If there’s one thing you can say about Kiwis, it’s that we love our beer. This simple yeasty fermented drink has a special malty place in our hearts, so it’s not surprising that Auckland is home to some of the best craft beer bars around. So have some self-respect and put that cheap supermarket can down–Because it’s 2020 and whether your style is more fruity, hoppy, or zippy there’s the beer of your dreams waiting for you somewhere on this list. Go get ‘em!
It’s pretty difficult to think of New Zealand craft beer without the name Garage Project springing to mind. While you may be familiar with purchasing Garage Project favourites such as Happy Daze and Beer (yes, that is literally the name) at your local bottle shop–For a true craft beer experience it’s the Kingsland Cellar Door you want to visit. Offering an ever-changing beer tasting menu and specially matched nosh, it’s a testament to Garage Project that they’ve kept to their Aro Valley roots with a relaxed unpretentious vibe. Only open until 9pm and offering limited seating, this is your exclusive new Saturday arvo beer spot.
Yes…We spelt the name right. Despite being located on the well-know Vulcan Lane, Vultures Lane pays homage to the streets 1920’s unsavoury reputation, but we can promise there’s only good characters here. Tucked away, Vulture’s Lane is easy to miss but you won’t want to with 22 regular rotating beer taps and over 75 bottles on offer. If you’re visiting with someone who thinks they’ve tried everything, a visit to Vulture’s Lane could be the one to impress. Offering traditional pub fare done well in a cosy location with no frills, it’s no surprise that this spot fills up quickly after work–So get on board with what everyone else already knows, this is your new local.
“Good people drink good beer” is the motto at Brothers Beer, and we have to agree on both fronts. With an on-site brewery, this definitely isn’t your usual CBD bar. With 18 beers on tap, 200+ bottled beers on offer and of course, a retail store to take something home–This is your one stop shop. If you’re unsure what to try we recommend starting with a tasting tray or the Pilsner (crisp and classic with New Zealand hops)–And the food is no side-line here either. Offering everything from fried chicken, sandwiches, ribs, desserts, and fresh salads in relaxed 70s style décor, this is a crowd-pleaser.
The Brewers Co-operative
Beer and fish and chips. Have you ever seen a more Kiwi sentence? Well that’s what’s on offer at The Brewers Co-Operative but get rid of any ideas of greasy takeaways or dated pubs. Modern, airy, and comfortable–The Brewers Co-Op somehow manages to be sophisticated and chilled at once. This is home to some of the most loved New Zealand quality craft beer brands, including Sawmill, Garage Project, Epic and Liberty. Offering everything from fresh-market fish (battered or crumbed, your choice,) oysters, salt and pepper squid, or burgers for the non-seafood lovers this is the perfect easy-going spot to while away your Sunday afternoon.
Craft beer often conjures up imagery of young edgy brands, bright packaging, and tongue-in-cheek names–But Galbraith’s is the grandfather of craft beers. A mainstay in Grafton since 1995, the alehouse is home to an independent micro-brewery and returns beer to a traditional hand-crafted art form. This is the spot to take your geekiest beer friend, the staff at Galbraith’s will be able to tell you about every step of the process, down to the unique qualities of the specific batch you’re drinking. Cosy with high-ceilings and a fireplace for the colder nights, Galbraith’s is self-proclaimed as “comfortably lived in and loved” and that’s no exaggeration.
If it’s the best craft beer on offer for all New Zealand you’re after, 16 Tun has you covered. This is a “free house” which means it’s not tied to stocking any particular brands, just the best possible beers they could find Nationwide. Frequently hosting independent brewing events, there’s always something happening here, and to top it off, it’s located in the sunny Wynyard Quarter showcasing some of Auckland’s best views a stone’s throw away. The beer taps here change so quickly, this is the place for those of us who thrive off variety–But the food is consistently good. Just like the beer, the food menu here is specially crafted with NZ’s own local produce.
If you feel like venturing a little further afield, just a quick 20 minutes on the highway will get you some of the best craft beers on offer in an idyllic country location at Hallertau. Great outdoor seating and atmosphere, Hallertau is the spot-to-stop on every roadie out to the West beaches this summer. Offering their signature Numbers range, as well as the Heroic, Seasonal, and Sour ranges for the more discerning beer drinker. Whether you’re just dipping your toes in the craft scene or a seasoned drinker, you’ll be at home. The food here is top-notch as well, we recommend a side of jalapeno poppers or hand-cut potato chunkies.