Food & Wine
More beer lovers than ever before have come to Wellington's very own beer Mecca.
Premier beer festival Beervana has kicked off at Westpac Stadium today, with tickets sales up 50 per cent on 2011.
More than 6000 tickets were sold before the gates opened today, with more expected to sell during the two day event.
With 271 beers from breweries across the country on tap, the festival is now far bigger and better than when it started 11 years ago.
Organiser Jessica Venning-Bryan said that growth was the result of Wellington's thriving craft beer scene, and smart marketing by brewers.
"I think brewers are getting better at marketing and brewing beers that help people get into craft beer. It's more about great, flavoursome beer that can help transition people from mainstream labels into new tastes."
The supportive nature of the Wellington beer scene had helped boost the profile of craft beer, while the Craft Beer Capital initative also gave beer lovers something to grab onto, she said.
"We are really lucky to have so many great craft beer bars in Wellington, and a tourism organisation that sees this as a benefit for the city.
"Within the last two to three years there have been so many more bars, and breweries, joining the scene and it has made Wellington the perfect home for Beervana."
Mike Neilson, from Wellington-based Tuatara brewery, said Beervana was where people would come for "beer enlightenment".
'It enlightens everyone. We all get together and celebrate good beer."
Mike Ellwood, who owns home brew store Brewers Coop in Auckland, said Wellington was leading the way in the craft beer community.
"Wellington has completely embraced it. It is leading the way in terms of availability of brews. Wellington is the beer Mecca of New Zealand."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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