First published on 26 May 2013. Updated on 2 Aug 2013.
Just on the other side of the Tasman, there's a craft brewing revolution going on. New Zealand's chock-a-block full of great beers, and they've been making inroads into the Australian craft beer scene. Aotearoa's best brews are winning over Aussies.
During Good Beer Week, the Alehouse Project in Brunswick East was invaded. The festival's seven nights saw seven Kiwi craft breweries on the taps. Epic, 8 Wired, Liberty, Parrot Dog, Garage Project, Yeastie Boys, and Renaissance might not be household names here yet, but they may well be soon.
Auckland brewery Epic's beers have been "well-received, and we keep coming back," says founder Luke Nicholas. Epic's one of the vanguard of Kiwi craft beers, selling its Pale Ale and winning awards for its immense, hoppy Armageddon IPA (made with four kinds of hops).
The New Zealand craft brewing scene is a bit more established than Australia's. "What's the statistic here?50 percent of the beer drunk in Australia is VB? How insane is that?" asks Nicholas. Sounds like all the more reason for Kiwis to ship their craft beer over. "People are sick of washed-out, yellow, fizzy, pale, green-bottle lagers."
Luckily for us Aussies, Kiwis beers are here to stay. They're popping up on taps and in craft beer bottleshops. But if you can't get enough of the neighbours, there's always Beervana. Held in Wellington in October, they're expecting 10,000 people to come try craft beer from New Zealand and around the world. In the meantime, prepare for your own Armageddon of flavour the next time you buy a bottle of Epic.
Where to get Epic on tap: Cookie, CBD; Revolver Upstairs, Windsor; Joe's Shoe Store, Northcote
Where to buy bottles of tasty New Zealand beer: Visit Time Out's top five craft beer bottle shops
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