Meet local brewers, discover a new drop, listen to music and chill out with your friends at a craft beer festival.
Beer lovers from all over the country descend on Wellington every August to sample the latest offerings from breweries both locally and abroad. No longer just a Kiwi backyard BBQ and brew, Beervana(opens in new window) highlight the nation's brewing heavyweights from Whangarei to Invercargill. Whether you’re a beer lover or discoverer this is your chance to experience the biggest and broadest range of beers in the country.
In honour of our German friends, New Zealand hosts its very own Oktoberfest(opens in new window) each year in Wellington. This is a celebration of beer combined with Bavarian culture and a few additional Kiwi twists. Conveniently timed to align with the tapping of kegs in Munich, Wellington Oktoberfest has endless beer, authentic Bavarian food, and the country’s most entertaining Bavarian bands competing for the title of ‘Champion Bier Band’. Dust off your lederhosen and dirndl and check it out.
Every year the Okere Falls Store hosts the colourful Beerfest(opens in new window) – a week of Bavarian beer and live entertainment on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, near Rotorua. In keeping with the exuberant atmosphere found at legendary German beer festivals such as Oktoberfest, they encourage visitors to dress up in theme, and they put on a traditional 30-piece Oompah band to set the scene.
To add to the experience they import a wide range of beers from Aktienbrauerei – a 700 year-old brewery in Kaufbeuren, Germany. Festival revellers can enjoy traditional wheat beer, pilsner, radler or dark wheat beers. Artisan beers are also available from Rotorua’s award-winning Croucher Brewery, as well as Apple Tree cider.
GABS(opens in new window) celebrates the diversity of craft beer and features hundreds of beers, brewery stands, food vendors, cooking demonstrations, and crazy carnivale entertainment. The unique thing about this event is that dozens of exclusive ‘festival beers’ are brewed specifically for the event and there are no limitations on what the breweries can create. Expect to find bold flavours as brewers experiment with items such as peanut butter, rice, spiced rocket leaves, blueberries and strawberry jelly. This is what gets the beer geeks excited!
MarchFest(opens in new window) is a unique craft beer and music festival, held in New Zealand’s sunniest city, Nelson, at the top of the South Island. Nelson has more craft breweries per head of the population than anywhere else in the country and is therefore adequately qualified to host such an event. Unlike ordinary beer festivals, all the beers available at MarchFest have been specially brewed for the event and have never previously been tasted by the public. What’s more, MarchFest is not just about beer but also includes a stellar collection of local wines and ciders,, regional cuisine (including a beer and food matching lunch) as well as some of New Zealand’s finest musical talent and an educational forum for wannabe brewers. What’s not to like?
This beer extravaganza in Christchurch’s Hagley Park includes a line-up of New Zealand's best musicicans alongside all of your favourite brews - old and new. Besides the usual combination of eating and drinking, the Great Kiwi Beer Fest(opens in new window) also has a range of thought provoking and glass raising seminars each year presented by the craft beer elite! 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.