Ditch your standard brews, because The Great Kiwi Beer Fest in Christchurch blew my socks off with some unique Kiwi bevs you've gotta try.
If you're stuck on your usual fridge stash, there's one pick here that'll make even the toughest beer critics reconsider their old faithfuls.
WILDERNESS - CHRISTCHURCH
The husband and wife-owned brewery in Woolston, Christchurch had a massive selection, so I left it to the team to hit me up with one of their top-notch sours.
The Pink Colada - a raspberry, pineapple, coconut ice cream sour - was an absolute banger.
This bev sure packed a tang, and the lingering aftertaste of a Pina Colada was bloody delightful on the scorcher of a day that it was.
BREW MOON - NORTH CANTERBURY
In the game for 22 years, Belinda Gould and her crew from good ol’ Amberly have been described as ‘the OG gangsters of craft’ before it hit the mainstream market.
Their Tropic Snow Motueka Peacherine IPA was a beauty, with those peachy/nectarine hops giving it a fruity kick. It was their bestseller on the day.
The Leithfield Lager stood out too - light, hoppy, not too overpowering. A smooth one to knock back - responsibly, of course!
YEASTIE BOYS - AUCKLAND
After its inception in 2008, Yeastie Boys went over to the UK for a stint before making its way back to Aotearoa in August 2022. Specialising in a range of hazys, I was keen to have a swig.
The Lagerita was a crowd-pleaser - a sweet and frozen combo where beer meets a classic margarita. Even the 'I don't drink beer' haters will froth over it.
It’s a bloody shame it’s not currently available on their website, but we’ll be keeping our ears out for any sign of ‘em.
One I didn't have the guts to try but deserves a shout-out is the Rex Attitude - a heavily pleated golden ale. Described as "tonguing your grandad or licking an ashtray," that curiosity didn't get the better of me.
BEE - CHRISTCHURCH
BEE, a reasonably new player in the game, whips up alcoholic lemonade ciders. I tasted both their original and pink lemonades. The zingy citrus went down a treat in the blazing sun.
How 'bout it then? Seems cocktail lagers and zingy sours are the new go to brews. Hey, even if you're keen on 'tonguing your grandad' who am I to judge? Crack a cold one.