Travelling to New Zealand and Australia

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by dwaz, Mar 1, 2012.

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  1. dwaz

    dwaz Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Hey fellow BAs,

    I will be in Australia and New Zealand mid to end of March for vacation and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. I will be staying in Auckalnd, Queenstown, Franz Josef and Christchurch in New Zealand, and Sydney and Cairns in Australia. I am looking for recommendations on what local beers to look for and places where I can get good beer and food in any of these cities/towns. Not looking for anything too crazy, just cool places to hang out.

    Being from the US, I don't much about good local New Zealand and Australian beer so the only beers I know to look for are Coopers and Epic. Sorry if this topic has been covered in the past, but I can't search past forum topics with the current website upgrade going on. Thanks in advance for any info.

  2. heygeebee

    heygeebee Poo-Bah (1,557) Aug 6, 2010 Australia

    Can only speak for Sydney - and yes indeed a few posts on the old forums. What you can do is search for in the revews are theses - all near the CBD

    • Pumphouse
    • Harts
    • Redoak - tho not what it once was, it's still good.
    • And Murrays at Manly and 4 Pines at Manly - a ferry trip away - highly recommended.
    • Taphouse is a bit of a walk from CBD

    Happy hunting.....
  3. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    Not much that I know of in Cairns and Sydney has been fairly well dealt with.

    Queenstown doesn't have a lot though Dux de Lux and Minibar are decent. Christchurch has changed a lot since my last visit (due to the Earthquake). Check out for details on what the situation is. If you can get your hands on any Twisted Hop or Three Boys beers you will be pretty happy. Auckland is good. Both Galbraith's and Brew on Quay offer some great beers in bottle and on tap. Franz is a bit of a wasteland though there is a Speight's Alehouse which is better than nothing.
  4. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Meyvn (1,019) Aug 29, 2008 Australia

    Cairns----- Blue Sky Brewery
    Sydney--- Also need to put in the Lord Nelson Hotel. Good pub food and decent enough beers
    Red Oak--- Average beers and do not ask for a snifter. Answer is no. Insane prices on their vintage beers
    Pumphouse---- Some decent stuff here and there. Interesting small bites menu
    Harts Pub-- Good atmosphere, some good local beer options, good food. The house beers from Rocks brewing are very true to style. Their IPA was excellent
    Taphouse-- Good food, good location if in CBD or near Fox and Sydney Cricket Ground and on foot. Bit of a hike from a train station though. Skip the bottle list and do the tap options. Sometimes some really interesting stuff on tap, other times not so much.
    Murray's at Manly--- good location, their beers are worth getting, food is overpriced, and service is slow.
    4 Pines-- Near Murray's and the Ferry stop. Very good menu and good beers. Small venue but worth visiting and hitting 4 pines and Murrays. Manly is a lot of fun.
    Go to Newcastle and hit the Albion Hotel Beer List Feb12.pdf
    What to look for--- Anything Feral (WA) as they and Murray's are the best breweries in Australia.
    Mountain Goat IPA's, usually not bad stuff
    Stone and Wood Pacific Ale--- Galaxy Hops!!!!
    Murray's Anniversary Ale (Barleywine) the 6th version is a 15% Belgian style $55 a pop at Murray's though
    Murray's Wild Thing-- Solid RIS, on par with a lot of US RIS
    Get ready to see a lot of Peroni, Heniken, Coopers, Little Creatures and Squire on taps in the CBD Pubs
    Craft in bottles here is pretty expensive.Tapped stuff is OK priced
    Scene is more like the US in the mid-late 90's before the boom went. Quality and quantity of beer has improved a lot in the last 2 years.
  5. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (331) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    I went to NZ and Australia for my honeymoon. It's awesome. Have fun and try not to focus too much on the beer, just try whatever you happen to find locally. Don't order a Fosters though as they will laugh at you.
  6. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 California

    When i went to Christchurch and Sydney a few years ago, some of the beer highlights for me were:

    Twisted Hops

    Red Oak (I enjoyed doing the flight and food pairing)
    4 Pines (amazing mussels that I still crave, it is located right by the wharf in Manly)
    Lord Nelson (Nice building and they have some fun food and beer specials during the week)
    The Australian Heritage Hotel (good amount of taps and interesting pizza)

    One of the best food things about this area is the lamb and the gelato, I suggest filling up on them as much as possible.
  7. HopFace

    HopFace Aspirant (240) Feb 29, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've been living in Auckland for the last 16 months and if you see Mike's, get that. It's good stuff. As for a good bar to get beer, you have to go to the ale house - They have a great selection.

    Check out Yeastie Boys, Moa, Hallertau, and 8 wired. Green Man is ok too but they are hit and miss.

    Avoid - Red Lion, Mac's (like miller), Monteiths (not bad but nothing to write home about), Speights (horrible)

    Hit me up if you have any other questions about New Zealand.
  8. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    Funny, I was gonna tell him to contact you but looks like you've got it more than covered :wink:
  9. dwaz

    dwaz Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Thanks to everyone who responded and E-mailed me, this is great info and I truely appreciate it. If anyone ever makes it to Philly or the East Coast of the US, I'll be happy to return the favor or buy you a beer.

  10. flexabull

    flexabull Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 9, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Just got back from NZ about a week ago, was just on the South Island. I enjoyed beers from Emersons, Green Man (ht and miss), Invercargill, Epic (very good), 8 Wired (also very good) Yeastie Boys, Twisted Hop and Renaissance.

    I also had some beers from Boundary Rd which I think is I macro, but I liked their Pils and Lager.
  11. HopFace

    HopFace Aspirant (240) Feb 29, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Did you happen to get Rex Attitude from Yeastie Boys? I freaking love that peat monster.
    flexabull likes this.
  12. flexabull

    flexabull Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 9, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Yes I did! That beer was a total Love/Hate beer for me. Some sips, I loved, others not so much. Easily one of the most unique beers I have ever tasted. I have a bottle of xeRRex that I brought home too, I am a bit scared to open it!
  13. HopFace

    HopFace Aspirant (240) Feb 29, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I had a xerrex last night. It's ok. It's more balanced. I prefer the rawness of the regular.

    I emailed Yeastie boys about getting Rex to the states and they said "not yet". They have a distributor in the states but no rex as of yet.

    And yea, it's a total love/hate beer. I really hated it the first time I had it, now I can't get enough.
  14. flexabull

    flexabull Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 9, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I actually might prefer the xeRRex then, the regular Rex kicked me in the teeth. I love smoked beers, but that one was like drinking a gold ale out of an ashtray. But man, it grew on me as I drank it, and the second bottle was better than the first.

    Do you like Laphroaig?
  15. HopFace

    HopFace Aspirant (240) Feb 29, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    It's definitely a beer you have to train yourself to like. I was the same. 1st bottle was freaking disgusting, 2nd was ok, 3rd was awesome. I drink 2-3 a week now.

    I never had Laphroaig but I do enjoy a good Islay.
  16. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    That pretty much hits the nail on the head with that beer. The peat smoke is huge but there is this underlying sweetness that really works. It very much has the character of Laphroaig (though technically Bruichladdich) but with the addition of a little sweetness.
  17. TubaManJack

    TubaManJack Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2008 District of Columbia

    I second Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. It was one of my favorite places when I was in Sydney and the fact it's close to the Rocks is nice to.
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