Latest News From Around the Country


We pulled off the first ever Auckland Beer Week in June to coincide with the arrival of GABS in Auckland. This was a huge success, with events held in a number of locations around the city and free buses for SOBA members to get to and from GABS. Auckland Beer Week will definitely be back next year and we’re already in discussions with GABS to ensure the week is bigger and better. Best to block out the week starting June 12, 2017, now!

The wonderful City of Ales had to be postponed this year due to GABS but we now have a confirmed date of November 13. There should hopefully be a new Regional co-ordinator (or two) in place by the time the next issue of Pursuit goes to print.


Liquorland Mt Maunganui is now offering discount for card-carrying members of SOBA on craft beer bottles and cans and at the growler station. Mt Brewing Co have commenced the rebuild of their Brewers Bar, rebranded as Rising Tide. Owner Glen Meikle reports that it will offer 27 taps for great beer options. Johnny’s Dumplings will provide in-house catering. They hope to be open in August.


We’re now focusing on key events rather than regular meet ups. The latest SOBA organised event was our second annual Homebrew Comp held at Mike’s Brewery, Urenui. With the recent news of the liquidation of the brewery, punters were keen to join in watching the home brewers and supporting Mike’s. The oldest craft brewery in New Zealand, Mike’s has played an important role in the development of decent beer in New Zealand and Taranaki folks are keen to support the brewery as it enters a new phase. There will be a full report on the brewday in the next edition but pencil in August 21 for Judgement Day, once again at Mike’s. This will be a full-on party, judging event and celebration for the winners. The first placed home brewer will collaborate with Mike’s to develop a scaled up commercial version of their brew.

Well done to Taranaki venues that are offering a great choice for beer lovers including these recent discoveries: Colonel Malone’s in Stratford and Kathakali South Indian Restaurant, New Plymouth.


Hawke’s Bay has long been well known for its sunshine and good wine – but it’s really exciting that there’s an emerging craft beer scene here too now. We’ve got several bars dedicated to the cause: Westshore Beach Inn, Shed 2, Monica Loves, The Cat and The Common Room. And we’re also lucky to have so many breweries right here on our doorstep, including Zeelandt, Fat Monk, Giant, Brave, GodsOwn, Hawke’s Bay Brewery, Roosters, Crazy Bay, Sneaky and Napier Brewing Co.

SOBA Hawke’s Bay is just getting going – we’ve already visited GodsOwn and Brave breweries and had a blind tasting, and there’s more planned over the next few months. We catch up together monthly, and keep in touch with what’s going on locally.


The Celtic Inn offer SOBA members a $1 discount on tap and bottled beer and cider on Sunday and Monday (excludes Monday happy hour 4pm – 6.30pm).

Liquorland Palmerston North offer SOBA members a 5% discount on all tap beers and 5% across all craft beers during SOBA functions. This is across all four Liquorland sites in Palmy.


It is ages away, but it pays to book your Christmas party early, especially when booking into a brew bar that is not built yet but will be popular! We’re going to have a tasting with Kerry from Choice Bros, and check out his new place. He’s going to brew a SOBA beer which participants can take home as a Christmas present! So cool. More details to come from the Regional Coordinator at a later date.


Advance warning: Marchfest will be held next year on March 25. Advance tickets in January. Accommodation in Nelson was full this year so book early. The latest breweries to open have been well received. We now have 13 in Nelson- Tasman with another on the way.


Keep watching member emails for up-coming brewery visits (Three Boys, Eagle) and a possible out of town trip. Also an early reminder about our usual walkabout just before Christmas.\


Members have been discussing getting a comprehensive list of local bar and outlet discounts and SOBA-subsidised options, but we need a good turnout to collate and air these.

On the subject of turnouts, we must apologise to the good folk at Duke of Wellington, who bore the brunt of some lost souls’ queries on June 8 when, by a series of eventualities, not a single SOBA South member made it for the planned event, while a number of new and prospective members showed up to meet us. Big apologies to all involved! We do feel assured, however, that you will have enjoyed your “ale OE”. As compensation, we can anticipate with glee and thirst a number of events, especially November 12’s OUSA-run Craft Beer and Food Festival at Dunedin Stadium.

Back to The Pursuit of Hoppiness: Spring 2016

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