Move over New York, Wellington has more restaurants, cafes, and bars per capita. Craft Beer Tours NZ with Mike Henderson, the owner. Mike is a beer expert. He even makes his own.
He gives you a behind-the-scenes pass to the breweries and lets you try them. Welly is a great beer maker. His beers range from tasty to wacky (look at Margarita Sour).
Mike, the expert in the field, has listed the ten best Wellington breweries (in no particular sequence) that you must visit during your next trip.
#1 Boneface Brewing Company
Mike explains, “These guys began in 2017 and took things to the next level.” Owner Matt Dainty created the Boneface craft beer brand by combining all things sci-fi, legendary music, and beer. These guys are a must-visit in Wellington. From their beers to food and crew.
#2 Fortune Favours
Mike says that an old rustic furniture stripping factory has been transformed into a new innovative craft brewery. It is located in Wellington’s tastiest laneway (Hannah’s Laneway). These guys are pushing boundaries both with their amazing brews as well as their support of local sports teams. They sponsor Wellington’s best men’s and women’s cricket, as well as football and rugby teams. They are the sponsors of Wellington’s top men’s and women’s cricket teams, along with football and rugby.
This was my favorite brewery. The IPAs are on point, and the upstairs area is charming.
Mike explains that the Central Wellington industrial brewery is focused on three goals: to make good beer, to sell it, and to donate the proceeds for the research of advanced breast cancer.
The Karen Louisa Foundation is a charity that the owner of the brewery set up in order to raise money for. They donate all profits to the foundation to advance breast cancer treatments and research.
The food is amazing, not only because it’s for a great cause but also because the beer has quirky labels.
#4 Panhead Custom Ales
Mike shares that “Like Panhead themselves said, “if you are able to customize a car or bike in your garage, then you should also be able to do the same for beer.”
“Panhead is a New Zealand beer fridge staple. They have boosted their profile, and in 10 years, they will be regulars. The core range of Panhead is well-known, but the small batches produced at their pilot brewery are what really give these guys a boost.
#5 Fork and Brewer
One of the OGs in Wellington’s craft beer scene. Mike asks, “Who else has 42 beers available on tap, 41 of which are their own and all brewed by a single guy?”
The taps are stocked with almost all styles of beer and satisfy every beer craving. This place is located in the middle of the city and fills with city slickers during the day and the craft beer gurus at night.
Garage Project #6
The rock stars of NZ’s craft beer industry. Mike says that you can find these brews anywhere, including Australia.
These guys have been dropping hop bombs since they opened in 2011. These guys dabble in everything brewing, whether it’s a hazy, wildly fermented wine or sour, to sold-out crowds. The original brewery is located in an old garage.
#7 Heyday Beer Co.
It’s a game changer that I just discovered the Yarra Valley has a hop-on, hop-off bus service.
These guys make sure Wellington beer is always fresh. Mike believes that their biggest market is the locals, and you will understand why if you go. The decor, staff, and beers were as new as Palm Springs in the morning of December. Cool, cool, cool”.
Southward Distilling Co. also produces some fine, small-batch gin.
#8 Double Vision Brewing
Mike says, “When four friends start homebrewing and have fun, but go more professional while still enjoying themselves, you get Double Vision Brewing, in the suburb Mirimar of Wellington.”
“This is also the home of a small film studio which made a movie on a mythical ring, but to the craft beer enthusiast what these guys produce is more worthy of an Oscar.”
#9 Parrotdog Brewery
Mike quips, “You can literally grab your luggage off the carousel in Wellington’s Airport and fling it across the runway to land it at Parrotdog’s cool lounge bar. (Disclaimer: This is not something I would recommend).”
These guys took inspiration from the old pubs and taverns. They are located just off Wellington’s famous surf beaches of Lyall Bay, which is also home to Wellington’s famous funksters Fat Freddy’s drop.
#10 North E, and Brewery
When you drop, there’s nothing better than getting out of the city to explore. You can visit the North End Brewery on Wellington’s north-west coast ….. The brewery was created by Kiwis who are passionate about the coast, food and drink. These guys are noble, huge supporters of Wellington’s brewing community, but they also serve American-style BBQ food in their own brewpub “Salt and Wood Collee.”