It’s not surprising that the Bay’s relaxed, down to earth lifestyle has given rise to an innovative – and impressive – craft beer scene.
The Rising Tide
107 Newton St, Mount Maunganui
Sun – Thu, 11am – 10pm; Fri – Sat, 11am – 11pm
Situated inside the Mount Brewing Co. brewery (you can sit and watch the brewers at work), The Rising Tide boasts 39 taps of craft beer, cider, wine and cocktails. The first ten are dedicated to Mount Brewing Co. beers, including favourites Mermaid's Mirth – an American pale ale with a big citrus flavour – the Blackbeard Coffee Stout, and the Dark ‘n Stormy Cider, which features hints of ginger, molasses and spices. Brews from another local favourite, Funk Estate, also feature prominently.
If the choice gets to be too much, The Rising Tide’s tasting paddles are a great option – five beers, ciders or wines of your choice served in 100ml beakers.
The restaurant is run by popular local street-food vendors Johney’s Dumpling House but also offers burgers, shish kebabs, vegetarian and vegan options, as well as other Asian fare. There’s also a couple of options for the kids.
Earlier this year The Rising Tide's sister bar High Tide opened in the Our Place precinct on Willow Street in the centre of Tauranga. It’s a 40-tap craft beer, wine and cider bar attached to a Mount Brewing Co. Pilot Brewery, built entirely from shipping containers.
Departs: Beer O’clock tour – 4pm Wed, Thu, Fri;
Brewbus Daily with Lunch – 12.30pm Daily
Pick-up and drop-off: Wharf St, Mount Maunganui (opposite the iSite)
Brewbus is all about ‘taking the people to the beer’.
Founded in the Bay of Plenty in 2017 by a lawyer and a journalist turned craft beer enthusiast, the Brewbus concept has since spread to Auckland, Waikato, Taupo, Queenstown/Wanaka and soon, Wellington.
Travel in style to Bay of Plenty craft beer destinations such as Slab Brewing, The Island, Fitzpatrick’s Brewing Co and The Barrel Room, where you’ll have the chance to take a behind the scenes look at where the magic happens, hear from the brewers and, of course, taste some of the best beer the Bay has to offer.
The three-hour long Beer O’Clock tour takes in tastings at two iconic Bay of Plenty craft beer destinations, but if you have more time, the five-hour Brewbus Daily with Lunch tour is well worth your while. In addition to two additional tasting destinations, you’ll also receive a Brewbus Taster Beer Glass to take away and enjoy a food and beer pairing lunch to kick off the experience.
Watch this space for their soon to be announced beer experiences – think brewer for a day, beer and food matching sessions and more – and brewcations.
The Cider Factorie
50 Oikimoke Rd, Te Puna
The Cider Factorie in Te Puna has been ‘crushing it in the Bay of Plenty since 2012’ with its Core, Artisan, Reserve and Specialty ranges of cider.
Owners Simon and Rowena Pearce – both qualified wine makers who have spent time working in the Hawke’s Bay, Margaret River and Yarra Valley wine regions – opened a restaurant on-site in 2017, which focuses on sharing plates and platters, designed to complement their ciders.
The restaurant is set in a former avocado packing shed and enjoys views of the inner harbour and across the Kaimai range. The outdoor cidery also makes for an impressive sight.
Give the feijoa apple cider a try for a distinctively New Zealand summer taste or, for something extra special, try the Reserve range, crafted in the same style as many of the world’s top sparkling wines.
17 Gateway Crescent, Whakatāne
Open Sunday to Thursday 12:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday & Saturday 12:00pm – 9:30pm
An hour from Tauranga along the picturesque Pacific Coast highway is Whakatāne, and the Mata Brewery. This is the home of the Hop Lips IPA, the Hip Hop pilsner and the smooth-tasting Manuka Golden Ale. If you can’t decide, grab a tasting paddle for $12.
Look out for the +64 pale ale, featuring Whakaari (White Island) on the label – and while you’re in town, why not check out the iconic volcano up close? Visit White Island Tours for more info.