Beer plans crafted

Brewing up a good idea: Altitude Breweries' Eliott Menzies, left, and Eddie Gapper

Queenstown beer lovers are in for a treat.

Local company Altitude Brewing has got a theoretical thumbs up from council to house a boutique brewery at Sugar Lane, Frankton.

Tourism giant Real Journeys has applied to build a small brewhouse at Arthurs Point.

To round things off, Cargo Brewery, owned by Malcolm and Meron Blakey, are also in the process of looking for premises to brew their own beer.

Altitude, owned by local Eliott Menzies and Brit Eddie Gapper, plans to include two 2400-litre tanks and three 1200-litre ones in an existing building.

All up they’d be able to brew half-a-million litres of beer a year.

But there’s still a few bits of paperwork to complete – including a booze licence.

Menzies: “It would be a mix of everything. A brewery that will handle all of our production but also opening it to the public for off licence and on-licence sales. Also for tours and tasting.

“Brewing on site makes it much more interesting. We can take people through and actually show people how the beer is made and get tasting directly out of the tank [so] the beer is fresher.”

Equipment is en route from the United States.

Menzies, a self-confessed beer geek, is excited to test it out.

Finding the right location was tough.

Menzies: “We turned down a lot of places because it wasn’t right.”

Real Journeys product man Matthew Day stresses nothing is confirmed for its brewery.

They still have to chat to the landlords and would need to apply for a liquor licence to convert the existing Cavells building beside Shotover Jet’s base at Arthurs Point.

“The gist is we want to do something for the locals. It is a restaurant, and a small brewery, a craft micro-brewery.”

Real Journeys will own the brewery and “get some clever people in to help us”, Day says.

“It is really small scale – it will produce fresh and flavourful beer on-site.”