New Zealand beer tastes pretty good. And Wellington is not just the political capital city but has also become the craft beer capital in recent years. It’s worth spending an evening in Wellington to do a bit of a wander crawl around some of the many craft beer bars that have sprung up over town.
Just for sheer atmosphere, here are a few of my favourites -
Hashigo Zake – this bar is in the cells in the basement of a former police station, and is staffed by a bunch of quintessential bearded craft beer types. Décor is a bit retro and definitely subterranean. An impressive array of beers the guys are happy to walk you through. Hashigo Zake is apparently Japanese for pub crawl. How apt.
Little Beer Quarter – LBQ for short. You have to go looking. It’s up an unlikely looking alleyway behind an office block and is always heaving every time I’ve gone there. Great to sit outside on a fine night.
Black Dog – down at the far end of Courtenay Place, it seems a little out of place in the middle of the Party Zone. A place for a quiet brew, it’s owned by one of the large breweries but the staff are having fun experimenting with different beers here so it’s worth a look. They do beer flights for $22 so you can taste six of the range
Golding’s Freedive – a lively yet casual atmosphere again a little hidden up an alleyway. Some tasty beers here, and you can order pizza from next door.
Finally, if you just want to drink at home then schlep up to the former petrol station in Aro Street and pick up a ‘take out’ from Garage Project.
Because some of these places are a little hard to find, if you are a stranger to Wellington, you can download a craft beer trail map - it's pretty useful.
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