Investigating Beer on New Zealand's South Island
I had the opportunity to spend a short vacation touring the South Island of New Zealand recently. In addition to the great natural beauty that was to be seen everywhere, there were also some great beers. I managed to take 3 brewery tours and visit a brew pub. In addition, I also sampled a few locally available brews. We started our journey in Christchurch where we met up with some friends from Australia. From Christchurch, we drove to Westport and on to Punakaiki. The second day was a drive south to Franz Josef Glacier. We overnighted near the ocean and returned the following morning to visit the Fox Glacier. We then returned to Greymouth (stopped for the Monteith Brewery tour) and took the road over Arthur's Pass back to Christchurch. The next morning we dropped our friends off at the airport and headed south down the east coast to Dunedin. Dunedin is home to the University of Otago and several breweries including Speight's, McDuff's, Emerson's and Green Man. From Dunedin, we drove west past Invercargill and on to Te Anau at the edge of Fiordland for some spectacular scenery. From there it was on to Queenstown, a major winter sports destination and home of Dux De Lux brewpub. From Queenstown, we headed back to Dunedin where we took a fantastic ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway to Pukerangi and visited the Speight's brewery for dinner. The next day we drove north to Oamaru with its famous historic district and penguin colonies. I found a home brew store and purchased about 10 oz of several New Zealand hop varieties. In New Zealand, home distilling is very popular - in fact the home brew store was almost entirely devoted to home stills and kits to make whiskey, vodka, gin and other spirits. On our last day we headed back to Christchurch with a stop to see the famous Moeraki boulders. Nine days was not nearly enough time to see the South Island. Unfortunately we didn't have time to explore Christchurch and the entire northern part of the island (home to several key beer destinations) - guess we'll have to go back.
Click on the links below to for photos and more information on beer on the South Island.
New Zealand Scenery
Monteith's Brewery in Greymouth
Speight's Brewey in Dunedin
Mc Duff's Brewery in Dunedin
Dux de Lux brewpub in Queenstown
Miscellaneous beers consumed