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NZ Recs for a NYC Beer explorer

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I'm planning on going to the Brew Blues and BBQ Festival in Blenheim on February 2nd. I'm still trying to decided where I will go before and after the festival as I travel in and out of the country. I'm hoping I can tie in a couple of amazing meals to compete with what will surely be fond memories of the beer. Does anyone have any thoughts on a couple of can't miss beers, foods, or destinations (culinary and/or scenic)?

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  1. It is my understanding that Galbraiths in Auckland is not to be missed for lovers of real ale.

    1. I'm certainly no expert but when I was in Dunedin last year I was told that Emerson's is the one to search out. Dunedin would be interesting as a place to visit for a combo of beer and scenery. (The Speights brewery has a good tour as does Cadbury, and Otago Peninsula is nearby).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emersons

      1. Founders Organic Brewery, Nelson, just "over the hill" from Blenheim...can't vouch for the food, but their beers are excellent.
        http://www.biobrew.co.nz/

        If you're going to Nelson, go 2hrs "over the hill" to Golden Bay area, where amongst the superb scenery, you must find go to "The Mussel Inn" - NZ's best pub? Great beer, bush scenery, atomosphere, local characters, human interaction etc
        http://www.musselinn.co.nz/about.htm

        The full range of Emerson's beers from Dunedin are well worth tasting, particulary organic pilsner, check if they do tours etc, beers widely available around the country.
        http://www.emersons.co.nz/

        Green Fern (organic) lager from Westport (South Island) is a lovely drop on a hot summers day, again widely available from supermarkets.

        Enjoy the festival and all that NZ has to offer

        1 Reply
        1. re: shitamachi

          As far as I know Emerson's doesn't offer a tour.

        2. Thank you all for your suggestions, I'm off to start the trip tomorrow. If you're interested, the plan calls for a night stop in Auckland to get my bearings where I hope to stop in at Galbraiths and Shakespeare. On southerly to the festival and their local brews and then more so to Dunedin for Emerson's and the general pub environment of the town. After that is Wanaka where I am told there is a very relaxed setting for a smaller brewery, and then into Christchurch where my plane leaves from.

          It sounds like Nelson would be good but I expect to try most of their stuff at the Blenheim festival, and I'm sure throughout the country there are a number of other great bets that I just won't have the time to coordinate.

          I'll update this board when I get back if I discover anything new to add to the collection.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nyctreal

            Might have missed you but....some recommendations on beer to try as opposed to tours

            Three Brothers - Auckland Brewery - I tried a great Wheat Beer of theirs

            Monteiths - not sure if the limited release Summer Ale is still around, but
            pretty good with a spiced honey flavour. There is actually a Monteiths brewpub in Wanaka - nothing special, but dependable.

            In Christchurch - try to eat/drink at Dux de Lux (Arts Centre) - it's a pub with good food and some great ale brewed inhouse.

            1. re: jellyface

              Where can you find Three Brothers beer? I live in Auckland and haven't heard of it. Thanks!

              FYI - New Zealanders aren't great beer drinkers (and when they are they seem to mostly drink lager). Wine is more their thing here. But I may be jaded because I moved here from Boston where we were spoiled for choice for good beer and brew pubs. The South Island in NZ seems to have more good beer choices and though I haven't been to Dunedin - it's a college town which is always a good place to look for good beer.

              1. re: bettylee

                You're crazy! Kiwis were big beer drinkers way before wine came on the scene.

                There is a pretty wide range of beer types sold bottled even in the supermarkets. I like the black beers.. Macs Black and Monteiths. They are nice as a dessert beer with gingernuts!

                1. re: bettylee

                  Whoops - need to check facts before posting:
                  It should be Three Boys Brewery, based in Christchurch.

                  The recommendation still stands - blindingly good stuff (I drank it in Akaroa)