Whilst traveling southward towards Wellington, New Zealand, Nathan McGregor stops by Tui Brewery to quench his curiosity about one of the country’s most respected alcoholic brands.

It would be pretty rude to come to New Zealand and not at least sample some of the local beer. Well, we went one step further and opted to visit one of New Zealand’s juggernauts of the alcohol industry.

Located just off Mangatainoka, lies Tui Brewery: An innovative and somewhat hip beer company.

Reminding me of a collaboration between Brewdog back home and our Irish friends at Paddy Power, Tui try not to do everything necessarily by the book to get themselves noticed.

With slight tongue in cheek action and a yearn for media exposure, Tui have promoted themselves very cleverly.

Just look at the Hollywood-esque TUI sign, or a Guiness Book of World Record for the longest bike rode with four men. They think outside the box here.

I was welcomed to find out all this information, and more, on one of their guided tours around the factory. The spirited and eager host, Veronica, showcased the brand in a fantastic light. Literally living and breathing for the company, she took pride in touring us around the facility.

The brand was formed from a simple cup of tea –  the adjacent river supposedly supplied some of the best tasting water ever imagined.

We were able to get a look round the brewery HQ and gain a slight insight to the ingredients and craftsmanship that goes into their secret recipe. I was amazed by the military precision required to getting everything right. No hop out of place or malt spilled.

For a rather small brewery, they produce a huge volume of the good stuff to the people of New Zealand.

Afterwards, we were treated to a tasting tray from Veronica and the girls behind the bar.

What can I say? As Scotsman we fairly like our IPA’s, lagers etc. There was no complaint here.

To accompany the tasting tray there was live music and other families enjoying lunch and a drink or two.

That’s what really hit me about Tui brewery. It wasn’t just a brewery; it was a place for people to come to and have fun. Whether that may be learning about the brands history or just to have a couple of quiet drinks with friends or loved ones.

Tui opened its playful arms to the public and look what has happened. Tui Brewery is now one of the leading companies in the New Zealand brewing industry.

It just goes to show, you never know what you could be on to after having a great cup of tea.

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By Nathan McGregor

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