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10 Craft Breweries in Nelson You Have to Try


Craft beer in Nelson.

The Nelson region produces all of New Zealand’s commercial hops so it’s no wonder that 10 fantastic craft breweries have “hopped” up over the years. Craft breweries of all sizes are found between the city centre of Nelson all the way out to Golden Bay, so we put together this quick guide of all the craft breweries in Nelson.

Beer-making in Nelson dates back to the 1840s when early German settlers found the area of Moutere to be an ideal location for cultivating hops. The tradition lives on today, with some of New Zealand’s most famous craft beers coming out of Nelson.

Many of the breweries in Nelson are family-owned outlets that invite visitors for tours, a sampling of their creations at the bar, or along with some food. So while you’re cycling the Great Taste Trail, walking from your accommodation, or taking a tour, these are the Nelson breweries you can’t miss!

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1. Founders Brewery

Sit out in the Nelson sun with a tasting tray of Founders beers. There’s a viewing window to the brewery to see all the action. It’s also close to the Hop & Beer Museum in the Founders Heritage Park. Find out more about the Founders Heritage Park in our 15 Things to Do in Nelson.

Location: 87 Atawhai Drive, Nelson

2. Liquid Alchemy

Drop into this distillery for tours and tastings of Liquid Alchemy’s intriguing range of spirits including fresh hop gin. They are open Thursdays to Sundays from 12 to 5pm.

Location: 14 Vivian Place, Nelson

3. Bays Brewery

It doesn’t get more natural than the Bays Brewery. Try their beers with no preservatives, no chemicals and no sugar. They are open daily for beer tasters, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and spirits. Tours can be arranged by appointment.

Location: 89 Pascoe Street, Stoke

4. McCashin’s Brewery

Check out New Zealand’s oldest craft brewery and cidery at McCashin’s Brewery. Take a tour around the historic brewery at 11am and 2pm. Additionally, relax in the cafe and bar. McCashin’s Brewery is one seven days a week from 7am!

Location: 660 Main road, Stoke

5. Lighthouse Brewery

Around $5 will get you a tour of one of New Zealand’s smallest breweries. Make sure to book by appointment. The Lighthouse Brewery is open Monday to Saturday, except Tuesday afternoons.

Location: 21 Echodale Place, Stoke

6. Eddyline Brewery & Pizzeria

Ales and lagers are brewed onsite at this pizzeria. Eddyline is just off the Nelson Great Taste Trail, as well as the Sylvan Forest Mountain Bike Trails (check out Mountain Biking in Nelson Tasman for more information). It’s a great place to end a ride with a wood-fired pizza (or something else off the menu) and a beer. Eddyline is open seven days a week. Richmond also has its fair share of wineries too, so make sure to check those out at 23 Nelson Wineries on the Nelson Wine Trail.

Location: 8 Champion Road, Richmond

7. Sprig & Fern Brewery

The popular chain of craft beer taverns has its beers brewed right here in Richmond, Nelson. Brewery tours can be booked by appointment. Try the Sprig & Fern beers at one of their taverns (280 Hardy Street is the central one in Nelson. Plus, they do some affordable food. More information at Cheap Eats in Nelson). The brewery is open Tuesday to Saturday.

Location: 53 Beach Road, Richmond
Sprig & Fern

8. Golden Bear Brewery

Taste the Golden Bear beers produced in their microbrewery. Oh yeah, at there’s a Mexican restaurant and bar onsite too! Brewery tours can be booked by appointment. The Golden Bear Brewery is open from the afternoon seven days a week.

Location: 12 Aranui Road, Mapua
Golden Bear Brewery

9. Hop Federation

A popular craft beer brand in New Zealand, Hop Federation is located in the “heart of the hop country”. Visit their tasting room which is open seven days a week all year round.

Location: 483 Main Road, Riwaka
Hop Federation

10. The Mussel Inn Brewery

Over the Takaka Hill into Golden Bay in The Mussel Inn Brewery. It’s home to a 1200l brew plant adjacent to the Mussel Inn Cafe and Bar. Try their range of ales, lagers and seasonal ciders. They are open seven days a week except in August.

Location: Onekaka, Golden Bay

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