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March 11, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Wellington: Now with added Brewery!

You may not realise it, but Wellington is more than just the ‘Coolest little Capital in the world’—it’s also the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand.

Wellington has been the largest consumer of craft beer in New Zealand since the term ‘craft beer’ was first uttered. The combination of a small CBD peppered with upmarket bars and plenty of workers with secure government jobs, means Wellington has always consumed the majority of craft beer in the country. However, we’ve always been lagging in the craft-brewing arena.

In 2009, the relocation of Lion’s waterfront Mac’s brewery brought the number of breweries in Wellington to zero. Fast forward to 2013, and new breweries are popping up like mushrooms on your dorm’s carpet.

You’ve probably seen Tuatara beer before—they’re arguably the most successful craft brewer in New Zealand. Tuatara has always been considered a Wellington brewery, but until recently, they’ve been situated in the middle of nowhere (a.k.a. reikorangi). Last year, Tuatara shifted to a much larger facility in Paraparaumu. Tuatara’s brewery now has a bar attached and offers brewery tours, a twenty-minute walk away from Paraparaumu train station.

Garage Project was the first central Wellington brewery to open since the Mac’s closure. Garage Project started out in 2011 with a tiny 50L brewery inside the old Aro Valley petrol station. they tested new recipes on this wee kit before upgrading to their current shiny 1400L kit last year. Since then,beers like ‘Pils ‘n’ Thrills’, ‘Pernicious Weed’ and ‘Aro Noir’ have become commonplace in Wellington bars. Garage project recently opened ‘Cellar Door’ at the Aro St brewery, where you can buy riggers and bottles at decent prices.

Soon after Garage Project, three Victoria university graduates named Matt, Matt and Matt founded the ParrotDog brewery. you’ll now find beers like ‘Bitter Bitch’ and ‘Dead Canary’ at bars and supermarkets – but it’s cheapest in riggers from the brewery at 29 Vivian St.

If you want to drink inside an actual brewery, Fork & Brewer and Black Dog are conveniently placed brewbars in Bond St and Blair St respectively. Fork & Brewer brew a great pilsner and american pale ale, and also make the best chicken wings in town. Black Dog is owned by Dominion Breweries, but the beer is made by three local home-brewers—so it actually has soul. I recommend trying ‘ich bin ein berliner weisse’ to freak your taste buds out.

I know of at least three more breweries opening this year—so get ready for more.

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