The Dragon Returns
A few weeks back we thought we were getting a keg of the rare, whiskey barrel aged Brewmasters Edition of Gulden Draak. Sadly due to a shipping error we were sent a keg of plain ol' normal Gulden Draak. Which meant cancelling our planned NRT. It was a boon for us then, when the importer got a surprise keg of actual Brewmasters Edition Gulden Draak in a recent shipment.
We quickly put our name on it, and this time before announcing anything we waited until we had the keg on site. So now with the keg on hand, we're excited to be tapping a keg of 2015 Gulden Draak this Tuesday at 5pm. If you've forgotten what GDBE 2015 is all about, here's the spiel: "Our brewmaster Jef Versele crafted this exclusive ‘Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition’ as a tribute to his grandfather ‘Jozef Van Steenberge’ and the 230th birthday of the brewery.
Non-Alcoholic? Not forgotten!
I recently took a couple of months off alcohol, which can be difficult in my line of work - especially while Beervana is on! One thing you notice when you're off the beers is how cloyingly sweet and boring a lot of venues non-alcoholic ranges of drinks are. It's hard to 'socially' drink things like coke, which becomes sickening and boring very quickly. So I've made sure that Hashigo Zake has a great range of interesting non-alcoholic drinks to suit those of us not able to imbibe.
Good Buzz Booch was one of the first alternatives we took onboard. It's a kombucha, which is tea fermented with a symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast (SCOBY). Because it is fermented there's only 5-7g of sugar per bottle, and the bacteria give it a tartness not unfamiliar to lambic lovers. These are fermented in the bottle and as such a little bit of the SCOBY sits at the top of each bottle, kinda like a little sour jelly. We're stocking Green Jasmine, Feijoa and Lemon & Ginger flavours.
Brod Kvas is the most recent addition to our non-alcoholic range. Kvas is a traditional fermented Russian drink, kind of like kombucha but made with rye bread. In Russia it has been commercialised and many sugary versions exist, but more traditional kvas is home brewed all over Russia. Brod is made by The Kvas Company in Christchurch, and is the first to be making kvas commercially in NZ. But they go all out traditional and even bake the rye bread used. They're very small at the moment, with just tiny batches being made but we've got four flavours in the fridge now: Original Rye: Traditional, unadulterated Kvas. Lemon: Original Rye with heaps of lemon zest added for an awesome lemony bite. Rosé: With added rose petals and cardamom pods, this one tastes like a non-alcoholic witbier! Violtet: An exotic combination of the traditional kvas, lemon and lavender. Floral & aromatic.
Then of course there's the classic ginger beer, our Gladstone's is still fairly sweet but has the biggest ginger kick we could find in a stable ginger beer (ie. that won't explode). Kereru have been keeping us stocked with their Birch Beer for years now. The distinctive 'root beer' taste of star anise and wintergreen isn't for everyone but will be familiar to those who love sarsparilla. We've also recently discovered Schneider Tap 3 Mein Alkoholfrei. This is a alcohol free version of their Weissbier, with the classic banana yeast character albeit a lot sweeter due to the halted fermentation. So if you're at HZ and can't have a beer, don't forget we've got you covered.