The Wellington Winter Ales Festival was started by the Society Of Beer Advocates (SOBA) in 2010 as an event dedicated to showcasing good beer. Over the years the number of breweries, the beers, the location and the capacity of Winter Ales Festival has changed, but the goal remains the same.

Winter Ales Festival has been held by SOBA each year since, except in 2017 when our friends at Craft Beer Capital stepped in to take the reins. SOBA is proud to be sponsoring Winter Ales Festival again for its 9th year in 2018.


Please read some common questions & answers in the FAQ below, but if you have other questions, comments or enquiries please contact info@winterales.co.nz.


What’s the deal with Earlybird Tickets?

Earlybird Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 20, and are $5 less than General Admission Tickets. Otherwise the tickets are identical. There are a limited number of Earlybird Tickets available on a first-come first-served basis.

Are there separate tickets for SOBA Members?

SOBA Members are the first to know when Earlybird Tickets go on sale. Also, SOBA Members will receive an email with a discount code for additional savings on their ticket. Join SOBA today to take advantage.

What is included with my ticket?

Your ticket will get you entry to the festival, 4 full 285ml glasses (or 8 tasters), and a $5 food voucher

What and where is the Hunter Lounge, and how do I get there?

The Hunter Lounge is part of Victoria University and is located at 1 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, and is a short walk from Wellington, and is easily accessible via public transit – see the Metlink Website for details.

What beers will be available at Winter Ales Festival?

The Winter Ales Festival team works to create a diverse tap lineup that features new releases and one-off beers, alongside festive and hard to find beers. You can stay up to date on the Winter Ales Festival 2018 Facebook Event or on the Beer List Page.

What type of food will be served?

We’re working to find a food vendor in Wellington that will to provide a mix of food for a variety of tastes. Be sure to fill out your food preferences when purchasing a ticket so that we can prepare to serve everyone.

Can I bring my kids?

Nope. Winter Ales Festival is an 18+ event, and only ticket holders over 18 years of age will be admitted. Be sure to bring your Photo ID along with your ticket.

Can you clean my glass?

Yes, there is a glass exchange available if you would like to get a clean glass. There will also be water stations around the venue so that you can rinse your glass and drink some water throughout the festival.

How can I volunteer for the festival?

As Winter Ales Festival has been going for a few years, we first offer volunteer positions to people who have previously volunteered at the festival. If you would still like to be considered as a volunteer, please email info@winterales.co.nz

How do I spend more money?

We’ll have EFTPOS machines available and there is an ATM on site if you’d like to take cash out or purchase more food or drink tokens.

Do beers ever run out? What happens then?

Yes, we get very limited quantities of some of the beers on offer, and they may run out. Once those beers are done, they’re done. We’ll do our best to mark in the program the extra limited beers from the lineup. Note that on some limited and high ABV beers we will only be offering taster size pours.

Is The Hunter Lounge wheelchair accessible?

Yes, there are ramps leading up to the building and there is an elevator inside. Inside the actual venue, there is an upstairs area that is not wheelchair accessible, but this is an overflow seating area and all of the beers and food will be served on the ground floor.

Is there parking available?

Not really. While there is street parking near Victoria University, we do not have any dedicated spaces or lots available and recommend on planning to take public transport, catching a taxi/Uber/Zoomy, or walking to the festival.

Can I smoke at Winter Ales Festival?

Victoria University is Smoke Free Campus, and smoking is not allowed inside the venue or on the patio. If you need to smoke, please finish your beverage and leave your glass with the volunteers at the entrance.