GEOFF GRIGGS - MarlboroughAlthough I've tasted Great Punkin several times and always enjoyed it, I always struggle to think of occasions when I'd like to sit down and drink a glass or two.
Depending on personal preference, bitterness can be a prized flavour component.
I've just spent the past week in Denver, Colorado, where I've been judging at the Great American Beer Festival.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressHaving tasted several of the Boulevard Brewing Company's beers over the past few years, I'd been itching to visit the brewery.
From Blenheim to 30,000 feet up on the way to San Francisco, Moa is the order of the day.
Before I head off on my travels I'd like to bring you up to date on a few interesting bits of brewing news.
Ever since I discovered the joy of German lager with an Indian curry, pairing spicy food with different beer styles has interested me.
One of the obvious benefits of a small brewery being taken over by a larger concern is that the smaller brewer's beers can be more widely promoted and distributed.
If ever proof was needed, the results of this year's Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards are evidence of the growth and improving quality of Kiwi-brewed craft beer.
Express columnist 'thrilled' by honour
Marlborough beer writer Geoff Griggs has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the brewing industry of New Zealand.
Two Marlborough breweries honoured in the 2014 New Zealand Beer Awards,
Regular readers of this column will know I have a pretty low opinion of the selection of beers offered by most restaurants.
Next Thursday, at a gala awards dinner, breweries will find out whose medal winning beers have earned them the trophy for Champion Brewery of New Zealand.
A fortnight ago I received an invitation to a trans-Tasman challenge between two iconic craft breweries: Emerson's and Little Creatures.
International interest in our beers is growing.
Planned changes to Auckland's alcohol policy would be "devastating" to the craft beer industry, a Marlborough brewer says.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressThe West Coast Challenge golden gumboots went to Blenheim's Renaissance Brewing Company for Bloody RIPA, a red rye India pale ale.
To those who've only ever tried modern mass produced, heavily-chilled golden lagers, older beer styles can come as something of a surprise.
Aside from producing a broad range of ales, England's Wychwood Brewery is responsible for one of Britain's most confrontational beer advertising campaigns.
Once I'd developed an appreciation for Gale's bitter many other beers seemed quite ordinary by comparison.
GEOFF GRIGGS - GameplanetI was in Dunedin at the invitation of Emerson's to attend the launch of this year's JP, the brewery's annual tribute to Professor Jean-Pierre Dufour.
The Czech city of Pilsen has been a centre of brewing since the 13th century and is well known to beer lovers as the birthplace of the world's first clear, golden coloured, lager. But Pilsen it is not the Czech Republic's only famous brewing city.
A proposal to ban sale of single bottles of beer in Marlborough has been labelled ''ridiculous''.
Blenheim's Renaissance is the first brewery to hold the title of Champion International Small Brewery for a second year.
My last trip to Belgium was in 2001, some 13 years ago, and since that time my go-to resource for information about Belgian beer has been Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium.
Marlborough's Renaissance Brewing is thinking big, and is looking to everyday Kiwi investors to help drive its plans to fruition.
For a long time, 8 Wired Brewing and Søren Eriksen were synonymous.
I was in Wellington for the weekend with a group of friends from Blenheim to celebrate Mike Pink's 75th birthday.
GEOFF GRIGGS - MarlboroughMention the name Theakston's to any ale-loving Englishman and more likely than not you'll see a drop of moisture appear in the corner of his eyes.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressThe internet has been running hot for the past couple of weeks on the high price of beer in New Zealand .
Just when Josh Scott thought he had outdone his dad, the road sign pointing to Moa brewery might have to be downsized.
New liquor licensing fees could cost on and off-licence premises an extra $4700 to renew their liquor licence for three years.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressThis week's column was inspired by an episode of Inspector Morse.
Every two years I pore carefully through the results of the world's largest international beer competition
When I migrated here in 1995 two dominant brewers had reduced beer into a bland homogenous product.
Pity about the corporate brewers
More than 13,000 people gathered in Hagley Park in Christchurch on Saturday for New Zealand's largest one-day beer festival.
Since Riwaka brewer Simon Nicholas is a newcomer to the region's beer scene, we thought it would be fun to get his insider-outsider perspective on MarchFest.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressNext weekend more than 10,000 people will flock to Hagley Park in Christchurch for the Great Kiwi Beer Festival
Joe and Diana Johnstone plan to open their new bar and bistro on Friday
Thousands flock to 'biggest, best' festival yet
Nelson's Marchfest craft beer and music festival attracted a 3500-strong crowd, 500 up on last year.
Heading south out of Blenheim on SH1, there's a large rather sterile looking industrial estate in the suburb of Riverlands.
Marchfest artist Iva Lamkum has an incredible versatility that makes her stand out from her soul-funk contemporaries.
Old Mout goes global with $5.8m Heineken deal
A Nelson branded cider is about to hit the big time overseas, backed by a $5.8 million marketing campaign courtesy of brewing giant Heineken.
GEOFF GRIGGS - MarlboroughWith sales booming it's interesting that a leading English drinks writer argues cider is the world's most misunderstood drink.
Having begun his working life at Dunlop's tyre factory in the Upper Hutt suburb of Maidstone in 1977, Danny Neilson always hoped he'd finish his working days there.
In what might be described as a beer lover's heaven, 12 home brewers will make beers simultaneously at Nelson's MarchFest.
In a little over three weeks, 16 new Kiwi beers will be launched.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressI served my beer-drinking apprenticeship in pubs in and around West London in the 1970s and it was there that I developed an appreciation for England's traditional amber and copper coloured bitters and best bitters.
Tickets sales surge for Nelson beer festival
Sales for MarchFest tickets are 20 per cent up as beer fans from as far away as Australia, the USA and France flock to the festival.
GEOFF GRIGGS - The Marlborough ExpressWhen DB announced the release of Monteith's Radler on August 18, 2003 few people could have foreseen it would spark a legal battle that would divide the Kiwi brewing industry.