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Text and photographs by The Lady Pie Maker

I must admit I did not go to Beervana prepared to write this blog. I had a number of ideas for a ‘take’ on the annual craft beer event, it being my first, but it didn’t occur to me that I might end up writing a Beervana Style File. While the Thirsties have successfully expanded my once narrow-minded view of beer over the last year, I haven’t really come to associate beer drinkers with ‘style’ much beyond t-shirts and beards, two subjects keenly documented by Thirstyboy Malice. As such, Beervana was something of a sartorial surprise, with the attendees and their choice of dress proving to be just as idiosyncratic and enjoyable as the beers.

Here is my unexpected Beervana Style File of 2013

Pamela, who  looked like she could have walked out of Ari Seth Cohen’s blog Advanced Style, was my first subject – such charming elegance is rarely seen in Wellington’s smartest haunts let alone expected at a beer festival at 11.30am in the morning!  A teetotaler, Pamela was visiting Wellington to spend sometime with her daughter, who was determined to attend Beervana.

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Ryan accessorised his no-nonsense Swanndri – a true New Zealand design classic which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year – with some nifty technology, a mantrol ear piece and mic in order to carry out his important Beervana task – controlling the beer.  Ryan developed his unique look to ensure that he could be quickly found in a crowd.

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Checks, a pattern long associated with real men’s work wear, proved popular among a wide range of Beervana gents despite the fact that most had the day off.

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The most recognisable checked shirt of the day, however, belonged to hardworking Pete from the Garage Project, who is photographed firing up a mighty glass of Cockswain’s Courage Porter.

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Looking more like a landed gent than a working man, Stephen look set for a Sherlock Holmes style adventure in his tweed and deerstalker hat.

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Indeed, Beervana seemed to operate like an informal Fashion in the Field for men when it came to hats, with everything from beanies to pork pies on display, although thankfully free of fascinators.

No doubt a challenge to the eye after too many beersies, Jeff stylishly mixed stripes and hounds-tooth with a checked Dough Boy cap.

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James and Ryan respectively opted for a military style beret and Leonard Cohen fedora, with some peace-loving beads thrown in for good measure.

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Meanwhile, West Coast supporter Duncan, made a turban from his own dreads


and Hannah from the Garage Project tidied her locks up into in a 1940s style do-rag.

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Other Beervana seekers used colour to make a statement. Vicki from Crafty Beers rocked purple from head to toe, while Misty from Three Boys stayed on brand in khaki.

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Misty and Vicki

Red was the colour of choice for fellow beer blogger Hop Head Pete, whose own blog reveals his penchant for snappy bow ties and waistcoats,

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and for this crafty lady, who sported a button encrusted capelet and crochet appliqued bag for a crafty beer day.

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And then there were the guys, like Nick, who opted for understated, classic cool

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and eschewing the beer branded tee so avidly captured by Malice, Jos chose Berlin period Bowie, a great icon of invention.

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By now you may have picked up a bit of favouritism, and you’d be right. The Garage Project booth was my personal favourite on both the individual flair and inventive beer fronts, although their back-to-front booth troubled some of the more pedantic Thirsties.

And then there were the shoes…

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But by then my battery began to run low, the girl with the stars and stripes sneakers kept evading my camera, and the call of the beer won the day. Next year I’ll be more prepared.


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BEERVANA 2012 – Session #1 : A short review and the T-shirts of Beervana

Beervana, the nirvana of New Zealand beer enthusiasts lasted just over four hours for me. No, I didn’t pass out, I actually staggered home in a fairly orderly, non-drunken fashion. I had quenched my thirst and gained some insight into the state of craft beer brewing; and it’s in good health I tell you, a hoppy state of being.

The Thirstyboys lined up for Beervana with the rest of the beergeeks from about 11.20 am at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The gates opened at 12.00pm so we had to amuse ourselves for a while counting the number of people with beards, sideys and anoraks. When the gates opened, we calmly walked in. picked up our glasses and beer tokens and proceeded to try four beers in the first half hour. We slowed down a wee bit after that but a sense of anticipation was definitely there. We noticed the Australia section was busy. Here is a photo of the crowds.

I joke, I joke…because much later we tried some excellent Aussie brews – the Mountain Goat Brewery: Gypsy & the Goat black peppery IPA was a favourite for three of the thirstyboys.  The Garage Project stall was jammed with thirsty people, those guys got a fan club going…but in this first session other stalls like Macs and Stella Artois seemed to struggle to attract punters. The non-alc stall was quiet too.

However, throughout the afternoon there was a friendly, low key vibe if not a crowded buzz…perhaps in the evening session it would get a bit rowdier, once everyone escaped from work, and are feeling thirsty and hungry.

For our thirsty crew the best beers we tasted were:

Garage Project: Red Rocks Reserve tied with Mountain Goat Brewery: Gypsy & the Goat Black Peppery IPA 7.3% – Karorifryup

Emerson’s Brewery: Regional Best Bitter 4% – gingerbeardedman

8 Wired Brewing Co: Superconductor 8.0% – PJ

8 Wired Brewing Co: media brew – the Jesuit

Mountain Goat Brewery: Gypsy & the Goat black peppery IPA 7.3% – the draughtsman

Yeastie Boys: Gunnamatta Earl Grey IPA 6.5% – malice

Overall, from my point of view Beervana was well presented and organised. The Beervana guide was sharply designed, easy to find your way around and informative. There were over 200 beers on offer, and a great variety of quality food. The service was friendly, it was good. There was ample space and room to move, to sit down or stand up and drink beers and more beers. Though we did lose a few guys from time to time in the growing crowd.

I decided not to do a full review of Beervana. I think there will be plenty of beer-scribes who will provide expert commentary on what was on offer and the good and bad of the event. It was my first Beervana at the Westpac Stadium so I couldn’t make a comparison. However, just to add something different to the literature that will emerge around this event, I thought I’d give you an insight into the culture of beer geeks at Beervana 2012 through their t-shirts. I have added a few quotes I overheard during the afternoon…just to break up the images. Thanks to all those who agreed to be photographed, especially those who won’t remember.

“Going for the session beers from here on, in, is probably the way to go…”

the draughtsman

“If you go down the other end and look at ciderguy…he is lonely.”

The Jesuit

“That’s what separates the Thirstymen from the Thirstyboys…”

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Gingerbeardedman with his beervana goody bag and his strange beer drinking hoody


“Flatter than last year, bigger does not always equal better…”


“It has been excellent, I had a really good time and made numerous jokes at your expense, not all of them racist…don’t write that down!!”

The jesuit

“I wasn’t here…”


LINK: http://beervana.co.nz/media

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