beers on tap, on the evening of Saturday August 18.
We can now reveal a little more about that week of events.
- All week we'll be hosting an exhibition of new works by the unofficial Photographer Laureate of the New Zealand Craft Brewing Industry - Jed Soane.
- On Monday the 13th we'll celebrate the launch of Liberty Yakima Monster in 500ml bottles - a radical new move for Liberty brewing that we hope will see their popularity move to another level.
- On Tuesday the 14th, the 2011 Champion Brewer of New Zealand, 8 Wired's Søren Erikson will be on hand for a New Release Super Tuesday - with at least two radical new beers.
- On Wednesday the 15th, in what is becoming a tradition, Renaissance Brewing will be present for the release of the 2012 instalment of Marlborough Pale Ale.
- At 10pm on the Thursday (awards night), Friday and Saturday we'll have live music in our lounge.
- On the afternoon of Saturday the 18th Graeme Mahy of 666 Brewing will be on the premises while we pour his latest release - an as yet unnamed ale expected to be somewhat Belgian in character.
- On the evening of Saturday the 18th the aforementioned Southstralian Invasion continues with Alistair Turnbull here.
Music This Saturday
This Saturday's gig is another that has had Wellington's music community abuzz - Palmerston North blues guitarist Bullfrog Rata teaming up with local harmonica player Neil Billington. It's at 10pm in the lounge.
We continue to keep an eye on potential travesties in the application of intellectual property law in the brewing industry, or just find people making weird requests. There have been rich pickings this week.
Firstly it seems that Heineken-DB-Tiger-Monteiths recognise a good beer name when they see it and are keen to borrow the name of Hallertau's magnificent Porter Noir for something that will almost certainly be inferior. Rehabilitating themselves with New Zealand's serious beer lovers doesn't seem to be on the agenda there.
Stoke seem to be on a mission to trademark well known brewing terms. They already trademarked "bomber" - the North American colloquialism for a 650ml bottle. The week they applied to trademark "Stoke Imperial", an odd decision since "Imperial" is routinely being used as a prefix for just about any beer style to denote a particularly strong or hoppy reinterpretation of a style. If they are successful will they be stopping other brewers from making Imperial IPAs or Imperial Stouts?
Mercifully it seems that the Moutere Inn's attempt to trademark "Shandy" - conceived as a response to Heineken-Tui's successful defence of their Radler trademark - has been abandoned.
And really Kirin-Lion-XXX? "Crafty Beggars"?
The good news is that after nine months Hancocks' attempt to trademark "growler" is still languishing in the "under consideration" pile.
On Tap Now or Soon
If we may say so ourselves, the tap lineup right now is looking pretty special, with stellar beers from breweries like Green Flash, 8 Wired, Emerson's and Garage Project all on. But between the current line up and next Tuesday and Wednesday's shenanigans there are more highlights to look out for. In particular:
- ParrotDog returns. We've got kegs from the first batches of Bloodhound, BitterBitch and new pale ale DeadCanary to come from the brand new setup on Vivian St.
- HaandBryggeriet Fyr & Flamme IPA was a hit at the SOBA Winter Ale Festival. We've got the other keg of this beer.
- Twisted Hop Sauvin Pilsner returns.
- And some time long ago in the mists of time, we got to acquire several kegs of 8 Wired iStout. We're blowing the dust off one of those some time soon.