Author of  Beer Nation – the Art and Heart of Kiwi Beer, the award-winning exploration of New Zealand’s beer and brewing history, and The Big Book of Home Brewing – a Kiwi Guide, chief judge for the New World Beer & Cider Awards, beer expert Michael Donaldson is on tap for all your needs, from writing and reviewing, to education, event-hosting and media relations.


Need to update your restaurant or beer list? Need to know what's trending or seasonal? Need advice for matching food with beer? I have the answers to all your beer questions.



Don't know your IPAs from your IBUs or your pilsners from your porters? Book a craft beer lesson with your friends or family and learn about the beer basics. Everything from understanding beer styles to brewing your own at home.



Looking for beer content for your website or magazine. Need help with a press release or content on your Facebook page? I'm a journalist and editor with 25 years experience who can help you get the message right.



How about a beer tasting night for your next corporate function, fund-raiser or special occasion? I'm experienced in beer and food matching, tasting sessions and have hosted seminars from Beervana to the Tauranga Arts Festival!


Latest Articles

Best & Worst of Beer in 2017 graphic


Best & Worst of Beer in 2017

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Best beer experience: The Free House, Nelson. Summer. Twilight. Hand-pulled Townshend’s beer. To paraphrase Josh Ritter (Me & Jiggs): You know it’s perfect because you have to leave. Best non-quite beer experience: Lucky enough to get a tour of Garage Project’s Marion St wild and barrel-aging brewery, co-founder Jos Ruffell proffered me a glass from […]

12 Beers of the Year graphic


12 Beers of the Year

Friday, December 29th, 2017

I preface the following list with the plain fact that it’s now impossible for me – or anyone – to sample all the beer produced in New Zealand in any given year. I’d struggle to keep up with the output of breweries in a 25km radius of my house … so there’s nothing definitive about […]

Garage Project discontinue controversial Death From Above graphic


Garage Project discontinue controversial Death From Above

Monday, November 27th, 2017

There’s a short list of breweries responding appropriately when challenged over poor marketing but Garage Project’s decision to discontinue the label and name of Death From Above, and perhaps stop brewing the beer altogether, is a positive reaction, and outcomes to an unfortunate episode. You could argue that Garage Project took a little too long […]

Terry McCashin: The duopoly buster graphic


Terry McCashin: The duopoly buster

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Pinning down the late Terry McCashin was no easy task. When I started researching my first book, Beer Nation – The Art and Heart of Kiwi Beer, the first person pencilled in for an interview was Terry McCashin, who died suddenly yesterday, aged 73. The framework for the book pivoted on the year 1981 when […]