Wassailing History

On the bitter cold and frost of a January night, with the stars sparkling overhead in a clear sky, small groups of people, muffled against the chill, process down darkened paths into orchards or to lone apple and pear trees. Some may process in silence, others with as much noise as they can muster. Some may carry torches or burning brands, others drums and shotguns or pots and pans. In each case, one of their number will be carrying a ceramic vessel filled with a steaming brew of beer or cider, carefully trying not to spill it, the steam from the bowl mingling with the cloudy breath of the participants

This is the popular image of the traditional folk custom of wassailing fruit trees – a ceremony intended to begin the process of waking the fruit trees from their winter slumber and the first fertility festival of the folk calendar.

Hallertau comes to Hamilton

Hamilton just became a better place to be for some of us. The Ruakura Campus Club is about to get Hallertau beers on tap.

The Club might be Hamilton’s best kept beer secret, and I had to check with the Club’s “beer coordinator” (and keen SOBA member) Neale Towers, before I let people in on this but I thought it was too good to keep to myself.

The beers on will be Luxe, a delicious, delicately fruity Kölsch-style Ale, Copper Tart, a traditional Irish Red ale, which has the hops to balance its malt driven nature, and Statesman, an American Pale Ale, refreshing in its citrus hop burst.

The Club is open to members and their guests only, but if you live in Hamilton and enjoy a good beer, it’s one of only a few places which will satisfy, so consider joining…

Hats Off to Hallertau

Most micro brewers I’ve met are what Barry Crump would have called “damn good bastards”. They tend to beaver away in relative obscurity, producing beers that are far better than anything the big names turn out. They are almost always friendly sorts, happy to share their knowledge and time with you. They get precious little recognition for what they do, so it has been great to see Stephen Plowman and his Hallertau brewpub recognised in this nice little piece in the Herald today.

I love Stephen’s beers. If you haven’t tried them, get out there and have a taste. You’ll love them too. Trust me, would I put you crook? 😉

Hallertau Hop Harvest Festival

Hallertau Hop Harvest Festival
Saturday March 24, 4pm till 11pm.

An Oktoberfest in West Auckland with eight piece Oomph Band complete with song sheets, singing and general merriment. We have a special Bavarian menu including traditional Kassler (smoked pork) and Bratwurst sausage with sauerkraut.

The band kicks of at 5pm; tickets are $20 on the door. This includes your commemorative German stein to keep and first stein of beer.

We have brewed a special Bavarian Kellerbier to help celebrate the occasion. The Kellerbier is a 5 % German amber lager that is served un-filtered, directly from the barrel on the bar!

It pours with a big, creamy, long-lasting, head; has a golden-bronze colour; a wonderfully fresh, perfumy hop aroma; a remarkably smooth, almost oily, malty palate; very fresh flavours; and a soft finish. It is beautifully balanced, but leans to the dry side. This is a delicious, appetising beer and a true salute to Bavaria’s fast-vanishing artisanal tradition.

Hallertau Brewbar & Restaurant