Thursday, 24 December 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Saturday, 21 November 2009
First chance I got I visited Popeye in Ryogoku. While more places are opening up Popeye seems to retain its place as the natural home of craft beer around here. There were a few changes - a single, bilingual menu and the "Hops Heart" which is an ultra-late hopping device like the Randall. But the concept, the friendly well-dressed staff, the extraordinary beer list and the uncompromising prices are still unchanged. I got a congratulations on Hashigo Zake's opening from the legendary Aoki-san and it was a relief to hear the name Hashigo Zake get the laughs that it was meant to. I had a pint of Toshi's IPA (7%! and outrageously rich), two glasses from the Hops Heart (one passing through Centennial that smelt like a peach and custard danish and one Simcoe which was surprisingly restrained by comparison) and an Ozenoyukidoke IPA (always good).
Friday, 20 November 2009
A trip to Tokyo would hardly be worthwhile without a visit to the Baird Brewery in Numazu. Bryan gave me a thorough tour which also gave me a chance to say hello to legendary home brewer Chris Poel. Not that Chris can really claim to be a home brewer any more.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Well it finally arrived and it hasn't disappointed. A succession of oohs and aahs followed the unveiling of Rising Sun Pale Ale (APA) and the Harajuku Taproom Celebration Ale (American IPA). The Rainy Season Black Ale (a hopped porter) went down pretty well too.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
That's now changed and our tired old late '90s decoder was replaced today, letting us show sport in glorious high def.
For those with an allergy to sports bars please remember that there are no TVs in the lounge and in there you can remain oblivious to the fact there are people watching sport elsewhere.
And we've been shopping around as well. Thanks to Mexi-foods and Regional Wines and Spirits we suddenly have access to Sierra Nevada and Anchor Beer. We barely had them in the door today (Thursday) and they started flying off the shelves. Enjoy.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Mikkeller is here! Unloaded this afternoon with a few bottles straight into the fridge and more to join them tonight and tomorrow.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
We found some space on our bar top to install one of the self-contained keg pouring systems that White Cliffs Brewing make available for serving their 10 litre kegs. So we now have nine taps and Mike's Mild is in our lineup, with the new Mike's Pilsener waiting to come on next.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
It was appropriate that the first customers were the Beervana volunteers, who patiently waited while the first four taps came to life.
On tap now are:
Waiting in the storeroom are Three Boys Pils, Three Boys Wheat and Renaissance Stonecutter. And thanks to Beervana we've had the brewers of almost all of those beers through the doors as well.
I'll think up some comments soon about the experience that was Beervana 2009.
Anyone in Wellington who's inclined to come in, please do. We're opening the doors at 5pm every day.
Friday, 21 August 2009
And here it is:
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Joking aside, it's all coming together in dozens of small but frantic steps. Taps are on their way in, as is a heat pump, TV, Sky, flooring, leaners, the enomatic system, artwork, glassware... a couple of pieces left but there's light at the end of the tunnel.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Baird Brewery (recently voted the best craft brewery in Japan at http://forum.beerinjapan.com) are packing their first shipment to Hashigo Zake. This is a huge coup for us, not least because the brewery is in the process of opening only their third outlet - the Harajuku Taproom.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Watershed day today. On a gloriously sunny late winter's day in Wellington, 75 cases of the finest output of Nøgne Ø, Meantime, Flying Dog and Rogue were lovingly de-palleted and hand carried down the stairs to their home for the next three or so weeks. We also started making a few of the minor alterations to the interior that we think will make the bar more spacious and comfortable. Please excuse the grainy camera-phone picture.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Hashigo Zake is one of two major sponsors of Beervana, along with Regional Wines and Spirits. As a result we will have a presence at Beervana and will be open for business after each session (and forever afterwards). We'll be at Stall 11, next to Renaissance.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
I just blew a pile of frequent flier points and visited Tokyo. It was mainly for personal reasons but it did give me a chance to visit the Baird Nakameguro Taproom during its first anniversary celebrations and talk to Bryan about making Hashigo Zake his first outlet in the southern hemisphere. I got to try the Colombus IPA, Four Sisters Spring Bock and Temple Yuzu Ale. No disappointments.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
This is a brand new Nelson bar whose "soft opening" I snuck into. Two things are notable about the place. One is that they are, as the name suggests, a free house. The second is that they are occupying a former church. It's certainly a visually striking place, although with only a few tables and a few customers it felt a little empty when I was there.
Dick Tout is still making beer, 200 litres at a time, under the Lighthouse name. Although he has moved from Nelson to a kind of industrial estate in Stoke. The pilsener was much as I remembered it and he also sold me a bottle of "Nelson Victory Ale", a very English pale ale with a distinctive biscuity malt flavour. In spite of the tiny batch size - or maybe because of it - he also does some contract brewing for 666 in Blenheim.
Monday, 20 April 2009
The Mussel Inn must be one of the best pubs in the world. It's remote, atmospheric, idiosyncratic, hosts great bands and best of all serves its own great beer.
I was really quite impressed by both the Tasman Brewery beer and the success of their own little chain of pubs, all called (slightly confusingly) the Sprig and Fern.
Friday, 3 April 2009
One of Hashigo Zake's exclusive offshore suppliers is sending a test shipment of Japanese beer shampoo. It may yet transform the business.