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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Kiwi love affair with amber ale

Which country has more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the world?

You may be surprised by the answer, but a warm welcome and a cold beer are never far away in New Zealand, or so New Zealand Tourism reports.

The Kiwi brewing industry has boomed in recent years and small boutique breweries are leading the charge. 

A New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report on behalf of the Brewers Association of New Zealand (BANZ) found there were 218 breweries in 2019 compared with just 65 in 2012.

Those statistics, however, are disputed by many beer lovers.

What is certainly true is that thanks to a rapid rise in breweries, beer tourism in New Zealand is flourishing, with more operators than ever offering beer tours across New Zealand.

The Brewers Guild of New Zealand has launched a website this year called the New Zealand Ale Trail, which helps guide thirsty travellers to the best breweries around the country.

While food and wine festivals are still popular in New Zealand, beer festivals are quickly becoming a favourite with locals and international visitors.

This year saw the first edition of the Gisborne Beer Festival, while Nelson’s MarchFest is seeing a 20% rise in attendance year-on-year.

New Zealand’s premier beer festival Beervana is held annually in August.

IPAs, red ales and sour beers are regulars on taps around the country and there are brewers, tour guides and event organisers waiting to welcome visiting beer lovers.

Tour operators include BrewBus and Keith Prenne’s Craft Beer Tour of New Zealand. 

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