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Breweries, Cideries & Distilleries


It’s true - until 1967, pubs closed at 6pm, and after-work drinks were known as the “6 o’clock swill”, as patrons tried to pack in as much as they could before 6pm!

In 1981, ex-All Black Terry McCashin started NZ’s first craft beer brewery in Nelson, daring to take on the duopoly of NZ’s two big beer companies.

Flash through to 2023 - and there are so many craft breweries, cideries, distilleries - and of course, wineries - in the country that one can barely keep count!

Just about every little town has a brewery - it’s heaven for craft beer lovers. Following along, there are also a surprising number of local cideries and distilleries.

Honeymooners may want to try NZ Mead, made from Kiwi honey - after all, the word "honeymoon" was coined from the month after a wedding, when the bride's father would give the groom all the mead he wanted.

For the adventurous, drop into Zenkuro, New Zealand’s award-winning and only sake brewery.


'Adventurous ales & hearty food' (l,d; $$)

Queenstown Breweries

Cellar Doors

Crafty Trout Brewery

Alpine beer brewed in Taupo

Emerson's Brewery

A truly great beer story! (l,d; $$)

Emporium Brewing

Try Kaikoura’s local brew

Garage Project Taproom: 91 Aro

Wellington's weird & wonderful craft brews

Martinborough Brewery

A local brew to go with your wine!

McCashin's Brewery

Tours, tastings & meals in Stoke, Nelson

Monteith's Brewing Co

The West Coast brew since 1868 (l,d; $$)


Cider in Morningside

Speights Brewery & Ale House

Dunedin's "Pride of the South"

The Laboratory

Tasty craft beers and pizza (l,d; $$)

Tuatara Brewery

Wellington's oldest craft brewery (l,d; $$)

Tui Brewery

Brewed in Mangatainoka since 1889

Zenkuro Sake

NZ's award-winning (& only!) sake brewery

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Adam Selwood