Beer, the order of the day

Hopping good time had by all

FRANCESCA LEE AND MICHAEL DONALDSON
Last updated 13:14 24/02/2013
AJ Burton and Lucy and Nick Hovenden relax in the sun.
Stacy Squires

AJ Burton and Lucy and Nick Hovenden relax in the sun.

Aleshia Collins enjoys a beer at Hagley Park yesterday.
Stacy Squires
Aleshia Collins enjoys a beer at Hagley Park yesterday.

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Taps flowed continuously as around 10,000 people descended upon Hagley Park for the Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Christchurch yesterday.

"It's pretty good. You get to talk to people you don't normally talk to and there are different beers that you don't normally taste, " said Jo Capill of Blenheim. Both she and friend Mel Jones had come down especially for the festival.

Belinda Hay, of Pigeon Bay, said it was brilliant to have the festival in Christchurch. "It's actually just really nice being out with friends on a lovely day. It's really nice to go to the boutique breweries." Her favourite was a chocolate and chilli beer by Brew Moon of Amberley.

German tourists Anna Schaffner and Fabian Gabler said the festival was very different from the ones at home.

"This isn't our first beer festival because we are from Bavaria, " said Schaffner. "We don't have so many craft breweries and [in Bavaria] there's not so much music. There's more drinking. The variety of different beers is really interesting."

Schaffner said the best thing was the good weather and a happy atmosphere.

Sam Rains admitted she was a little bit tipsy towards the end of the day. "I liked [the festival]. I think it's a lot more spaced out this year, " she said.

Sergeant Greg Hume said the crowd was generally well behaved. "We have made two arrests so far and there have been several fights leading to evictions."

And the B-oscar goes to....

Michael Donaldson says that seeing it's the Oscars tomorrow so he figured it was the perfect time to roll out some beer awards of his own.

So without further ado (the envelopes please), here are his Oscars for artfully created craft beer.

Best beer based on a soundtrack: Gunnamatta by Yeastie Boys, a beer that takes its name from a song by Paul Kelly. Go on YouTube +Paul +Kelly +Gunnamatta and listen to the music while drinking the bergamot-laced beer and see if you don't get a lazy, rolling surf, summer kind of feeling.

Best supporting actres:s Ava from Pomeroy's pub in Christchurch. Pomeroy's, if you haven't been there, has one of the most outstanding beer lists in New Zealand. And the woman who makes it all happen, Ava, is a wonderful supporter of the craft beer scene. To add to her portfolio she's one of the brains behind the pub's brewery, Four Avenues.

Best supporting actor: Not only does he run the funkiest bar in Wellington but he imports the best foreign beer. Dominic Kelly of Hashigo Zake is a great advocate for craft beer and as a distributor he plays a vital role in making sure our best beers find their way in to your mouth.

Best artwork: Garage Project. The Wellington brewery has some of the most stunning labels you will set your eyes on. Bright, vibrant, meticulously designed, they reflect the hip product inside the bottles.

Best comedy: Crafty Beggars - a pretend craft brewery set by Lion; it's a joke of the highest order. Hopefully we've all seen through this sham,

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Best foreign beer: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. This hop-driven heavyweight from California is peach and apricot up front and crisp bitterness coming in later.

Best director: I'm stretching the definition of director here, but as the main force behind, and one of the directors of, Emerson's Brewery in Dunedin, Richard Emerson deserves his gong for the brilliance of his beer and the impeccable timing of the decision to sell the brewery to Lion.

Best performance in a leading role: This frontman has it all: energy, drive, passion, brilliant beers, clever marketing . . . some say he's a little too wedded to one genre but what the heck, the award goes to the king of IPA: Luke Nicholas of Epic.

Lifetime achievement award: The Academy had to think long and hard about this but Stoke brewery earns its place in the brewing hall of fame for its contribution to craft beer over more than 30 years since it was converted from an old cider factory to become the original home of Mac's beer. It's now pumping out the popular Stoke range and has a great cafe out the front.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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