Living up to its motto in business and leisure, ParrotDog is certainly "Nice". In fact, I would even argue that it is far better than nice. The new brewery/restaurant/bar/gallery out in Lyall Bay truly offers something for everyone — particularly if you love craft beer.
The creation of ParrotDog belongs in an anthology of Kiwi craftiness and can-do attitude. Two mates, Matt and Matt, were inspired after spending a summer sampling Wellington's craft beer scene. Trying their hand at homebrewing (out of the basement of their dingy Aro Valley flat), they created a potent potion that was actually quite delicious. Long story short, they've left the basement and now have an iconic brewery out in Lyall Bay. Not bad for a couple of students, eh?
Walking into the bar and restaurant area, you'll notice what seems to be a nostalgic ode to the '60s and '70s. Vintage carpet wall coverings, a bright red 'Nice' neon, and gorgeous flower wallpaper will thrust you right back to your parents' generation. Together with retro chairs and tables, you'd half expect a server to approach you and ask "more coffee hun?" Except it's craft beer in this instance. Continue around the corner and there's an industrial-esque gallery space. White concreted ceiling and slick stone flooring makes it the perfect space for exhibitions, which they hold often.
ParrotDog revolves around its renowned craft beers — 15 of them. To fully appreciate the ParrotDog experience, talk to one the exceptionally knowledgable staff. They'll pour the right brew (or five), sour, bitter and everything in between. They'll even show you what order to sink them in. When you go, there may even be some limited edition kegs that need to be finished off — it'd be rude not to help them out.
My favourite was the Specimen B2: Riwaka Fresh Hop Sour. Refreshing and delicious, its fizz danced on the tip of my tongue. Truly an ode to ParrotDog's experimental style. If you're looking for something a bit more traditional, get a pint of the lager. Easy to drink, it will quench the most thirsty of souls. Of course, if you want to try the original creation, then the Bitterbitch is a must have.
Perfect for an afterwork wind down, or even for an intimate evening with someone special, take the opportunity to get out of the city and grab a beer and bite to eat. With a whole selection of sandwiches, salads, and other bites to munch on, this pub grub will impress. We had a classic reuben. It's exactly what you'd expect and what you need. Corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese — nice.
Although some feel that that there is a saturation of craft beers in Wellington, ParrotDog certainly deserve a spot on your to-do list.
Images: Lucy Aitchison.