Frequently Asked Questions

The bottling in action.

What are your terms and conditions?

Rescheduling and Cancellations: If you need to reschedule or cancel a booking, please call us on 04-384-8268 or email us at If you contact us less than 24 hours in advance of your booking, we reserve the right to keep 50% of the total value of the booking as a late cancellation fee.

Refunds: We know you will love what we do, but we do offer a full refund on bookings if you change your mind. Please note; late notice cancellations will not be refunded in line with our policy above. Gift Vouchers are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Pricing: All prices are quoted in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive. We reserve the right to alter prices from time to time, without notice. Shifts in price are sometimes necessary and may reflect fluctuations from our suppliers.

Brew availability: We endeavour to provide the full range of advertised beers. However, if we are unable to source the standard ingredients, we will do our best to provide an acceptable substitute ingredient or, provide an alternative recipe of your choice.

Guarantee: If something does go wrong with your brew, we’ll work out why, and you can re-brew it on us. If you have brewed your own recipe, or used your own bottles we can’t guarantee the outcome.

Disposal of old beer: Beer that is left in our fermentation room longer than four weeks can pose a risk to other beers and will be disposed of on your behalf.

Website content: The content on this website, including photographs and graphics, is the property of The Occasional Brewer Ltd and subject to New Zealand copyright laws.

How will you treat my personal information?

The information that you provide to us will only be used to assist us to deliver your gift certificate or to communicate with you about your brew session. If you opt-in to our email newsletter database, we will store your email address securely for that purpose. We will not share your information with any third parties.

What if I don’t know anything about brewing craft beer?

No problem, we will teach you everything you need to know and guide you through the process.

What types of craft beers can I brew?

The beers you can brew are on the Beers page.

Can I brew with friends and how many can I bring?

Brewing with a friend is a great idea and you can have up to 3 people per brew. You can also bring in a group and if you book out the whole space you can have up to 48 people on the brew floor (up to 3 people with each brew and 16 brew kits) with space in the bar for some observers.

Are you a training school?

We don’t provide formal lessons – we show you how to brew while you’re brewing. If there is a demand for lessons, we will certainly explore the idea further.

What is the beer made from?

Malted grains (predominantly barley) hops, yeast and water.

Do you have a gluten free option?

Yes and no. We brew with barley and wheat and so there will be gluten. However, we do offer a product called Clarity Ferm which can significantly reduce the amount of gluten in a beer. Do research this to find out if this a suitable option for you. Many customers with severe sensitivity have had success with it. Please get in touch if you are interested as not all beers are suited to this product.

I don’t really like craft beers, do you make a beer that tastes like a regular lager?

We have a wide range of styles including less hoppy beers. The blonde ale is a very easy drinking beer.

Do you do lagers?

We have beers that are similar in taste to lagers (Golden Lager, Blonde Ale, and NZ Pilsner) but we use a neutral ale yeast, not a lager yeast. Lager brewing involves fermenting and storing the beer at a lower temperature for much longer than ale brewing, and in our experience the result is almost indistinguishable, so we don’t teach it.

Will I have to clean up after the brew?

No, we will take care of that for you.

How much does a brew cost?

Standard brews start at $159, click here to see our full range of beer and pricing

How much craft beer can I brew?

An individual is allowed to brew up to 100 litres per month in a Customs Controlled Area like our place, according to the Customs and Excise Act. If you wanted more then you’d need to pay excise (tax) on the beer. Have a chat with us and we can talk you through this.

Can I bring my own ingredients?

We have a range of recipes that have been specifically designed for our equipment. If you’re a confident brewer you can do custom recipe - let us know at least a few days prior to your booking, and we will try and order in the ingredients for you. If it is your own recipe we won’t be able to guarantee the brew. If you supply all of your ingredients we will charge a flat rate of $125 hireage per brew station. Give us a call to discuss.

How old do I have to be to brew?

There’s no age limit for brewing beer at home. However, we are a licensed premises and therefore all underage children will need to be supervised by their legal guardian. Our rule is that brewers must be over 18 but someone younger can assist a parent/guardian with the process. The laws about the age for drinking are pretty clear so we won’t go into that.

Can I drink on the premises?

Yes, you can grab a drink from the bar and enjoy it on the brew floor or in the bar. However, you can’t bring in beer you’ve made yourself and drink it here.

Do you sell takeaway beer?

Yes, you can buy beer, cider and wine to take off premises from the bar.

Can I take my beer home to ferment?

We’ve got temperature controlled fermentation rooms so we’re ideally set up to manage the fermentation. If you’re confident you can manage the fermentation at home then we’re okay with that. We’d need a deposit for the fermenters, which we’d repay when you bring them back, or we can sell them to you. We can’t guarantee the success of the brew though.

Do I need to dry hop my beer and when can I do it?

Beers marked with * on the beers page should be “dry hopped” 5-7 days before bottling. This adds more hop flavour and aroma. The process takes 5 mins and no booking is required. Please check our opening hours before dry hopping.

Do I have to come back to bottle the beer?

Ideally. The bottling tutoring is included in the brew price and if you bottle then you don’t have to pay the excise. If we bottled it for you, you would have to pay excise tax, a bottling fee, and potentially freight which can all add up quickly. Get in touch if this is you're unable to make it in for bottling.

If I bring my own bottles what should I do to prepare them?

Before you bring your bottles in for bottling, make sure they have been cleaned and are spotless. Clean bottles then go through our bottle sanitiser machine. If you are diligent in rinsing your bottles promptly and thoroughly after each use with your homebrew, and store them upside down, only the sanitizing treatment will be necessary before each use in the future.

Do you supply crates so I can store the beer at home?

If you buy our bottles then they come in a box and you’re welcome to take that. If you bring your own bottles you’ll need to take them away in your own boxes.

Can I get labels printed?

Unfortunately not. We recommend looking elsewhere if you're interested in doing this.

How long will my craft beer last?

Home brewed craft beer has a fairly long storage life. Depending on the style and ABV (alcohol by volume), the craft brew will keep for more than a year. Hoppy beers are best drunk fresh (within 3 months as hop flavours fade) while dark beers will age well. It’s important to keep the beer out of direct sunlight or fluorescent light, although brown bottles do help protect it.

Can I sell my craft beer?

No. The way it works is that you don’t have to pay any beer tax (excise) on the condition that it’s exclusively for your personal use and not for sale. If you did want to sell beer you would need to pay excise. Ask us about that if you’re interested.