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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:45

Hopstock 2017

Hopstock: A celebration of fresh hop beers and Welly’s “globally unique” craft beer scene

The fifth annual Craft Beer Capital Hopstock Festival takes place from 19-24 April, with 22 bars and breweries taking part in 2017’s celebration of fresh hop beers.

Hopstock is a beacon in the calendars of Wellington craft beer drinkers, which sees breweries and Wellington craft beer venues exclusively paired up to showcase the breweries’ “green hop beers” (brewed using harvested hops, fresh off the bine, as opposed to the perennially-used, processed, dried pellet form). Punters follow the Hopstock Fest trail map, in an endeavour to sample these once-a-year beers, collecting a stamp at each craft bar by way of ticking it off the list.

Peter Moran, Hopstock Organiser and Craft Beer Capital Secretary, says Hopstock not only fulfills Craft Beer Capital’s modus operandi of “bringing breweries, bars, punters and everyone else involved in Wellington’s ‘good beer’ industry together”, but also showcases Wellington’s breadth of craft venues and “globally unique beer scene”.

“The trail is about getting people around to Wellington’s awesome craft bars as much as it is about showcasing the breweries and their beers. It’s one of only a couple beer events in the city that actively encourages people to get out and visit its multiple craft destinations.

Peter says that whilst there are other brilliant local beer events throughout the year, these often take place in one venue and people must purchase tickets to attend. Beside purchasing one’s beers, Hopstock is free to partake in, and everyone is welcome to partake.

“Wellington is pretty unique in the sense that there aren’t many cities in the world where you can have a walkabout event like Hopstock, with venues so easily accessible from one to the other. The city’s geographical proximity is definitely what makes our beer scene an exceptional destination.”

Peter says part of the anticipation in the lead up to Hopstock is that each venue has exclusive pouring rights to their allocated beer (confirmed by random draw): “It’s the first and only time you can get these beers in Wellington until the festival is finished.”

The Hopstock trail also caters for sober drinkers, and can be completed without drinking alcohol. Instead, those wishing to abstain can simply gain their trail stamp by purchasing a non-alcoholic drink or food. Hopstock tours are also available for those who wish to go in large groups or put their feet up.

“It’s really important that we support non-drinkers, sober drivers or those who may wish to take a bit of break from the trail by having other options so they can still be a part of the event, whether they choose to drink beer or not,” says Peter.

There will also be a People’s Choice Award, with trail-goers sending their trail maps in to vote for their favourite Hop Harvest beer (completing the trail map is not needed to partake in this).

Peter says Craft Beer Capital is “stoked” with the undeniable growth Hopstock has experienced each year.

“In the beginning, there were about eight beers across 12 bars - some bars were sharing beers! Whereas now we have a waiting list of brewers that want to be involved with Hopstock. More than half of the 22 spots were snapped up by Wellington breweries, and we were able to offer the remaining spots to out-of-town breweries.

“In terms of public interest, it’s definitely grown - last year’s 1000 trail maps were completely snapped up during the event, and around another 1000 were downloaded off the Craft Beer Capital website.”

Hopstock takes place from 19-24 April, 2017, across 22 Wellington venues.

Hopstock Website

Hopstock 2017 on Facebook

Colin Mallon, Malthouse Operations Guy and West Coast IPA Challenge organiser, says this year's 9th Challenge will expand to Malthouse's sister bar, Fork & Brewer on Bond Street, due to increasingly large crowds turning up to see who will win the coveted Golden Gumboots.

The annual event, taking place on Friday, 29 July, sees brewers showcase their skills with hops by brewing West Coast IPAs, a notoriously popular and hoppy style of beer.

"It's become such a big event on the calendar because of people's ongoing and increasingly growing love affair with different beers," Colin says.

"The event has raised awareness of the beer style, and the fun and anticipation leading up to, and on, the night definitely brings people in who necessarily wouldn't class themselves as beer drinkers. You get hardcore beer drinkers bringing their friends, and before you know it, it widens the appeal.

"The last WCIPAC had Malthouse groaning at its seams. The event officially kicks off at 2pm, the bar will be wall-to-wall packed by 4:30pm, with queues out the door by 5pm, and the bar often remaining near capacity until 2am. We sell something in the region of about 40 kegs. It is a huge night for us!

"We were turning people away at the last few WCIPACs, so it made sense to release some of that pressure this year by making Fork & Brewer a co-host."

Colin says Fork & Brewer was the natural choice to co-host the event. It's Malthouse's sister bar, and it's the only place with enough taps to accommodate the 25 beers that will be showcased on the evening.

"Punters at Fork & Brewer need not fear for missing out on any of the beers, celebrations or announcements - all WCIPAC beers will be pouring on tap and announcements made at the same time as at Malthouse," says Colin.

The competition is also making its first foray to Australia with a line-up of WCIPAC beers being flown over the Tasman to feature in tap takeovers at The Local Taphouses in Melbourne and Sydney.

Originally created because July was Malthouse's quietest month, WCIPAC started out with two entrants – Epic Brewing Co. and Hallertau Brewery – in a "mine beer's hoppier than yours" showdown. Epic's entry was Armageddon, which went on to win awards in competitions around the world. Hallertau invented Maximus Humulus Lupulus, which has become a key brew in its 'Heroic' range.

"Back then the Wellington craft beer landscape was quite different – there was Malthouse, Bar Bodega and Bar Edward – and showcasing a specific style was quite unusual," says Colin.

"Now the event showcases 25 beers, has 9-10 judges, some of whom are World Beer Cup judges, and breweries are contacting us to submit entries.

"It's great when you see a brewery that hasn't performed very well, and then come back and next year and they raise their game. Even if they don't win it's really great to see.

"The last thing I wanted this to be was something that was taken too seriously. We want to give brewers a bit of feedback on their entries, but at the end of the day, it is all about celebrating good beer with good people."

West Coast IPA Challenge, from 2pm Friday 29 July, at Malthouse and Fork & Brewer.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 18:53

Hopstock 2016 Prize Winners

We are excited to announce the winners of the Hopstock 2016 prize draw!

There was plenty of prizes to go around this year thanks to our generous donors, resulting in over half of those who submitted maps winning something!

The winners are: (tip, search for your name using your browser's search function)

SOBA Winter Ales 2016 Double Pass Sharon Askin
Beervana 2016 Double Pass Chris Thompson
Greater Wellington Brewday 2017 Double Pass Alyn Higgins
Tuatara Tasting Experience Double Pass Ian Bold
SOBA merch pack Kit Fottrell
Craft Beer Capital Beer Bucket Fountain Tee x4 Sunil Balu, Thomas Elmasri, Oliver Moon, Stephen Bennett
Tuatara Conehead T-shirts x2 Simon Litten, Paul Sorensen
Fork Brewing Tee x2 David Berg, Niki Wright
Wild & Woolly Tees x2 Sam Johnston, Nick Hensman
Three Boys Tee Renee Russell
Sprig & Fern Tavern Tee Jason Duncan
Northend Brewery Cap Fred Dino
Black Dog Cap "Brew Zealand" x10 Jeff McEnaney, Jackson Arlidge, Alan Charlton, Erin Jaggard, Ryan Chard, Lisa Stewart, Barry Allen, Elaine Edwards, Vee Burroughs, Matt Gane
Black Dog Army Cap "Ideas are Brewing" x4 Emma Kearns, Stu Johnston, Neal Blomfield, Nicky Fitzgibbon
Tuatara bottle opener x2 David Wu, Hannah Tutt
Three Boys 1L bullet growler (empty) Steven Wells
$50 Voucher - Southern Cross Ron Zonneveld
$50 Voucher - Sprig & Fern Tavern Tinakori Mitesh Mistry
$20 Voucher - Garage Project Cellar Door OR Taproom x2 Linda Jackson, Maree Charlton
$25 Voucher - Black Dog x4 Charlie Mitchell, Bill Blick, Ted Verrity, Rose Pattison
MOON - Pizza + 2 half pints Annika Corley
Black Dog Tee x 17 Niall McAteer, Martin Rait, Richard Carr, Hugh Stevenson, Shaun Seebaluck, Mark Edwards, Chris Selley, Alex Coe, Phil Shaw, Richard Davies, Harry Saunderson-Warner, William Busfield, Scott Quinlan, Grant Rewi, Hayden Corney, Ray Jaggard, Aidan Findlay


The winners of the events and experiences (top 4 prizes on this list) will be contacted and have their prizes sorted first, as some of the related events are coming up soon!

All other prize winners will be contacted for their delivery information, and clothing size (if applicable). Please note that the CBC volunteer taking care of coordinating merchandise and voucher prizes is currently on leave. We hope to make contact with you by late June, and have these prizes to you by early July. Apologies in advance for the wait!

Congrats to the winners, and well done to all who finished the Hopstock 2016 trail!

- The team at Craft Beer Capital

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 07:45

Hopstock 2016 Protips

Below we outline how to get the most out of Hopstock 2016, which kicks off today and runs through until Monday 18th April (while beers last)!
 

Partake over multiple days

Trying all 21+ beers in a single day is a great idea on paper, but a terrible idea in practice. Space out the fun over the generous 6 day event, remember the beers you taste fondly, and wake up happy for the next day of beerventues.
If you are hitting up many venues in a day due to time constraints, all of the bars will be providing tasting-sizes - so get amongst those!
 

Do the Trail

Not only is Hopstock a great opportunity to try some of the fresh hop brews from the 2016 hop harvest, but it's also an activity! Special Hopstock brochures will allow you to collect a stamp from the corresponding venue when you visit.

You can fill in your details and send completed brochures to us by Friday, 13 May 2016 to enter our Hopstock Prize Draw.

The trail
Prizes
 

Eat + drink non-alcoholic regularly

ALL of the venues provide food of some sort, and water for free, so take advantage of that. If you're all beered out then the trail doesn't end - you can keep roaming and collecting stamps for food and non-alc purchases.

If you want a full restaurant style experience instead of a quick bite, these Hopstock venues have a full kitchen and seat diners.

Hopstock Restaurants
 

Plan a route!

Plan your journey based on bar location and hours of operation... 7am pint of Hot Water Brewing's "IGA (India Green Ale)" at D4 on Featherston, anyone?
This'll save any unnecessary backtracking or a disappointing journey to a closed bar!

Google Map (GPS + directions)
Bar Profiles (hours & contact info)
 

Or let us plan it for you...

We'll serve your tasters, stuff you with great food, and guide you around half of the Hopstock venues (including on a private bus). We're working with the awesome Craft Beer College to bring you 4 guided tours across Friday to Sunday. Saturday has already sold out - get in quick for the others!

Book a tour online
 

Make the most of Hopstock Extra Events

If you're not too busy working on your Behemoth Brewing "Cheech" and "Chong" IPA colouring-in competition entry at Golding's Free Dive, then make the most of the other special events popping up during Hopstock.

Get in quick to book your 4-6 person Hopstock quiz team for Bebemos' and Tuatara's "Coneheads" Hopstock quiz on Thurs 14th.

Saturday sees Panhead Custom Ales fire up their pit smoker at Rogue & Vagabond for some tasty meaty action to pair with their Weedeater Experimental IPA! So head there for a bite and a brew before popping along to Hashigo Zake for North End's brew served-2-ways and some live music from The Rubberneckers - playing "outlaw country with a rocknroll limp".

Sunday's looking mighty fine! The Hop Garden launch their awesome new rooftop bar ft. Te Aro Brewing's "Kermit's Revenge" beer and a BBQ, Garage Project Taproom are hosting a live DJ and Tommy Millions pizza - plus their insane 63-hop-variety beer, "The Amazing Hop Boy", and Kelburn Pub have live jams from The Cosmonauts to accompany their 2 fresh-hopped Kereru brews.

Full details on all extra events
 

Choose a favourite beer!

For the first-time, Hopstock will have a people's choice champion. Make sure to note your favourite brew when sending in your trail brochure.
 

Have Untappd? Checkity-check yourself in!

We've worked with Untappd in the big ol' USA to set you up a custom Hopstock 2016 badge. Simply check-in at 5 Hopstock venues during the 6 day event to unlock it, and immortalise Hopstock 2016 in your badge library. Achievement unlocked!

Read about our badge on the Untappd Official Blog
 

Wear us close to your heart

Hopstock 2016 T-Shirts! With our much-lauded 2016 event logo, plus the option of having the full lineup printed on the back, "on tour" style!

Buy tees online
 

Take note of Closures

Not all bars open on Sunday and Monday, not even for Hopstock! These closures are noted on the official brochure.

Also worth noting is that The Bruhaus will be uncharacteristically closed on the Saturday due to inaccessibility. Make sure you get to these venues earlier in the week.

Be nice!

Hopefully we're all here to enjoy the great Hopstock beers and events together, so let's make it a great one for all involved!

Bars will be busy at times, which means it may get a little tight. This will also mean the bartenders are working extra hard.

Move around others gracefully, let people through (especially staff clearing glasses), be patient for service, and try not to raise your voice louder than necessary. If you feel like you're approaching your limit, head home or switch to non-alc instead of actually testing that limit. Essentially, "don't be THAT person".

Some people can lose track of themselves after a few beers, so please look after your friends and colleagues if they aren't looking after themselves.

 

That's all for now folks, remember to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook for the latest Hopstock updates throughout the week!

Official Facebook event is here, join for any inside scoops!

The fourth annual Craft Beer Capital Hopstock Festival kicks off from 13-18 April, with 21 bars and breweries taking part in this year's celebration of fresh hop beers.

The annual fresh hop harvest is always a beacon in calendars of craft beer boffins. It sees breweries and Wellington craft beer venues exclusively paired up to showcase the breweries' "green hop beers" (brewed using harvested hops, fresh off the bine, as opposed to the perennially-used, processed, dried pellet form). Punters follow the Hopstock Fest trail map, in an endeavour to sample these once-a-year beers, collecting a stamp at each craft bar by way of ticking it off the list.

Peter Moran, Hopstock Organiser and Craft Beer Capital Secretary, says as an event, Hopstock not only fulfils Craft Beer Capital's modus operandi of "bringing breweries, bars, punters and everyone else involved in Wellington's 'good beer' industry together", but also showcases Wellington's breadth of craft venues and "globally unique beer scene".

"The trail is about getting people around to Wellington's awesome craft bars as much as it is about showcasing the breweries and their beers. It's one of only a couple Welly beer events that actively encourages people to get out and visit the city's multiple craft destinations.

"There are other brilliant local beer events throughout the year, but often these take place in one venue and people have to purchase tickets to attend. Bar purchasing beers, this event is free to partake in, and everyone is welcome!

"Wellington is pretty unique in the sense that there aren't many cities in the world where you can hold an walkabout event like Hopstock, with venues so easily accessible from one to the other. The city's geographical proximity is definitely what makes our beer scene an exceptional destination!"

Peter says part of the anticipation in the lead up to Hopstock is that each venue has exclusive pouring rights to their allocated beer (confirmed by random draw): "It's the first and only time you can get these beers in Wellington until the festival's finished."

The Hopstock trail caters for sober drinkers, and can be completed without drinking alcohol. Instead, those wishing to abstain can simply gain their trail stamp by purchasing a non-alcoholic drink or food. Hopstock buses are also available for those who wish to go in large groups or put their feet up (ticket prices TBC).

"It's really important that we support non-drinkers, sober drivers or those who may wish to take a bit of break from the trail by having other options so they can still be a part of the event, whether they choose to drink beer or not," says Peter.

There will also be a Hopstock 2016 People's Choice Award, with trail-goers sending their trail maps in to vote for their favourite Hop Harvest beer (completing the trail map is not needed to partake in this).

Peter says Craft Beer Capital is "stoked" with the undeniable growth Hopstock has experienced each year.

"In the beginning, there were about eight beers across 12 bars - some bars were sharing beers! Whereas now we have a waiting list of brewers that want to be involved with Hopstock.

"Fourteen of the 21 spots were snapped up by Wellington breweries, and we were able to offer the remaining spots to out-of-town breweries.

"In terms of public interest, it's definitely grown - last year's 1000 trail maps were completely snapped up during the event, and around another 1000 were downloaded off the Craft Beer Capital website."

The trail map will be available for download/print below shortly before the event, and strictly limited copies will also be available at the Hopstock bars from the outset of Hopstock (13th of April 2016).

Hopstock takes place from 13-18 April, 2016. For updates, beer profiles and more deets, check out the Hopstock page on the Craft Beer Capital website!

For more information contact:Peter Moran at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hopstock 2016 Bars and Beers

- Malthouse is pouring 8 WIRED BREWING
Meow is pouring ‪#‎TiamanaBrew‬
D4 on Featherston is pouring Hot Water Brewing Co. Brewery
Bebemos is pouring Tuatara Brewing
The Rogue & Vagabond is pouring Panhead Custom Ales
Basque is pouring Wild and Woolly Brewing
Golding's Free Dive is pouring Behemoth Brewing Company
LBQ is pouring ParrotDog
Hashigo Zake is pouring for North End Brewing
Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant is pouring Renaissance - Craft Beer from New Zealand
The Hop Garden is pouring for Te Aro Brewing Company
MOON 1 is pouring Baylands Brewery & Brewing Supplies
Kelburn Village Pub is pouring Kereru Brewing Company
Bin 44 is pouring Choice Bros Brewing
The Brühaus is pouring Three Boys Brewery
Crafters & Co. Cafe/Bar is pouring for Mike's Organic Brewery

Sunday, 31 January 2016 19:34

Coastella International Music Festival 2016

All roads are leading to Kapiti with the announcement of the Coastella International Music Festival happening this Easter, celebrating the sunny coastline as a vibrant cultural hotspot and hosting a line-up of international musical performances, local food, produce, craft beer and wine.

The day-long, family-friendly festival will host more than thirteen bands on two stages on Easter Saturday (March 26th) within the spectacular grounds and natural amphitheatre of the Southward Car Museum, just north of Paraparaumu and only one hour north of Wellington.

With Easter historically providing great weather on the Kapiti Coast, the one-day outdoor event is set to attract 1500 people in its inaugural year.

The independent festival is organised by local Kapiti entrepreneur, Paul Brown, and internationally renowned Kiwi musician, Gerry Paul.

Paul Brown says Coastella is dedicated to celebrating the vibrancy of the coast’s culture and hospitality and the people who make it happen.

“With so much development in the area, and more and more young families moving up the coast, we want to showcase all that Kapiti has to offer - weather, food, music - with cutting edge events such as this,” says Paul.

“We have all these new roads opening up, so let’s get Wellingtonians up the coast to hear great music and enjoy our hospitality. The festival’s slogan ‘All roads lead to Kapiti!’ really reinforces that.

For Kapiti locals, this incredible event will be on their doorstep rather than them always having to travel to Wellington City, New Plymouth or further afield.”

Gerry Paul has created a star-studded lineup, presenting genres from soul to singer songwriter, folk to world music and funk to Americana. The bill includes undeniably charming Australian band Sex On Toast who specialise in raw early 80’s funk and “heartfelt blue-eyed soul”, NZ veteran songwriting legend Don McGlashan; Tait Music Prize Winner, Lawrence Arabia; Silver Scroll winning producer and country artist, Delaney Davidson; 22-piece Balkan band, The Balkanistas; Electric Wire Hustle frontman, Mara TK ; Estere, who describes her music as “Electric Blue Witch Hop”, along with Irish Chart Topping artist, Noelie McDonnell.

Gerry, an internationally renowned guitarist who has performed at over 500 festivals in 30 countries, says, “We want a festival with a focus on outstanding songwriters and musicians, both from NZ and internationally. You couldn’t design festival grounds as great as the natural amphitheatre out back of the Southward Car Museum - it's crazy that it hasn’t been utilised for a music festival before now!”

Food & Beverage stalls will include the Kapiti Food Truck collective, Gooseshack & Kapiti Ice-cream, plus local craft breweries Tuatara (Paraparaumu) and North End (Waikanae). With entertainment and attractions including cricket for all ages, an official Easter Egg Hunt, balloon art and face Painting for the kids, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone at Coastella.

The grounds provide ample parking, and there will be buses running from Wellington on the day - with all roads leading to Kapiti, it’s virtually on your doorstep!

Earlybird tickets are available at Eventfinda now until 31st January (unless sold out prior).

Website: www.coastella.co.nz
Twitter: www.twitter.com/coastellanz
Facebook: www.facebook.com/coastella

Coastella Festival - Easter Saturday, 26 March 2016. Doors open at 2pm; performances run from 3-10pm.

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