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Five Hop-Forward Picks for Auckland Beer Week 2021

This year's celebration features sea shanty sing-alongs, roaming pub crawls and doughnut pairings.
By Stephen Heard
April 13, 2021
By Stephen Heard
April 13, 2021

Every year, the Society of Beer Advocates (SOBA) rolls out its red carpet for a week-long celebration of all things craft beer. It's appropriately called Auckland Beer Week, and this year it's taking place across the city's finest hop-forward establishments from 17–24 April. The festivities officially kick off with a roaming tour of local beer bars, before decadent doughnut pairings, fault tasting workshops and beer-fuelled potato and spoon races pop up around the city.



At Fresh Hop '21, three buses will roll between five craft venues — Lumsden Freehouse, Galbraith's, The Fridge & Flagon, Vulture's Lane and Brewers Co-operative — where punters can sample this season's fresh-hopped brews. The process, which connects brewers with hops from the bine within 24 hours of plucking, typically results in more aroma and more flavoursome beer. Expect fresh hop sours, hazy pale ales and schnapps. Those after something more relaxed could join a casual stroll down the Auckland Beer Mile with brewers in tow.



Food are beer pairings are all across this year's Auckland Beer Week lineup. On Friday, April 23, Mount Eden alehouse Galbraith's will be pouring beer from Waipu brewery McLeod's to match game meat specialties from Cazador. There'll be seven taps and a special cask-conditioned koha keg for charity. Throughout the week Brothers Beer is lining up the almighty drinking snack of pork crackling, while Cornerbar is whipping up gourmet toasties. Elsewhere, Garage Project Kingsland is dishing up gherkin-themed snacks to match its zingy pickle beer and The Lumsden Freehouse will once again prove how well fresh oysters go down with dark beer.



For something sweet, Dessert of the Gods will see lemon meringue, a mystery chocolate dessert and something fruity paired with three creamy drops from Wairau Valley's Mythica Brewing. There'll be a specially brewed lemon meringue release on nitro to match. In Eden Terrace, The Fridge & Flagon will be serving up decadent doughnut and beer pairings, including ice cream sours, milkshake IPAs and pastry stouts.



Hardcore beer nerds are spoiled for choice at this year's Auckland Beer Week. One pick is the fault tasting workshop with local beer judge David Moynagh. If you're looking to understand the difference between Diacetyl and DMS, oxidation and overcarbonation, then this one is for you. You'll learn about the most common issues with beer, how they come about and how to spot them. Moynagh is also running a taste journey of Belgian beers, showcasing ten drops from the beer-obsessed nation. For something more relaxed, there's an educational coach tour between two Matakana craft beer venues. The day trip hops between 8 Wired Brewery and Sawmill Brewery for tasting paddles, axe throwing and all-you-can-eat barbecue.


Giovanna Gomes


For those who are looking for more than just a glass of suds, there are plenty of interactive events to get involved in. The Fridge & Flagon will be the spot to join a sing-along with the Wellington Sea Shanty Society. Brace the mainsails for rousing renditions of your favourite shanties with songbooks so you can join in while quaffing jugs of hearty ale. The Lumsden Freehouse is throwing down music bingo and Beer Jerk is hosting a full-blown sports day involving a breakdancing contest, beer-fuelled potato and spoon races, arm wrestling and pie eating time trials.


Auckland Beer Week 2021 will be held across Tamaki Makaurau from 17–24 April. For more information, visit

Published on April 13, 2021 by Stephen Heard

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