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Wellington is home to a growing number of bars that specialise in serving quality beer, and Hopstock is the perfect time of year to get stuck into some local brews.
Hops are usually dried and turned into pellets for brewing with, so Hopstock is your only chance to try the unique flavours of fresh green hops. From 19-24 April, around the city, the annual event puts the products of the yearly hop harvest front and centre, with breweries creating exclusive beers that make the most of this world famous seasonal product. If you’re keen to learn your Wai-Iti from your Liberty hops, now’s the perfect occasion.
Below you'll find a bevvy of participating Hopstock bars, or hop on a Hopstock walking tour to get your beerducation started.
Considered by many to be the 'grandfather' of Wellington's craft beer bars, Malthouse has been operating for over 24 years.
They set out to offer local beer drinkers a choice beyond the brewing giants back in 1993 - they were the first bar in the country to serve a then-exotic European drop known as 'Heineken'. Now you'll find 29 beers on tap and over a hundred in bottles.
During Hopstock, Malthouse are serving up a collaboration with Emerson's, with a pilsner made with fruity Nelson Sauvin hops.
Golding's Free Dive is hidden away on Leeds St and has quickly become a favourite haunt for locals. It's a colourful, warm and welcoming bolt-hole for beer lovers.
This quirky bar doesn't have a kitchen, but the famous Pizza Pomodoro is nearby, and you can order from the bar and have it delivered to your table.
Golding's will be pouring Kererū Brewing Co's Fresh Hop Special Bitter during Hopstock.
Tucked away off Ghuznee St, Husk is a new kid on the block in Wellington's brew bar scene.
Husk is home to Choice Bros brewery and Karamu Coffee, combining two of the capital's favourite pasttimes in one great spot.
Check out their red ale with Nelson Sauvin hops during Hopstock.
Expect live music, pizza and local art donning the walls. If it's a nice day we recommend taking your craft beer outdoors and lounging in Glover Park on Rogue and Vagabond's plush beanbags.
This quirky spot will be pouring North End Brewing Co's 'reimagined' Forty South IPA, made in Kāpiti using Taiheke hops, for Hopstock.
In the premises of a former after-hours policeman's bar, Hashigo Zake has become an underground haven for the serious beer fan.
They make a point of always having on tap some of the most distinctively interesting brews in the city, sourced from around the Pacific Rim.
The knowledgeable and friendly staff are so happy to share their passion for beer, and their enthusiasm is so infectious that you'll soon know your IPAs from your ABVs and SRMs.
This Hopstock, head downstairs and try Baylands Brewing's 'mouth-bending, mind-blowing' WaiFly IPA.
On the eastern fringe of the CBD you'll find The Hop Garden - one of the most agreeable places to enjoy a beer you'll ever encounter.
Overhanging vine greenery and natural light create the welcome illusion that you're outside, perhaps somewhere close to the Mediterranean.
This spot has a carefully chosen and regularly updated tap selection, plus a euro-rustic menu with tapas plates.
The aptly-named Hop Garden is celebrating Hopstock with an NZ IPA by fledgling local brewery Double Vision Brewing Co.
Hidden away down Edward St, Little Beer Quarter (LBQ to its mates) is not a place you'll likely stumble across.
This cosy joint boasts 14 taps, two handpulls and around 100 bottled varieties in the fridge.
Their menu is hearty pub fare, with every dish helpfully pre-matched to a distinctive craft brew.
Swing by during Hopstock for a pint of Fresh Hopwired by 8 Wired Brewing Co.
Crafters & Co is both an independent bar and off-license, serving a wide range of New Zealand craft brews. They also operate as a daytime cafe and stock a great selection of craft products from local suppliers.
The 'Crafters & Co Sunday Sesh' is an all-day happy hour, making it an ideal place to stop for a beer before or after a visit to one of Wellington's markets.
Crafters' Hopstock offering is a Fresh Hop IPA brewed collaboratively by locals Tiamana and Wild & Woolly.
Looking for somewhere to eat while you get stuck into craft beer on tap? Grill Meats Beer has heaps of our favourite craft beers on offer to match with a hearty burger or steak, Shepherd has a brilliant selection of brews from around Aotearoa and further afield, and Bebemos pairs beer with spicy South American flavours.