Nelson is the craft beer capital of New Zealand, with so many to sample you’re spoilt for choice. Visiting a brewery doesn’t have to be just for the beer drinkers of the world as many have an excellent selection of cider and wine on offer. Some have play grounds and toy boxes to keep the smaller ones entertained so the whole family can head out together and enjoy. Menus are getting more creative with delicious meals and tempting snacks, along with the much loved pub grub. Here is a selection of craft breweries within the Nelson Tasman region to get your started.

Founders Brewery – Located at the beautiful Founders Heritage Park, this brewery is sure to please the whole family. Take some extra time to enjoy the Heritage Park itself before your refreshments. Family friendly and has a wonderful playground this is a great spot for some craft beer tastings and lunch.

Eddyline Brewery & Pizzeria – Sample craft beers brewed fresh right on site changing with the season and try Pizzas cooked in the wood-fired oven. Snacks, wood-fired sandwiches, desserts and children’s menu also available. This is a fun and family friendly place to go, catch up with mates and share a craft beer pint or three.

Lighthouse Brewing Co – Located in Stoke and offering tours by appointment for only $8, including 6 tastings of craft beer, this is one of New Zealand’s smallest breweries. They have an off-license for bottles and riggers so you can enjoy your favourite at home.

Dales Brewing Company – After starting in 2011 this brewery has taken out multiple awards with no sign of slowing. You can purchase Dale’s beers at New World in Nelson and Stoke along with many restaurants and bars withing the region, sample and enjoy this ever growing collection. Viewing can be arranged by appointment.

McCashin’s BreweryKitchen and Bar –  McCashin’s offer brewery tours every Monday – Friday for those who want to delve into the history, stories and ‘how to’ of the brewing industry. An amazing selection of cabinet food and an A-La-Carte menu are on offer. Both craft beer and cider on tap and bottle sales for the ones you simply have to take home to have again. A great toy chest inside and small play area outside for the children along with a kids menu.

Sprig & Fern Brewery – The brewery itself is located in Richmond where you can purchase from their off-license rigger sales a selection of craft beer and cider. You may also like to visit one of the many taverns conveniently scattered throughout the region. Try a tasting tray to find your perfect drop and sample something from the menu. With 7 handy locations in the region you are never far from a pint, check out the link for locations and opening hours.

The Moutere Inn – Although this is an inn and not a brewery, it is well worth a mention and visit. This is New Zealand’s oldest pub operating as a free house with 13 rotating taps, always something new to try. Great food made on site from scratch and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating available. The Moutere Inn also offers accommodation for those wanting to make a night of it.

Golden Bear Brewery – Right by the picturesque waterfront in Mapua, this brewery can arrange tours by appointment. Loads of craft beers on offer here and changing seasonally so you will have new ones to try often. They offer an extensive Mexican menu with the kitchen open until 8pm. They have live music several times a week, check out their events guide here.

The Mussel Inn Cafe Bar – Located in the beautiful Golden Bay this brewery actually grow some of their own hops! A brilliant selection of tap beers and ciders. Great selection of food and snacks for both lunch and dinner. Ever tried a self composting-toilet, you will here, sustainability and being environmentally friendly is a top priority. Loads of seating indoor and outside with swings and a play area for the little ones.

Of course you may want to have someone show you whats on offer first hand. Consider going with a tour company and letting them share their experience and knowledge with you. Bonus, no one has to sober drive!

Nelson Tours & Travel – CJ can offer you a private tour so your group can visit exactly where you would like to go. He can also arrange a trip to suit everyone in your party offering suggestions and working with your interests. Alternatively, you might like to join an already existing tour.

The Best Of Both Worlds Tour will visit two vineyards and a micro brewery, stopping for lunch at The Moutere Inn where there is plenty more beer to be sampled and enjoyed. Pick up for all options is from your accommodation, home or the Nelson i-SITE.

Download a copy of the Nelson Craft Beer Trail here.

What are you waiting for? Surely you must be thirsty by now. Cheers!!!