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February 21, 2005 | by  | in Opinion |
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Tune In, Turn On, Get Drinking!

Brothers and sisters, the time has come for each and everyone of you to decide Whether you’re gonna be the problem or whether you’re gonna be the solution.
That’s right people, it’s a revolution out there of the beer kind, and here’s the low-down. So are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we’ll begin.

Once upon a time and (shamefully) not that long ago, New Zealand had two big beer companies, boozers like the ones you see in Once Were Warriors, and public drinking until only 6pm. Luckily, a bunch of unhappy Euros and a few returning Kiwi travellers with a bit of initiative decided enough was enough and became craft brewers. These craft brewers produced nice natural beers which the people liked, then along with good food and wine, the boozers got some nice furnishings and created sociable atmospheres. Not wanting to miss out on the action, the big beer companies each bought out one of the bigger craft breweries and created some boozers to sell these beers. More craft breweries were established and supermarkets wanted some of the action too, and sold these nice beers. Now (like the wine industry), the craft brewers are enjoying being cool with the masses and one of the big beer companies uses its poo beer as a cash-cow to have a pretty waterside brewery and make nice beer instead and they will all live happily ever after ….

Don’t believe us? Fair enough! Well, why not try this pub crawl of Welly (on foot, please!) – it’s a great way to try some fine beers, visit some great boozers and familiarise yourselves with the downtown Capital experience. After all, it’s the official start of the beer drinking season!

Start at The Speight’s Ale House (the pub formerly known as the Shepherds Arms) on Tinakori Road, you’ll find more than Speight’s regular Gold Lager and Old Dark here… We suggest the Pale Ale and, if you’re hungry, a loaf of bread and garlic butter.

Carry on down Tinakori Road past Premier House (wave to the PM) and head right, up and then down Hill Street, passing a few embassies on the way. Take a right at Molesworth Street and cross over and down a bit to The Back Bencher. Admire the many caricatures of NZ politicians and sporting people while you sap on a Mac’s Copperhop. You may be (un)lucky enough to bump into one of the caricatures in real life in here.

Keep heading straight down Molesworth Street onto Lambton Quay and into The Occidental, a DB boozer fronting Monteiths beers – go for their Summer Ale, it will taste more fruity than the bottle especially this year!

Now head down Lambton Quay, go left into Johnston Street and cross the road into Leuven. OK, this is a Belgium boozer, but they do Hoogaarden in 1 litre glasses (buckets). Quaff one of these and maybe have some mussels to boot (NZ green lipped ones, not wee Euro ones!).

Carry on down Johnston Street, across Jervous Quay and into The Loaded Hog. The point of these boozers is to drink their beers – how about the Hog Ale, drunk outside on the balcony!
Head through Queens Wharf across onto Customhouse Quay, then onto Willis Street and upstairs to The Malthouse. They have 26 tap beers here, including the Tuatara range. The Pilsner is great in the summer and if you’re still thirsty, how about an Emerson’s Bookbinder or Limburg’s Hopsmacker? The pizzas are good too!

OK, you’re nearly done, now head back onto the waterfront via Cable Street and the Civic Centre to Wellington Brewing Company (Shed 22). Skip the Lion Brown and have a Cheeky Amarillo and sit outside to admire Te Papa and the harbour.

Head down Taranaki Street and left onto Courtenay Place – it’s time for a Guiness and you have the choice of two Irish pubs: Molly Malones and Kitty O’Sheas. Both usually have live bands to mix the beer about to and balconies for a bit of fresh air!

Finally, end at The Embassy, at the end of Courtney Place on Kent Terrace, where upstairs you will find Blondini’s. Suckle on a wonderful bottle of Bennett’s 4 Season Ale and marvel at a job well done. Cheers!

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