Quaffers' Guide to Holiday Happiness
At this time of year beer drinkers are often uprooted from their comfort zones and thrown into a strange new world of uncertain tippling options.
To help them cope with the confusion - and in no particular order or preference - Holiday Review offers a guide to holidaymakers who could do worse than slaking their thirsts in these recommended watering holes.
Malone’s, Waiheke Island – a Guinness house in the no-frills style. Basic boozing like it should be. Guinness pies at their best in winter. Be careful not to fall under the lovely Ita’s spell. Smokers’ paradise. Last here 2012.
The Corner Bar, corner Shortland and High Streets in the old De Brett’s building, Auckland – let the lovely Mercedes Allgood pour from Moa’s tasty selection. Watch famous folk from a kerbside table or lurk inside if you don’t want to be seen by His Honour. Be wary of collapsible tables. Here regularly while Vulcan Lane boycott is maintained. Last here last week.
Mac’s Neighbourhood Brew Bar, 498 New North Road, Kingsland, overlooking Eden Park. Just discovered the other day. Great location, good service, tasty food and big jugs of alcoholic ginger beer. One to watch this summer.
Star and Garter, Kapanga Rd, Coromandel – nicely gentrified Monteith’s ale house, comfy old club chairs, good bar meals and good service. Stay over at excellent Top 10 Holiday Park up the street. Last here in 2012.
Shepherds’ Arms/Speight’s Alehouse/whatever they call themselves these days, Tinakori Road, Wellington – also a good place to eat, lie down, talk footy and spot the occasional MP with his “niece.” Excellent fish and chips. Last here in 2010.
Hurunui Hotel, State Highway 7, North Canterbury - an hour and a half north west from Christchurch on the way to the Lewis Pass. Head and shoulders above all others and after more than 20 years on-site research, this is a true drinker’s oasis which ticks all the boxes. A rustic sleep (trucks roar by all night), excellent food, big jugs on request. Assorted game pies. Breathtaking breakfast. Tell Travis the Boys from BLC sent you. The place to head for after coming through Molesworth Station. Settle in for a day or three. Last here in 2011.
The Miller, Lincoln Road, Christchurch - premises and patrons untouched by earthquakes, a rare wee suburban TAB pub pouring reliable Guinness and dependable hot chips. Staunch local patrons. Free tomato sauce. Bicycles welcome. Last here in 2011.
Old Bank, Stafford Street, Timaru – now includes a backpackers, in past years has excelled with its Guinness, bar meals and witty barroom banter. Last here about 1986.
Little Celtic-themed cosy bar in a corner of the Octagon, in Dunedin, near where the Atheneum is/was. Good ale and snack. Last here 2010. It rained.
Strath Taieri Hotel, Middlemarch – good ale, good fish and chips. Broad-minded agrarian sector/rail trailers mix. Last here 2011.
Every Manitoto pub from Clyde, Central Otago, on Highway 85 through to Clark’s Junction, including Chatto Creek, Omakau, The Vulcan (St Bathan’s), Ancient Briton and Royal (Naseby), Ranfurly, Omakau, Oturehua, Wedderburn, Ophir, Becks and Lauder.
Folk will understand if someone’s been missed. Rail trail country. Last here for all of them in 2000 (the year when, for eight days, a pair of intrepid enthusiasts tackled the coldest parts of New Zealand in the middle of winter, in a campervan accompanied by 96 cans of Guinness). Memory vague. Refreshed a few in 2010/11. Biked 11 kms.
Bannockburn Hotel, Bannockburn, Central Otago – passable ale and pie. Last here 2011.
Any pub on the West Coast, including Otira. Last here for fleeting overnight car-kip in Taramakau pub carpark about 2001.
That’s enough to be going on with.
If you have a particularly favourite pub you would like to share with fellow readers, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: The above Guide is only of pubs personally experienced by the Quaffer.