Despite its 3,400-plus breweries, America isn’t alone in embracing the beer boom. On a recent trip to New Zealand, I found elite, hand-crafted beer alive and well in the Southern Hemisphere.
Driving the excitement around beer in New Zealand is a bit of agricultural serendipity. As in America’s Pacific Northwest, the climate and environment are ideal for growing hops. Just as the West Coast IPA came to dominate American craft beer thanks to hops grown there, New Zealand is gaining momentum thanks to its highly sought-after Nelson Sauvin hops, with other varieties like Motueka and Pacifica growing in popularity all the time.
But you can’t drink great hops; you need great brewers to turn them into great beer. Here are five fantastic beers worth drinking, as well as the bars where I found them, in case you’re looking for a place to stop.