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Top 5 beers made in New Zealand

Top 5 beers made in New Zealand

If there is something all Kiwis can agree on is that beer is New Zealand’s best and most appreciated drink. There are over 150 breweries and microbreweries nationwide with two of them being the absolute power players: Lion Breweries and DB Breweries.
Around 60% of all alcohol sold in the country is beer and with good reason. During the 1990s, New Zealand brewers were in fashion and that convinced many amateur brewmasters to start their own beer companies. Today, there are hundreds of national craft beers to try.

If you are looking for your next favorite brew, here is a list of 5 beers brands made in New Zealand you need to try.

Mac’s Beer

Created in 1981 by a publican named Terry, Mac’s played a key role in kicking off the country’s thriving beer scene. Over the years, the small company grew into one of New Zealand’s most renowned breweries, adding new types of beer like the IPA, dry-hopped pilsners, Pacific Pale Ales (PPAs), porters, malt lagers, and golden ales.

Sunshine Brewery

Located in the East Coast city of Gisborne, the Sunshine Brewery stands proud as the city’s hallmark beer brand. Sunshine has a very laid-back attitude that, combined with their passion for brewing, creates a product that’s just as easy-going as their creators. Created in 1989, the company was one of the first to hop (get it?) into the microbrewing business on the East Coast. Wild, free, in the Sun and living it, that is their motto. A beer that is made to be enjoyed with friends on the beach.


Emerson’s has been in the brewing business since 1992. Probably the fanciest brewery on the list, they offer some of the best brewery tours available and some of the best beers too. Even though the company has less than 30 years, their attitude and style transmits an old-fashioned vibe that certainly works for them. Their NZ Pilsner is an absolute must for fans of the craft.

DB Breweries

The only major brewery on the list. DB might be part of the Heinkenen corporation but it is certainly a national treasure. Founded in 1929 by W Joseph Coutts and his three sons as The Waitemata Brewery Co, the company has grown into an empire. With brands like Barrel N°51, Black Dog Brew, Dark Horse, and their famous Export beer line, the company exports its products to more than 12 countries.


Established in 1876, Speight’s is a Lion breweries beer created in Dunedin. The brand has many alehouses around the country and specializes in affordable beer, exporting their products to Australia and the Pacific Islands. Their brew building is a prominent historical landmark in central Dunedin.


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