A year ago a slightly unusual beer snuck onto our shelves - Frog's Breath was then a new beer from San Diego's Coronado. It was a 6.5% IPA with the rind of limes, oranges and lemons added to the boil. The result was a beer many of us thought was absolutely delicious, even if it had more sediment than just about any commercial beer.
The second ever batch of Frog's Breath is back in 2013 and we've snapped up an extra large order of it. It will make an appearance on tap and we'll be waiting nervously to see what becomes of all that pith when it's poured from a keg.
For those wondering, the name is a reference to the beer's origin as a home brew developed by two former navy frogmen.
SOBA Winter Ale Festival
The SOBA Winter Ale Festival, also known occasionally as "Matariki", is back in 2013 after an extended search for a new date and venue. That venue is the Hunter Lounge at Victoria University and the date is Saturday July 20. This event sold out easily in 2011 and 2012 and is an incredibly popular get-together for Wellington's community of beer lovers. But then the readers of this email probably already know that.
Tickets are at SOBA's website.
Craft Beer College Exam
Craft Beer College's 2013 curriculum comes to a close with the world's least demanding exam on Saturday July 13. That is to say it's undemanding unless you're keen on taking home some fairly desirable prizes, in which case it might actually be a little competitive.
Participants in the tastings they've been running might be at a slight advantage, but the event is open to all. To join in, get in touch with CBC by email.
It's a rare double header this weekend and both acts are heavy hitters. First on Friday it's a rare appearance by the one and only Adam Page and the Counts. Adam will be joined by regular collaborator Riki Gooch and Phoenix Foundation's Tom Callwood.
To reinforce just how funk-forward tomorrow evening will be, we've dubbed it Fat Funk Friday and will be encouraging all present to partake of some Funk Estate Oh Lordy!
Then on Saturday night it's the turn of a man who can play the blues with absolute credibility even when he's right in front of an air conditioner. That would be Darren Watson and his Underground Blues Band.
And what would you expect to pay for not one but two nights of amazing live entertainment in the same underground lounge? That's right $0.
Fourth of July
It's seven days until American Independence Day, which is quickly turning into the unofficial, worldwide day of celebration of US craft beer. This year we're not only raiding our keg store, we're also fast-tracking the arrival and distribution of orders of beer from multiple US breweries so we can line up a whole eight taps of American beer.
We've already announced that we'll have Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA (as discussed last week) and Coronado Frog's Breath IPA (see above). We can also announce that we'll have Rogue Shakespeare Stout on tap, which isn't completely new, except that this keg will be nitrogenated and so will be poured with the famously silky texture of a nitro stout.
Remaining details will be liberated independently between now and July the 4th, but will include some pretty amazing returning favourites.
We're also going to try something pretty revolutionary (for us) in the way of food, with American-style barbecue being prepared by Three Little Pigs just outside our premises and for sale to our customers.
Next Tuesday's New Release
Next week it's another one-off keg from Left Coast that's particularly fitting for the middle of winter. This time it's their Oatmeal Stout. We aren't spoiled with information on this beer, but have reason to believe that it's also known as Zombified. It will be on tap from 5pm on Tuesday.
This Weekend's Charcuterie Tasting
This Sunday our second ever Charcuterie Tasting, in collaboration with Big Bad Wolf, takes place in our lounge. We were afraid that we might be forced to postpone as Big Bad Wolf have been closed for a couple of weeks after a nasty refrigeration failure. But we've been assured that we're all good to go on Sunday afternoon. (This event is sold out.)