Beervana Wrapped 2023

Beervana Manager, Ryan McArthur, takes a little time to reflect on the year that was and pulls out a few Beervana and Beervana-adjacent highlights. 


So full of highlights. After teasing us last year with a scavenger hunt, we finally welcomed beer from Sunshine Coast breweries at the festival in 2023. Moffat, Brouhaha, and Black Flag flew some incredible beers over showcasing the best of Australia's Craft Beer Capital here in the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand. One Drop from Sydney joined the Aussie flotilla and served up my surprise personal favourite festival brew, Hard Lemonade. It reminded my addled adult brain of what SOLO tasted like when I was a kid in North Queensland.

It’s been a tough year for a number of iconic New Zealand breweries, so it was wonderful to celebrate a milestone with Hop Federation as they marked their 10 year anniversary with some exceptional beers. Finally, I am still salivating over the showstopping return of Martin Bosley's Crayfish Cheese Rolls. Please come back again next year with more deliciousness.

Less exciting, but super important stuff

It's long been a goal of Beervana to make the process of getting into the festival and paying for your beers and food as simple as possible, and this year we did it! Making a fundamental change to how the festival works is always stressful but we were thrilled to see it go off without a hitch.

For the last five years, Beervana has been working on our waste management and minimisation efforts, with the lofty goal of zero waste to landfill. This year we got a little closer to achieving that goal, with the resource recovery rate at Beervana reaching an impressive 85%!

Love of "simple" beers

I'm sure it's just sign of getting old, though my music and film tastes have only gotten more weird, when it comes to the beer that I consume outside of work I continue to seek out the clean, the "simple" and more often than not, the clear beers. I know there's a disconnect between my job running a beer festival that showcases so many breweries producing beers that push the boundaries of what beer is but there are few things better than the classics. 

Richard Emerson, Michael Donaldson and Ryan McArthur at Booktown Festival

Booktown “Hopfather” Event

My whānau and I shifted to Featherston at the end of 2021. Featherston is New Zealand's Booktown and as a result has the annual Booktown festival. This year I teamed up with Michael Donaldson and Richard Emerson to present a panel on their work together telling Richard's story in The Hopfather. It was funny, emotional and insightful and now I have Bookbinder on tap at my local. Served in Imperial pints. 

The Crustacean Beer Congress

Late in 2022 a pair of Crustacean scientists from NIWA reached out about a brewing competition tied into the International Crustacean Congress that was to take place in May 2023. All well and good, it didn’t sound that exciting (other than their opening pitch, which was hilarious) but it was the prize that was most exciting. The winning brewery would get an as-yet unnamed crustacean named for them. There is a winner, Fork & Brewer, and there is a crustacean. Announcements will be made hopefully soon.