There are some real gems among the fifty New Zealand craft breweries, and here a few that merit special attention as being among the cream of the crop.
Emerson Brewing (Dunedin, South Island): When Michael Jackson visited New Zealand in 1997, he declared Richard Emerson’s beers as the best there, and that’s still true today. Everything Emerson’s makes is quite tasty, especially his dark beers including Oatmeal Stout and London Porter.
Epic Beer (Auckland, North Island): Luke Nicholas is a self-avowed hophead, itself a rarity in New Zealand, and he’s on a mission. His Epic line of beers, a pale ale and a lager, are some of the hoppiest beers on the islands. In fact, the pale ale uses fifteen different hops.
Mac’s (Nelson, South Island & Lion breweries): By the time you read this, the original Mac’s brewery will be closed. Despite the fact that it’s now brewed at Lion’s larger breweries, Mac’s beers are consistently good and you can find them virtually everywhere.
And don’t miss these, either:
Founders Organic Brewery (Nelson, South Island)
Steam Brewing/Cock & Bull (Otahuhu, Auckland, North Island)
The Twisted Hop (Christchurch, South Island)