Queenstown has a lot to offer, and is becoming increasingly popular for providing locals and tourists with a great selection of independent craft beer. I am going to hop into Queenstown's best craft beer spots. Lets have an ale of a time, (ok, no more puns...for now)!
If you are after glacier fed lake views whilst sipping on a cold one - Altitude Brewing is the bar for you! The brewery tap room overlooks Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains. This is a favorite of mine, and with easy walking access from Queenstown via the Frankton loop track, why not jump on a bike and peddle to this brewery! Founded in 2013 this was the first brewery next to the now up and coming Frankton marina. Take your pooch (dog treats $2) and have a seat in the grounded ski lift next to their open fire. With an ever changing beer, cider & wine list, each visit is different.
Canyon Brewery is another incredible brewery, situated on the hills of the Shotover River. This micro-brewery and restaurant crafts everything on site inhouse. As soon as you step into the micro-brewery you'll be met with the towering brewing equipment and a huge desire to grab a paddle! Grapefruit and cucumber sour anyone...?
"We’ve worked hard to create an open, on display brewery so you can watch our award-winning beer being brewed live. With four regular brews and two rotating seasonally, our hand-crafted beers strike the perfect balance between easy drinking and interesting flavours". Canyon Brewery 2021
What a hidden gem, located within Queenstown's industrial centre you'll seek and find this transparent taproom. Searchlight brewery has both Indoor and outdoor sitting, and doggo friendly. Why not try a game of Jenga next to the indoor fire whilst attempting to choose one of many craft beers chalked up! The outdoor beer garden regularly transforms into a stage for live music gigs, mini festivals, comedy and trivia, so be sure to keep an eye on our socials for the latest.
This independently owned and operated brewery started as a passion project by founder Lewis Gaskin in 2015. Originally a tortilla factory, Lewis and his partner Anna moved into the empty warehouse as they hand-built every inch of the brewery and taproom into what it is today.
Ok, what's your flavor? Wheat beer, Pilsner, Hazy, IPA, Cider or perhaps a coffee butterscotch and chocolate Porter makes you larger than life - well my frothy friends...Cargo has it all.
Cargo’s innovative and distinctive design is credited to MakeBardo, a creative design industry based in Queenstown. Moving far away from the stereotypical beer labels, this simple design which breaks down the gender stereotypes linked to beer and focuses instead on the essentials of the product.
After years of looking, Cargo finally found its home! The stunning Waitiri Creek became available and in November 2017 Cargo moved in and transformed the venue into a unique tasting room with plans for the best beer garden in New Zealand.
Smiths Craft Beer House
I absolutely love this beer house, Smiths hosts a great variety of craft beers, is slap bang central Queenstown (hidden upstairs), has a great local atmosphere and provides delicious food! The Smiths team are always happy to guide you through the best of the local craft brews... incredible service!
I find this beer house particularly educational, even the menu shares the history of craft beer and defines some popular terminology. My advice would be to order a flight, choose your weapons from the large chalk board, close your eyes and guess which is which... before wrapping your mouth around a BBQ pulled pork burger - unbeerlievable.
So there you have it, the top 5 craft beer spots in Queenstown.
Sink a cold one for me - The Curious Crafter 🕵