Hello from Columbia, Maryland

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by jmcnamara, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Figured I should finally post hear after being in some of the other rooms. I've been brewing for about 4 years, my fiancé bought me a starter kit for Xmas. We're having a beer themed wedding and giving our own brews out as favors. Needless to say, she's pretty cool ;)

    Anyway, we're honeymooning on the north island of New Zealand, essentially taking a road trip starting and ending in Auckland. Given the international reach of this site, Id love to hear anyone's suggestions for good breweries, bars, beers, food, hops farms, lord of the rings-related sights, etc. we should try to see. I know one of the stops is Rotoruerra (spelling?), if that helps narrow it down any.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    You're going to love it! I lived for 4 yrs in Christchurch (SI) and absolutely loved NZ. In fact, it is also where I started home brewing. I didn't get up to the North Island very much, so I am afraid I can't be of much help info-wise. On my one-and-only trip to Auckland, I made sure to hit up Shakespeare and Galbraiths. I definitely preferred Galbraiths for both beer and atmosphere, but ymmv... Brothers Beer is new since I was there, but also looks interesting. My parents loved Rotorua when they visited. I headed on down to Lake Taupo to climb instead. :lol:
    There are so many small breweries now, that good beer is to be had just about anywhere in NZ.
    If all else fails, there should be Monteith's and/or Mac's around. They are kind of the Sam Adams/Sierra Nevada/Anchor/etc type breweries in NZ. Big enough to have an (inter)national distribution and be of reasonable price, but still small enough to brew decent beer. The specialty beers from Speight's can also be really good, but it is unlikely you will run into them in the store on the NI, but they do have some alehouses, which are always good for a visit: http://www.speights.co.nz/Find-Speights/Alehouses
    Not sure where the hops farms and LotR sights are (except the ones around Wellington and the SI), but others and Google should be of help.
     
  3. Yeast Head

    Yeast Head New Member

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    That sounds like an awesome honeymoon! NZ is on my bucket list! I'm sure you'll sample lots of the local brews! We want a report!
     
  4. fire60

    fire60 New Member

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    Hello from Wellington NZ. Sorry to have missed your post! Would have been great to have caught up on your trip. Did you visit any of the local Wellington breweries. We have at least 6 here and all brew excellent beer.
    I have lived in Wellington most of my life and grew up here. I spent 10 days in the Baltimore area about 15 years ago. It is a very nice part of the country.

    5 brewers from Wellington attended the Portland beer festival recently. How did the sight seeing in NZ go?

    Regards,
    Pete
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    We haven't left quite yet, we just got through the wedding yesterday.
    Now that we have some time, we're going to look at what's along our route a bit more closely.
    We'll definitely be taking a lot of pictures of the scenery and notes on every beer we try. Looking forward to reporting back in a few weeks!
     
  6. fire60

    fire60 New Member

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    How far South are you going? Rotorua is about half way down the North island (about 3 hrs driving from Auckland)
     
  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    we just got back yesterday morning, so i don't have a full report quite yet.

    We did go to Shakespeares and Mac's in Auckland. Definitely hit Rotorura (and Hobbiton just north of there). We had a Speights somewhere along the line, I think their lager?

    Also, in Wellington, we checked out the Garage Project. Very cool little brewery in an old petrol station, we made sure to try everything they had on tap (they give free samples) and bought a few bottles that seemed interesting (Brett IPA, cookies and cream stout, and a day of the dead since we got married on that day Nov 1). Haven't tried them yet though.
    and the beer we had in Fiji wasn't bad either. Mostly lagers, but I gravitated towards the Fiji Bitter when I wasn't having fruity cocktails :D

    all in all, we defintiely want to go back at some point to NZ. even ignoring we were only on one island, I feel like we had to skip a lot of cool stuff.
    also, those roads are ridiculous, the customs guy wasn't lying when he said they didn't have overly developed highways.
     
  8. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    So true! Christchurch has the only couple of kms of "highway" on the entire SI, and they are just that....a couple kms. :lol:
    Sounds like you had a great trip. Glad you got to see and try what you did. Welly is definitely a great city. There was always something new to experience every time I was there, and it sounds like the trend in continuing.
     

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