Monday, 28 September 2009

Hop Oil Orgy

That's how Bryan Baird describes his Harajuku Taproom Celebration Ale. The last I heard our first shipment of Baird Beer, including the one-off Harajuku Taproom Celebration Ale will arrive on Friday. The queue to taste these will form behind me.

Did I mention that we will be Baird's first outlet in the southern hemisphere?

The Harajuku Taproom Celebration Ale was brewed to celebrate the opening of the Harajuku Taproom (unsurprisingly) about a month ago. Here is a link to a review of the place by a legendary Tokyo barfly known as "Chuwy".

Friday, 18 September 2009

High Def

When we got Sky installed the lack of a High Definition decoder was a huge disappointment. It seemed that pubs weren't allowed them.

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.

Bledisloe Beer

Just a quick note to promote what's coming up this weekend. To coincide with the Bledisloe Cup game in Wellington we're grabbing the opportunity to put on some fine Australian beers that we have access to. I'm talking about Little Creatures (Pale Ale and Roger's), Wicked Elf Pale, Bridge Road Bling IPA and Hargreave's Hill ESB. They'll be taking over whichever taps become available over the next couple of days.

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.

Feast your eyes on one of our six magnums of the 2009 Special Festival Ale.

Here's the full list.

  • Simcoe IPA
  • Nugget IPA
  • Nelson Sauvin IPA
  • Tjekket Pilsner
  • Jackie Brown 330ml and 750ml
  • Warrior IPA
  • Struise
  • Draft Bear
  • USAlive!
  • Monks Elixir
  • Fra Til (From To)
  • Oatgoop
  • Festival Special Edition
  • Big Worse Barleywine

  • And in the same shipment - more Meantime:
  • Coffee Porter
  • London Porter 330ml and 750ml
  • Chocolate Porter
  • IPA 330ml and 750ml
  • Winter Time
  • Elderflower Maibock
  • Wednesday, 9 September 2009

    Tasting Calendar

    We've been planning a calendar of regular tastings at Hashigo Zake and now's the time to make some noise about them and start accepting bookings.

    First up will be a journey through the beers of Norway's celebrated, maverick brewery Nøgne Ø.

    Nøgne Ø was founded in 2002 by two home brewers. One of them (Kjetil Jikiun) also happens to be an airline pilot who has used his time travelling and his affability to forge links with renowned breweries in Japan (Shiga Kogen), Denmark (Mikkeller) and the US (Stone & Jolly Pumpkin). Luckily the beer is also uncannily good, so for a small brewery their reputation has spread disproportionately.

    I was lucky enough to meet Kjetil in Tokyo late last year and this set in motion a sequence of events that led to us becoming Nøgne Ø's first outlet in New Zealand.

    At the moment we have seven of Nøgne Ø's beers and this includes some of their best - the intense Imperial Stout, the IIPA/Barley Wine called #100, the puzzling Sahti and (don't tell DB) their Saison. Try it before they set their lawyers on us.

    We are now taking bookings for this tasting.

    A week later we will host something a little different - a Sake tasting with live (televised) Sumo thrown in. Our cocktail and sake expert, Shigeo Takagi, will guide us through a sampling of our sake range, plus a few special extras, climaxing in live coverage from Tokyo of the September Grand Sumo Tournament. The tasting will be oriented to beer drinkers - experience with sake will not be a pre-requisite.

    To book for either of these, call the bar at (04) 384-7300 or send us an email at The price for both events is $30.

    Cylon Beer Dispenser

    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.

    Tagger Caught in the Act

    I was thinking of offering a prize to the thousandth person to come in and suggest that we put a sign outside. Well soon we'll have the sign pictured, plus a sandwich board and eventually a sign bolted to the facade of 25 Taranaki St.

    Speaking of taggers, someone fitting the description of the culprit in my Crimewatch post has a court appearance in a few days. I might have to take the day off to be a spectator in the courthouse. Or maybe even a witness.