Jan 19, 2018
Wellington is known as New Zealand’s craft beer capital for good reason. Its craft beers are also enjoying great demand internationally, with some brewers taking the leap to brew overseas in Australia and Europe, so as to be closer to their fans. We say start at the source for a true appreciation of the same Kiwi sense of adventure that’s driving its cafe scene.
Join a ‘class’
Sign up at the Craft Beer College for walking tours of the brewpubs and bars in Wellington, where you will not only taste beers, but also be fed lunch. You can learn about malt and yeast, and discover why some people swear by craft beer – especially New Zealand’s. If you want an ‘exam’, you can get one as well – with beer tastings, of course!
Meet the champions
The Garage Project was started in 2011 by Joe Russell and the Gillespie brothers, Pete and Ian, out of an old petrol station in Aro Valley. In their first year, they brewed 40 different styles of beer; since then, their imagination knows no bounds. They’ve just been crowned champion brewer for the second year running, taking home 26 awards at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand’s Brewers Guild Awards 2017. Some of their quirkier flavours include Cabbages and Kings Horopito Oyster Stout. Go by the Taproom (91 Aro Street) and see, well, what’s on tap.
Let your feet lead the way
If you’ve always preferred to rely on your own devices, check out Craft Beer Capital’s Official Trail Bars, currently numbering around 20. These include Bin 44 Restaurant + Bar on the Queens Wharf waterfront for over 40 choices of craft beer with blues; Rogue & Vagabond Craft Beer Bar in Glover Park with 19 beer taps, live music and beanbags in the sun; and Fork & Brewer Restaurant and Bar, Wellington’s only brew bar with beer and food matching.