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New Zealand Beer

New Zealand Beer

© Steinlager

The drinking scene in New Zealand is dominated by beer which has over 60% of the total market for alcoholic drinks. The beer scene is in turn dominated by the big breweries, namely DB and Lion. Both produce a variety of larger and pilsner-type brews. Steinlager is probably the most famous of them overseas. Beer consumption is slowly falling as a percentage of the alcoholic drinks market, however, as wine, vodka, and other drinks rise in popularity.

Craft Beer

As in the rest of the beer-drinking world, craft beer is gaining in appeal especially among younger drinkers. If you want to try something else other than what the big breweries have on offer there are now some appealing alternatives in the larger cities, especially Wellington.

DB Export
© DB Export

New Zealand-Brewed Recommendations

The following are just a few of the many wonderful brews that New Zealand's smaller, local establishments have to offer.

Good George APA is a pale ale brewed in Hamilton and has a winning blend of bitter and sweet, malty flavours.

Three Boys Wheat is a light and lively Belgian-style wheat beer from Christchurch with a citrusy, white-peppery aroma and goes down very easily.

Boneface Brewing Outlaw IPL is a mean-looking lager from Upper Hutt: with both a scintillating hops flavour and a clean, bracing lager finish. Tropically fruity in the mouth, but with a good clean aftertaste.

The People's Pils is from the Brave Brewing Co., which has a very strong fan base in its home province of Hawkes Bay. This is a German-style pilsner with a creamy, malty base delivering delicate hints of herbs and spices.

Finally, just to prove that New Zealand isn't all about beer, there is Peckham's Farmhouse Cider, brewed in Nelson. This genuinely fruity brew, packed with flavour, also has something of an astringent edge, keeping things nicely in control on the palate.


Here's a listing of some places to sample craft beer in New Zealand.

Galbraith's Alehouse
© Galbraith's Alehouse


Brothers Beer - City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley Street. www:

Galbraith's Alehouse - 2 Mt. Eden Rd. www:


Garage Project Taproom - 91 Aro Street. www:

Golding's Free Dive - 14 Leeds Street. www:

Fork & Brewer - 20a Bond Street. www:

Fortune Favours - 7 Leeds Street. www:

Little Beer Quarter - 6 Edward Street: www:


Atlas Beer Cafe - Steamer Wharf: www:

Books on New Zealand

Books about New Zealand

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