Travel guide: New Zealand's best craft beer destinations

Travel guide: New Zealand's best craft beer destinations

Dry July has finished and Oktoberfest is more than a month away... in Germany. So for beer lovers in New Zealand, International Beer Day on the first Friday of August is a good enough reason to pop out for an evening beer.

New Zealand has come a long way from Steinlarger and Tui, with craft beers well and truly entrenched in Aotearoa's hospitality industry.

While New Zealand doesn't have a home of beer as such, it's got a few places that get pretty close.

To celebrate 2021 International Beer Day, here's a beer lover's guide to Aotearoa. 

Dunedin - Home to the oldest brewery in New Zealand 

Speights, mate? It's a brand synonymous with the south and is as historic as breweries get in New Zealand. This historical site opened in 1876 has been brewing beer ever since. 

The oldest brewery in Aotearoa.
The oldest brewery in Aotearoa. Photo credit: Speights

In 1998, the local paper printed a hoax story that the brewery was giving away free beer from a tap outside the building. Hundreds of people lined up and walked away with pints and pints of water.

Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand and quite literally named after the Scottish capital, Dunedin is New Zealand's most Scottish-inspired city and is also home to the Dunedin born and bred brewery – Emerson's. 

Wellington - The capital  

If there's one thing that outnumbers politicians in Wellington, it's craft beer bars. There are at least 19 craft beer bars and 15 craft beer breweries in this relatively small city.

Travel guide: New Zealand's best craft beer destinations
Photo credit: Garage Project

From Garage Project and Panhead to smaller breweries, fans can follow the craft beer trail - yes there is one - for a comprehensive guide on the best beer spots. 

Once you've done downing beer, QT Hotel is a new and unique edition to Wellington's inner city that's worth checking out.


Whether you're an Aucklander opting for a staycation or a visitor to the City of Sails, there are plenty of beer options to taste, whether it's from one of the many bars around the city or some of the very popular craft beer breweries.

Travel guide: New Zealand's best craft beer destinations
Photo credit: The Shakespeare Hotel

Close to the city is Brothers Beer, while a little further out there's Hallertau Brewery and Biergarten, Deep Creek or Sawmill Brewery in Matakana.

Auckland has no shortage of great hotels, but if you want the true pub experience, stay at the city's oldest pub: The Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery. It's been pouring beers since 1898, well before Ponsonby probably even had a name. 


Home to The Great Kiwi Beer Festival every January, Christchurch is a frontrunner as a craft beer destination.

Travel guide: New Zealand's best craft beer destinations
Photo credit: Pomeroy's Christchurch

Whether you're after a garage-style brewery, an American-inspired dive bar, an upmarket establishment fit for a beer sommelier or just a good old fashioned English pub, it's all available in this regenerating city.

Pomeroy's on Kilmore is the ideal accommodation for a beer weekend and it helps that it's got its own craft beer pub too, with Christchurch's largest range of beers on tap.