A note about Wellington, New Zealand’s Capital
Recently due to a series of unfortunate events that is known as the Covid 19 Pandemic I found myself moving to Wellington and attempting to stay in one place for longer than a month or two. I’ve always loved Wellington as a city. I always tell people it’s my favourite city in New Zealand. The vibe I get, the people, the art, the culture. It’s all exactly what I want. It has the convinience of a city but it’s not big and crazy like London. I grew up on the outskirts of London and don’t get me wrong, I love London. But I’ve been there, done that. So it’s nice to try something a little different but also have that cool city vibe.
Wellington is pretty famous for a few reasons. Number one, Weta Digital is based here. If you don’t know, this is Peter Jackson’s film production company which was behind such hits as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Heard of them? Number two it’s New Zealand’s capital city. I know it’s smaller than Auckland. But it’s the capital. And three there is an awesome craft beer scene. Which if you read the title of the blog, is what we will be concentrating on today. So keep reading and learn all about my favourite beers and breweries in Wellington, New Zealand.
60/66 Kingsford Smith Street, Lyall Bay, Wellington
This is now technically my “local” brewery. As at the time of writing this blog I am living in Lyall Bay. Located less than 5 minutes walk from the beach this is a fantastic location and venue. The traditionally-styled bar is cosy and cool and offers a great view of the brewery. Why not go for a walk along the seafront and end up here for a beer and meal. I highly recommend the chicken burger!
Falcon APA 5.4%
A tasty session American Pale Ale which is citrusy and tropical. Nice and refreshing with a burger. I recommend the Chicken burger or Veggie burger. Both great options.
Birdseye Hazy IPA 5.8%
This is my go to beer when I head out to the brewery. A juicy and invigorating beer which leaves you wanting more. Hazy IPAs are becoming my thing I feel.
Deadcanary Pale Ale 5.3%
Another great beer from Parrotdog. A fruity beer which is light and easy to drink. Great on a sunny day spent by the beach.
7 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Fortune Favours is a very trendy brewery in the heart of Wellingtons CBD. The bar itself is split over two floors and has outdoor and indoor seating. The atmosphere is chilled and relaxed with a cool and modern decor. I’ve been here a few times at different times of day and it doesn’t matter whether it’s busy or quiet, it’s still a nice place to go and have a drink.
The Wellingtonian IPA 6%
When in Wellington you have to try the Wellingtonian. A moderately strong beer which is still easy to drink. A balanced NZIPA packed full of distinctly Kiwi hops.
The Naturalist Pale Ale 5.3%
Pale Ales are always refreshing. Especially on a hot day sitting out on the balcony at Fortune Favours. A refreshing Pale Ale with citrus-forward hops. Unfiltered for Natural Haze.
100 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington
This brewery feels like the newest on this list of breweries in Wellington. With a clean, fresh and modern interior it is geared more towards food and eating rather than just sitting in and drinking. Not that that is a bad thing, the food here is awesome and you can find a spot for a quick drink on it’s own. I highly recommend the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, a tasty little bar snack to go with your beer.
One of my favourite beers at Whistling Sisters. A hoppy, citrussy & refreshing Pale Ale
Space King, Galaxy Pale Ale 4.5%
Made with Galaxy Hops this citrusy beer has a careful balance of bitterness. This medium bodied pale ale boasts a big bodied mix of NZ Malt.
Hazy As, New England IPA 6%
I know what you are thinking, another Hazy IPA. Well get used to it! Citrus and tropical flavours create a bitter beer with a slight hint of sweetness at the end.
91 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington
Located in the Aro Valley, this isn’t the main brewery but a Taproom which is owned by the brewery. With 18 taps to choose from which change daily. Ranging from lagers to ales with some weird and wonderful creations thrown inbetween. The bar itself is small and cosy with cool artwork all over the walls. I liked the chilled out vibes and the friendly atmosphere. It was nice to pop in on a rainy day and enjoy a couple of pints.
Golden Path Hazy IPA 4%
A juicy, hazy, hop bomb with a surprisingly restrained alcohol content. A generous addition of Golden Naked Oats and Mosaic, Columbus and Strata hops create a beer bursting with flavour, with a balance and body belying its moderate strength. A delicious hoppy offering that’s more than a match for even the richest burger.
D.F.A. Mango Chilli IPA 7.5%
A surprising blend of flavours marrying mango, Vietnamese mint, lime and chilli with the high citrus hit of Centennial, Amarillo and Citra hops.
Pernicious Weed Double IIPA 8.0%
Pours a light and hazy gold. Aroma of yeast and hints of fruit. Clean and crisp no dominant flavour. Very easy to drink
Hapi Daze Pacific Pale Ale 4.6%
Subtle and snappy attributes of lime, pear, grapefruit and apple come forward with a nose that exhibits almost kerosene and diesel notes from the Riwaka dry hop.
HUSK (Choice Bros)
62 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
I’ve walked past this brewery bar on so many occasions but never been in and I don’t understand why. Down an alley lined with seats and covered in fairy lights, it’s so inviting. I met a friend here for lunch one afternoon and had a great burger and beer combo.
Puppet Dancer Hazy XPA 4.5%
A hazy extra pale ale which is a tropical explosion. Hints of pineapple and mago create a thirst quenching beer which goes perfectly with either the Smash Burger or the Southern Fried Chicken Burger.
Oh this beer also comes with a music match! David Bowie – ‘I’m a DJ’
HeyDay Beer Co
264 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
A cool and friendly atmosphere welcomes you in to Heyday Beer Co. Like most Brewbars it’s based in a warehouse with one side being taken up by the brewing equipment and the other being taken up by the bar. With plenty of space and even a table tennis table, this is a pretty cool place to hang out after a hard weeks work.
Snow Leopard IPA 6.8%
This classic IPA is crisp and fruity with hints of grapefruit. Apparently the beer is named after the head brewer’s spirit animal. A pretty cool way to name a beer if you asked me. Fairly strong at 6.8% but a very refreshing beer. A good way to start the evening.
30 Arthur Street , Te Aro, Wellington
I’ve had Tuatara’s beers quite a few times in the past, mostly at home though, and mostly because of their awesome looking bottle. Not that the beer isn’t great either, but the packaging draws me in. This brewery is a little out of the way and because of this it was pretty quiet when I was there. However the aesthetic of the building was cool and the beer was great. Definitely worth a visit.
A classic Pilsner with a crisp, firm body with notes of citrus and grass. Refreshingly dry, this beer was a nice change to my usual IPAs.
Hazy IPA 5.5%
I’ve had this beer at home on several occasions. I think I even took it when I camped at Castlepoint. A refreshing combination of mango and pineapple with a generous dose of citrus. Light bodied with honeyed malt undertones. Another tasty Hazy IPA which is fruity and refreshing.
Double Vision Brewing
128A Park Rd, Miramar, Wellington
One of the newest breweries in Wellington, this one is based out in Miramar and is a favourite of Weta staff. Like most breweries the actual brewery doubles as the bar with an industrial aesthetic. With plenty of seating areas including an outdoor section, this cool and relaxed space is perfect for hanging out with some friends and enjoying a few beers.
Naughty Rabbit IIPA 8.9%
This double IPA sure packs a punch. At 8.9% it’s one of the strongest beers I’ve had in a while. With hints of mango, apricot, orange, banana and peach. Citrus with a nice balance of body. Not really a session beer. So only one or two will be enough.
Chillax XPA 5%
A light and malty beer with a touch of zing and fruit. A much lighter option than the IIPA so if you want more than a couple of drinks I would go for this instead.
Panhead Custom Ales
27 Blenheim Street, Shed 21, Upper Hutt, Wellington
The main brewery for Panhead Custom Ales is up in Upper hut but I went to their brewery bar which is located in Wellington CBD at 1 Tory Street. The bar is a fairly recent addition and is really cool. Great decor and a great atmosphere. I went on a Friday night so it was packed. There was even live music which added to the atmosphere.
Rat Rod Hazy IPA – 6.5%
Another Hazy! Surprised? I told you it seems to be my new favourite beer. A light and refreshing Hazy IPA. Quite fruity and very tasty.
Far From Dead – 7.3%
Half kettle sour, half hazy. I chose this beer because I have a tattoo that says Not Dead Yet. And I was not disappointed. A strong and refreshing beer.
Rogue & Vagabond
18 Garrett Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The Rogue and Vagabond is one of the first Brewbars I went to in Wellington. For my 30th birthday a friend took me here for some awesome pizza and beer. With a huge selection of both pizzas and beers, this is a must visit bar in Wellington. I’ve been here a few times but the pizza I remember the most is the Purple Rain (Red Onion, Pumpkin, Chorizo, Capsicum,Wild Rocket & Beetroot Relish). I can’t remember all the beers I’ve had here as they are always changing their selection but here are a couple of recent one below.
Deep Creek Brewtiful Haze (Deep Creek Brewing Co) New Zealand IPA 6.5%
Again I went for another Hazy IPA. I’ve been enjoying these a lot really and this one definitely didn’t disappoint.
HBIB Ginger Fusion (Hawkes Bay Independent Brewery) New Zealand Ginger Beer 5%
Sometimes I need a little break from the beer and I choose a cider or ginger beer. On this occasion Rogue and Vagabond had this tasty alcoholic ginger beer which had just the right kick to it.
The Little Beer Quarter
6 Edward St, Te Aro, Wellington
This is about as close to an English pub as I’ve found in Wellington. Cute and cosy with an eclectic decor and a fire! There is also a good selection of beers on tap which are always rotating. It was kind of hard to find the first time I visited this brewbar, I went down a few wrong alleys. However when I did find it I was pleasantly surprised.
I honestly can’t remember what I drank here. Read in to that how you will. Maybe I ended up here after all of the above. You will never know…