Review of Brewed: A Guide to Craft Beer of New Zealand – Jules van Cruysen

Posted: November 30, 2015 in nonfiction, Review


Craft beer is a segment of the beer market that has grown considerably since the reintroduction of craft beer to New Zealand in the 1970s. There are a large number of craft, and faux craft breweries in New Zealand and Jules has set himself the task of reviewing them, their beer, and what the styles produced are supposed to be based on international examples.

Van Cruysen starts off by giving a brief history of beer brewing in New Zealand, followed by short discussions on the types of malts, hops, yeasts and other main ingredients that are used in beer., followed by the principle styles, such as lager, white beers, pale ales, dark beers and so forth. There is a short section on beer festivals, which are growing in prominence year by year, and beer tasting events as well as beer tasting.

Anyone familiar with a Belgian Beer Café knows that the shape of the glass can impart a different flavour profile, as does the temperature the beer is serves at. There are recommended temperatures for serving certain styles (and my experience suggests that most Australian lagers be served as cold as possible so you can’t taste them).

The bulk of the book is devoted to the approximately 130 breweries claiming to make craft beer in New Zealand. These range from Lion and DB to microbrewers such as Eruption Brewing of Lyttleton, whose output was about a barrel-sized batch per month (they’ve since up-scaled). As with any industry there are certain nodes, and besides the main centres, greater Nelson is New Zealand’s hidden brewing capital. But this is hardly surprising, as Nelson province is the home of New Zealand’s hop industry.  Proximity drives use and innovation.

Concluding the book are a number of short regional guides with maps of varying quality giving the locations of breweries, significant resellers, and free-houses. It seems Wellington is the capital of New Zealand’s craft beer scene, with double the locations of its nearest rival to the title.

If you like beer, this is the book for you. But you’ll have to prise it out of my hands first.

Potton & Burton

Supplied by 247PR

Reviewed by Steve

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