Craft Beer in Queenstown

The last couple of years has seen an awakening of craft breweries in Queenstown. So, after you’ve torn up the track at Game Over QT (no beers before racing – sorry lads), why not make your next adventure a tour for your taste-buds by visiting the finest places in Queenstown to grab a craft beer? Here are our top picks of the sites you should head.

Topping the list, mostly because we’re practically neighbours, is the award-winning Altitude Brewing Taproom on Frankton Road (a 5-minute drive from Game over). Altitude Beers are a big deal in Queenstown and visiting the taproom takes you straight to the source. You can check out the brewery then grab a beer ‘flight’ to sample the greatness. Our top picks are Goldpanner’s Profit (lager) and Mischievous Kea (IPA).

Next up another out-of-town stop this time Canyon’s Food and Brewing at Arthurs Point. You can’t beat the location of this one, with incredible mountain views and a look down at the Shotover River and the world-famous Shotover Jet (advanced booking needed if you want to ride Shotover Jet… one of Queenstown’s top activities!). Back to the beer, this microbrewery does it all, right on site. With four regular brews and two seasonal rotations, you’re sure to find one you like. Our picks are Coalfaced (Dark Lager) and Pale Ale.

Enjoy incredible mountain views whilst sipping on a cold beverage. Photo credit: Canyon’s Food and Brewing

The next stop is Searchlight Brewery. Just off Gorge Road, this one’s totally off the tourist trail and remains a relatively unknown gem. Look for the sign that helpfully points to ‘Beer’ as you enter Industrial Place.  Searchlight is independently owned and operated, and he owners have a slogan ‘Search, Seek, Evolve’ that embodies what they do. It also provides an excellent name for the three beer ranges that include something for everyone. Our top pick for something a little different is Raspberry Wheat.

The final spot on the list goes to Smiths Craft Beer House. On Shotover Street, right in the centre of town. A little bit tricky to find – they’re upstairs, above Thrillzone and beneath the Queenstown Gym. Once inside you’re treated to the largest selection of craft beer, from a variety of brewers, in Queenstown. Smiths employ a super friendly team who are all too happy to let you sample the beers or make recommendations if you need them. To top it off they have an incredible menu of finger-licking good, hearty food and fantastic prices. Smiths is open daily from 12 till late and, if you’re a beer or food lover, it’s sure to become one of your favourite Queenstown hang-outs.