Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:45

Hopstock 2017

Written by 

Hopstock: A celebration of fresh hop beers and Welly’s “globally unique” craft beer scene

The fifth annual Craft Beer Capital Hopstock Festival takes place from 19-24 April, with 22 bars and breweries taking part in 2017’s celebration of fresh hop beers.

Hopstock is a beacon in the calendars of Wellington craft beer drinkers, which sees breweries and Wellington craft beer venues exclusively paired up to showcase the breweries’ “green hop beers” (brewed using harvested hops, fresh off the bine, as opposed to the perennially-used, processed, dried pellet form). Punters follow the Hopstock Fest trail map, in an endeavour to sample these once-a-year beers, collecting a stamp at each craft bar by way of ticking it off the list.

Peter Moran, Hopstock Organiser and Craft Beer Capital Secretary, says Hopstock not only fulfills Craft Beer Capital’s modus operandi of “bringing breweries, bars, punters and everyone else involved in Wellington’s ‘good beer’ industry together”, but also showcases Wellington’s breadth of craft venues and “globally unique beer scene”.

“The trail is about getting people around to Wellington’s awesome craft bars as much as it is about showcasing the breweries and their beers. It’s one of only a couple beer events in the city that actively encourages people to get out and visit its multiple craft destinations.

Peter says that whilst there are other brilliant local beer events throughout the year, these often take place in one venue and people must purchase tickets to attend. Beside purchasing one’s beers, Hopstock is free to partake in, and everyone is welcome to partake.

“Wellington is pretty unique in the sense that there aren’t many cities in the world where you can have a walkabout event like Hopstock, with venues so easily accessible from one to the other. The city’s geographical proximity is definitely what makes our beer scene an exceptional destination.”

Peter says part of the anticipation in the lead up to Hopstock is that each venue has exclusive pouring rights to their allocated beer (confirmed by random draw): “It’s the first and only time you can get these beers in Wellington until the festival is finished.”

The Hopstock trail also caters for sober drinkers, and can be completed without drinking alcohol. Instead, those wishing to abstain can simply gain their trail stamp by purchasing a non-alcoholic drink or food. Hopstock tours are also available for those who wish to go in large groups or put their feet up.

“It’s really important that we support non-drinkers, sober drivers or those who may wish to take a bit of break from the trail by having other options so they can still be a part of the event, whether they choose to drink beer or not,” says Peter.

There will also be a People’s Choice Award, with trail-goers sending their trail maps in to vote for their favourite Hop Harvest beer (completing the trail map is not needed to partake in this).

Peter says Craft Beer Capital is “stoked” with the undeniable growth Hopstock has experienced each year.

“In the beginning, there were about eight beers across 12 bars - some bars were sharing beers! Whereas now we have a waiting list of brewers that want to be involved with Hopstock. More than half of the 22 spots were snapped up by Wellington breweries, and we were able to offer the remaining spots to out-of-town breweries.

“In terms of public interest, it’s definitely grown - last year’s 1000 trail maps were completely snapped up during the event, and around another 1000 were downloaded off the Craft Beer Capital website.”

Hopstock takes place from 19-24 April, 2017, across 22 Wellington venues.

Hopstock Website

Hopstock 2017 on Facebook

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 19:01