When I travel, I always try to cop a tip from a local as to what’s worthwhile – and whilst my fellow correspondent, Kiwisinoz, is not an Aucklander – he’s still better qualified than I to know where to go in New Zealand’s largest city. His first nomination was The Brewery Britomart, which is a block back from the harbour. What a find. The Brewery Britomart ticks all the boxes – A splendid range of splendid beers brewed on site, a great menu and an awesome setting.
The Brewery Britomart is housed in a beautiful heritage listing that has pretty much functioned as a pub since 1876. They’ve done a great job to preserve the look and feel of the old building, whilst being able to squeeze in a remarkable amount of brewing equipment. The unusual name “Britomart” originally derives from Greek mythology. Britomartis was a goddess of mountains and hunting for whom a number of British naval boats were named. One of those boats was involved in the early days of Auckland and inspired the names Point Britomart and Fort Britomart. Now Britomart is a trendy area of Auckland’s CBD.
The beer menu is impressive. There’s four beers that are permanently on tap and then there are a number of one-offs and seasonals that come on tap from time to time. It looked like their take on pumpkin beer had just run out. I had a run at Element 5 – an impressive New Zealand Pale Ale, Gold Rush – an entry level session beer, Anchors Aweigh – a seasonal Californian Common that was nicely bitter and the standout on the night – Customs 69. This wonderful IPA is permanently on tap and I’m glad I worked up to it. Nothing Entendre about the name, 69 Customs is the address of the Brewery Britomart, Customs 69 is a big punchy IPA that smells great and tastes better.
The food was hearty and reasonably priced. You don’t often see Camel on a pub menu. I was able to return to Brewery Britomart for a pre-dinner drink and ripped into a Witful, which was a seasonal wheat beer and that was a pretty funky drop. So, if you get to Auckland, you are staying in the city and you haven’t got much time, the Brewery Britomart should be on the list of places to visit.