Of course, there are a select number of beers here that aren't craft beers, but I notice that these are more the "working man's beer". These are the beers that sponsor sporting events and are (kind of but not really) cheaper than others. On the whole, though, I have found, in Wellington, that Mac's and Montieth's to be the biggest brands around. Mac's is technically a craft beer, much in the way that Sam Adam's is in the States. It's a big company, but it's crafty nonetheless. Mac's has a brewbar in Wellington, so it brews on site, which is pretty awesome actually. The food's pretty delicious too...
|Yummy selection-- I'm a fan of the Sassy Red. Also, notice the pull tab tops. America, you have much to learn. (photo courtesy of www.macs.co.nz)|
In Wellington alone, there are at least six craft breweries, including ParrotDog and Garage Project, the latter being pretty close to where I live actually. Garage Project is super new, so they don't have much beer. Yet. I wish I would be around in the next few years to see what they do. ParrotDog is a little bit more established, and I think one of my favorite things about them is ordering the BitterBitch beer. Yes, you read that right. They're a funny bunch of crafty bastards.
|Let's all laugh at the funny name!|
|Not THAT kind of tuatara!|
Now where do you find all of these delicious beers, you ask? Well good thing there is a handy dandy craft beer tour guide you can find online at the Craft Beer Capital. I told you, they take it very seriously in Wellington. This guide shows you all of the yummy bars in the city that are technically "Craft beer bars," including the one my friends work at. I have unfortunately only been to six of the thirteen bars, but I will conquer them all, don't you fear! So far I'd say Fork & Brewer would be my favorite. If you are looking for a wide selection of beers, good food, a reallllly relaxed atmosphere, and a sweet display of taps, than this is the place to go.
|All of the taps are different utensils/random crap. There's a flute for one tap pull. I kid you not.|
There are also random festivals all the time if you just need to know the latest about the craft beer scene. Just a few weeks ago, there was Hopstock, which showcased beers made from this year's hop harvest. I tried a few, and they were amazing. This festival involved 12 bars and 8 beers. It was really about showing how amazing this fresh beer was and giving publicity to a lot of great bars in the area. Are you getting that Wellingtonians are into the beer thing yet? Maybe?
In August, I hope to attend Beervana, which is basically just all these breweries coming together to show themselves off. Last year, there were 96 breweries present, with 271 beers between them. While this isn't necessarily just for craft beers, it is a really important convention for breweries across New Zealand, and of course it happens in Wellington.