5 Great Queenstown Craft Beer Houses

Every great craft beer needs to be drunk from an equally great beer house or speciality pub.  And Queenstown has some really memorable ones too!

In our last post, Craft Beer Breweries in Queenstown, we explored the wonderful emerging world of the very cool locals who are now producing great craft beers from their basements, backyards and beer sheds!  We covered Searchlight Brewery, Altitude Brewing, Wanaka Beerworks, Queenstown Brewers, Cargo Brewery, Crimson Badger Brewing and Canyon Food & Brew Co.  

In most cases, these beers can be bought at local liquor outlets, but it's the unique atmosphere of sipping a really unusual craft beer in a local pub, with great mates, after an epic day adventuring which seals the experience... it's like ketchup on eggs or peanut butter and jelly - it just works!  So, in this post we'll introduce you to 5 great Craft Beer Houses that offer a solid range of local, national and international craft beers!

1. The Kinross Cafe and Cellar Door

Kinross in Gibbston Valley is a boutique vineyard accommodation, cellar door and bistro. They represents 5 local wine partners exclusively in the Gibbston Valley and many craft beer breweries, both locally and nationally. Their restaurant and gardens are an absolute delight and a great visit during both winter and summer.  

Smiths Beer House

2. Smiths Craft Beer House

Smiths is Queenstown’s only quintessential Craft Beer Free-House.  Focussed on what they describe as a 'flavour first approach', they in essence sell unusual but interesting beer and pair them with great kiwi food!  Simple really!  Last year Smiths delivered an exceptional event called 'Smiths NZ IPA Competition' over a long weekend in late June which was supported by over 22 independant Craft Beer Breweries.  Situated on Lower Shotover Street in the middle of town, Smiths is an easy 'after work' or 'after play' choice.

3. The Fork and Tap

Probably our most favorite drinking establishment in Queenstown (Arrowtown).  This charming historic Restaurant & Bar is located in the heart of Arrowtown; providing an array of NZ craft beers which are famous for their one time appearances!  And that’s what makes the TAP so interesting – they take the philosophy of craft beers very seriously and are forever changing the line up to profile new and exciting flavors.  It's owned by locals and is populated by locals - this is pub where everyone knows your name!  With a pretty cool beer garden out back, live music and colourful locals, this is our favorite spot for an afternoon of craft beer tasting.  

The Fork and Tap

4. The Gibbston Tavern

Another one of our favorite locations, the Gibbston Tavern’s been around since the mid 1800’s when gold was first discovered in this region.  With a really authentic country feel about it, this cool tavern has a great craft beer tasting menu, enjoyed fireside in the winter, or in the gardens during summer.  Pair the day with a wider exploration of Gibbston Valley and its unique wines, but settle in at the Tavern for a great menu with refreshing craft beer choices.

5. Atlas Beer Café

Atlas describes itself as ‘Queenstown Home of Craft Beer’.  Certainly this is where the QT locals tend to migrate to after a day on the slopes or on their bikes.  With over 22 varieties of craft beer on tap, with exceptional food and service, this really should be your first, and probably your last, stop!  What makes this little Beer Cafe with a big attitude so great is its casual atmosphere, its waterside location and their passionate staff - all keen to share the experience of craft beer tasting with you!

So these were our top 5 'beer houses' in which you can relax and enjoy a large variety of our local and national craft beers.  Enjoy!