Be Prepared! An unofficial guide to making the most of New Zealand’s biggest beer festival
There’s a lot of food and drink events to enjoy while you’re in Wellington. The Road to Beervana runs over 8-16 August with events at breweries, bars and restaurants across town. Wellington on a Plate runs over 14-30 August. It complements Beervana with an emphasis on good food and some interesting beer/food matches. There’s the usual tourist stuff including Te Papa and trout fishing on the nearby Hutt River.
It’s winter in Wellington, we are famous for windy weather, and it’s an exposed 500m walk to get to the venue. Pack a raincoat, but at the same time, pack light because you’ll be on your feet on concrete for a few hours.
Eat before you arrive and don’t pre-load on the drink – security, organisers, and the crowd itself are all intolerant of drunken shenanigans. Arrive keen and thirsty.
It’s all about that beer, 'bout that beer
Don’t drag your partner along with the promise that they can enjoy the music, food, wine and coffee while you try new beers. There’s excellent cider and tasty snacks, but it really is all about the beer. If beer’s not their thing, buy them a ticket to Wearable Arts and meet me in Wellington for a beer tour.
At the event
Take 15 minutes to check out the layout. There’s hundreds of good beers available so you are going to miss some. Some Beervanan's like to sample new beers to enjoy over spring and summer. Others set themselves a theme – this year there’s plenty of sours and barrel-aged beers to compare over one or two sessions. There will also be beers made exclusively for Beervana – start at the Pink Boots or Media Brews bars, then explore for others.
Drink plenty of water through the session. Leave your 'personal space’ at the door – Beervana is a public space, it will be crowded and people will bump into you. It’s not personal. There will be queues at the most popular bars – for example, the Garage Project stand will most likely be designed by Weta, built by NASA and have a teleporter. While you wait, turn to the person next to you and start a conversation about the funniest thing you’ve ever found in your beards – time will fly!
And most importantly, enjoy yourself!
That’s what we’re all there for, and it only comes once a year.