Looking back on 2021, I decided to pull out 21 stories that are worth another look.

First up, it was a big 10th birthday for Garage Project.

Manic But Magic: 10 Years of Garage Project

Also celebrating 10 years in the business were Parrotdog. Writer Hadyn Green was there right at the start and he talked to the three founding Matts about their journey.

Three Matts and a Nice Little Brewery

Charlotte Feehan, head brewer at Lower Hutt’s Abandoned, is representative of a new generation of brewers: young women who are boldly bringing new personality to the beer industry.

Charlotte Feehan: Brew Kid on the Block

Martin Townshend has forged a unique path over more than 15 years in which he’s had his share of ups and down. After his Sutton Hoo won a place in the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top-30 I talked to him about the new direction the brewery’s taking.

Townshend Brewery the Ultimate Survivor

Cans. Alongside hazies (and because of hazies to an extent) cans have been the significant trend in the beer industry over the past three years. Dave Pearce looks at the reasons why.

Canned Heat: Why Cans are so hot right now


The first cover story for 2021 came from veteran journalist Colin Hogg who documented his life in beer.

From Peters to Colins: A Life In Beer

The last cover story of 2021 was Tim Newman’s road trip to Tekapo to find New Zealand’s best beer, as judged at the Brewers Guild of NZ Awards: Burke’s Unforgiven Porter

In Search of NZ’s best beer

Travelling in a different direction, Denise Garland found some cool things happening in one of the country’s remote breweries, Aotea on Great Barrier Island.

Aotea Brewing: No Barrier Too Great

Bootleg Brewing at making some great beers out of an old dairy factory in Matangi. Rhys Pargeter paid them a visit.

Legalised Bootlegging

Hazies? Did we mention hazies yet? Martin Bridges looks at where we are in the great haze maze.

State of the Hazy Nation

Women in beer has been a huge theme of 2021 and in this piece, brewer Charlotte Feehan, who has a degree in anthropology, looks at the way women were previously marginalised in the industry.

Witches and magic: women reclaiming their rightful place in beer

Related to that theme, while women are slowly reclaiming their place in beer, there’s a long way to go yet writes researcher Kathleen Kuehn.

Where are all the women in the beer industry?

Pastry stouts have been on huge growth curve this year and Tim Newman wonders if they are the saviour of an otherwise dying dark beer category.

Fade to Black: Can Pastry Stouts Save Dark Beer?

Speaking of sweet, Duncan’s have made ice cream sours something of a signature. Michael Donaldson talks to George Duncan about the niche he’s carved out.

Ripple Effect: The “Scoop” On Duncan’s Ice Cream Sours

Yeastie Boys continue to cement themselves as a UK brewery, with the sale of a 12.5 per cent stake in the business to a major distribution company.

Huge relief as Yeastie Boys agree to sell 12.5% stake

In one of the more unusual news stories of the year — one day we were celebrating Deep Creek winning the champion large international brewery title at the Australian International Beer Awards and the next day they were handing back the trophy.

Deep Creek hand back Aussie beer award

This story is more look back at how 2020 lockdowns impacted our drinking experience, something we thought we might have escaped this year.

Lockdown love for Craft beer

I decided to go out on a  limb this year and have a stab at creating a Beer Hall of Fame, with 40 beers that defined the 40 years since Mac’s broke the Lion-DB duopoly in 1981.

New Zealand’s Beer Hall of Fame

It came as something of a surprise to find that not one, but two, hop growers were hard at work in Southland growing commercial hops.

The Miracle of Southland’s Holy Hops

One of the biggest trends in 2021 was the rise of non-alcoholic beer. Bach were the first of the Kiwi craft breweries to get their non-alc beer to market.

How Bach Brewing created their Zero ABV IPA

Finally, this is probably my favourite story of the year in which Danielle Kerchmar celebrates the power of beer to bring people together to share, both the good and the bad.

Share that beer before it’s too late