Visiting NZ soon...

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by foles, Sep 30, 2013.

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  1. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Hi guys,

    Heading to NZ from 15-25 October. Will be travelling between Auckland and Wellington visiting both cities and checking out some touristy stuff in between.

    Any must visit breweries for beer+experience, that will help prioritise my list (I've read up on all the well known places) ?
  2. spicelab

    spicelab Defender (672) Nov 6, 2009 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Can give you oodles of advice on Wellington bars, but not a great deal on breweries.

    Definitely hit up Garage Project, despite the fact they don't yet have an on-premises licence. You can get samples and growlers and it's a great venue.

    ParrotDog is about a 15 min walk from Garage Project, but wasn't open when I was there.

    Black Dog is a slick operation and well worth checking out, although their beer didn't excite me greatly.

    If the new Liberty / Hallertau premises is up and running it would be a must visit, but I think it's a-ways off.
  3. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    The first thing I'd say is that you are probably missing the must visit being the Top of the South. If you can swing it, get the ferry over to Picton and have a couple of days around Nelson, Blenheim and maybe even Golden Bay.

    In terms of Wellington, Garage Project is cool but the tasting room is just that so you need to find their stuff on tap elsewhere. My favourite bars are Hashigo Zake and Little Beer Quarter.

    I'm not as familiar with the rest of the North Island but I did like Hallertau near Auckland.
  4. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Yeah I'll save the Nelson, Blenheim region for another visit. Will have my pregnant wife with me, so not really going to spend the whole trip beer hunting! Looks like Auckland and particularly Wellington seem to have more than enough to tickle my taste buds. Love the way they do cellar doors, will suit me fine on this trip. Will be picking up growlers etc to take on the road........
  5. sirob

    sirob Initiate (140) May 30, 2007 Australia

    If you go through Hamilton Good George Brewing is definitely worth a visit. Beers aren't out there but super balanced and clean, just thought they were real well made and fresh like only brewpub beer can be. There restaurant was a real sharp hospitality operation I thought.
    foles likes this.
  6. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Cheers for the tip - you've just described the characteristics that I crave in beer.
  7. GarageProject

    GarageProject Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 New Zealand (Aotearoa)

    Hi Foles - drop me a line when you're in Wellington and we can help with some suggestions. If you haven't seen it already, is a good starting point for upcoming events and various happenings around town.


    foles likes this.
  8. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Thanks, had not seen that website! Will drop you a line.
  9. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Ok, I'm back from NZ. Beautiful country, took in a good chunk of the North Island. Will hit the South Island next time. Some beery observations:

    - Beer is goooooood, but you knew that already :slight_smile:
    - I like NZ pilsners, almost could be a style in its own right.
    - They seem to understand that beer needs to be kept cold - most bottle shops and supermarkets had cold rooms, even for single bottles. Nearly got frostbite browsing! :slight_smile:
    - Beer in supermarkets seems to be a good thing for craft beer. US style beer ailses (all cold).
    - Bar and shop beer selection seems to be predominantly NZ up front, with a selection of good imports in a supporting role. I'm convinced this sort of balance is required for a healthy beer culture.
    - Alcohol laws seem more mature and liberal than here in Aust. Small breweries are opening in city centres on main streets (Wellington especially). Craft beer sold in many cafes and restuarants on tap.
    - There seems to be a common format for breweries to have onsite tasting rooms - fill your flagon (plastic growler) up at the well.
    - Bars (even reputable ones) consistently serve beer in dirty glasses, like Australia. We should adopt the German/Belgian method of cleaning on serving (but that takes more labour I guess)
    - Water is crazy soft (spring water like) in NZ - great for brewing (and for just drinking in general).....


    spicelab likes this.
  10. chinchill

    chinchill Poo-Bah (7,348) Feb 29, 2008 South Carolina

    Let me pick up where this left off.
    Also visiting NZ soon, including Wellington, but spending most of my time on the South Island with a car. We'll do almost the entire north and west coast plus Dunedin and Christchurch. Any tips on beer-to-go purchases from supermarkets or whatever, great brewpubs, or whatever would be appreciated.
  11. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Savant (903) Dec 29, 2006 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I didn't mind visiting Golden Bear in Mapua near Nelson on the South Island. Good range of beers, the brewer is from California hence the name. We were there mid-winter, but i think it would be a much nicer place to visit this time of year when it is warmer.
    chinchill likes this.
  12. deathevocation

    deathevocation Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2008 Australia

    Sounds like the NZ trip I keep putting off might need to be realised early in the new year.
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