Saturday, December 3, 2011

CT Column 21/09/2011 : Craft Beer Capital

OUT of conflict arises creativity, well at least that’s what happens when the world works the way we would like it to. Earlier this year a group of Nelson brewers, hop growers and publicans decided to join forces and promote Nelson as a beer destination. They decided to call themselves Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand, and started working towards trade marking the term. With the Radler verdict fresh in people’s minds the prospect of another controversial trademark led to many in the beer world, myself included, raising concerns. For us Wellingtonians the prospect of Nelson having a monopoly on a term that clearly better suited our own fair city didn’t sit well. As a result of the negative reaction the Nelson group renamed themselves Craft Brewing Capital referring to the fact that Nelson has the highest number of breweries per capita in the country. Craft Brewing Capital of New Zealand launched several weeks ago with pamphlets being produced in order to attract visitors to Nelson during the Rugby World Cup.
The debate had however sparked the imaginations of several Wellington beer businessmen. A plan was hatched in conjunction with the Wellington City Council to take the lead from Nelson. A collective of beer retailers and bars was set up to promote all the fantastic beer related stuff that goes on in our little capital. Craft Beer Capital stickers will start to appear in the windows local beer bars and retailers, the website has been launched and an advertising campaign has started on radio stations around the country. You can also check out Nelson’s Craft Brewing Capital at .
One of the outlets on the Wellington Craft Beer Capital map is the newly opened Fork and Brewer in Bond Street. The very originally decked out bar is open however the brewery is still on the water coming from China. Former Mac’s brewer Lester Dunn has been employed and the beer should be pouring by Christmas.

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