Community

Community

As we were record­ing his pod­cast the oth­er day, former beer writer of the year Phil Cook said some­thing that has stuck with me. He said that 2014 was the year of the beer com­munity. Actu­ally, he said that too many of his com­munity ideas had happened at the end of 2014, so it was […]

Brewurism

Brewurism

I’ve been tri­al­ling this word for a while now: brewur­ism. It’s a clev­er port­manteau of ‘brew­ing’ and ‘tour­ism’. For too long Wel­ling­ton has been the poor cous­in of the Wair­ar­apa when it comes to alco­hol-based tour­ism. But now our new crop of inner-city brew­er­ies and cel­lar doors are pulling in vis­it­ors who have been drinking […]

Beer and stripping

Beer and stripping

Many years ago there was a brew­ery in town called Bennett’s. Maurice Ben­nett was a great talk­er and always happy to show off his beers. There’s a whole story about how Maurice’s beers were made (spoil­er alert: not by him), but one beer in par­tic­u­lar always made me laugh: Santa Fe Dream­girls’ Lager. At the […]

A year in Yeastie

A year in Yeastie

I’ve met a lot of incred­ibly nice brew­ers — brew­ers who have offered me their houses to stay in, giv­en me free beer, helped me home-brew. But for me the nicest brew­er is Stu McKin­lay of Yeast­ie Boys. I tell this to Stu as we sit on Par­lia­ment lawn shar­ing a few beers. He smiles warmly, […]

All I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas

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 […]

Cult Leader

Cult Leader

It seems like Wel­ling­ton has always been the Craft Beer Cap­it­al, but it wasn’t that long ago that The Malthouse—which cel­eb­rated its 21st this year—was the only craft bar in town. That all changed when the bar that we all now know as ‘Hashi’ opened up. The man behind the free­house, and noted ‘Heinek­en-free zone’, […]

Dem Bones

Dem Bones

Every year Beer­vana organ­ises a Media Brew where they part­ner journ­al­ists with brew­ers to make a themed beer. This year I was paired with Par­rot­Dog and we made some­thing rather odd. I met Matt Warner, ParrotDog’s head brew­er, at 8am as he was set­ting up what would be our brew kit: the kit that first […]

Polite Society

Polite Society

It makes sense when you think about it. You’re part of an industry and you want to see people like you suc­ceed in that industry. You reach the top and you reach back to help oth­ers up. This is the essence of the Pink Boots Soci­ety, which recently launched its offi­cial New Zea­l­and chapter. Started […]

Fish, Chips, Beer: The answer

Fish, Chips, Beer: The answer

It star­ted, as these things often do, over beers. At a recent gath­er­ing hos­ted by the Brit­ish High Com­mis­sion­er, I had a dis­cus­sion with Sean Gold­ing, own­er of Golding’s Free Dive, about which beer goes best with fish and chips. I was on the side of light pils­ners and lagers, while Sean sided with sour beers […]

Hoarders

Hoarders

A friend came to me and asked, “Have you tried this beer before?” I looked at the bottle and replied, “Yeah, that’s Lean Lamb, a really nice sour beer from the Mus­sel Inn.” Turns out they were return­ing it because they’d tried one and then dis­covered it was past its best before date. The unusu­al, but […]