Enjoy the craft beer capital, whatever the weather
If you’re planning a Waitangi weekend escape, and good food paired with even better beer is on your list, then Wellington should be your first stop.
Where to stay
The Museum Art Hotel http://www.museumhotel.co.nz is perfectly located opposite Te Papa and just a short walk from both the city centre and Cuba Mall. They offer a hotel style room or an apartment perfect for family groups or friends, and they also support plenty of charitable organisations to extend that warm, cosy feeling beyond the plush guest pillows. If you’re on more of a budget, then take a look at The Setup On Dixon https://www.setupdixon.co.nz. Described as ‘Everything you need, nothing you don’t’, these affordable but comfortable rooms are recently renovated and very central.
What to do
The Craft Beer Capital Beer Trail Map is a self-guided walk around all the best boozy spots. It’s free to download from craftbeercapital.com. Divided into two sections, north and south, you could tackle one walk each day taking in some of the most exciting micro-breweries and bars in the city. Collect stamps from each bar you visit to claim a T-shirt at the end of the day.
There are 20 bars and brewhouses to check out, including Little Beer Quarter, a boutique bar with 12 beers and one cider on tap, The Malthouse – Wellington’s original craft beer bar now in its 21st year, and Valhalla, which boasts 11 beers on tap plus a great selection of international bottled beer.
One of our favourites not on the map is Parrot Dog. They started as a home-brewing project that went commercial. They won Best in Class at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards in 2012 for their flagship beer, Bitter Bitch. You should also make the effort to visit the Garage Project in Te Aro valley. You might need to take the cab but it’s worth the journey.
Where to eat
Hashigo Zake has created a real buzz as a cult bar with one of the most exciting beer lists in the city. They also do a great range of pies, including Moroccan vege, root beer beef, and lamb and spinach, plus Japanese snacks and noodles. A great spot for lunch.
For relaxed evening eats head to Meow. They offer live jazz to complement an exciting set menu that includes their own, in-house cured beef, Hungarian-style meatballs and brussels sprouts braised with bacon. There’s a good selection of tap beer, including Golden Bay based brewhouse, The Mussel Inn’s Captain Cooker. If you’re feeling a bit beered out they also have a great wine list and a selection of world class whiskey.
Don’t miss out on …
If you’re feeling inspired by a great weekend of craft beer tasting and good food, then why not drop into iconic shop The Occasional Brewer before you leave. Full of great advice for those starting out on the boutique brewing journey, you’ll be able to launch your own garage project in no time.