6 of the Best Brew Pubs in NZ

Luke Nicholas

Luke Nicholas is a New Zealand based beer expert. Creator of the website RealBeer, previously head brewer of the Cock & Bull's beers, owner of Epic Brewing Company and Epic Pale Ale, international beer judge, industry commentator, founding president of SOBA, and vice president of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand.

Brewpubs - breweries attached to a pub, providing an outlet and means to sell their beer. Possibly the best and most successful way of brewing and selling your own beer in the New Zealand market, because you control your own outlet. Plus the brewer achieves full retail pricing for their beer. It's also the best way for a drinker to meet the brewer because he is either brewing or out drinking with the customers.

1. The Mussel Inn - location makes you forget the rest of the world so you can enjoy the beer,(thats because you have just driven to the end of the earth to get there) good range of beers and other alcoholic beverages made from locally grown produce, must try the Captin Cooker Manuka Beer, also available in Belgium.

2. Galbraith's Alehouse - award winning real ale, European lagers, guest beers from local micro breweries, excellent selection of imported English and Belgian Ales, wonderful food, nice outdoor area, great building (old public library). Must not leave without trying the Resurrection.

3. Hallertau - has the best selection of bottled craft beer, from around New Zealand, in one place, food is good, if there is a group go for the plater, beer to try has to be Stuntman (if available) 10% of crazy hopness.

4. The Twisted Hop - bit hard to find but once you are there on one of those long sunny Canterbury afternoons you aren't likely to leave. Real Ale plus a selection of other craft beer. Good pub food. Try a pint of Challenger.

5. Dux de Lux - the best garden bar in New Zealand, backs out onto the Art Center and can hold hundreds of people, a must visit for the Buskers Festival. Beer to try Nor'wester won some great awards over the years and delivers great flavour.

6. Shakepseare Tavern - this is the grand daddy of brewpubs in New Zealand with it opening in 1986. A selection of 11 different beers. Food is pub fare, and the location is very central. The only Brewpub in New Zealand with its own accommodation onsite, and at very competitive pricing for central Auckland. Beer to try Pucks Pixilation, 11.2%, not because it is strong but because it delivers flavour and drinkablity without the alcohol burn.

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  • New Member says
    We need to get Mr Nicholas down to Brew | Craft Beer Pub in Rotorua! It's got 9 beers on tap, the only hand drawn ale for over 100km and a great selection of food for grazing or indulging.
  • shiny says
    definitely a big thumbs up for the 'mussel inn' so chilled it's awesome..:)

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