Three of the best Hawke's Bay brewpubs

It's not all about squashed grapes in the country’s second-largest wine region.

Brave Brewing

From a humble home garage set up, Matt and Gemma Smith have turned their craft beer operation into one of the most popular taprooms and eateries in the region. Found in Hastings’ new Herald-Tribune development, Brave Brewing is a family-friendly spot where visitors can sample the brewery’s flagship India pale ale, a Munich-style lager and milk stout. For sustenance, chef Brad Simpson serves up American diner-style grub like fried chicken, burgers and hot dogs. 


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Brave Brewing brings American diner-style vibes to Hastings, photograph by Heather Liddel

Giant Brewing

This brewing outfit run by two brothers and a mate started in an old barn under Te Mata Peak. The trio opened the doors to their Havelock North pub last December, pouring their core range of full-flavoured craft beer and a rotating selection of drops from independent New Zealand breweries. On the tap list you’ll find European-style pilsner, fruity India pale ale and coffee mocha stout, while local business Good Company Catering keep punters charging with the likes of chips, burgers and pork ribs.

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Giant Brewing Public House Havelock North village, photograph by Suden Lakshanan

GodsOwn Brewery

Godfrey Quemeneur and Rachel Downes launched their 800-litre brewery and hop farm after relocating across the ditch. Now, visitors to the beautiful country spot in Maraekakaho can enjoy cold brews and wood-fired pizza while lounging between hop bines or sitting in a safari dining tent. The repurposed 1973 caravan bar pours a seasonal beer range, including sessionable pale ale and rich espresso stout. Every year, GodsOwn invites its patrons to come along and get their hands dirty, while enjoying pizza and beer, for the annual hop harvest.

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Every year GodsOwn Brewery invites patrons to take part in the annual hop harvest, photograph supplied


Words by
Stephen Heard

Published by
Stuff Travel
September 2021