For the average punter, the constant release of new beers from New Zealand breweries and the stream of imports arriving on-shore seemingly every week can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a couple of beer events prepared to all do the hard work for you if you are prepared to fork over some cash and try something new.
Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge
Now in its eleventh year, the Challenge is the longest running and biggest beer and food matching contest in New Zealand. Entrants create mouth-watering dishes using non-farmed “wild” ingredients and match them to the Monteith’s range (including their New Zealand Lager this year.)
Over 100 eateries in Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, the West Coast of the South Island, Marlborough/Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton, the Central Plateau, Coromandel/Thames and Auckland have entered the competition for 2008.
Having judged this contest for a number of years, I have to say it really is a dining experience. There are formal and informal categories to cater for everything from pub food and high cuisine. Best of all, the beer is included in the meal price!
The contest dates are:
North Island: 13th July - 3rd August 2008
South Island: 20th July - 10th August 2008
Full details will be posted soon on the Monteith’s website -- and keep an eye out for the signs around town.
New Zealand’s biggest beer festival, BrewNZ, will be held in Wellington from 2-6 September 2008.
Now entering its seventh year, BrewNZ is set to become a world class beer event kicking off with the judging of over 200 beers from New Zealand and around the world for the BrewNZ Beer Awards and culminating with two days of tasting under one roof at the Overseas Terminal.
It is great to see the return of a public event at BrewNZ. This year it will be Beervana, a beer-tasting and education event where guests can get advice from high profile brewers and chefs on beer styles and the art of beer and food matching.
You just know I will be there.
The public are invited to attend the BrewNZ Awards evening on Thursday 4 September as well as Beervana on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 September. Ticket prices for Beervana are $25 per person and they can be purchased now at the revamped BrewNZ website.
I’d suggest that is the best $25 someone interested in beer could spend all year.