I’m glad to know that if you’re reading this, you’ve survived the crazy season in New Zealand’s beer scene. Since our last issue, we’ve had the SOBA Winter Ales Festival, City of Ales and the mother of all beer festivals, Beervana. We’ve got a new champion brewery – Harrington’s – and a some new members on our Executive Committee to complement the old. All this news and more is contained in this issue.
Winter certainly is the time for beer festivals, one of the reasons it is my favourite season. Part of being a SOBA member is having the opportunity to volunteer at festivals, as well as attend as a punter.
What? I hear you exclaim, why would you work when you could just have fun? Well, I would maintain that volunteering is fun. I helped out on the front desk of the City of Ales festival, taking tickets and selling tokens and it’s rather exhilarating. There’s a business and a buzz that’s really exciting. And there’s the very enjoyable pastime of watching everyone leave the festival, happy and chatting about what their favourite beers were or what a good time they had.
For a whole ‘nother sort of fun, there’s being a punter. A whole afternoon or evening of doing nothing but sample delicious beers and talk about it. Of making discoveries and catching up with like minded people. Or even better, having several days of that – Choice Beer Week.
For me, Choice Beer Week is the beer event of the year. For lucky Wellingtonians, it generally starts early in the week with amazing beer and food matching events or a special beer launch. Then most of the brewers drift into town for the Brewer’s Guild AGM and Mashing In. Then all the beer writers and geeks arrive for the Brewers Guild Awards. Gradually the beer population grows and then BAM! it’s time for Beervana, two days of beer appreciation madness. (And also Saturday morning, some of us stumble down to the SOBA AGM.)
Although Beervana is over for another year, we still have plenty to look forward to (check out the Events Page). In the meantime, there’s always good beer to be had at local bars and pubs – not to mention a very relaxing drop at home!
Kate Jordan, Editor
P.S. A huge thank you to everyone you contributed to this issue – many people burnt the midnight oil to get their photos and articles in after Beervana. And a massive thanks to sub-editor Frances Verrity, who’s given Pursuit a great deal of polish!