1. 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!
2. 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 St) and see, well, what’s on tap.
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3. 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.
4. Get pack mentality
Part of the annual Wellington on a Plate, Beervana (August 10 to 11, 2018) is New Zealand’s most popular beer festival – it was a sell-out last year. Returning to the Westpac Stadium, the next festival, we imagine, will have more beers from more breweries (there were over 450 beers from 64 breweries last year), with more fun to be had.
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5. Get out of town
There’s sun, sand, sea… and Tuatara Brewery on Kapiti Coast, 50km northward of Wellington. The brewery is named after the one-of-a-kind, indigenous-to-New Zealand lizard whose lineage harks back about 200 million years. Sign up for the Tasting Experience, where there’ll not only be a four-beer tasting tray but also beer and food matching, such as a Tuatara Pilsner and fresh seafood coconut ceviche previously.
– TEXT BY ANNE LOH
PHOTOS: THE GARAGE PROJECT, CRAFT BEER COLLEGE, BEERVANA FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.