A new buzz is heading to downtown Auckland - where a new beer and food festival is set to show off some of the country's tastiest delicacies.
More than 50 breweries will come together for the Auckland Craft Beer and Food Festival, presented by SkyCity, to offer their brews and will also be joined by artisan food and beverage vendors.
Festival director Jason Schroeder said similar festivals in other parts of the country had been hugely popular - now it was Auckland's turn.
"With the Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival in its ninth year in 2021 - and one of Dunedin's most iconic events - it's a logical step to bring craft beer and food offerings to Tāmaki Makaurau."
The festival launch, to be held on March 27, will feature beer made from honey harvested by bees located on the grounds of the venue itself, Spark Arena.
On a sunshine-filled morning in Auckland today, beekeeper Oliver McCurdy worked carefully to extract the golden slabs of honeycomb.
He said it was increasingly popular for people and businesses to house beehives on their properties in the Auckland CBD.
"It's not weird. In recent years, people have become more aware of the problems bees face around the world.
"So a lot of people are getting them. [Hives] are on rooftops, usually, in the city. There are more beehives around the city than you would expect.
It is understood that the honeycomb the bees produce behind the arena are sometimes given as a gift to international music artists who perform there.
Exclusive beer for festival announced
This will be the first time the honey will be turned into beer - a task being given to brewing company Behemoth.
Owner and brewer Andrew Childs said the use of honey or mead in beer had been around since the Vikings and remained popular.
Although they would be highlighting the honey, they also wanted to keep the distinctive beer taste in the brew - being dubbed Beehemoth.
"We're going to have something where the honey will shine through.
"We definitely want to get the honey flavour in there. It's going to taste unique, that's for sure."
Up to 300 litres of beer would be made out of the honey harvested, which Childs guessed would be about 17kg to 20kg worth.
For tickets and more information, visit: www.aucklandbeerfestival.co.nz