Some say that if you haven't tried Garage Project you haven't even tasted "New Zealand beer". The experimental Wellington brewery, which was established in 2011 by Jos Ruffell and brothers Pete and Ian Gillespie, was named New Zealand's Champion Brewer at the 2017 Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards. The team are prolific with their output; they famously released 24 different beers in their first 24 weeks, and just last year pumped out a further 60 brews, including four natural wines. Today the boundary pushing brewery can be found in a former petrol station in Aro Valley, with a second site for wild-fermented and spontaneous experimental brews.
The good news for Auckland beer lovers is that Garage Project is setting up shop in Auckland this March.
Found in Kingsland, the new opening will be something of a cellar door, operating as a "re-imagined bottle shop" dedicated to all things Garage Project. The off-license store will have a lineup of 12 ever-changing GP beers on tap, available by the flagon, as well as cans, bottles and merchandise for take away.
A handy new feature will be a "crowler" — a contraption which fills one litre cans from the taps and seals them on the spot. For those who would rather dabble onsite, 70ml tasting flights will be available to sip in the space. Alongside the tasting flights there will be a small food offering — think cheeses, house-made pickles and cured meats.
The space upstairs will become Garage Project's new Auckland headquarters.
The space will open to the public on March 24-25 with a weekend party. There will be 12 GP taps flowing for tasters and takeaways, Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar will be parked up serving their famous treats, the barbecue will be sizzling and some of the Garage Project brewers will be onsite for a chinwag.
Image: Garage Project Cellar Door, Aro Valley.