The latest from Atlas

Monday, 30 June 2014

Mulled Wine Back

Our Atlas mulled wine is back for winter 2014. It's made on the premises to our special Atlas recipe and and is just the ticket after a few runs on the mountain or on a cold day. Or, in this recent unseasonably warm weather, just darn good anyway!

Try one next time you visit!

Atlas Mulled Wine $8 | 11.5%

Monday, 23 June 2014

Things you didn't know about beer: beer history

7,000 years in the making
Got a thirst for some more beer knowledge? We always do and have been roaming around on the internet again to bring you the following brilliant bits of beer info...

Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world. Tests on ancient pottery reveal that beer was being made over 7,000 years ago in what is now Iran.

The oldest recorded beer recipe is a nearly 4,000 years old. It's a Sumerian poem "Hymn to Ninkasi" honouring Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing, that describes early beer production.

In Northern areas of Europe, where grapes are harder to grow, beer was consumed everyday by all classes during the Middle Ages; often being served with every meal. Beer was a safer option for consumption than water alone as the water in beer is boiled as part of the brewing process.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Altitude Brewing Studios: The Long White Cloud On Tap

If you like your wheat beer you'll be pleased to know that we have Altitude's new hefeweizen, Long White Cloud, on tap at Atlas Beer Cafe.

Long White Cloud is a tradtional, German style hefeweizen with a little bit of an Altitude twist as it's hopped with Wakatu (NZ Hallertau) hops. 

Banana and cloves are dominant flavours, as you'd expect with a good hefe, however there are also subtle bready and floral aromas coming through. The mouth feel is rich and palate has banana cake and zest flavours.

A Long White Cloud will make for perfect apres ski drinking - super refreshing after a hard day on the slopes. Or if you're in for lunch we're reckon those famous hefe banana and clove flavours will make for a perfect match with a couple of our new lunch menu items (coming soon).  We recommend:

Mexican spiced chicken in tomato with cheese, sour cream, avocado and lettuce in a tortilla wrap |16.50


Grilled pork with chilli glaze, yoghurt and pickled vegetables on toasted ciabatta |$16.50

Altitude's beers have had a great reception at Atlas so we're excited to be serving this latest release from them. We're sure it won't disappoint!

Altitude Brewing Studios | Long White Cloud | 4.8% | $9.50 pint

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

New Daytime Menu Coming Soon

That time of year is approaching. Just as the Winter Solstice signified the re-birth of the sun to the pagans so it signifies the rebirth of the daytime menu to the Atlas chefs. The arrival of our new lunch menu is imminent! Here's a sneak peak at some of the Atlas goodness that you can look forward too:

Chicken parmigiana with mustard mash and salad | $18 50

Rich lamb ragout with green olives, penne pasta and parmesan | $18.50

Grilled pork with chilli glaze, yoghurt and pickled vegetables on toasted ciabatta | $16.50

With the Chicken Parmigiana and the Lamb Ragout we've got some nice hearty dishes making an appearance in our hot lunch selection. Perfect to revive you after the slopes or fuel you up for night skiing. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Amy Abroad: Cruising the Kennet and Avon Canal

When you can’t go biking, you go barging, and cider drinking of course!

The British canal system is a nationwide network which connects almost the entire country by waterways. Since the Roman times, canals have been used for transporting coal, building materials and many different goods. Nowadays they are used by avid excursionists, off for a spot of recreational travel or as homes on water. These decked out holiday homes are called "narrow boats".  Anyone can hire them as no special boating licence is required! Rich and I were lucky enough to jump aboard his Aunt and Uncle’s 50ft "Phoebe Jones" and motor off for the day.

Please note the average speed of a narrow boat is approximately 2.5 to 3 miles per hour, we weren't getting far quickly! Even the people walking along side of the canals on the towpath were travelling faster than us!  The towpaths were once used by horses to pull the barges along before they had engines. Today they are now very popular with cyclists or locals strolling to one of the 70+ pubs that line the banks of the Kennet and Avon Canal. We, of course, were heading to the pub however we had a full day’s work ahead of us before stopping.

Cider time
The 29 Devizes locks of the Kennet and Avon Canal are known for being one of the longest flights of locks in the World. "Locks" are devices built into the canal to raise and lower boats between two stretches of waterway. Caen Hill of Devizes has 16 consecutive locks which form a steep flight up the hillside. Over the course of a long day we opened and closed the 29 locks of Devizes, travelled 2 miles in distance and had risen 72 metres from our original starting point.  A pint of cider was nearly in our sights and we had definitely earned it!

Hello Dave Zee!
We arrived at the Barge Inn at Seend and moored up the narrow boat. Here we bumped into one of our favourite Atlas locals, Dave Zee, as Seend is his hometown! With Thatchers Gold cider on tap we all couldn’t resist. This traditional English cider, perfect for any occasion, is smooth and fruity fresh with the sparkling taste of crisp apples. There was a massive steak burger on special so we indulged in an evening of delicious drinks and food. Being a Wadworth pub I had to sample a couple of tasty Horizons too!

Thatchers is one of many cider farms located in the Somerset area. Next week I will head across to the border into Somerset for a cider tour. I’ll be visiting a few farms to find out what makes all these ciders so unique and tasty!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Red, red wine: Upside Down Hawke's Bay Merlot

For you vino drinkers here's some more info on our red wine selection, today it's our Hawke's Bay tipple, Upside Down Merlot.

This medium-bodied merlot is vibrant red in colour and has a fruity nose with suggestions of raspberries and plums upfront with some underlying cherries.

The palate is and smooth with subtle tannins and some oak that adds a hint of spice to the finish. It's really easy drinking and like many Merlots, that don't have the strong tannin element of other wine varieties, it's easily matched with a lot of different food. 

You can drink Merlot well with tomato-based dishes and it's responds really well to the "umami" flavours that are found in food such as roast chicken and mushrooms. Heavier styles of Merlot can be served with things like steak or roast lamb.

We think our medium-bodied merlot is a great match with our:

Chicken slow cooked in tomato and olive sauce served with mash potatoes | 18.50

or our

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


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Amy Abroad: Wadworth Brewery

Amy's abroad and my first stop for is Wadworth Brewery.

Located in the heart of Devizes, the Wadworth Brewery is recognised for its history and heritage. They still delivery beer with shire horses and all their pub signs are handcrafted. In addition to the brew house, Wadworth operates over 240 managed pubs within an 80 mile radius - an area which gets nicknamed "Wadworthshire". I jumped onto a daily brew experience tour to get a 1st hand look at what makes this Wiltshire brewery unique.

The tour kicked off in the brewery's visitor centre. We learnt how Henry Alford Wadworth (the Great Great Uncle of the present chairman) purchased the Northgate Brewery in 1875. After 10 very busy years demand was so high that a new brew house was built across the street. Henry being an avid biker would peddle his penny farthing to the managed pubs everyday to check the quality of his beer! After 54 years as chairman Henry passed away aged 77. His legacy remains and some of his original recipes have barely changed over the years.

Next the tour took me into the Victorian Tower brewery and the main production area. Wadworth grow many of their own ingredients and the 2 row barley they use comes from East Anglia. However the hops they use come from countries across the world including New Zealand! On-site 1 - 2 batches of beer are brewed every Monday to Thursday. The fermentation room has 10 vessels and when the room is full it can hold 288,000 pints. To drink an entire vessel I would need to consume 80 pints a day for a year!

The day I visited the two working shire horses, Monty and Max, weren't at the brewery as they were attending the Royal Bath and West Show. However, when they are working they deliver up to two tons of beer at day to Wadworth Pubs within a 2 mile radius of the brewery.

The Wadworth sign shop was definitely the most unique feature of this visit. Here a team of three, Wayne Richards, Dave Young and Paul Martin uphold a very British tradition producing hand-painted pictorial signs for most of Wadworth's 240+ pubs. Each establishment has anywhere between 30 and 50 signs which include the large double-sided pubs signs seen from the road to small toilet or exit signs for patrons. The sign shop is a "no computer" zone so the process includes producing a rough draft design which is then sketched out, painted on lined timber and then varnished for protection. 23.5 carat gold leaf is used on the titles and names which guarantees the letters will never tarnish, even in the worst weather.

The Wadworth Brew Experience is definitely well worth a visit! The beer is tasty and the staff are very friendly. My picks out of the beers I tried are the Horizon which is a golden pale ale or the Corvus which is a smooth, roasty stout. You might just find me sipping on one at my local Wadworth watering hole, The Royal Oak.

Below are some pictures from my visit and I'll be uploading more soon to Facebook. If you want to know more about Wadworth then check out their website

Penny Farthing

Outside the brewery

Hand painted pub signs

Bottles of beer, including Lynn's favourite.