Auckland has an enthusiastic crew of craft brewers who are pushing the industry to be bigger and better.
Ever fancied seeing what a microbrewery looks like? Or perhaps you just want to sample a beer straight from the brewery taps. Either way, there is a wide selection of craft breweries and tours in Auckland to suit the needs of all beer enthusiasts.
Wild on Waiheke have tours hosted by their talented brewers that will give you a detailed explanation of the brewing process, a close up look at the equipment used and a taste of four beers that have been specifically matched with canapés. They sell 90% of their beer on-site, and even have some of the longest beer lines in New Zealand – they run straight from the finishing tanks in the brewery to the beer taps they’re serving you from. Bliss.
Hallertau Brewery is a boutique brewery west of Auckland in Kumeu. They also run a craft brewery tour and provide the opportunity to sample the latest batch of Hallertau micro beer.
In Auckland central you can set out on a 3-hour walking tour around the city, tasting the newest craft brews with an enthusiastic guide. With Auckland Beer Tours you can visit both historical pubs and brewhouses; tasting a flight of beer at each venue – even paired with food. En-route, learn about the architecture and history of Auckland as well as the beer it produces.
Brothers Beer is a must-visit destination for craft beer lovers, with over 200 beers on offer. Alongside the working brewery there is a comfortable tasting lounge with leaner tables made from recycled weatherboards, and lounge suites that look like they were taken straight from your gran’s place!
What’s more, for those visiting New Zealand for an extended period of time, they also host “Brothers Learn to Brew Days”. Here you can create your very own style of beer to brew and their master brewer will create a recipe for you to brew this beer on site.
Under the guidance of their brewer, you’ll mill grain, mash in and lauter to extract the wort. For the creative types you can even come up with a brand, beer name and design a label. Then you’ll have to sit tight while your beer brews. Return in approximately 3 weeks and your beer will be ready.
In the heart of Auckland city stands New Zealand’s first brewpub, the 109-year-old Shakespeare Brewery & Hotel. Award-winning beers such as Summer’s Day Bohemian Pilsner and Puck’s Pixilation are brewed on site.
Another significant brewery in the Auckland region is the Leigh Sawmill Brewery, just north of Auckland. A Sawmill brew was named in 2010 as "one of the 1000 beers to drink before you die" by international beer critics and a visit to the brewery is worth tacking on to your New Zealand holiday itinerary.
Other hotspots include Sweatshop Brew – a brewery, shop and entertainment venue that often host the best live music acts in the country, The Birkenhead Brewing Company – who have an amazing tasting studio with a unique selection of craft beers, and the Bluestone Room – a traditional pub with English vibe that’s housed in a national heritage building.