It’s a sign of the growing popularity of craft beer in Wellington when a small pub in Kelburn hosts a beerfest serving Croucher Pilsner, 3 Boys Wheat, Fat Yak Pale Ale and Tuatara APA. The simply named Kelburn Pub has been serving craft beer, mainly Tuatara, for over a year now and has built up a reputation in Kelburn for serving good food in a friendly atmosphere.

The KelburnFest was organised by Kelburn Pub staff member Casey O’Sullivan as part of his hospitality course. Tickets were $40 and included bar snacks such as pretzels and hot dogs with sauerkraut and venison sausage and 4 beers served in 425 ml handles to take home. The glasses weren’t branded unfortunately and weren’t great quality.

Beers were served to German Oom-pah band with a few interesting games at breaks to add to the festival atmosphere. At one point, while watching drinking races from sippy cups, my friend Kevin did ask “is this ‘Beer for all the right reasons’?”.

Croucher Pilsner was served first and poured a clear straw and gold colour with a lasting lacey head and was fruity (sauvin hops ?) and had a dry finish. 3 Boys Wheat followed and was a Belgain Wit style wheat beer with peach colour and almost pear juice cloudiness. Floral and coriander on the nose, sweet start and a nice clean bitter finish. Then Fat Yak pale ale had a copper colour with full head that disappeared quickly, badly oxidised with a metallic flavour. Sweet toasty malt and diacetyl. Lastly Tuatara NZ APA had a full NZ hop aroma and that great dry hop resiny flavour. Deep copper colour with a fine head. Lovely malt body and a strong bitter finish.

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