News, events & new releases 24 January

By BeertownNZ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 National

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Brew gurus coming to New Zealand

Three internationally-recognised brewing experts will visit New Zealand in March for the Home-brewers’ Conference. Gordon Strong, president of the Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP), leads the bill. He will be joined by blogger and experimental brewer Marshall Schott, and sour brewing expert Michael Tonsmeire.

Gordon Strong has won the American Homebrewers' Association's Ninkasi Award three times, making him the most successful homebrewer in the USA. He’s also the BJCP’s top beer judge and author of homebrewing guidebooks. Marshall’s Brülosophy blog is famous for testing brewing techniques and trusims, while Michael is the author of American Sour Beers and writes The Mad Fermentationist blog.

Gordon, Marshall and Michael will be speaking at the NZ Home-Brewer’s Conference in Nelson, and will be the deciding judges for the Conference’s Brewmania competition.

SOBA heroes named

The Society of Beer Advocates announced its annual National Beer Awards last week. The Society gave out 49 awards to bars, restaurants, off licences and events up and down New Zealand. The SOBA Best Beer 2017 Award goes to Panhead Supercharger (for the second time), and the SOBA Best Brewery 2017 Award is bestowed upon Garage Project (for the third time). is awarded SOBA Best Home Brew Store 2016. Outgoing SOBA President David Wood and partner Denise Garland are also honoured by the Society. The Awards are chosen by the Society’s members, described by current President Maree Shaw as “some of the most knowledgeable beer drinkers in New Zealand”. For more information on the Society, and the full list of regional Awards, go to


Events this week

Lift Up Your Kilt - Scottish Session - 25-29 January, Malthouse, 48 Courtenay Place Wellington. The NZ Sevens weekend is being kicked off by Robbie Burns' birthday on 25 January - so hitch up your kilts, and join the hootenanny! Featuring Scottish food and beers from Tempest Brewing, Up Front Brewing, and Drygate Brewery.

Garage Project/8 Wired Cask Takeover - tomorrow, Twisted Hop Pub, 616 Ferry Rd, Christchurch. There's only one thing we love more than cask conditioned real ale, and that's serving exclusive casks from some of our favourite 'keg' breweries! We have "Tropidelic" pale ale and "The Big Smoke" smoked porter from 8 WIRED BREWING and "Party & Bullshit" and "Venusian Pale Ale" from Garage Project in addition to your regular Hop favourites.

Sourtacular Sour Beer Takeover - 4pm tomorrow, Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch.

Emerson's MINI Bar at Volstead - 4pm Thursday, Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch. This one is going to be BIG! From 4 pm the legend himself, Richard Emerson will be here for a 30 minute Q&A. Fair not if you can't make it, he will be here until late.

Dave Fest! - 5pm Thursday, Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki St, Wellington. Dave's leaving HZ for european adventures, and next week will be his last week at Hashigo.But of course he's going out in style. With the help of a few awesome Wellington breweries, he's brewed a keg each of four of his favourite homebrew recipes, which will be on tap for his farewell.

Burns Supper with McLeod's Brewing - 7pm Thursday, Twisted Hop Pub, 616 Ferry Rd, Christchurch. Join us in celebration of Scotland's favourite son - Robert Burns! There'll be haggis, pipers and poetry, accompanied by a tap takeover from the amazing McLeod's Brewery of Waipu! Tickets are available from the bar and are sure to sell out quick!

House of Nicholas Takeover - 4pm Friday,  Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch. The boys from EPIC and Hop Federation will be in showcasing the best and newest they have to offer.

Pre-GKBF Northern Lights Tap Takeover - 5pm Friday, Punky Brewster Craft Beer Fillery, 22bTyne St, Christchurch. Pride of the North for over 5 or 6 years or thereabouts. Come along and enjoy a pint (or several) and a burger with the brewers from 8Wired, Liberty, SawMill and Hallertau breweries! There will be beers brewed specifically for the event, as well as some well-loved favourites from each.

Garage Project Tap Takeover - 5pm Friday, Pomeroy's, Kilmore St, Christchurch. Ten Taps Puring Garage Project!!! Do not miss this!!!

The Great Kiwi Beer Festival 2017 - Saturday 28 January, Hagley Park, Christchurch. Prime your palate, New Zealand's biggest and best craft beer festival returns

Brewers' BBQ - 2pm Sunday, Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch. We're doing it again! Come join us for our recovery session after the GKBF, There's steak sammies on special, Cold beer and hot bloody marys! What more could you want!

Events next week

New New New Tap Takeover - Wednesday 1 February, Hop Garden, 13 Pirie St, Wellington. Dunedin's experimental New New New are coming to The Hop Garden for a tap takeover. Founded by Ian McKinlay with head brewer Brendan Bransgrove, we'll be pouring: Jet Set Coffee Pale Ale, The United Colours of New APA, Pepper Pepper Peper Chilli Pilsner, BB Lemon Belgian Lemon Ale, Fear Not Smoked Eel Stout. We'll also have bottles of Hello World Belgian IPA, Poppy (Poppy Seed ale) and Roubus Couture Raspberry Saison in the fridges. 

Oskar Blues NZ Launch - Friday 3 February, Brothers Beer, 90 Wellesley St West, Auckland. Our friends at Beer Without Borders are bringing in an exciting OG brewery from Colorado Oskar Blues Brewery. One of the pioneers in the industry, bringing awesome canned craft beer to the masses since 2002. We'll have a full range of cans coming in, plus four kegs.

Later events

Twisted Hop Cider Festival - Saturday 11 February, Twisted Hop Pub, 616 Ferry Rd, Woolston, Christchurch

New Zealand Homebrewers Conference - 24-26 March, Founders Park, Nelson

MarchFest Nelson - Saturday 25 March, Founders Park, Nelson

GABS Auckland - 16-17 June, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland

Beervana 2017 - 11-12 August, Westpac Stadium, Wellington


New releases

Epic St Luke Milestone IPA (7%) - IBU: 55. Hops: US Cascade, Columbus & Mosaic. Malts: UK Pale Ale & Crystal. Named for one of the five patron saints of brewing. A career spanning 20 years, highlighted by a continuous stream of trophies from three of New Zealand’s most influential beers. Monk’s Habit, Epic Pale Ale and Epic Armageddon IPA. 3x Supreme Champion Beer of NZ, 30 Best in Class trophies. Brewer of the year. New Zealand’s best beer. Brewers Guild of NZ Honorary Member. An Honour and privilege to be part of the development and growth of NZ craft beer industry. This beer takes my favourite parts of each of these three beers to make this one special batch.

Epic Hopshine pale ale (5.5%) - Aroma of mango, passionfruit and citrus. A flavour that is tropical juice married with a slightly caramel maltiness, and a light bitter finish. IBU: 30. Hops: US Cascade, US Mosaic, US Citra. Malts: German Ale

Stone & Wood Cloud Catcher (5.5%) – From the Beers from our Backyard series. This full flavoured ale, hopped with all Australian Galaxy and Ella, has an aroma of apricots and grapefruit, a full bodied mouth feel from the blend of pale and crystal malts and finishes with a dry clean bitterness.

Stone & Wood The Gatherer 2017 (5%) - Inspired by the slower lifestyle of our brewing ancestors who would experiment with locally sourced produce in their beer. The Gatherer’s recipe is brewed with seasonal ingredients and is changed up each year. With the addition of cooling cucumber, mint and watermelon, the 2017 release is a thirst quenching American Wheat Beer that’s crisp and dry with a lip puckering finish. IBU: low, Hops: Helga and Galaxy, Malt: Weyermann Pils and wheat, Colour: pale with a pinkish hue.

Emporium Brewing Run for the Hills IPA (6%) – Using Gladfield malt and and NZ & US hops. Named after the action we took here in Kaikoura at 12.02am on the 14th November. Not only is this a delicious IPA, but it also serves as a public service notice. What to do after a long strong earthquake - Run for the Hills of course! And if you take one of these with you it will help calm the nerves.

Sunshine Brewery Crab Claw Barrel-Aged Fruit Beer (4.5%) - Gizzy Gold and crabapple aged in Chardonnay barrels for six months. Refreshing summer session beer with a touch of funk


By BeertownNZ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 National