In keeping with Kiwi tradition — Beervana is going to wait another year until it celebrates a milestone birthday.
It’s the 20th edition of the country’s premier beer festival this year — to be held at Sky Stadium in Wellington on August 13-14 — but the organisers are keeping the yardglass under lock and key until their 21st birthday next year.
That will clear the stage for the breweries to shine — with many of them turning the festival into a birthday bash of their own.
Here’s a quick rundown of Beervana 2021 by the numbers:
1 Auckland’s Deep Creek will be taking the prime No 1 position in the stadium concourse. In recent years this was Garage Project’s spot but last year Parrotdog jumped to the top of the queue. The spot is a critical one for the festival and the brewery. It’s usually the first stand punters see and it’s also a broad canvas on which to work some magic. Deep Creek will use it to celebrate their 10th birthday and it will be chance to showcase their status as one of New Zealand’s best breweries — having just taken out a swag of trophies the Australian International Beer Awards. No doubt there will be a Hoppy McHopface.
7 Aussie breweries will represent at this year’s festival now that we can have our trans-Tasman bubble. Those committed to the trip include industry icons Stone & Wood, Range Brewing, Boatrocker, Mountain Culture, Black Hops and One Drop Brewing Co.
8 Breweries making their debut at Beervana. These include New Zealand’s No 1 brewery on Untappd, Derelict from North Canterbury. It’s hard to get their beer outside Christchurch so this will be a popular stand. It will also be great to see Emporium out of Kaikoura who continue to win awards and draw fans with their takes on classic styles. Popular Rhyme & Reason from Wanaka will be there as will Three Sisters from New Plymouth. Also coming are Buzz Club Mead, Cowabunga, The Beer Engine and The Occasional Brewer.
9 Returning breweries after a brief time away. Fun-loving Lakeman out of Taupo always draw a great deal of attention and it’s great to see them back. Look out for Hairy Man himself. And there will be lots of misty-eyed fans embracing Townshend’s return to the capital. Gisborne legends Sunshine are back as are Helensville heroes Liberty, Christchurch powerhouse Cassel’s Brewing, Wanaka’s Ground Up, Macs, cider wizards Peckham’s and popular locals Whistling Sisters.
10 It seems 2011 was a great year to start a brewery. Among those celebrating their 10th birthdays are Garage Project, Parrotdog and Deep Creek. Expect cake in the form of beer.
15 Not to forget resurgent Renaissance who are back from almost going under to celebrate their 15th birthday.
20 Of course the hosts turn 20 and while we await their 21st it’s worth raising a glass to a festival that helped put beer on the map in New Zealand. The Cake Tin remains the pinnacle beer event in the country in terms of numbers and is a great stage for breweries to express their personalities with through stall designs and one-off festival beers that punters won’t find anywhere else.
14,400 The number of people who attended last year’s festival.