Top 10 craft beer festivals

There is no shortage of beer festivals and events in New Zealand, each featuring unique craft beers, live music and street food.

Meet local brewers and sample the best beers in New Zealand at these 10 awesome beer festivals. Make sure you plan ahead - some sell out fast.

1. Beervana, Wellington

Spread over two days in August, Beervana is the king of all beer events. The festival showcases intriguing beers, sours and ciders from over 60 breweries.  Beer experts and the beer-curious alike come together at this Wellington beer extravaganza to experience the broadest range of beers in the country. You can also experience live bands, DJ's and silent discos. Book early, tickets sell out fast. 

I want to go to Beervana

2. Hobbiton™ Movie Set Beer Festival, Matamata

Dress the part and work up a Hobbit sized thirst. Your Hobbiton™ Movie Set Beer Festival adventure(opens in new window) begins with a movie set tour, followed by a pint of Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ ale at the Green Dragon™ Inn, complete with your very own beer stein that's yours to keep. Enter the themed party marquee for a feast of traditional Hobbit™ fare. Then, it's time to let the festivities begin. Keep your stein topped up and dance the night away to the themed band. Tickets are limited so book ahead.

Hobbiton™ Beer Festival

3. GABS, Auckland

Beer flavours are only limited by a brewers imagination and GABS(opens in new window) (Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular) is proof of this. The best brewers across New Zealand and Australia come together to showcase their new beer, sours and cider creations at this event. Expect to find bold flavours such as peanut butter, rice, spiced rocket leaves, blueberries and strawberry jelly. Get involved in Master Brew Classes, beer games and a very energetic band. You don't want to miss this!

Take me to GABS

4. Beers at the Basin, Wellington

Grab your mates and a picnic blanket and head to Beers at the Basin at Basin Reserve, Wellington for one awesome day full of beer, cider, wine, and cocktails. Enjoy live music from local artists, tuck into some epic street food and experience Wellington hospitality at it's finest.

Beers at the Basin

5. Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival, Dunedin

Join 6,000 other beer fest folk at the Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival(opens in new window) each year. Grab your free official festival booklet when you arrive at the event, and make your way away around the listed breweries, noting your favourite pours by tasting notes, style of beer, and ABV’s.

Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Fest

6. BrewDay, Wellington

BrewDay showcases Wellington's finest brews and brewers under one roof. Food trucks, live music and 'festival only' beer and cider creations make this an event not to miss. Dance the night away with live entertainment and a silent disco. Taking place over two days, and with two sessions each day, will you choose the day or evening session?

Take me to BrewDay

7. Auckland Craft Beer Festival, Auckland

Each year the Auckland Craft Beer Festival showcases the best of New Zealand's beers. Visit the many tasting rooms and feast on some awesome street food while listening to local bands. Trial your beer recipes, then present your finest brew to the judges at the home-brew competition; first prize is the opportunity to commercially brew your own batch alongside expert brewers.

Auckland Craft Beer Festival

8. MarchFest, Nelson

Grab your mates and celebrate all things beer. Every single beer at MarchFest has been specially brewed for the event and have never been tasted by the public before. Held in New Zealand’s sunniest city, Nelson which has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country and is therefore adequately qualified to host such an event.

Find out more about MarchFest

9. Oktoberfest, Wellington

Dust off your lederhosen or dirndl and celebrate all things Barvarian at Oktoberfest on the Wellington waterfront each October. Devour tasty German style beers with bratwursts, sauerkraut and pretzels. Bavarian oompah bands battle in the Bavarian showdown as they compete for the title of champion bier band of the year. Prost! 

Read more about Oktoberfest

10. The Great Kiwi Craft Beer Festival, Christchurch

Each year Hagley Park, Christchurch comes alive with The Great Kiwi Beer Festival, a celebration of New Zealand’s unique brewing history. International and Kiwi breweries showcase their greatest brews, matched with live performances, DJ's, seminars and tasting experiences. Craft beer connoisseurs teach you top tips in the beer seminars. Expand your craft beer knowledge by attending sessions such as New Zealand Brewing History, How to Match Cheese and Beer, and How to Judge a Beer.

Great Kiwi Beer Festival

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