Looking for a taste of what you’ll find at the Festival? Us too. Every week leading up to the event, the event team will be tasting beers from breweries who you’ll see represented at the Festival. We’ll share our notes with you here. And while nothing’s stopping you from cracking these open before then (in fact, we encourage it), we hope you’ll spot a few likely sounding prospects to look for on the pitch in November.

This week’s line-up was about lighter beers from towns that start with W. Three friends started ParrotDog in Wellington in 2011; they’ve expanded their lineup and FlaxenFeather is now one of their year-round standards. Wanaka Beerworks is the familiar friend of many a Central Otago holidaymaker; you may have had a pint on-tap as the sun sets over Lake Wanaka. Mojo Pin is the newest release from Wanaka newcomer B.Effect, who set up shop last year and are off to a strong start.

– FlaxenFeather

Blonde ale (4.7% ABV)

This beer advertises super-citrusy hops on the nose and backs it up with a zesty, light body with lots of carbonation. A bitter hit dissipates fast, leaving us primed and ready for the next sip. This could make a good summer session or two!

Wanaka Beerworks

Bohemian-style pilsner (4.8% ABV)

Caramel aromas are good preparation for the caramel and sweet spice flavors of this medium-bodied pils. A solid beer; offer one to your mate wanting to upgrade from plain old lagers.

Mojo Pin

Belgian Ale (4.8% ABV)

A curious brew: a Belgian ale with more than a hint of the wheat beer about it, co-fermented with ale and wine yeasts. Curious, but good: those wheat and estery notes balance a very fresh, bright beer that feels more highly carbonated than it really is, and still comes off as a Belgian when all’s said and done. We’re impressed.