Hardcore beer enthusiasts will remember The Beer Jerk Bunker - the tiny underground pub beneath Symonds street. They were founded by the online craft beer shop of the same name and stocked exclusively independent beers. The vast knowledge of their owners ensured that every patron who walked through the doors could taste a beer they hadn't tried before or an old, hard-to-find favourite brew or a flight of fun and unusual drops.
Sadly, the bar closed its doors for good in 2019 - but the story has a happy ending because not far down the road, the same beer fans have opened The Fridge & Flagon, an equally exclusively-independent Eden Terrace bottle shop and bar. They have both an on and off license, you can have your beer and(/or) take it away too.
Among other events, they're the same hop heads that put on XX Fest, a feminist beer festival that involved beer yoga, food pairings by A Lady Butcher and 12 beers on tap.
They are beer-mad fans of all things beer - so they've teamed up with SOBA (Society Of Beer Advocates) who are putting on this year's Auckland Beer Week. Beer Jerk are holding 9 events over 9 days over the whole first week of August and tickets vary by events.
"One of the things we really wanted to do made sure there is something for everyone," says Matt Eats from Beer Jerk. He emphasises that whether you want to just try a few beers as a beginner or enthuse over them as an expert, there is something for you.
There is plenty of variety the Beer Jerk Supper Club degustation with Satya Chai Lounge; Oamaru Brewery Craftwork's "An Evening in Belgium" focusing on their specialty of Belgian beers and two beer crawls with free tuk tuk trips between the venues (I've done the beer mile and I recommend you bring a few very good friends!). But don't take our word for it here is the full list:
Around NZ in 80 Beers
Circumnavigate Aoteroa by travelling around NZ in 80 Beers. Using Brew Bus as your mode of transport, take a regional tour of our country across 5 venues around the city that will each be showcasing a unique region and the breweries and beers thereof.
There will be 3 buses running at 20 minute intervals around the clock (12 - 6pm) taking in the loop of 5 venues in a geographical loop.
Saturday 1 August 12-6pm
The Great Beer Mile Day Out
The Auckland Beer Mile boasts some of the city’s best breweries and beer venues. Experience the Beer Mile all day for both Sundays of Auckland Beer Week with free Tuk Tuk trips between the venues. (Beer Spot Morningside, Flight 605, Urbanaut, Garage Project Kingsland, Churly’s, The Fridge and Flagon, Galbraiths, Brothers Mt Eden)
Sunday 2nd August – 12-10pm | Kingsland, Auckland
How To Drink Beer - Beer Judging 101
Get the lowdown on beer judging with Beer Jerk. BJCP Beer Judge Matt Eats will take you through how beers are evaluated and present you with some handy hints and tips to take your beer enjoyment to the next level.
Monday 3 August - 6pm | The Fridge & Flagon, 2/2 Shaddock Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Craftwork Presents: An Evening in Belgium
Oamaru’s Craftwork Brewery are renowned as one of NZ’s best small breweries, specialising in Belgian beers. Craftwork’s Michael and Lee-Ann are in Auckland to share their love of all things Belgian with you with beers, food and stories inspired by one of beer’s spiritual heartlands.
Tuesday 4 August - 7pm | The Fridge & Flagon, 2/2 Shaddock Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Beer Jerk Supper Club with Satya
Dive into a world of flavour with a set tasting menu hosted by Sammy Akuthota from Satya Chai Lounge. Several courses of Chaat paired with incredible beers to enhance, compliment and contrast the delicious Indian finger foods (suitable for vegetarians).
Wednesday 5 August 7pm | Satya Chai Lounge, Sandringham, Auckland
The 8 Wired Flavour Workshop with Søren Eriksen
8 Wired have long held a reputation as one of NZ’s best breweries. Join Søren Eriksen at The Fridge & Flagon where he will guide you on a unique flavour journey with an interactive tasting workshop. Create your own blends, pair with different ingredients and come up with your own taste sensation.
Thursday 6 August - 7pm | The Fridge & Flagon, 2/2 Shaddock Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Duncan's Pool Party feat. D:UNK
George Duncan might now be famous for his insane beer creations and lactose wizardry but before he was brewing some of NZ’s most innovative beers he spent many nights as an infamous house DJ. D:UNK is coming out of retirement for one night only at The Fridge & Flagon so dig out your finest Hawaiian shirt for a late night party full of tropical vibes, beautiful beers and banging beats.
Friday 7 August - 5pm-Late | The Fridge & Flagon, 2/2 Shaddock Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Bland, Watery and Rarely Above 5% - Australian Beer Showcase
Everyone knows that Australian beer is terrible, they don’t know what they’re doing and definitely don’t brew bold, flavoursome Hazy Double IPAs, Pastry Stouts, Barrel Aged Sours or anything of the kind. That’s why you won’t find any one-off imports of rare, wonderful and interesting beers like that pouring at The Fridge & Flagon all day.
Saturday 8 August - 12-10pm | The Fridge & Flagon, 2/2 Shaddock Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland
The Great Beer Mile Day Out
The Auckland Beer Mile boasts some of the city’s best breweries and beer venues. Experience the Beer Mile all day for both Sundays of Auckland Beer Week with free Tuk Tuk trips between the venues (Beer Spot Morningside, Flight 605, Urbanaut, Garage Project Kingsland, Churly’s, The Fridge and Flagon, Galbraiths, Brothers Mt Eden).
Sunday 9 August - 12-10pm | Kingsland, Auckland
The Fridge & Flagon
Tickets from: https://www.beerjerk.co.nz/collections/auckland-beer-week-tickets