New Zealand is highly revered for its wining and dining culture with plenty of honeymooners and connoisseurs taking to the hills to swill world class cabernet and indulge in open cellar doors. Yet the beer drinking masses are also highly in demand and this has created a counter culture of exceptional microbreweries and the art of developing some of the best amber nectar to be found on earth.
Taking a tour of New Zealand beer and breweries is the best way to explore the islands – hop from city to country staying in fabulous luxury accommodation, swimming in the warm waters, walking through pristine surroundings and indulging in a fascinating culture.
With just short of a dozen breweries popping up across the Nelson region you can tantalise your taste buds with craft beers laced with lively hops. Cider lovers can get their fill at the Rochdale Cider Factory, and the Richmond brewery Sprig & Fern is one of the best places to sip award winning beer. On the Golden Bay you can sleep easy with a choice of beautiful holiday homes, splash in the ocean and finish up at one of the most celebrated beer haunts in the country – The Mussel Inn.
Local brews top the charts in Marlborough and with traditional methods, locally sourced ingredients and a pure passion for beer, you can sit down and watch the world roll by with a glorious Moa beer sparkling in your hand.
The Monteith’s Brewery started from humble roots but has grown to become recognised as one of the highlights of the New Zealand beer tours. The coal burners, the lush landscape and every flavour being slowly coaxed out as the amber goodness matures makes tasting the kiwi favourite a real experience.
The oldest beer hall can be found in Auckland at the century old Shakespeare Brewery & Hotel. Soak up the atmosphere, the beauty and the excitement of Auckland as you explore the eccentric breweries and organic craft methods. The Leigh Sawmill Brewery and the Hallertau Brewery are fabulous places to stop to taste boutique brews in the slanting sunlight.
Rural breweries doing what they do best makes for a charming stay in Taranaki. With quaint holiday accommodation options to choose from, you can discover the blissful region peppered with passion. Mikes Organic Brewery offers exquisite full flavoured beers with a distinct Belgium inspiration when it comes to taste.
Hailed as the beer craft capital, you can visit the best small pub, bottle shop and pair your tasting tours with a handful of the best restaurants across the North Island. Sip something delicate and heady in The Malthouse, pair perfect ales with the catch of the day at Ortega’s Fish Shack and fall in love with the lively city of Wellington.
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Image Courtesy of Craft Beer Festival