For most of us, December represents the end of a long year; a time to look back at what we accomplished and what we missed out on, and then to look forward to what we should do in the following year. Looking back at the year in beer, I thought I’d make a Christmas wish list for 2015.
It’s been a big year for brewers, for festivals and for beer drinkers. We’ve been spoilt. Every month new breweries, new bars and hundreds of new beers are popping up. We have distributors bringing in beers from all over the world, and the world’s brewers are coming to town and making collaborative brews. The festivals are getting bigger and better, and the smaller events — beer launches, one-off parties, tap take-overs — are getting more frequent and incredibly popular.
And so my wish is for extended good fortune to the New Zealand beer community.
I know that sounds generically philanthropic, and it may also seem unnecessary as many brewers around the country have been doing well. Every time a report is put out about beer sales, both in New Zealand and internationally, the trend is a decrease in overall beer sales but an increase in the ‘craft’ section of that market. The number of dedicated beer bars in Wellington has almost reached saturation point (some might say we’ve passed that point).
Beer is doing well here in the Craft Beer Capital, and there is more good coming in the future.
The Pink Boots Society is doing sterling work in New Zealand supporting women in the beer industry. More women drinking and making beer can only be a good thing. Burying the image of ‘girly beers’, the ridiculous advertising tactics and casual sexism of particular breweries, needs to happen next year.
If you want to support this, and you do because you are a great person, then there’s a lot of things you can do. Buy the Pink Boots beers when they show up at your local bar; let breweries, brewers and bar owners know when they have crossed the line into sexism; support initiatives like the Who Are You? campaign run by the Safer Bars Alliance.
You can also buy the charity New Zealand Beer Calendar, currently being sold via pledgeme.co.nz. The calendar is raising money for Rape Crisis Wellington, and it shows that everyone in the beer community is behind this cause. And that’s the cool thing about a community: it looks after everyone in it.
So go and enjoy your summer, sit and drink beer in the sunshine (responsibly), and let’s hope for an even better year in 2015.