Over 1000 people gathered at Masterton’s Matahiwi Estate on Saturday to raise a bevvy at Hops in the Vines, the new summer event described as “craft beer meets fine wine”.
Attendees were able to seek respite from the warm weather with the wide range of beer and wine on offer, with the additional options of spending the day dancing with friends to live music and partaking in games of Giant Jenga and Cornhole.
The inaugural event was run by Upper Hutt’s Brewtown and Matahiwi Estate, and Brewtown operations manager Danny Jones reckons the day was an instant hit.
“We’re really happy with the turnout, particularly with it being our first time running it,” Jones said.
“It was very cool to work with the Matahiwi team in a pretty stunning vineyard.”
Matahiwi Estate has been a wine supplier to Brewtown for years, and Jones said that they have long toyed with the idea of running an event together.
When the Brewtown team visited the estate for its 20th anniversary last year, Jones said that they knew they had to put something on there for the summer: “It’s just such beautiful surroundings.”
Already thinking ahead to next year’s instalment of the event, Jones said there have definitely been some lessons learned from the first time around.
“Some things were hard to manage with the Masterton heat – like the chiller couldn’t quite stay at the temperature we needed, so the beer poured quite slowly,” he said.
Matahiwi Estate sales and marketing manager Fleur Nicol said they are equally thrilled with the turnout.
“We were especially happy to see so many locals supporting us,” Nicol said.
“We weren’t initially sure how the concept would work, so we were stoked when everyone turned up.”
Nicol said that there have already been questions from those attending about when the next one will be.
“I think it’s a really nice concept to have beer and wine together,” she said.
“The event management and crowd control was awesome, and we’ve had heaps of great feedback.”