Apparently, Plato said “he was a wise man who invented beer.” As I came across this on a quote website, I am afraid I can’t reference it, but there are many of us out there who agree with this sentiment. Of course there are beers and there are beers, but surely there is one out there for everyone. There are low alcohol beers, perfect for midday drinking or hot summer evenings, there are high alcohol beers which are not for the fainthearted. There are ales, stouts, sours, lagers…all of these can be found to taste at Wellington’s annual celebration craft beer fair, Beervana. The festival takes place over two days, with two sessions on Friday and two on Saturday.
Beervana began in 2002 as Brew NZ. Started by the Brewers Guild of New Zealand, there were 200 attendees at Wellington Town Hall in the first year. Since then it has grown to see attendances of around 14,000 with around 60 breweries. Normally, there are brewers from not only all over New Zealand, but also Australia and a few from around the world (from Scotland to Japan). The event normally takes place in August, but it was postponed this year for…well, you all know why. This year of course there were only New Zealand beers, with guest stalls organised by the British High Commission and the US Embassy.
I really enjoyed the classic lager from Double Vision Brewing, a Wellington based producer, Detonator, a West Coast IP from Juice Head Beer, another Wellington brewery, and the Hazy Pale Ale from Sawmill Brewery in Matakana.
Of course, there are also lots of food stalls, selling everything from burgers (we got ours from Burger Liquer) to dumplings, from crayfish cheese rolls to tacos. And, pretty much an annual treat, oysters from Mahurangi Oysters.
Cider and even mead, were also on offer at various stalls. After a good tasting selection (I won’t list them all….) my final beer was from Fortune Favours (another Wellington based brewery), a lovely peanut slab porter (lovely and rich and chocolate-y).
So that was Beervana for 2020. It was busy, there were lots of beers to taste, and in these times, it was good to see it go ahead. Let’s hope 2021 will see its return and some overseas breweries too.
Beervana was held at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on 20-21 November.
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