Australia and New Zealand might be best known for their award winning wines, but as those in the know will tell you, these two nations are also produce some mighty fine award-winning craft beers.

Australia and New Zealand’s long love affair with beer began back in 1770 with Captain Cook. He brought the first beer into Australia, carrying it on his ship the Endeavour to aid in the health of his sailors.

Cook also brewed the first beer in New Zealand – a concoction flavored with local spruce tree needles that probably wasn’t all that enjoyable to drink. But as a medicinal brew aimed at combating scruvy aboard ship, it wasn’t made to please the palate.

Happily, the quality and quantity of Australian and New Zealand beer has improved considerably since then.

These days there are over 200 boutique breweries scattered throughout the two countries and finding them is often a challenge.

Beer & Brewer, a leading Australian magazine, hopes to change that with their recently published book, Ultimate Beer Guide Australia and New Zealand.

The 248-page book, with its magazine-like layout of photographs and maps, is going to make beer lovers traveling around Australasia very, very happy.

Featuring a collection of weekend away travel articles written by 26 leading beer and travel writers, this book covers 33 destinations around Australia and New Zealand. And while it’s main focus is on breweries (and cider producers, distilleries, bars, restaurants, and beer festivals) each of the articles also covers things to see and do along the way for the family and non-beer drinkers.

A little disclaimer here:  When I received my copy of Ultimate Beer Guide Australia and New Zealand in the mail the other day I couldn’t get it out of the envelope quick enough.

Why?

Because, as one of the 26 writers, I couldn’t wait to see my article – about beer and breweries in New Zealand’s Central Otago – in print.

 

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.