Beer twins turn four - it's a double birthday this weekend, as Auckland's Lumsden Freehouse and Wellington's Golding's Free Dive both turn four years old on Saturday (officially). Special events at each joint - click on the links above.
LBQ rises from the flames - it takes a lot to keep a good woman down, and even more to stop Wellington's Little Beer Quarter. After a kitchen fire yesterday lunchtime, the discrete craft beer & cider venue was opening again yesterday afternoon. Owner Stacey Jane Walsh thanked the Fire Service and said the venue now smells a bit like a Rauchbier.
The fifth annual Craft Beer Capital Hopstock Festival takes place in Wellington from 19-23 April, with 22 bars and breweries taking part in 2017’s celebration of fresh hop beers. Peter Moran, Hopstock organiser and Craft Beer Capital secretary, says Hopstock brings breweries, bars, punters and everyone else involved in Wellington’s ‘good beer’ industry together, and showcases Wellington’s breadth of craft venues and globally unique beer scene. “Wellington is pretty unique in the sense that there aren’t many cities in the world where you can have a walkabout event like Hopstock, with venues so easily accessible from one to the other. The city’s geographical proximity is definitely what makes our beer scene an exceptional destination.” More details are available on the Craft Beer Capital website.
Invercargill Brewery Boysenbeery (6.5%) - Back by popular demand is Boysenbeery Fruit Beer which, at 15% juice, contains three times the berry of most fruit drinks marketed in New Zealand. The high fruit content means each vintage reflects the flavours of the year's crop, the first batch of the summer is crystal clear with a big berry nose and a gorgeous burgundy colour. IBU: 12; Hops: Pacific Gem, Riwaka; Yeast: Belgium Wit; Malt: Gladfield (NZ) lager, Flaked Wheat, Australian Caramalt, Australian Wheat Malt; Accolades: BeerNZ Gold Medal and Best in Class 2008; AIBA Silver Medal 2012.
Invercargill Brewery Half-Wit (4%) - Every family has one. The first in a range of Belgian-styled wheat beers represented by a haplessly whimsical owl. At 4% ABV it’s light, dry and quaffable with the yeast, hops and additional citrus peel all providing a delicious spiced orange flavour. IBU: 12; Hops: Goldings; Yeast: Belgium Wit; Malt: Gladfield Pilsner Malt, unmalted wheat, barley and flaked corn; Other: Coriander & Orange & Grapefruit Zest; Accolades: We drink a lot of it in-house.
JuiceHead Brewing Cascade Chaos Black IPA (6%) - For those who enjoy a casual full-on assault of both hops and malt. US and NZ Cascade hops have been brought together to create a chaotic cocktail of pine and spicy citrus laced through a deceptively balanced malt base.
JuiceHead Brewing Lemonraid Tart Ale (4.5%) - Ever wondered what 100 hand-juiced-and-zested lemons in an American Wheat Ale tastes like?
Sunshine Brewery Young Nick's Pale Ale (5%) - Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Mosaic balance out this quenching everyday-drinking Pale Ale. Named after the headland that dominates the bay in front of the brewery. Available at the taproom from Thursday.
Events this week
Tuatara's Summon Your Senses Tap Series - 25-31 March, Third Eye, 30 Arthur St, Wellington. Tuatara has created a series of six beers, brewed straight from The Third Eye - Tuatara's Temple of Taste to test your taste buds!
Lagunitas is coming to town - 4pm tomorrow, Vultures Lane, Vulcan Lane, Auckland.
JuiceHead Brewing Launch - 4pm tomorrow, LBQ, 6 Edward St, Wellington. Come down to the launch of Wellington's latest (and greatest?) new beer label!
Brew Talk with Tuatara Brewery - 7.30pm tomorrow, Old Stone Butter Factory, 8 Butter Factory Lane, Whangarei. BrewTalk is a place for beer lovers to come together, and get to know NZ producers of fine crafty beverages. This time we welcome Carl Vasta, founder of Tuatara Brewery in Wellington. Carl will bring a number of samples for us all to taste, talk about each of them & answer any questions you have.
Laughing Bones Tap Takeover - 1pm Friday, No. 1 Queen St, Auckland.
Tuatara Change of Seasons - 3pm Friday, Vultures Lane, Vulcan Lane, Auckland. Daylight savings is upon us and that sucks 6 Tuatara taps does not suck neither does sharing a beer with Mr Carl Vasta and some of the Tuatara crew
Liberation Day - Liberty tap takeover - 4pm Friday, Brewers Co-operative, 128 Victoria St West, Auckland. Comrades! Join us in our celebration of Liberty, as we celebrate our freedom from big breweries. We will rise up and take over the taps with Liberty! Friday the 31st of March marks Lady Liberty's birthday (Christina that is, not the statue), and to celebrate this occasion we will be holding Liberation Day, the largest tap take over ever seen in Auckland. We will have 19 Liberty Brewing Company beers on tap, including 4 brand new beers, and 2 unfiltered core range beers. We will be debuting 2 barrel aged beers, as well as pouring the last of of some limited releases.
Wigram Fillery Official Opening - 5pm Friday, Wigram Brewing, 57 Sonter Rd, Wigram, Christchurch. Fillery Grand Opening. Taste some of our brews, have a sausage and register for our Frequent Flyer Club. All those that register for Frequent Flyers Club on the day will go into the draw to win a dozen 500ml bottles of your favourite Wigram Brew.
Mountain Ales 2017 - Saturday, New Plymouth Sports Fishing Club, Ocean View Parade New Plymouth. The third installment of Mountain Ales brings you 10 breweries (almost all new to the festival) and more than 20 beers plus the usual great catering. Get in quick - this event sells out.
Hop'n'Vine Craft Beer Festival - Saturday, Old Southland Times Building, 67 Esk St, Invercargill. Some of New Zealand’s top craft breweries will be at Hop’n’Vine including Tuatara, Garage Project, EPIC, Liberty, Behemoth, 8 Wired, South Paw, Ground Up and, of course, Invercargill Brewery. Several other guest breweries, Central Otago wines and Zeffer Cider will also feature. Includes a home brew competition and a guest DJ from Auckland.
Craft Beer Fair - Saturday, Plimmerton School, Porirua. Due to popular demand and unprecedented success Plimmerton School are hosting another Craft Beer Fair!! 11 breweries and a homebrewing competition.
Events next week
Glengarry Craft Club: Up Deep Creek With a Beer Paddle - 7 pm Thursday 6 April, Glengarry Victoria Park, 118 Wellesley St, Auckland. Deep Creek have been getting up to some crafty business, so we'll be trying some old classics from their range as well as some whacky new brews, as always, with a slice of pizza in hand.
Battle of the Beers - 6.30 pm Friday 7 April, Frederics, 34 Egmont St, New Plymouth. NZ vs USA Join us for a superb evening of five courses, each matched with a beer from NZ and USA. What matches better? Which country will take out the Battle Of the Beers and be named the Champ.
Rare and Wild Ticketed Tasting - 7pm Wednesday 19 April, Brothers Beer, 90 Wellesley St West, Auckland. Brothers Beer have paired up with Beer Without Borders, one of the country's best importers of incredible international beers to bring you a tasting like no other. Our Rare and Wild tasting will feature amazing rare and sour styles for lovers of some of the funkiest, hardest to find beers anywhere. Including: Baird Ganko Oyaji; Almanac Grand Cru White; Almanac Grand Cru Red; La Sirene Wild Tripelle; Freigeist Kopenickiade Vineyard Peach
Hopstock 2017 - 19-24 April, various venues, Wellington. http://craftbeercapital.com/hopstock/about
Freshtopia 2017 - 19-26 April, Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch.
2017 Fresh Hop Homebrew Competition Grand Final - 3pm, Friday 21 April, Fork & Brewer, 14 Bond St, Wellington. The final round of judging for the Annual NZ Fresh Hop Homebrew competition. Preliminary judging will take place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch - the top beers that show case the Fresh Hop character will then be judged against each other for the chance to take out Champion 2017 Fresh Hop Homebrewer. Anyone is welcome to come along and watch as our offical judges taste and judge the homebrew enteries.
Fresh Hop NZ 2017 - Saturday 22 April, various venues, Auckland
GABS Auckland - 16-17 June, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland
Smiths NZIPA Competition - 22-24 June, Smiths Craft Beer House, Queenstown
A Mid-Winter's Ale Festival - Saturday 1 July, Rolleston Community Centre, Christchurch. Showcasing some exciting craft beers and delicious ciders from breweries around Canterbury and the North Island as well as a handpicked selections of beers from overseas. We also have an exciting line up of live entertainment throughout the afternoon plus some awesome food options to match with the amazing line up of beers and ciders. Ticket sales will be available from the 1st of March...
Beervana 2017 - 11-12 August, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Brewers Guild Conference & Trade Show - Friday 6 October, Christchurch
Brewers Guild Gala Dinner (aka BGONZA Night) - Saturday 7 October, Christchurch