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Best in brewing: Wigram Brewing


At Wigram Brewing company the service philosophy is that beer is a language and communication is everything. And with over 17 years in the industry and an extensive range to show for it… it is fair to say they know what they are talking about.




Said range includes pilsners, stouts and all the shades in between, including a honey ale, wheat beers, porters, scotch ales, pale ales and lagers.

Clearly there is a strong sense of pride within the ranks. “We were at the start of the craft beer movement and like any craft honed over time, it is now in our blood, our livelihood, our culture and forever locked into our DNA,” says Promotions Coordinator Caroline McGurk.

With that passion came the recent inception of a special project. Hangar57 was set up with the aim of “creating a space for our locals to walk down to and enjoy brews in their own local craft brewery. Hangar57 reflects our love of beer, brewing, family and a distinctly Kiwi DIY attitude.”

Good news! If you fall in love with the space… you can hire it. Whether it is to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or anything party related – make Hangar57 the backdrop for your next event.

Visit the brewery at 57 Sonter Road, search Wigram Brewing Company on Facebook, or phone (03) 343 4493.



Cream of the crop

Beer aficionados are salivating – the winning brews for the New World Beer and Cider Awards 2020 are out now


An independent panel of 24 judges assembled in March, chosen for their astute and discerning palates.

Well deserving of the role was Christchurch’s brewing legend Ralph Bungard, founder and operator of Three Boys Brewery in Ferry Road.

In March, Ralph sat at a table of three judges and an associate, critiquing around 45 beers over two days with the aim of finding the cream of the crop; the top 30 tipples out of 600 entries from 100 breweries and cider makers worldwide. No judge tasted their own, with brands under secrecy.

“It was a bit stressful waiting to see if the others agreed when you picked a fantastic beer, but rewarding when everyone thought the same!” Ralph says. “There were definitely a few standouts.”

The 30 winners were assessed on technical excellence, balance, mouthfeel and drinkability.

“New World has as a staple of individual beers on the shelves, so you can try out a new beer or cider. It’s then something to really enjoy and taste, rather than just grabbing a slab of beer.”

Ralph developed a fascination for the centuries-old liquid amber when working in beer paradise, Northern England, as a biochemist.

On returning home, he blended skill with passion and became a master of his craft.

“I compare it to cooking – boiling it up and adding in the herbs.

There’s hundreds of varieties of hops with identifiable flavours like passionfruit and pineapple, and many malts – from chocolatey to caramels, and even hundreds of yeasts; so many combinations!”

Ralph and Brigid Bungard started Three Boys in Garlands Road behind The Tannery 15 years ago.

“It was pretty rough and ready, he says, although he sometimes misses the “smallness” of the original brewery.

He reflects on retro Kiwi days of the 6’oclock swill when microbreweries were few.

“But you can now have a sophisticated treat, and a beer!” he says of the rise of the craft beer industry.

Ralph keeps seven staples in a good core range, naming them simply what they are.

Popular Three Boys Wheat made the final cut, being ranked in the coveted ‘Top 30’ brews.

The hazy wheat beer, a long-standing staple in the Three Boys range, impressed the judges’ taste buds with its alchemy of spices, coriander and zest, brewed with an authentic Belgium yeast.

Three Boys produce a range of beers from their Ferry Road site from the more familiar lagers and pilsners, through to rich dark beers and the ultra-modern, hop-forward styles of pale ales and hazy beers. And there are his quirkier concoctions, such as the barrel-aged Prunus Stave and the infamous Oyster Stout.

Yes, it really is made with Bluff oysters, to give a subtle brininess and a little seaside smell.”

Ralph doesn’t have a favourite beer.

“That’s like asking what is your favourite child,” he laughs. The name Three Boys aptly refers to the entrepreneurial dad and his two sons.

“Aside from a cup of tea, you can’t beat a beer when you’re thirsty.”

A full list of the Top 30 winning beers and ciders, as well as the 70 Highly Commended brews, can be found on the New World website at


A craft beer destination: Volstead Trading Company

Horizons are widening for the owners of much-loved craft beer destination bar Volstead Trading Company, with Director Jason Ray and partners buying the brewery next door at 55 Riccarton Road to brew their own beer under the name Volstead Brewing Company.



“It was an amazing opportunity and a logical extension, to purchase a brewery and brew our own craft beer,” Jason says. “After years of experience in the retail side of the industry, we understand what our customers want to drink.” The brewery aims to produce “big, bold and hoppy beers, as well as great easy-drinking session styles – something for everyone,” he adds.

There are currently seven beers available, including an XPA – an extra pale ale, and a Pilsner, right through to a big, bold, hoppy US-style IPA and a delicious creamy Milk Stout. New beers will be launched every few weeks, with the palates of craft beer aficionados about to be tempted by some big, hoppy flavours and some core range additions, such as a low alcohol ale and a kettle sour. “A sour beer is typically made using a sour yeast; it’s quite refreshing. Think of a lager and lime concept,” Jason says.

Head brewer Mike Cheer has made award-winning beers and judges beer competitions around the country. “Mike has an absolutely amazing palate,” Jason says. “The combination of Mike’s incredible beer knowledge, plus my knowledge of the consumer market, means we are already producing great beers our customers are loving.”

The brewery is focused on sourcing local ingredients where possible and producing a quality product. “We don’t make preservative and additive laden beer with a 12-month supermarket shelf life. Volstead beers simply contain what is required to make beer – water, grain, hops and yeast.”

Just starting to sell their beer to other venues throughout the country, the brewery also has a full off-licence for takeaway sales through the bar. “We want our customers to be able to enjoy a beer either with us or fill a takeaway bottle and enjoy our beers at home. We don’t do packaged sales through the supermarket as we believe our customers should be able to come in and drink our beer when it is at its freshest, straight from the brewery.”

Jason’s personal favourite beer is the US IPA, at 6.4 percent. “It’s an amazingly well-balanced hoppy IPA,” but there is something for everyone. The demographic drinking craft beer is growing, and any day of the week sees Volstead hosting office workers, students and tradies sampling and enjoying Volstead’s finest. So, head on down for a delicious brewery-fresh pint and a takeaway to enjoy at home. See you at Volstead!



Brod Kvas

Brew it like Bristow: Brod Kvas

When it comes to Kiwi success stories, entrepreneurial Englishman Jack Bristow and his Russian wife Sabina Sabirova-Bristow are leading lights.


Brod Kvas


They emigrated from Russia five years ago and, within a short time, introduced us to Brod Kvas, New Zealand’s first and only kvas, brewed right here in Christchurch. “Kvas has been part of Slavic culture for 2000 years,” Sabina says. “We’re proud of not only being first to produce kvas in New Zealand, but that it’s also achieved international recognition. We started shipping our kvas to Hong Kong last year and now there’s more international news to come this year!”

Kvas is a natural, probiotic fermented beverage based on rye bread flavoured with coriander seed and sultanas. With a low-sugar content of only 3 percent, it’s great news for our teeth and bodies! Jack does the brewing and, apart from the traditional Russian style kvas flavourings such as Original Rye and Lemon, he’s also created uniquely crafted non-traditional flavourings not found anywhere else in the world.

Thanks to Jack, Kiwis and internationals can now quaff his glass-bottled Brod Kvas range of Rosé (rosebuds and cardamom); Brown (cold-brewed Hummingbird coffee, cinnamon and cloves – Jack’s favourite), and Ruby (beetroot, ginger and turmeric), announced recently as winner of The Fermented Food category for the 2019 Healthy Food Guide Awards.

“It’s fantastic that premium kvas can now be enjoyed in New Zealand,” Sabina says. “And what an honour to produce it for our city, country and the rest of the world!”



Phone 027 777 8976 or visit


Wigram Brewing Co

A beer-y good place: Wigram Brewing Co

Beer Lingo 101: what’s in a ‘fillery’? Well beer of course, lots of beer.


Wigram Brewing Co


A fillery is somewhere you go to ‘fill’ your riggers, half Gs, growlers, or fancy double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel beer hydro flask with, you guessed it, fresh cold beer!  At Wigram’s Craft Beer Fillery it’s all about beer; lagers, pilsners, pale ales, wheat beers, honey ales, scotch ales, porters, stouts, ciders – whatever your thirsty little heart desires lies before you waiting to be sipped, quaffed and savored at your place.

Having 10 taps pouring its award-winning beer fresh from a tank, and likely to be fresh from fermentation, carbonation and kegeration, a fresher beer you are not likely to find.  Check out the website for weekly updates of beers on tap and opening dates for Wigram’s Satelite Craft Beer Filleries at Shirley and Hoonhay.

So, if the plethora of craft beer labels on offer in supermarkets and bottle stores has got your head spinning and your beer-buds drooping, fly by Wigram’s Craft Beer Fillery for tap tastings, brewer’s beer wisdom and even a friendly crack at some food matching advice.

Check out the Friday and Saturday arvo $10 Tasting Tray special until the end of January or book in a Brewery Tour & Tasting. Planning an event, party or wedding? Ask about the event set up or keg and ice-bank hire. Or maybe you’re looking for regular stocking of your work place beer fridge or man-cave? Have a chat to Paul about tailored beer systems or bottle and rigger delivery service.



Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof

Christmas on the menu: Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof

With Christmas on the horizon and the booking of the all-important Christmas function at the top of your Christmas list, look no further than ‘The Hof’, or for the uninitiated, The Belgian Beer Café Torenhof.


Belgian Beer Cafe Torenhof


A set Christmas menu is on offer, with prices starting from $45pp, with options like the Christmas platter, with smoked and cured meats, pate, beef and chicken skewers, garlic prawns, dips and crispy garlic bread. Main Fair Cider, thyme and roasted apple turkey breast with candid almond stuffing and cranberry sauce or the pistachio and light mustard crusted salmon steak with citrus butter and spiced orange pickle and accompanied by a dessert is just a taste of what’s on a much bigger menu that must be seen to be appreciated.

Why not head in for the EC Oktoberfest degustation dinner on 26 October with four courses and a wine or beer match for only $59; celebrate Christmas early!  With 32 great beers on offer, owner Mark McGuinness says people often start with Stella, then their taste buds grow into bigger bolder flavours like Leffe or Grand Cru which keeps them coming back.

With pre and post-theatre dining when a trip to the Academy Cinema is part of the plan or just a trip in with family or friends, access is easy with 250 carparks. The regular menu retains its revered favourites, steak fries and the mussel aficionado’s choice, but there’s always new options to keep things interesting. So drop in for a pint or two and give ‘The Hof’ your tick of approval.



Wigram Brewing Co

A winters’s ale feast: Wigram Brewery Co

Flavour sings over winter at Wigram – whether it’s cooking with a stout or porter or pairing them with your favourite cheese board, the winter fare is accentuated by the stunning range of hearty beers at Wigram Brewery.



Wigram Brewing CoWigram Brewing CoWigram Brewing CoWigram Brewing CoWigram Brewing Co

With sumptuous darks and their rich, malty, earthy flavours that add such depth to stews, BBQ marinades and even chocolate cakes and puddings.
Chocolate notes, brought out by the complex dark beers, balancing sweetness with malty, nutty flavours, dark ales pair well with cheeses. Yes, even baby cheeses love beer.
Drop in to see head Brewer, Andy. Have a tour of their brewing facilities and really immerse yourself in what Wigram Brewery is all about. With 15 great beers available at the brewery and the team there to explain each one, why wouldn’t you drop in on Monday to Saturday? It’s the best way to get to know this local brewery.

If you can’t pick up your favourite winter supplies from your local New World Supermarket. If it’s too cold and the snow drifts are keeping from leaving the warm fire, then if you’re in the Christchurch Metropolitan area, email them at or phone 03-343 4493 for a local courier to deliver to your door.
I’m sure when you’re cooking with beer this good, you’re in for some great meals but I’m pretty sure if you put aside a pint or six to drink with your scrumptious meal, that will be great too!

Two Fat Possums

Your West Melton local: for pure pleasure and delight head in for a wood fired pizza at Two Fat Possums

Two Fat Possums is the perfect place to stop on your return leg from the ski fields of Mt Hutt. Since inception last year, it has gained a large following with locals. Anyone in West Melton after a quiet drink, dine or to hang out and soak up the friendly atmosphere should look no further.

Two Fat Possums

With its bar, restaurant and function areas, and friendly staff on hand, the atmosphere is second to none. Tasteful decor of wooden tables and leather/fabric chairs and a few big screen TVs to watch the rugby and racing.
The new winter menu consists of plenty of amazing starters and mains. This includes starters like Crispy Chicken Wings and delectable mains like the Pork Belly or steaks that are cooked to perfection. The biggest highlight is its wood fired oven pizzas, with a range of toppings to suit even the most devoted pizza fan.
A comprehensive range of desserts and drinks are also on offer, such as quality on-tap beer, cocktails and wine. Plus, the addition of specials every day will keep you coming back again and again.
Keen? Head to the West Melton Village on Weedons Ross Road, West Melton. For more information visit or phone 03-421 6481.

Wigram Brewery

Winter tipples: we ask Andy Deuchars what’s brewing this winter at Wigram Brewery?

We recently caught up with Andy Deuchars from Wigram Brewery to discuss some of the company’s fine beers.

Wigram Brewery

With winter upon us, our attention is drawn to those darker brews such as the Czar Imperial Russian Stout, 8.5 percent. A big, black bitter beast.
The red wine of beers that takes your palate on a journey with its mixture of fine components to keep you amused. That end of the night beer, that meal in a bottle.
Can’t you just imagine sitting by a warm fire with some hearty food and a trusty 500ml bottle? Speaking of food, these dark ales go stunningly in dishes such as a hearty venison stew.
The Ace Smokey Porter uses a manuka smoked grain, using Canterbury grown grain of course is perfect for the occasion. The Ace is a robust indigenous Kiwi beast; smooth, mellow, rich and rewarding, it’s pure gold to any bohemian winter slow cook.
Then, of course, the mainstay of Wigram Brewery’s darks, the Dakota Dark; a caramel delight Schwarzbier that’s not too challenging on the tastes but with a beautiful coffee aromatic.
As Andy and I say to the ladies, “don’t be afraid of the dark” and for guys, we always focus on Porters and Stouts in winter, and why shouldn’t we?
When the days are short, and the nights are long it’s time to head for the dark beer. Now is the time to head to Cooking with Gas, The Volstead, Civil and Navel, OGB or head to Southern Dark Fest on Saturday 26 May at 3pm to try this stunning epicurean delight at Wigram Brewery.