Nelson’s Craft Beer Depot opened two weeks ago and has its launch party this Saturday.
It’s a small and specialised craft beer off-licence, with a few taps and a select range of bottled craft beer. Spokesman Brandon Turnage says the inspiration behind Craft Beer Depot comes from the wine industry.
“We have lots of things that put the craft of winemaking in front of people and I felt that was lacking in the craft beer community. We’re pushing and striving to have something cool for the entire industry here in Nelson, something that ties the hops and the malts coming from here and going into beers all over the world.
“Our ethos is, it’s a friendly place to come and learn about beer. We’re making all sorts of brands more accessible to people – Nelson, New Zealand and international – and we’re trying to encourage people to buy different beers rather than six packs. So all of our bottles are single bottle sales, we’ve got nine taps and we’re getting a nitro or hand pull tap.”
Brandon says the concept has good support. Grainfather has contributed a kegerator and brew kit, so CBD can offer unique beers. While the first step is to build the local market, the discovery centre role will develop before the summer tourist peak. Visitors will be able to sample beers, smell local hops, see the malt and view videos on CBD’s three screens.
“People can sit here with a tasting glass and spend an hour. That’s what we want – people to hang out and be comfortable to really learn. We worked with (Nelson City) Council so our licence is explicitly for tasting. We have a commercial kitchen and a second business at the back, and we’ll be providing tasting platters. Licencing said it’s a very fine line but they’re happy as long as it’s clear we’re a tasting facility.”
“We’re doing this in Nelson because we get so much tourism through here, from New Zealand as well as international. You get vacation people from all over the place and they go back home with a new learning of what craft beer can be. We’re using this as a flagship store and down the track we may look at opening Craft Beer Depots in other centres.”