The latest from Atlas

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pints for Wynyard is On!

Tomorrow sees the start of our October promotion. We’ve teamed up with Emerson’s, CoopersAltitude Brewing Studios, Zeffer, Invercargill Brewery and Beaver Liquor/Betty's to donate one dollar from every pint of draught sold at Atlas to the Wynyard Freeride Terrain Park. We raised a substantial amount of money for Wynyard last year so we are aiming to do the same this October. Last year’s dollars contributed towards various works at the terrain park including:

- Two new pro line jumps on the Dream Track
- A new safer walk-up track for Mini Dream
- Rebuilding the beginner lines for better progression
- Re-routing a section of the downhill track to stop an erosion problem
- Maintenance of the downhill track and jumps area.

Currently QMTBC, who maintain Wynyard with local contractor Phatlines, are in the process of getting many of the older wooden features inspected by an engineer. It’s likely that some will need replacing so we're sure any money raised at Atlas this October will yet again put to good use.

So, if you happen to be strolling into town for a quiet pint why not drop in and enjoy one at Atlas? Not only will you be sipping on a quality beer but you’ll be helping out with a great community cause - without even moving from your chair!

As always, please enjoy your pints responsibly

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Renaissance beers at Atlas

Currently, on the Atlas drinks list, we have a couple of guest beers from Marlborough's award-winning Renaissance Brewing. Renaissance, if you're not already familiar with them, make ultra premium ales that "enlighten the palate and thrill the senses". They produce beers in a range of British, American and European styles using New Zealand hops and malt.
Renaissance brews

Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | 4.9% | $14 btl

A rich, intense stout enhanced with notes of dark chocolate that gradually gives way to a subtle hop finish. A portion of organic rolled oats are added to the mash which contributes to the smooth, silky mouthfeel.

Try it with our: Rump steak with chips, salad and demi-glace | $19.5 GF

Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale | 
7% | $14 btl

Nine malts are blended to produce layers of caramel, toffee, liquoric and roasty flavours that gives way to a lingering dry finish. Pairs well with beef and lamb.

Try it with our: Rich lamb ragout with green olives, penne pasta and parmesan | $18.50

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

New drinks at Atlas

New drinks available at Atlas

Not a beer fan but still in the mood for a tipple? Here's some of the non-beer related beverages we've recently added to the drinks list at Atlas:

Fireball Cinnamon Flavoured Whisky | 33% | $8 30ml

All the way from Canada. Fireball is great on ice with a splash of apple juice or enjoy it straight up. 

Peckham's Apple Cider |
5.8% |$9.50 pint 

Deep amber colour with off-dry palate, this is a traditional, vintage cider. Made with 100% cider apples, blended to create a full-bodied, rounded cider. 

Try it with our: Whole roasted sole with garlic, capers, chips
and salad | $18.5 GF

Tyrell's Wines Moore's Creek Shiraz | 13% | $8 glass

From South Australia, this Shiraz has aromas of ripe plum fruits combined with elegant spicy characters. Medium bodied with balanced soft tannins on the finish. 

Try it with our: Rich lamb ragout with green olives, penne pasta and
parmesan | $18.50

Monday, 22 September 2014

Amy abroad: Sea, surf and cider in Cornwall

Britain, I’m learning, is a country full of history, beauty and good beer. Around every corner I find historic architecture, colourful gardens, picturesque countryside and pubs full of locals drinking tasty ales. What I did not expect to find is that some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and coves are also located here. Driving south west brings you to the county of Cornwall. With 300 miles of diverse coastline the Cornish people have the right to brag! Rich and I, along with some friends, decided to go camping for 8 days to explore and appreciate everything this gorgeous county has to offer. As I was heading to the South West again I had an inkling that some more cider tasting was going to be in on the cards…

Similar to the Alps, although not quite as hilly, the roads are extremely windy and narrow; sometimes we had to pull into a bush to let oncoming traffic get by! Cornwall was so much more than I ever imagined. We camped on 14 open acres of farmer’s field at the famous Bedruthan Steps with the Atlantic Ocean as our back drop. Day trips consisted of rock pools and cliff jumping at Treyarnon bay, crabbing and Cornish pasty eating in Padstow, surfing and sun tanning at Watergate Bay, and most importantly Rattler drinking during all daily activities.

Rattler, from Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm
was the first Cornish cider I was introduced to as it was on tap at the local pub and readily available at the bottle shop. Rattler is made from Cornish Rattler apples which are known for their cider making qualities. With three flavours to choose from I had my hands full for a few days. Rattler Original is crisp, cloudy and dry, whereas Rattler Pear sits somewhere between sweet and dry. Rattler Berry gives you the juicy bang every sweet cider should give. All three are thirst quenching and refreshing so I continued my daily cider purchase at the bottle shop.

Due to large amounts of rain, and badly designed tents, our team of 5 decided to move south and treat ourselves to a luxury caravan for the remaining 4 days. Our new base was a camp site in the small town of St Just and from here our daily explorations around the southern coastline continued. We ate fish and chips at Sennen Cove, walked around the old tin mines at Pendeen, strolled across the causeway at low tide to St Michael’s Mount and I scored some wicked surf at Gwenver Beach. We also ventured to Cornwall and England’s most westerly point, Land’s End, and wandered through caves at Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula. Amongst these epic daily activities I stumbled across the The Lizard Cider Barn.

This old white bungalow was a little hidden from the road; however as it was well sign posted I didn’t miss it. Inside was nicely renovated with shelves on every wall. There was a large selection of different traditional local cider, country wine, and Cornish-made liqueurs. You also couldn’t miss the exceptional local art and produce surrounding you, ranging from paintings and fused glass to chutneys and fudge. A small glass flagon reading Cornish Scrumpy caught my eye and it reminded me how parched I was.

Scrumpy is a type of cider found traditionally in the West Country. It’s thought that the name comes from an old West Country word, “scrimp”. This means a small or withered apple and it’s thought that it gave rise to the word “scrump” which means to steal fruit. Scrumpy tends to be cloudier in appearance and often still contains the pulp of the fruit. It is usually bit stronger than commercial ciders and can be dry or sweet in taste.

We enjoyed sampling the entire sweet to dry range of Jacks Ratt cider made in Lyme Bay. I should mention that whilst I was drinking it in a Cornish cider barn, this is actually Devonshire cider. Back on the Cornish cider I tried the flagon of traditional dry Cornish Scrumpy from Mounts Bay Cider Company 7%. This was a bit more rugged tasting and, as you would expect with scrumpy, not sparkling. Then similar in style to Rattler there was the award-winning Polgoon range of apple, pear, and berry ciders. Polgoon is a Penzance-based company who, as well as cider, produce Cornish wine that’s won a fair few accolades.

Noticing the difference between Somerset and Cornish Cider, I fancied you could almost taste the sea salt in cider made with apples from this area. I left the Lizard Cider Barn with my palate refreshed and my hands full and with 2.5 litres of cider on hand I had plenty to enjoy over my remaining days in Cornwall.

Exploring north to south in the rain and sunshine I found Cornwall to be a county that is full of beauty and rich with heritage. I would highly recommend a trip to the far south west to anyone that intends to travel the United Kingdom. It is completely worth it. Also don’t forget to sample all the tasty ciders this amazing area produces.

Kynance Cove

Lizard Cider Barn

Cider, cider, cider

Sipping on cider at Sennen

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Voucher giveaways and assassinations - there's a whole lot happening at Atlas.

We've got lots going on at Atlas at the moment. To coincide with our website refresh this week we're giving away $250 of Atlas vouchers along with some steak vouchers. Want to be in to win? We'll be posting some Atlas-related questions on our Facebook page over the course of the next week. All you have to do is:

1. make sure you like our giveaway posts and Facebook page
2. wait until you have all five answers to our Atlas questions
3. direct message us the answers and if they are all correct you're in the draw! 

The winners will be announced Friday 26th Sept. Check out our Facebook page for more details.

Wes, our general manager, is also running a game of Assassins with sign up ending on the 21st Sept. It's $5 to join the game and is open to anyone in Queenstown over 18 who wants to enter.  A member of the Atlas Alumni, Eoin, ran a game a few years ago and it was a total hit (no pun intended). Again, you can find out more on our Facebook page, so give it a like or pop into Atlas for more information. It'll be loads of fun, just watch your back! 

Next month see the start of our Wynyard promotion. For the month of October Atlas will donate $1 from every pint sold to the Wynyard bike park. We raised a stack of dollars last year for QMTBC, who mantain Wynyard, so hopefully we can do the same this year. This is also being supported by the good folks at Emerson's, Coopers and Altitude so big thanks to them.

And finally once November rolls around and the MTB season is in full flow, it'll be high time for an Atlas style knees-up to celebrate - dates and more details follow. We'll also be welcoming Amy back to the helm of Atlas after her enviable winter of global gallivanting. There's loads going on so call in and see us soon.

'Til next time!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Amy Abroad: The British Motocross Champs and Sampling Some English Ales

I'm back in the UK now after a ton of fun in Europe. Upon my return I decided to ditch the downhill bike and start taking advantage of the motocross bike that is parked in our garage. This road legal 01 KX250 is pretty ancient and faded however it is far from washed up so I was keen to get it out and on the road. This decision turned out to be perfectly timed as it just so happened that a round of the British Motocross Championship was being held at Aylesbury, Wiltshire. I thought it would be the ideal place to get some tips and inspiration by watching the talented riders do their thing.

A bit about the British Motocross Championship…This domestic 8 round series has grown to become one of the most prominent championships in the world, attracting international riders to battle for an overall win. Even Queenstown local and the dirt bike legend, Scotty Columb, rode in this Championship back in 2009. Motocross has been a competitive sport in the UK since March 29, 1924 where the first recorded competition was held in Surrey.

It wasn’t going to be just a day of MX though. Inspired, whilst I was in France, by my chat with Monsieur Mouthom at Le Fer Rouge I was keen to try some more English ales. So before heading to the MX track, I took the KX for a spin to purchase a couple of beers that some friends had recommended. I got to the off licence (that’s UK for bottle shop) bought my brews and headed back (needless to say no drinking and riding involved, folks!) ready to hit the tracks! What better way to enjoy a day than watching some quality riding and sipping on a few quality ales. Nice. Below are my tasting notes.

Wychwood Hobgoblin 5.2% abv

This beer had by far the most visually interesting bottle, displaying a mischievous looking goblin waving a guitar on the label. Made in Oxfordshire at the Wychwood brewery this ruby coloured ale has a moderate, bittersweet taste. The chocolate malt and Fuggles hops produce a delicious, full-bodied, creamy toffee taste which is well balanced by the distinctive, fruity flavours. I particularly like the current motto for Hobgoblin: "What's the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?”. Perfect for drinking on a rainy day whilst watching motocross.

Well & Young Bombardier 4.7% abv

Known as a premium bitter, this iconic English beer was included with history in the making. Brewed at Charles Wells Ltd, founded in 1876 by Charles Wells, all beers including Bombardier brewed here are made with water which comes directly from a well Charles himself tapped in 1906. A legacy that will never die! I describe this bitter amber like I would describe its label; perfectly balanced, full-bodied, rich and very English.

Black Sheep Brewery, Black Sheep Ale 4.4% abv

The darkest of ales I chose, this premium bitter is a traditional Yorkshire beer. Superior quality Maris Otter malted barley is said to deliver consistent good tasting beer. A high amount of Crystal malt gives Black Sheep Ale its rich flavour and darker colouring and a touch of wheat used in the mashing process gives that lovely creamy head. I am not surprised Black Sheep Ale is one of the best-selling bottled beers across the country.

Morland’s Old Speckled Hen 4.5% abv

Presented as a ‘Strong fine ale’ this was definitely my favourite among the four I tasted. Very easy to drink, refreshing smooth flavour, fruity bitterness balanced perfectly and complimented with toffee rich malts finishing with a dry touch. Perhaps a perfect guest beer for Atlas this coming summer!

A cloudy, windy, rainy afternoon did not interrupt the speed of the racers nor did it disturb my excitement to be there watching. I was astonished and amazed with the overall performance of everything, from the size of the massive jumps, to the rumble of the loud engines, to the agility and pace of the riders. The day was a great success except that I was so engrossed I only drank one of the beers and still had three of the four beers left at the end of the final race. Instead of consuming them in the rain I decided to bring them home and enjoy them with dinner.

Next week another road trip is in order so we'll be heading down to Cornwall to check out the coves, do some surfing and search for some delicious ciders.