The latest from Atlas

Friday, 28 February 2014

Jabberwocky Brewing Company - Central Otago Pale Ale

Keep a look out: Jabberwocky's Pale Ale
We've got a new bottled beer in on the menu from Jabberwocky Brewing Company. It's a Central Otago Pale Ale and is brewed just a hop, skip and a jump away in Alexandra. 

The fun and fanciful blurb on the bottle reads as follows: "Beware the Jabberwocky! A storyline that conjures up thoughts of a mystery creature. Never seen but always always watching. Told in the Central Otago high country to keep young musterers vigilant for it may be their precious supplies that go missing such as their lunch or worse, their beer! New Zealand males and hops come together and shine in this unfiltered pale ale which finishes clean and refreshing."

As it's always cool to buy local, whenever possible, why not give one a whirl next time you're in Atlas.

Jabberwocky Brewing Company | Central Otago Pale Ale | 5.8%
$10 per 330ml bottle

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Catching up with Altitude Brewing's Eliott Menzies

Sweet as: Altitude's Eliott Menzies checks out
 the sugar content of a brew
Based in Queenstown, Altitude Brewing Studios is a truly local brewery. As we've had a few of their beers on the lines at Atlas of late we thought we would have a catch up with head brewer and founder, Eliott Menzies, to find out a little bit more about what inspired him to start brewing and what we can expect next from Altitude.

Hi Eliott. Tell us a bit about yourself. Are you from Queenstown originally? If not, what brought you here?

I call Queenstown home. I moved here in 1997 and went through the school system. After that I lived overseas for several years, studied architecture in Wellington and then moved back. I really love being in Queenstown and enjoy the lifestyle that Queenstown provides. In recent years the town has changed beyond recognition and become a lot busier but it's still an awesome place to live. You just have to be patient sometimes!

Have you always been interested in brewing?

Not always, but at least for the last ten years. When I was 18 I was living in Scotland and I visited a brewery called Atlas in Kinlochleven which is in the Scottish Highlands. It fascinated me and I started appreciating a good beer. I still have their T-Shirt!

Can explain a bit about the inspiration behind Altitude Brewing Studios - what made you decide to get started?

The idea of Altitude started about two years ago. I was working for Peregrine Wines and brewing regularly from home and was consistently told that my beers were better than anything being sold in Queenstown. The time was right when both our breweries moved out of town. I knew I could have the market as Queenstown's only local brewery, as that means a lot to the locals here. I started to do some research into setting up a brewery and started to save up some money.

We've had the Mischievous Kea IPA on tap at Atlas and it's proved to be really popular. Is IPA a personal favourite of yours? What inspired you to start with an IPA as a first release?

An IPA is a very expressive beer and also one that really showcase a brewer's style. It is a personal favourite of mince as these are so many styles of it and you can really mess around with recipes creating some unique, interesting and awesome beers. A true all NZ IPA was always going to be the place to start for me and the recipe went through a two year development process to get it where it is now. Needless to say there will be many more versions of IPA in Altitude's future.

The beers you make have names that reflect the Queenstown locality. In terms of taste, is there anything you do to represent the Southern Lakes, flavour-wise, when thinking up recipes?

The most important thing to me when experimenting with a recipe, is to give the finished beer a defined backbone - to create a beer that has obviously been thought about and not mass produced. I designed the Goldpanner's Profit golden ale with a hot, Central Otago summer evening in mind - making it dry and refreshing. Then with The Posturing Professional pale ale, I wanted it to be flavourful and sessionable, so it can be enjoyed after a day on the slopes.

What other styles of beer do you like?

I really enjoy the way the English do their beer. An English special bitter or a Scotch ale are both special to me. The combination of cellar temperature and low carbonation means you can actually taste the beer. Some breweries shouldn't hide their questionable products by serving them fizzy and cold. I'm also a sucker for a girl holding a pint of double IPA.

What other releases are on the horizon for Altitude Brewing Studios? Can you give us a preview?

As I mentioned before there will definitely be more IPAs in the future. Next however, I think will be a double IPA which is a supercharged version of it's parent style. Even more hops and an alcohol level of around 9%. A party in your mouth , as they say. After that? Well, a Baltic Porter for Winter and then a low alcohol beer perhaps. There's so many things I want to do! I think though I want to concentrate on getting the current range the best it can be before expanding to much.

Taking a look at the Atlas menu, what dish would you match with a Mischievous Kea IPA and why?

A Mischievous Kea and an Atlas steak cook rare please. Not many things in Queenstown could beat that for an evening meal. In fact nothing, I reckon. Strong flavours need strong flavours. An epic combo.

And finally, describe your perfect Queenstown day.

A bit of a sleep in; ski pow all morning; a couple of rounds of disc golf in the afternoon; go for a run with the dog and then one of those steak and Kea combos. I guess I should fit some brewing in there somewhere also!

Altitude Brewing Studios | Mischievous Kea IPA | 5.5% | $9 per pint

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Emerson's Brewer's Reserve - Summathat Pale Ale

'av summathat!
This is the third instalment in Emerson's voyage of lower abv ale exploration. The task they set themselves was to create a beer with a lower abv whilst still ensuring the beer had plenty of flavour (higher abv accentuate the flavours and aromas in a beer).

We had Nap in the Chair, then Acid Trip on the lines at Atlas and now it's Summathat. 

Summathat is inspired by the long awaited Otago Summer. Feeling in a summery mood after one day of rays in Dunedin the brewers got work. This time throwing in all the hops in at dry hopping time. Simcoe, Cascade, Zythos, Citra and Amarillo hops are all featured culminating in a huge hop hit with a tropical character being backed up by a citrus and piney zestiness. Bitterness is lower than in the previous Nap and Acid Trip ales. The malts are German Vienna for warmth and CaraAroma for some toastiness. 

Emerson's Brewer's Reserve Summathat Pale Ale| 4.9% | $9 per pint

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Emerson's Porter in Bottles

Roasty and toasty the Emerson's London Porter is the current bottled brew we have on the menu at Atlas. Although porters are now oft more associated with cold-month consumption, we know there's a few amongst our beer-loving patrons who savour a drop of the dark stuff. And, with the rather schizophrenic Summer we've had perhaps it was an uncanny bit of foresight on our manager's part to get some in stock, for those less clement days.

You can expect a dry but mellow brew with some hoppy characteristics. The nose is toasty with a hint of earthy sweetness and the beer itself whilst firm is not heavy in body. The finish is roasted malt, coffee with a little bitterness.

Emerson's London Porter | 5% | 11.5 500ml

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Tuatara Hefe at Atlas

We've currently got the Tuatara Hefe on the lines at AtlasIf you are a pilsner fan you might find another refreshing option for the Summer months is a Hefeweizen or Hefe. 

A hefe is a wheat beer or weissbier. Most beers are barley based but wheat beers are made with wheat only in the mash or a combination of wheat with some barley. A hefe is cloudy in appearance and has distinctive banana and clove flavours. Both these characteristics can be attributed to the yeast used (Hefe, incidentally, is German for yeast.) in the case of the Tuatara Hefe is Weinstephan yeast.

Wheat beers are left unfiltered so that the yeast used in fermentation is still present in the beer. If you are drinking bottled Hefe you can gently roll the bottle in your hands to loosen any settled yeast and further enhance the flavours. It'll still taste great on tap though. The Tuatara Hefe is then hopped with Wakatu hops to balance out the sweet banana, clove and vanilla flavours.

As a hefe is a weissbier, bacon and eggs and is a great food match. It'll also go down a treat with fish dishes. Try it with the Atlas whole baked sole with miso glaze, fries and side salad. Or maybe just a nice bowl of fries, whilst sat outside checking out the view.

Tuatara Hefe | 5% | $9 per pint

Please enjoy responsibly.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Feeling a little mischievous?

Altitude Brewing Studios' impish IPA

As is proved so popular before, we currently have Altitude Brewing Studios' Mischievous Kea on tap at Atlas Beer Cafe. The team at Altitude have refined the recipe a little so it's tasting even better than before. A different yeast has been used so that finished beer is a few points drier and the hops a little more pronounced. 

Taste wise you can expect a vibrant hop profile with a fragrant and tropical nose; a mouth-filling palette with mandarin and orange flavours and a toasty sweetness from the malts.

Also, the good folks at Altitude are still making a percentage donation to the Kea Conservation Trust from sales of the Mischievous Kea - so we're all winners!

Altitude Brewing Studios | Mischievous Kea IPA | $9.5 pint | 5.5%

Please enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Emerson's Brewers Reserve - Acid Trip

We recently had Emerson's Nap in the Chair on one of our guest taps and and now we're pouring Acid Trip, the next in line in this Emerson's pale ale evolution.

Acid Trip has less hop bitterness than Nap as the Emerson's brew team backed off on the Centennial hops and "grooved" in a little more US Zythos and US Simcoe. A different hopping technique was also employed called fermenter hopping; adding hops to the fermenter (funnily enough) halfway through the fermenting process - rather than dry hopping, as was the case with Nap.

The result? A session ale with more of that signature Emerson's malt balance and softer, juicier hop flavours. 

Acid Trip is only available for a short space of time from limited outlets, so we're excited to have it on tap at Atlas. Apparently the third version in the is in the brew kettle right now. The name, we're sure, will be equally as inventive. There's certainly no denying that the Emerson's crew keep themselves entertained when thinking up names for their beers!

Emerson's Brewer's Reserve Acid Trip Pale Ale | 4.5% | 9 per pint

As always, please enjoy responsibly. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Heartland Beer Festival

For a whole lot of hoppiness!
Heartland Beer Festival this weekend. Are you going? Atlas will be there in conjunction with Emerson's. So if you are at the festival sampling some choice brews call in at the Emerson's stand to say hi.

It's going to be an awesome day with tons of breweries having stalls there, loads of great food, beer seminars, live music and even an Oompah band! You can take the whole family as well as under 18s get in for free.

If you haven't got tickets yet check out the Heartland Beer Festival website for further details. The weather's looking awesome for the weekend, too. So we hope to see you there. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Loving Atlas lunchtimes

We updated the lunch menu at Atlas recently and have some delicious new editions to the menu. It's the first time we've featured a calzone and it's been going down a treat. 

Calzones, for the initiated, are basically a folded pizza. In Italy sandwich size calzone are sold lunch counters and by street vendors as they make a easy-to-eat and portable lunchtime snack. There are also fried variations too.

Our calzone is filled with beef, bacon, sausage, cheese and onion jam and is served with a smoky tomato chutney and a side salad.  The onion jam and smoked tomato chutney are made at Atlas and we make our own salted dough too.

If you're after a beer match for the Atlas calzone we would recommend a pale ale or IPA, so you could try it with the Emerson's IPA. As our calzone is a particularly meaty offering it would totally stand up to heavier style like a porter also.

Calzone with beef, bacon, sausage, cheese, onion jam, smoked tomato chutney and side salad | $18.50

You can peruse the other tasty morsels on the Atlas lunch menu by checking out our food page.