OPINION: One of the highlights of summer is spending time with friends, in the sun, with a cold brew.
For those of you looking for something a bit different from the usual fare, we've pulled together a list of the top spots for craft beer in Christchurch and the South Island.
The old English-style pub attracts a flock of beer aficionados. With rotating beer taps and an updated-daily blackboard of beer, there is something for every taste here. The pub grub is great too.
2. The Brewery
The Woolston brewery took off after the earthquakes when there was nowhere to drink in the city. But the clientele has stayed because of the great beer selection, including in-house brews, and fantastic pizza. And there is loads of room to sit out in the sun with a group.
3. Twisted Hop
Once a central spot in the city, Twisted Hop recently moved out to Woolston. The new Ferry Rd location has tonnes of space and room for plenty of taps both of the Hop's own English-style ales and guest beer.
4. The Volstead
A mix of second-hand furniture and faux grass makes this bar one of a kind. Moa features predominantly on tap, but a couple of hand pumps and a well-stocked fridge provide an impressive range.
5. Darkroom bar
A small, hole-in-the-wall bar has one of the best-stocked beer fridges in the city. Plus you can log your beer exploits through their ''adventurer's club'' card. It helps remind you what you drank the night before.
Wider South Island:
6. Moutere Inn
You have to go out of your way to get to this bar, but the trip is worth it. The oldest pub in New Zealand hosts a rotating list of local beer. A great place to start a ''top of the South'' brewery tour.
7. Mussel Inn
Rumour has it cell phones are nailed to a post at this Golden Bay bar, as a warning to all who disrupt the idyllic surroundings. Well worth a trip to sample their wares, but don't make the mistake of visiting during winter when the place is shut up.
8. The Free House
This quirky bar is in a deconsecrated church. The beer taps are multi-coloured, customers can order takeaways from nearby restaurants, and there is a Mongolian yurt on the front lawn. What more could you want from a bar? Oh, it has good beer too.
9. Brew Moon
Amberley's brewing hub is a great spot for a summer day trip, or a sneaky stop on the way home from a road trip. Lovely place to relax in the spacious garden bar with the local brews, plus you can pick up bottles to take home.
A random on the list, this Dunedin bar stocks an impressive beer selection accompanied by a knowledgeable staff. Well-stocked with local Emerson's beer, it is well worth a visit if you are heading to Dunedin. It may even be worth a visit to Dunedin by itself.
- The Press
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