Address: Courtenay Place, Wellington
Ph: (04) 802 5484
As much as I love Auckland, there is something great about heading off to Wellington, mostly because it's such a great city to go out in.
Frankly, if you can't find a decent bar in Wellington, you're impossible to please.
I was in that fine city recently to visit a magnificent bar, the Malthouse. On the night in question, the taps had been taken over by Cooper's Brewery, with all of their wonderful beers on tap. That made for a near-perfect night, especially as the Peerless vintage ale was on offer.
But Cooper's is only part of the story. From the six temperature-controlled beer fridges to the seemingly endless taps, this is beervana on Earth. Making my night complete was the fact that I was in the company of the ever-affable Carl Vasta, Tuatara's brewer, so there were some of his brews on the table as well.
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If I had to complain about anything at the Malthouse, it would be that it was almost unbearably hot. I know it was a cold night, but sweat dripping into your beer can put you off your game a tad.
Otherwise, all was idyllic - fresh beer at perfect temperatures, an excellent wine list and range of spirits, and a bubbly crowd for an excellent atmosphere. No shouting, singing, swearing or deafening music in here, just beer-lovers gathered together to worship.
The toilets were pristine, if a bit hard to find in the dim light, and the food was lovely, filling and without pretension.
The staff were very helpful, chatty and good-natured and they knew their stuff when it came to the drinks, too.
All in all, a fantastic place to visit the next time you get down to Wellington. A word of warning though - once you get settled in here, it's very hard to leave.