We have put together a craft beer list of Hawke’s Bay bars and restaurants that won’t disappoint you on craft beer selection.
Napier Craft Beer Bars
Napier has seen a big transformation in drinking habits in the last year as new bars have opened and existing bars and restaurants have made more room for Hawkes Bay craft beer. For visitors to the Bay, it may be hard to tell which bars are ‘sure things’ when it comes to offering a great selection of beer. This list is designed to make things a little easier for you. For ZB regulars, you can always guarantee that we’ll have beer on tap or by the bottle at each of these locations. If we don’t, tell them, if we do tell us on Instagram @ZBBeer!
Westshore Inn offers some of the most exciting beers on tap with up to 45 different beers available throughout any given month. Westshore Inn were one of the first to switch more of their taps to Hawke’s Bay craft beer. The bar is a classic kiwi pub with great value food and beer making it a must stop on any Hawke’s Bay pub crawl. When it’s sunny, don’t be afraid to take your beer outside as there are picnic tables available down the side of the Westshore Inn.
Shed2 is the most iconic bar on the Ahuriri waterfront both because of the historic building it’s located in, and the extensive range of tap beers available. Don’t forget to check out the taps around the rear of the bar offering many of the beers you’ll recognise and a few new ones you may not have. Arrive in the early afternoon, grab a seat out on the outside sundeck then enjoy delightful table service throughout the day.
Monica Loves will remind you of a back street bar in Rio De Janerio or a little closer to home, Cuba Mall in Wellington. The bar down the lane isn’t too hard to spot, but that extra few steps makes it the place you’re more likely to meet the locals than tourists off the latest cruise ship. There are plenty of people who will stop in for Monica Loves before and after their dinner booking in central Napier.
Bistronomy looks all restaurant from the outside, but don’t be fooled; the bar runs the entire length of the restaurant. There is only a single tap at this bar and it’s always pouring Zeelandt Helles – a Bavarian style lager. If you’re not sure whether your dining or not, but want to keep your evening options flexible, Bistronomy makes it easy to lean on the bar, and enjoy intricate plates worthy of any fine dining restaurant.
Indigo keeps winning awards and it’s not surprising to see why. The latest award “New Zealand’s Best Beverage List” catapults them above some of the best bars you’ll find in Wellington and Auckland. So how did they do it? Their beverage list is comprehensive needing its very own bound folder to present all the options to you. Along with half a dozen beers on tap ranging from Kingfisher through to local breweries like Zeelandt, Indigo also imports Indian beers you are unlikely to find anywhere else, such as the Haywoods 5000. You are also welcome to enjoy the outdoor seating for a drink or two without dining and if beer isn’t the thing of someone in your group, you can leave them to browse Indigo’s wine list covering an impressive 86 Hawke’s Bay wineries that will impress even the most selective wine aficionado.
Amber Bar is a secret to most because the only way to get to it, is through Indigo Restaurant. That doesn’t mean you have to dine there, but you do need to know when to go. Amber Bar is only open once a week, each Thursday from 7:30pm and there’s good reason to attend if you prefer a more private atmosphere while you imbibe on one of over 303 whiskeys. They are able to delve into Indigo’s beverage list to serve you so you get all of the beverage range, with less of elbow bumping.
Bottle stores and outlets
Liquor King in Onekawa offers flagon filled craft beers as does Liquorland in Ahuriri. If you’re just after a half case or so and need to pick up some supplies for your holiday bach, head to Gourmet Direct who can help you with craft beer, Hawke’s Bay wine and some of the best meat you’ll taste.
Hastings Craft Beer Bars
First on the scene for craft beer in Hastings is Common Room, who have created a cosy space that has become the bar of choice for live music. The interior looks just like your high school common room, and the vibe is one where everyone is welcome with it more than likely you’ll make a few new friends on your visit. Go early because this little bar is bursting at the seams later on. If it looks too busy from the front, don’t give up as the garden bar is double that space again.
The Cat is one of the newest bars in Hastings yet is also one with a revered history. Originally known as the Cat & Fiddle, many a Hawke’s Bay local can recount their time at the bar with a story or two. The Cat is back, this time with more Hawke’s Bay craft beer on tap than any other bar in Hawke’s Bay. If you want to try the best of what Hawke’s Bay can brew, this is the place to head.
The Rose & Shamrock
The Rose & Shamrock often has a special hand pulled beer on tap to go with their regular tap beers, plus there’s always a local drop on offer. The Rose & Shamrock isn’t afraid of putting on a party either. In 2015, they kicked off Hawke’s Bay Oktoberfest with Mayor Lawrence Yule pouring the first pint (watch the video below).