Craft beer in New Zealand is a thriving enterprise, particularly around Nelson on the South Island. In fact, New Zealand is one of the top 10 hops producers in the world which may explain why so many craft brewers have set up shop here. Read on to find out about our experience visiting Nelson breweries and our "Plan B" which turned into an "A+" choice due to the rainy weather we encountered on our visit.
What To Do in Nelson When it Rains? Visit Nelson Breweries
Nelson is most famous for being a good home base for exploring Abel Tasman National Park. But what can you do if it rains? Ironically, Nelson is sometimes dubbed "Sunny Nelson" due to its reputation for beautiful weather. We simply got unlucky and it bucketed rain the entire time we were there. We originally planned to visit Abel Tasman National Park but the thought of hiking for hours when it's absolutely lashing out was simply not appealing. Nelson breweries to the rescue! Craft beer tours and tastings are definitely a great indoor activity in Nelson when it rains.
All Aboard the Nelson Craft Beer Imbiber Bus!
Coincidentally, we were in New Zealand during Nelson Beer Week and Brewmania, a home beer brewers conference, was just kicking off. There were lots of special events and tours on in conjunction with the conference. We discovered a day trip on the Imbiber Bus. For $65 NZD, we spent a warm and dry day touring Nelson's breweries and sipping Nelson craft beer.
Nelson Craft Beer: McCashin's Brewery
New Zealand Craft Beer and Pizza at Eddyline Brewery
Golden Bear Brewing Company for More Nelson Beer
Nelson Craft Beer at Townshend Brewery
Sprig and Fern: Nelson's Craft Beer Bar
If you happen to visit Nelson and don't have the means to get around to the various Nelson craft beer breweries that we did (why can't there be an Imbiber Bus tour every day?), you can get your fill locally. We stopped for dinner at Sprig and Fern near Nelson town. I sampled Crisp Apple Cider from Sprig and Fern Brewery which was made with local Nelson apples. The cider paired extremely well with pork belly served with local pears plus walnuts and blue cheese. Sprig and Fern has you covered if you are looking for a foodie experience with your Nelson craft beer.
Map of Nelson Craft Beer Breweries
Are you planning your own trip to drink craft beer in New Zealand? Check out this handy map of the Nelson craft beer breweries and bars that we visited on the Imbiber Bus.
As you can see, tasting Nelson craft beer is a great way to spend a day if the weather doesn't cooperate on your visit to New Zealand. Have you tasted any Nelson craft beers? What did you think?