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June 2, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Where to find good beer


You can find shit beer everywhere. All super­markets and bottle stores will stock a fine selection of utterly bland brews, masquerading as imports but usually fresh from Auckland. However, to find a real beer you have to look a bit harder.

We’re lucky here in Wellington to have some of the country’s leading craft beer stockists, which I’ve mentioned a few times in my columns thus far. So this time I’m going to take a look at the where to find and enjoy a good beer, rather than the beers themselves.

Perhaps the best known venue for a good beer is the Malthouse on Courtenay Place. The Malthouse’s prime location makes it quite popular, so it is usually packed after 6pm on most nights. Being a small place it can get pretty cramped on a Saturday night, so I’d recommend visiting in the afternoon when the atmosphere is great for a pint with friends.

Their range is quite overwhelming, with 22 taps and 6 fridges of varying temperatures, but their knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help you select the perfect beer for whatever mood you’re in. Then you can relax on one of the many couches and drink up. Oh, and guys—check out the urinals.

Tucked away upstairs at 143 Featherston St, D4 is a relatively new bar/restaurant which stocks a large range of boutique beers. Other than the beer list, my favourite thing about D4 is the textured wallpaper—it’s awesome! Besides making me stroke the wall, it helps create the very classy atmosphere that exists at D4. Their 14 taps are complimented by a fine selection of New Zealand craft beer bottles, which ex-Salient beer writer Neil Miller helped select for the owner.

One of D4’s taps is a guest tap which changes each month, giving you a reason to keep coming back. Oh, the food’s good too.

If you’re after something to take home, then Regional Wines and Spirits is the place to go. The main reason for a student to visit Regional has to be the 11 ‘fill your own’ taps of New Zealand craft beer available. FYO is the cheapest way to buy great beer, as you’re filling a reusable plastic bottle and not paying for packaging or labeling. This is the place to go to find new, rare and excellent beers from all over the world, from Namibia to New Zealand.

The very friendly and educated staff will help you with anything you need.

Pretty much every beer I review will be available here, which might give you an indication of the sheer size of their selection. I urge you to get down to the Basin Reserve and check it out.

So now you know about these places, get out there and have a look. I might see you there.

If you have any questions about this week’s beers or any comments, please email me at


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  1. Taryn says:

    I am trying to find somewhere in wellington that stocks “vailima”, a beer from Samoa, you use to be able to buy it a Pack’N’Safe Petone, New World – Chafers Park Wellington, but cannot seem to find it anywhere now!
    can anyone help???

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