On 18 August 2023, thousands of beer enthusiasts descended upon Wellington’s Stadium for the opening session of Beervana 2023.
I was there with a small group of friends. The weather was kind, a crisp, blue sky winter’s morning. This was better than previous years when it was raining, and the walk to the stadium offered no shelter from the weather.
Beervana is the largest beer festival in Aotearoa and has been running since 2001 under different names and venues. It has been running at the Wellington Stadium since 2011.
This year’s theme was “weird & wonderful”, so many breweries produced weird beers for the festival. This year, I had my mind set on West Coast IPAs.
For the last four or five years, Beervana (and the beer industry) has been taken over by the hazies. I initially thought this was a yearly fad, but I was wrong. Hazies remain one of the most popular beer styles. For reasons I won’t get into this post, I am over hazies and was keen to seek out clear beers. Luckily, there was a great selection of West Coast IPAs on the menu.
I added 25 beers to my wishlist, and throughout the day, I got to try fifteen beers, all I hadn’t tried before. Out of these, I marked six as standouts.
- Garage Project - Decent To The Dungeons Of Dankness WCIPA
- Liberty Brewing - Knife Party Party WCIPA
- Mount Brewing Co - Point Break WCIPA
- Pacific Coast - Springwood West Coast Pilsner
- Liberty Brewing - The Terminator WCIPA
- Moffat Beach Brewing Co - Trilogy Best Coast IPA
The Springwood West Coast Pilsner by Pacific Coast was the day’s surprise. After my first taster, I went straight back for a full glass.
Overall I had a great day trying many different clear beers, eating lots of good food and catching up with many people I sometimes only see each year at Beervana.
Now I wait for next year as I look forward to Beervana 2024.