Some days come fully-formed, perfect clear blue skies, one ‘out the box’, as they say here in Aotearoa. Last Friday was one such day. It’s hard to believe but that day’s work assignment was to do a tour of Coromandel craft breweries with NZ Foodfinder’s delightful Trudi Sheridan. It’s a hard life, isn’t it?

We visited The Coromandel Brewing Company, Hot Water Brewing Company and The Coromandel Mussel Kitchen, as well as squeezing in a pizza at Luke’s Kitchen at Kuaotunu Beach.

There has been such a resurgence in all things hand-made or crafted, hasn’t there? You see lots of different artisan food products in Coromandel now which are of a really high standard and I am pleased to be able to report that craft beer is no exception.

I met really passionate people making award-winning beers and got to look behind the scenes at the fascinating world of the craft brewery.

Coromandel Brewing Company at The Pour House

Winter hours are Thurs/Fri from 4pm and Sat/Sun from 12 midday.

Karen and Neil were pioneers when it comes to craft brewing on the Peninsula. Everything about their very stylish eatery is testament to their philosophy of small scale brewing with real attention to detail.

Delicious serving platters, wood-fired pizzas and their range of craft beers made on the premises (which are only available to buy on the Peninsula) are available lunchtimes and evenings where you can sit inside and look into the brewing room or sit outside in their lovely garden/terrace area.

Coromandel Brewing beer taps

Hot Water Brewing Company

Open Thursday – Sunday from 11am

Serving ‘beer food’, burgers, and a range of craft beers made on the premises, this is the biggest brewery I visited. You can get a great ‘paddle’ or tray with five different beers to taste, which made me think about the way NZ wine is marketed. From pale lemon through to dark honey, the beers have real character and taste very different from one another. I met the Walker family, and Dah and Dylan who showed me the impressive brewing set-up and the old hay barn conversion that is now the bar. This business is full of youthful enthusiasm and I felt really encouraged to see young people moving back to the Coromandel to set up or continue tourism enterprises.

It’s also on the same property as the Seabreeze Holiday Park, so accommodation is available too.

Coromandel Brewing beer taps

Luke’s Kitchen

Coromandel Brewing beer taps

Pizza oven Fri/Sat/Sun, 11am – 8.30pm, café open everyday 8-3pm.

Most of Coromandel seems to have discovered Luke’s and can be found there eating wood-fired pizza and listening to live music on the weekends. I love the beach shack décor and the relaxed atmosphere. They also have a good craft beer menu, which I encourage you to try.

The Coromandel Mussel Kitchen and MK Brewing Company

Coromandel Brewing beer taps

Closed over Winter. Watch their website for re-opening times.

Locally-produced mussels form the basis of most of the menu and the mussels in the half-shell with toppings are without doubt my favourite. They also make a couple of lighter style beers, albeit on a much smaller scale than Coro Brewing and Hot Water Brewing

Please don’t drink and drive! You can buy beers to sample at home… or order online or buy from a local stockist.