You’ve probably heard ample praise for New Zealand’s wines, but did you know that beer is much more popular with kiwi locals? If you appreciate good beer, you’ll find it in on tap here in New Zealand in plentiful quantities.

Lately, high-quality craft beers have become a top trend. From 2013 to 2016, craft beer sales have increased from 9 percent to 15 percent of New Zealand’s total beer market. Analysts at ANZ Bank New Zealand report that over 1,500 craft beers are available in our country. There has been an astonishing rise in the number of local brewpubs and breweries that are opening for business. It’s a challenge to keep track of them all, but we were aware of more than 160 local craft beer brewing facilities in this country as of last year.

One reason we’re so proud of our local beer industry here in New Zealand: Our climate is ideal for producing flavourful hops that are unlike any others. These unique, subtly tropical-flavoured hops are one of the most compelling reasons our breweries are perpetually packed with locals and buzzing with visitors from all over the globe. You simply won’t find beers that taste quite like this anywhere else.

There are a number of excellent ways to discover distinctive beers in New Zealand. One of the best approaches is to tour our local brewpubs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of a brewpub, let’s give you a quick overview of the concept. A brewpub is a combination of a restaurant and brewery; most of the beer the establishment creates is intended for sale right on the premises. Visiting brewpubs is a fantastic way to sample unique New Zealand beers that you won’t find available for sale in other countries.

Upcoming Craft Beer Festivals and Events in 2017-2018

New Zealand beer tasting

You may also want to check out the lively festivals for beer connoisseurs that will be happening in New Zealand soon. This calendar of events will give you a hint at just a few of the gatherings you’ll want to put on your itinerary. You’ll enjoy opportunities to taste a rich variety of beers, from the palest blonde ales to the darkest stouts. Experience food and beer pairings you won’t find anywhere else on earth.

Savour a traditional Maori hāngī-roasted pork meal paired with a kiwi-style IPA — an India pale ale brewed with New Zealand hops. Another tasty option would be a pairing of greenshell mussels and a uniquely local version of a hefe beer. Here’s a small sampling of some of the upcoming festivities you’ll want to consider attending here in New Zealand:

City of Ales 2017

This craft beer festival is a charity event offering you the opportunity to sample 24 outstanding beers while socialising, listening to stimulating instrumental music and enjoying a delicious meal.

Date: October 14, 2017

Location: Princes Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand

Oktoberfest: The Bavarian Showdown

Don’t fret that Germany’s 2017 Oktoberfest celebration is officially over. You have another chance this year to enjoy dressing up in traditional Bavarian clothing, dancing to exuberant bands, drinking delicious beers and stuffing yourself full of pretzels and bratwurst. We’re positive you’ll want to join us in New Zealand for this popular celebration of Bavarian culture.

Date: October 14, 2017

Location: The TSB Bank Arena in Wellington, New Zealand

Taste Taranaki 2017

This epicurean’s festival will feature sophisticated food and drink pairings. Cheese and beer pairings will be one of the highlights, but there will be many tasty entrees and snacks to sample. Full bar service will be available, with abundant beverage choices including local wines, high-end craft beers, cocktails, ciders and coffees. This is a charity event hosted by a local organic and sustainable brewery. Some of the proceeds will benefit the Taranaki Retreat’s local suicide prevention initiative.

Date: October 21, 2017

Location: Pukekura Raceway in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand

The Great Kiwi Beer Festival

The lineup for this craft beer festival includes more than 30 breweries of all types. This event has attracted local and global vendors from both New Zealand and abroad. You’ll find enticing options, whether you enjoy cask-conditioned beers, ales, lagers, pilsners and ciders. If some of your mates don’t fancy beer, perhaps they would prefer to sample the apple ciders, berry ciders and pear ciders that will be served at the festival. Don’t worry if you don’t enjoy drinking beer on an empty stomach; available menu items include wood-fired pizza, barbecue treats and more.

Date: January 27, 2018

Location: Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand

Customise Your Ideal Craft Beer and Breweries Tour in New Zealand

If you’re on a perpetual quest to sample the world’s best beers, New Zealand should definitely be on your bucket list of must-visit destinations. We invite you to get in touch with us to discuss your favourite beers, your favourite foods and the other types of activities you enjoy.

Whether you prefer fine dining or casual fare, we’ll help you customise a unique and memorable tour of establishments that will delight you. We also offer New Zealand wine tours; we can arrange customised tours that feature a mix of wine tasting, beer tasting and sightseeing. If any of the events we posted above sound like fun to you, let us know which one(s) you want to attend so we can be sure to include them on your tour itinerary. Come join us and discover for yourself why beer tourism is on the rise in New Zealand.