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By Georgia• 11 Dec 2017
Often the craft beer movement is given – or gives itself – a pretty macho image. Marketing materials draw on imagery from tattoo culture and bikie bars, and there's plenty of bragging about how aggressively-hoppy some beers are. It's wonderful to see that Heyday Beer Co, which opened a fortnight ago on upper Cuba Street, has shirked the occasionally-overdone masculine motifs that can come with beer marketing.
This beer bar and brewery has an aesthetic all of its own. The former car garage has shed its red-shed exterior and replaced it with a mint green that's continued in the interior. The rather large space is divided into two parts – the brewery and the bar – by a half-height wall that means you can watch the brewers at work while you drink the fruits of their labour. There's also an outdoor area, out the front, for these incredibly good summer afternoons that we've been having.
Inside, the bar itself is tiled with that beautiful mint green and completed by lots of plywood, pegboard, pale pink, floral arrangements and some very cool Orla Kiely-esque wallpaper. Each table has its own kitschy flamingo and cactus salt and pepper shaker set, and the theme continues to the flamingo wallpapers in the bathrooms. There's ample high and low tables and banquette seating – despite the opening week hype and subsequent crowd, we didn't need to fight for a table. Hurrah!
The beer menu was a mix of Heyday's very own onsite brews and beer from other Kiwi breweries including Choice Bros, Te Aro, Garage Project and Beer Baroness. The printed list draws on Hashigo Zake's method of listing both what's on now and what's next up on that tap. The Moongold Apricot Ale – a blonde ale that's dry-hopped and conditioned on apricots – was a perfect sunny day beer. There's also a decent selection of Peckham's ciders, wines and other bevvies, including a gin and tonic made with Snake Oil & Sundries' delicious quinine syrup.
We didn't stick around for a full meal, but snacked on a few bits from the Creole and Southern-influenced food menu - the corn chips with guac or curly fries with creole mayo are perfect beer drinking food. Next time, I'll be checking out the fried chicken to see if it's as good as Husk's, or perhaps some braised beef shortrib with bourbon mash.
Upper Cuba Street is slowly but surely receiving a bit of a spruce up thanks to the hard work of business owners like the Heyday team, and I couldn't be happier to have another superb spot to enjoy a cold pint or four.