We're going on a beer hunt

I feel a bit stink for Geoff Griggs at the moment.

Dubbed the doyen of Kiwi beer writing by those more esteemed than I, he found himself in Palmerston North at the beginning of the month.

I have told him and many others that Village Inn Kitchen is the spot to grab a beer in the city, so he is fair enough to be disappointed the place was closed when he tried to visit.

But it got me thinking: how can people travelling to cities they do not go to often find themselves a good pint?

To save you answering the question, I have put together four tips, tricks and titbits to arm you with most of the tools you will need to find good beer wherever you go.

1)   Untappd is, without a doubt, one of the handiest apps available to beer hunters. It is most commonly used to check in beers you drink - an R18 Pokedex, if you will. 

While I am no fan of its medal system - anything that gives you rewards, even if just digital, for drinking more raises moral issues with me - it has handy features.

You can see what people think of beers you are considering buying, and you can check what your friends love at beer festivals.

However, the best feature is the compass-looking icon.

You can use it to see what bars and breweries are nearby, then check that place's page to see what people are drinking there; find the bar, check their beer list, know what they have.

This always works just as well for bottle shops, as long as people check in to the store they purchased the beer from when they enjoy it at home.

2)   Twitter has changed how people access information.

We hassle our telecommunications provider when the internet isn't working; we find out what beers are still on tap at the pub; we organise social gatherings.

It can also be used to find out where is good for a drink.

It came in handy for me when I had to head to Dunedin for a couple of weeks last year; plenty of people came to my aid to recommend where to get a good pint.

They recommended Albar, and it is now one of my favourite pubs in the country.

3)   RealBeer was a godsend when I got into home brewing; it's home to the best home brew forum for anyone living in New Zealand.

Not "one of the best" or "in the top few".

The best. Period.

And what to good home brewers know about? Good beer.

Everyone on the forum has been nothing but helpful, so take advantage of them - in the nicest way possible, of course.

4)   There are these things we all interact with every day.

They can be annoying, smelly, large, and messy.

They can also be fun, small, organised and smell like a glass of IPA.

We call them "other people".

You may talk to them sometimes about work, what to eat for dinner or how crazy the weather has been, so why not talk to them about where to get a good beer?

The way the craft beer "thing" is going these days, you are likely to know another person who appreciates good beer.

So ask around and see what they know.

Best case scenario: you'll end up with someone to have a beer with sometime.

And, to quote Uncle Hunter, good people drink good beer.

5)   There is a plan in the works to make it easier to find, not only good beer, but all the brewries in New Zealand.

It also has a name bound to annoy every sub-editor in the world - kiwi CRAFT.

Jules van Cruysen is running a Kickstarter for kiwi CRAFT, a guidebook and app he wants to create.

kiwi CRAFT will show drinkers where to get a good beer virtually anywhere in New Zealand.

He has a big job ahead of him - he needs about $11,000 in the next nine days - but weirder things have happened (Octomom, Radlergate, any media brew made with The Beerhive).

In comparison to those three things, getting $11,000 in nine days is a walk in the park.

Manawatu Standard