Garage Project Snug

Garage Project’s application of nitro tech could lead to very exciting things for dry stouts like this, as well as malt driven beers generally.  Snug is deeply roasty on the nose with burned malt, toasted coconut and mocha.  The palate has the full spectrum of malt flavour on blast, starting with sweet toffee and finishing all the way over in the bitterest black, which gradually burns off over the long finish.  Despite the intensity of flavour and ferocity of the bitterness, the body stays light and crisp.  Not just another Guinness-a-like, this handily beats the old Irish favorite in my opinion, having vastly more flavour with only a 0.8% hike in ABV compared with the Irish benchmark. 

The Beer Project — Shining Peak

I arrive at Shining Peak on a hot, sunny Taranaki morning in January. New Plymouth has just lost the crown of NZ's sunniest town to Tekapo, after two years on top, but founder and head brewer Jesse Sigurdsson isn't fazed. There has still been plenty of good golfing...

New World Beer & Cider Awards — Highly Commended

It's incredibly difficult to get into the Top 30 at the New World Beer & Cider Awards so any beer or cider that gets a highly commended gong is effectively a gold medal beer. https://hoppiness.co.nz/new-world-beer-cider-awards-top-30-2 8 Wired Cloudtripper —...

New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30

It seems like every year there’s a better, more diverse selection of styles in the New World Beer & Cider Awards Top 30 — and the 10th edition stands out. The Top 30 features established — and popular — craft brands such as Garage Project, Parrotdog, Emerson’s,...

Instagratification: Dusty’s Fresh Hop Picks 2024

Photographer, beer-lover and Instagram influencer Dusty, picks his highlights from the Fresh Hop season of 2024. Brave Brewing Helping Hands My fresh hop beer of the year is also a contender for beer of the year, Brave Brewing Helping Hands 2024 is just beautiful. A...

Kiwis Rolling In Gold At Australian Beer Awards

It's been a night of Kiwi success at the Australian International Beer Awards … and a heads-up, this is not a cut-and-paste of last year’s results despite 2024 being almost a mirror-image of 2023! That’s because, for the second year in a row the champion large, medium...

Wanaka Beerworks X Beers Garstonstein

You thought you were safe.  You thought fresh hop season was over, but it just keeps on going… This one really is special though, I promise.  Garstonstein is joint release from Wanaka Beerworks and Christchurch’s Beers is unique in that its Nelson Sauvin...

Head To Head: Hazzy Hunter Vs Laughing Bones

In the first of a new series, Joshua Lee aka Hazzy Hunter goes head-to-head with John Morawski from Laughing Bones. Hazzy Hunter: John tell me how Laughing Bones came to be? John: Gosh first of all welcome it's good to have you here! As we put right on our can, it...

Pacific Coast Tapawera Sunrise

Some beers are simply born for a fresh hop version, and Pacific Coast Tapawera Sunrise, a Double NZ Pilsner (6%) out of Mangawhai is one of them.  Its dank and meandering herbaceous notes were primed for an injection of fresh hop magic to really make them come alive. ...

Twofold Sure To Draw Beer Fans to Parnell

Twofold — one of Auckland’s most anticipated new brewpubs — opened its door this week, bringing craft beer to Parnell’s famed restaurant strip and continuing a surge in recent openings in the country’s biggest city. With former Alibi brewer Bernard Neate at the helm,...

Hop Federation Green Limousine IPA

Hop Federation Green Limousine is among a (very) small cadre of annual fresh hop releases that I consider having achieved classic status.  This one in particular, with the brewery’s proximity to the growing regions (the fresh Nelson Sauvin cones here spent all of 30...

Swifty — Garage Project Betting Big on Simple Beer

The power couple that is Garage Project and Royalburn Station have released their collab brew Swifty in packaged format. Nadia Lim and her husband Carlos Bagrie bought Wanaka’s Royalburn Station in 2019 after selling their stake in My Food Bag and their life on the...

Behemoth Fresh PrincE Of Mt Eden

This West Coast style IPA (albeit a remarkably hazy one) goes for the tried-and-true Nelson Sauvin as its sole hop choice, and the breadth of flavours that it wrings out of that single variety is truly remarkable.  The unmistakable Nelson Sauvin pungency certainly...

Garage Project Open New Bar in Christchurch

Garage Project are indisputably the crowned kings of kiwi craft brewing, so it’s always a rare treat when one of their beers shows up on tap in Christchurch.  Soon however, that will be a rarity no more, as Aro Street is about to get a whole lot closer to the...

Craft Beer Version 3.0 — What’s The Future

I was in my local coffee spot buying beans when a friend stopped to say gidday. “What’s new in craft beer?” he asked. When I paused for just a moment, he replied for me: “Nothing, right?” One thing craft beer has always done is change things. Its early ethos was...

The Beer Project Summer Roadie

The Beer Project was conceived in July 2009 as a two-year project to document the 50-odd breweries in New Zealand. Obviously, I missed my deadline, not photographing my 50th brewery, Mata, until 2017. And now, the number of breweries has risen to over 200, which at my...

Two Thumb Green Bullet Fresh Hop English IPA

For as much as I’m a champion of fresh hop beers, I’ll be the first to admit they tend to fall into a pretty staid and narrow group of styles.  There’s always good ones and bad ones, but the field itself is typically composed of modern IPAs and pilsners sporting fresh...

Double Vision’s Fresh Hop Triple Treat

Double Vision Brewing are taking fresh hop season to a new level, with a triple treat of collectible, glow-in-the-dark cans, designed to be drunk in a specific order and preferably while reading the companion comic strip. In recent years, DVB have two produced two...

Brothers Beer Gamma Daydream

Fresh hop season is upon us, and with it, Fresh Hop Watch 2024 begins… Feedback from Nelson indicates an exceptional growing season, so I’m expecting big things from this year's releases.  While the best fresh hop beers tend to appear toward the end of the season, the...

Southfarthing Girdly Fine Grain Amber Ale

I was recently brought back a souvenir from a trip to Hobbiton, and uniquely amongst souvenirs, this one was perfect.  A bottle from the range of beers (and ciders) served at that living monument to the Lord of the Rings movie, and crafted to evoke the same quaintly...

Thief Brewing Steal the Show

My recent visit to Thief Brewing could hardly be called travel, situated practically on my doorstep amongst the hills and farmland of Tai Tapu, in rural Banks Peninsula.  But nevertheless, as I wound my way up the (perilously narrow) access road that coils up the...