29 Aug

Beervana 2018

Beervana is a beer event hosted in Wellington every year at the Westpac Stadium.  Basically it’s the entirety of the craft beer scene in NZ, in one place with some special one off festival beers that are crazy weird. All of the big players were there, but it was also great to see some new smaller breweries and also a few new brands launching! It’s definitely the place to get your beer out there. Thousands of beer geeks like myself descended on the stadium the weekend of the 11th of August to sample our way through them all. OK, well I didn’t quite get to all of them, but I made a damn good go of it.

Some of the weird and wonderful beers included a Stout from Panhead in which the malts were smoked with Tarantulas and Scorpions. Wtf. But somehow they make it work. I didn’t personally try this one because creepy crawleys freak me out, but the general population seemed to love it, finishing with a rating of 3.69/5 on the Beervana app.

Tuatara had some crazy whacky brews also. They had a pumpkin spice ale, that was topped with whipped cream and went down an absolute treat. I’ve never had pumpkin pie before, but I imagine it would have tasted something along those lines. They also had a mushroom and truffle ale, with bog umami characters from the freshly foraged mushrooms and truffles. Smokey, fruity and herbaceous all at the same time. Twas odd indeed.

Behemoth coming in with the goods, standard. Taking out second place for people’s choice, their Snow Mexican was a crowd favourite. It was a maple syrup infused imperial stout and it was absolutely decadent. Also in their line-up was Freedom Waffles, a cream ale brewed with raspberries, blueberries and vanilla; it was like drinking waffles…and it was pink, cute. Collusion was the draw card of the day, with Behemoth embracing every chance to have fun, and make fun of their brews. This was an American hopped, Russian Imperial Stout, and poked some light humour at Trump and Putin being best of buds.

The best gimmick of the day would have to go to Hop Federation with their lemon, lime and glitters. You heard right folks, Hop Fed made a glitter beer, and it was so freaking cool! Good thing the beer was also delicious: a citrus sour that was nice and tart, and the glitter just kept on swirling! Their nitro pouring Chocolate Milk Stout was also fantastic. Who doesn’t love anything that pours on nitro?! A creamy, silky smooth stout that was like drinking chocolate mousse.

Garage Project was on point this year. They had a great line up of beers, including a deconstructed Verbotene Fruchte, which was their GABS beer. This was 2 beers blended at the stand to create one super beer. There were 3 different tangy fruit beers, green, orange and pink, all super fruity and sour as anything, making the saliva glands go nuts. Also pouring at GP was the brand spanking release of DFA, a hugely tropical fruit driven IPA. Oh, did I mention that Garage Project also had a wedding altar at Beervana? And they legally married some craft beer crazy couples. #chooselove

If you’re a beer geek like me, this is definitely an event not to be missed. If you didn’t go this year, I would highly recommend you do next year! The festival beers are just outstanding, and a lot of them are festival only – there has only been a few beers trickle out into the market in bottles and cans.

Hannah Beaumont