Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Zealand - And Up And Coming Craft Scene

Of all the countries covered so far, I think New Zealand is probably the closest to what we see out of the American beer scene.  The market is dominated by pale lagers, just as Bud/Miller/Coors dominate the American market.  But there is also a sizeable craft beer movement, and just about all decent sized towns have a microbrewery or brewpub to their name. 

I ran across an old article written by a wine writer praising the craft scene in New Zealand and their wide range of beers available.  And surely they have made great strides in the last 4 years as well, with currently close to 50 listed breweries and brewpubs.  While that might not seem like a lot in sheer numbers (Oregon alone has about double that!) it's pretty remarkable for a country of just a little over 4 million people.  For reference, Louisiana is also estimated at about 4.4 million people, and we have 10 listed breweries and brewpubs!  
I don't think I've ever tried any beer from New Zealand, though... most is unlikely to be exported due to high costs shipping beer from such as relatively remote country.  It appears their only highly-exported brew is Steinlager and I can't ever remember drinking any.  I certainly haven't seen any recently, since I really started paying attention to the selection and where beers were from.

So New Zealand, sorry that you guys are out of the World Cup, but in the World Cup of Beer, you'd be advancing to the second round.


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