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Great craft beer bars in New Zealand

Localist Localist 24/09/2016 Kylie B.


Clever local brewers are taking NZ craft beer to the world.

Sinking a cold one is a Kiwi tradition but the craft beer movement in New Zealand has elevated the art of drinking to a whole new level. Locally made and lovingly brewed, our Kiwi craft brews are making a massive impact globally.

If you want to try a diverse selection from our hottest local brewers, head to one of the many craft beer bars popping up around New Zealand and discover why we're in beervana! And if you have a craft beer bar that rocks your socks, why not share your love for it on their Localist listing? Bottom's up!

And if you're looking for a great craft beer spot to sup a brew, why not check out these spots where the locals in the know love to go Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch..


Brothers Beer, Auckland

It’s fair to say Brothers Beer are smashing it at the moment with their craft beer offerings and that's why I love this place. Come here and you can try a wide range of locally brewed beer and so much more. Brothers has 18 beers on tap and eight of those change weekly with the Brothers Beer varieties being brewed in front of you. When I visited they also had 310 bottled varieties. At the moment I’m told the Bach Brewing ‘Kingtide Pacific IPA’ is a must taste, along with anything by Panhead or Liberty breweries. The taps change so often because usually only one keg of each craft beer is ordered - but they’ve come up with a genius solution so you can monitor every drop of your favourite brew - an up-to-the-minute keg volume reader you can view on their website.


Good George Brewery & Dining Hall, Hamilton

Of course Good George has to be on this list. The Hamilton favourites are continuing to gain popularity with their ever-expanding delicious range of craft beer. Home to probably one of the best IPAs, these guys also have a healthy bottled selection and often have guest ales on tap. Staff are always happy to give you a taste and recommend their favourites. Tip: Beer lovers should take the brewery tour!


Rutland Arms Inn & Restaurant, Wanganui

The Rutland Arms has been around even longer than me (I grew up in Wanganui and drank here back in the day when it was a good ole pub). Now it's a fab pub-style restaurant and bar. A great meeting place, especially for lunch. Always good food, without the Auckland prices and there's a really great selection of NZ craft beers. One of the better Wanganui eateries.


Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn, Christchurch

This old English-style pub has it all: excellent food, locally brewed beer, al fresco dining and a pool table. There’s even a library tucked away in the corner for quiet moments.


The Hour Glass, Taranaki

The Hour Glass is famous in Taranaki for their extended range of craft beers. They’re actually the leading craft beer bar in New Plymouth. They feature over 27 different craft beers that are each unique tasting and special. On top of having a great selection of craft beer and tapas, the Hour Glass has an amazing interior décor that puts you in a relaxed and chilled out mood.


Garage Project, Christchurch

In the entrance to Aro Valley, garage project have a cellar door for you to come and try and buy some of Wellingtons best craft beer. You can even see them brewing it if you look next door. A wide selection of what Garage Project offer greets you with the ability to bring your on flagons and take them home, with some fish & chips from the great chip shop just up the road.


Hashigo Zake, Wellington

Wellingtons great craft beer bar, constant rotating taps and a fantastic staffing unit with all the knowledge to let you make the right decision. Down in a basement of Taranaki Street, it’s a bastion of the craft beer scene and a place that any craft beer loving geek should put on the regular places to drink list.


The Freehouse, Nelson

True to it’s name, ‘The Freehouse’ has an extensive selection of craft beer, as it isn’t tied to a brewery. Ironically, it’s an old church, with a yurt out front that often hosts live music events. I especially like to bring guests here to have a beer at sunset - the sun pours into the courtyard. It’s neighbourly enough that you can even bring kids - they have toys. Something really cool, is that they allow you to order food from the Indian across the road, or even better, Stefano’s Pizzeria will deliver. Staff at The Freehouse might even give you plates with knives and forks with which to eat your Indian!


Founders Organic Brewery & Cafe, Nelson

Yummy Founders beer has been made in Nelson for many years and is known and loved by the locals. Founders cafe and brewery recently had a facelift, so you can see the brewing in action, and they sell their own very tasty range of brews, alongside a great range of cafe food. There’s a spacious beer garden and plenty of space for kids to run around.


Tonic Bar, Dunedin

The list of craft beers at Tonic Bar is as long as you arm. We’re talking almost ONE HUNDRED varieties of local, national and international beers. Favourite beers are on the tap: Renaissance Little RIPA, Epic IMP, and Golden Bear Hot Lips. You’ll love this place if you love craft beer.



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