Beer lovers are being encouraged to rethink the traditional boundaries of their favourite drop ahead of next weekend's Fourth Greater Wellington Regional BrewDay craft beer festival in Martinborough.
Festival director Karen Aitken said long gone are the days when the only beer offered was a draught or a lager. She said this year's event, being held in a rural festival site a short walk from the Martinborough Town Square on Saturday, February 27 will bring together 21 breweries, distilleries and cideries from around the region.
Of these, several will debut new releases on the day while Eugene Black, Brewery Manager for The Occasional Brewer is running a home brew competition.
"This year the festival will encourage people to challenge their interpretation of different beer styles and this is led by many brewers releasing distinctive beers for the day and through our home-brew competition, which will be judged by a tasting panel including Neil Miller, Kelly Ryan, Ellery Turner and competition organiser Eugene Black," said Ms Aitken.
"The panel is looking for great tasting, well balanced beers. Whether it's a perfect example of a particular style, or a new creation they've yet to experience, we love it when people get creative with their brews, as long as it tastes great."
Possible beers of choice include a pink grapefruit, black pepper and pale ale or a golden ale brewed with 100 per cent Belgian malt and candy sugar, both from Wellington brewery Garage Project.
Martinborough Brewery will step up with a debut Weizenbier (4.3 per cent), an authentic Bavarian style Weizenbier brewed with all German ingredients.
They will be joined by Wairarapa's Peak Brewery and Regent 58.
C'est Cheese deli from Featherston is also teaming up with beer guru Neil Miller to do a cheese and beer tasting seminar. There will be live music played throughout the day.
Tickets for BrewDay are available through www.brewerday.co.nz.