Funk Estate

I learned something remarkable on Tuesday the 22nd of May:

If you flip one of the Hashigo beer taps on and leave it running, it will take less than 15 minutes to empty a 50 litre keg. I learned this because local brewing company Funk Estate was making their debut and the beer crowd had turned out in force. In a scene reminiscent of the Parrotdog launch night almost a year ago (with slightly less Hipsters), the bar was crammed full of punters eager for their first taste of Wellington’s latest brewing enterprise.

Demand was so high we literally turned the tap on and didn’t stop pouring until the first keg was empty (a tricky feat which requires a delicate conveyor system where pint glasses are passed under the stream of beer without spilling a precious drop). It came as no surprise then, that that particular evening also saw two new records at Hashigo: our busiest weekday since opening, and the fastest selling of any beer ever. All told, 250 litres disappeared in just over three hours.

Funk Estate is the initiative of four local chaps: Shigeo ‘Shiggy’ Takagi, Dan Lord, Jordan Evirson and Dylan Shearer (not me, the other Dylan). These chaps have all been around the Wellington beer scene for awhile now and at least one or more can usually be found in residence at Hashigo.

The beer itself was a Black IPA: a rich, bitter, hoppy dark beer. Feedback from customers was highly positive, and demand has outstripped meagre supply. It seems some people have trouble grasping the concept of small-scale batch brewing. On the plus side however, this has lead to the delightful request from a customer: “do you have The Funk?”

These shortages however, are only temporary. Another batch of Black IPA is already conditioning away and should be hitting taps soon. There are also rumours of an imperial version of this beer, brewed on the 200 litre Massey kit in Palmerston North.

Most exciting however, is Funk Estate’s contribution to the up and coming SOBA Winter Ale Festival: a Coconut Stout. This style is a modern classic and reasonably common in the States but a criminally rare down here. It’s awesome then, that someone is finally going to be producing it on a larger scale here in New Zealand. If homebrew test batched are anything to go off, this beer should be a real highlight of the festival.

Seek it out and stay Funky y’all! Dylan Jauslin

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