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Hangar round and have a beer

Brewers Mark Wilson and John McMullan enjoying a ‘quiet one’ in the departure lounge of Hangar Brewing at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

World famous for its aviation heritage, Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome now has a new enterprise ready for take-off.

Hangar Brewing, the brainchild of aviation professionals John McMullan, Mark Wilson, and Alex Dittmer, will be one of six breweries featuring at the inaugural “Smallest Beer Festival” at the Carterton Events Centre this Saturday.

Based in the same hangar as the Wairarapa Flying Tigers and Kittyhawk Cafe, John McMullan hopes that the brewery will add another attraction to the airfield facility.

“It’s all part of helping to grow the airfield and make it a destination that more people want to come and experience,” McMullan said.

Already home to one of New Zealand’s biggest air festivals, Wings Over Wairarapa, and a fleet of Sir Peter Jackson’s World War I fighters, plans are well established to develop a Vintage Aviation Centre at Hood Aerodrome.

McMullan said the group had been working on the idea of a brewery for some time, but as is often the case, “good things take time”.

They are hoping that their “soft launch” at the festival won’t end in a “crash landing”.

Very happy with their APA, Porter, and Red Ale options, they have more than a few reservations on the fourth brew, labelling it an LMP, or “Last Minute Panic”.

“We will make a call on that before Saturday,” McMullan said.

With live music and food trucks, the beer festival is shaping up to be a wee ripper.

There are two sessions available: noon-4pm, [family friendly and free for under 18s], and 5-9pm [adult only 18+].

Tickets are $45, plus fees, which include entry to one session, a branded glass, and two drink tokens.

The Smallest Beer Festival is one of more than a dozen events in the WBS Carterton Heart of Winter Festival from July 9-18.

One of the 10-day long festival’s marquee attractions will be the WBS Carterton Ice Rink, as well as other great attractions for families.

  • For more details and tickets: www.cartertonec.co.nz/winterfestival/

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