Experiences for the Beer Enthusiast!
New Zealand loves its beer, but not just any old beer! The craft beer scene is huge here, with more than 160 craft breweries around the country. With so many options, no wonder beer is the most popular alcoholic drink for Kiwis. If you haven’t had the chance to taste some of the awesome New Zealand beers yet, then the best way to do it is to immerse yourself on a New Zealand beer tour, brewery tour or tasting experience at the source.
While you’ll learn the same kind of brewing processes, ingredients and passion on every New Zealand beer tour, it’s the wildly different set-ups that make each tour unique. From large-scale productions for the most popular brands in New Zealand to the small micro-brewery in settings like an old church, no two brewery tours are the same. And if brewery tours aren’t your thing, just take a self-guided tour from brewbar to brewbar!
1. Monteith’s Brewery
The West Coast knows a thing or two about drinking beer and Monteith’s Brewery in Greymouth is the place to discover the local flavours for yourself. A brewery tour will take you through the humble beginnings of now one of New Zealand’s favourite beer and cider brands. You’ll also get to see what goes on in a working brewery and even pour your own pint at the end.
Location: Greymouth, West Coast, South Island
2. Tui Brewery
See the sights and learn the history of one of New Zealand’s biggest beer brands: Tui! The 40-minute tour will go through the whole brewing process, include tastings and you’ll even get a “passport” with freebies and discounts to claim all over the Wairarapa region.
Location: Wairarapa, Wellington, North Island.
3. Wellington Craft Beer Capital Trail
This is one you can do yourself by picking up a Craft Beer Capital Trail map from any Wellington information centre or cellar door. Wellington city is home to 16 craft beer bars, eight craft breweries, and four bottle stores stocking local beers. Alternatively, book a guided craft beer tour where the expertise and the transport are all sorted for you. Don’t miss some of Wellington’s fantastic places to eat on the cheap too!
Location: Wellington City, Wellington, North Island
4. Good George Brewery
The most unique setting for a brewery is right here in the old St George’s Church in Hamilton. Visit the Good George Brewery and learn all about the brewing process on one of their brewery tours. Grab a bite and a beer in their dining hall and even get a free Good George Brewery glass at the end of your tour.
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, North Island.
5. Nelson Beer Trail
Nelson’s fertile lands and sunny climate makes it one of the top regions for producing all sorts of food and beverages from fresh fruit to wine. Amongst it all, it’s no surprise that there are a few breweries in the mix. Nelson breweries a bit more laid-back than the rest of the country, not offering commercial brewery tours, but they’ll be happy to offer tastings and maybe a personalised tour if you inquire. Do you’re own self-guided tour by hitting all the places we list in 10 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try.
Location: Nelson, Nelson Tasman, South Island.
6. Beerworks Wanaka
For something a little more alternative, check out Beerworks Wanaka! See how a microbrewery operates from a passionate team of enthusiastic brewers. They also have a taproom to taste the highlights at the end of the tour.
Location: Wanaka, Otago, South Island.
7. Speight’s Brewery
See how they make that New Zealand beer brand that you see in EVERY New Zealand supermarket! Set in Dunedin, Speight’s prides itself on being a “legend of the south” producing beer for 140 years. Learn about the history of New Zealand beer, Speight’s humble beginnings, and of course, pour your own tasters. Book your Speight’s Brewery Tour here.
Location: Dunedin, Otago, South Island.
8. Mike’s Brewery
For an off-the-beaten-track brewery well worth visiting, check out Mike’s Brewery in the Taranaki region. A brewery tour will show you the ins and outs of an organic brewery, as well as plenty of tasters along the way. They also have a tasting room, cafe and brewery shop so you can take home some souvenirs.
Location: New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island.
9. Dodson Street
When you don’t want to choose one beer brand, go to Dodson Street. The craft beer garden in Blenheim claims to have the largest range of craft beer in New Zealand, with their tap beer being changed regularly. Try beers from New Zealand and all over the world while soaking in the Marlborough sun in their garden. You can even watch the craft brewers at work through a window into the Renaissance Brewery right next door.
Location: Blenheim, Marlborough, South Island.
10. Invercargill Brewery
[Update: Invercargill Brewery is no longer operating].
See craft beer and cider produced on a large scale at the Invercargill Brewery. Not only do they brew their own creations, which you obviously get to try plenty of at the end of the tour, they also do contract brewing for several big craft beer brands around the country.
Location: Invercargill, Southland, South Island.