Port and Eagle Brewpub
Monday12:00 – 9:00 pm.
Tuesday12:00 – 9:00 pm.
Wednesday12:00 – 9:00 pm.
Thursday10:00 am – 12:30 am.
Friday10:00 am – 12:30 am.
Saturday10:00 am – 12:30 am.
Sunday10:00 am – 9:00 pm.
184 Williams Street, Kaiapoi
While Lyttelton now serves as Christchurch’s port, Kaiapoi was the original. Cargo ships no longer snake their way up the Waimakariri, but you will find jet boats, jet skis, and other watercraft on it today. Many of them are making their way to Port and Eagle Brewpub – the only Canterbury pub on the water. This homegrown brewpub sits on the Kaiapoi River’s north bank and can also be accessed from town via the dedicated cycleway or Northern Corridor. They’ve got plenty of parking, plenty of tables, plenty of good beer and excellent pub grub. So grab a mate or the whole family, and head on down.
Port and Eagle Brewpub is the work of Dave Gaughan and Marilyn Yosores. Dave started Eagle Brewing back in 2010 after a career in the jet boat industry, and Marilyn worked as a registered nurse before the two decided to open this spot. Dave does all the brewing downstairs and Marilyn keeps the spirit of the place well looked after with annual Oktoberfest, Halloween, and Christmas parties that draw huge crowds. They’re a busy pair, but love what they do, and even live upstairs.
If you’re a fan of handcrafted, fresh beer you’ve come to the right place. Port and Eagle has 22 taps, two of which are English hand pulls. Most of these are made in Dave’s downstairs brewery which you can view from the pub. Eagle Brewing brews sours for hot days--Marilyn’s favourite--plus crisp lagers, sessionable pilsners, hazys, APAs, stouts, and a host of other beers inspired by NZ’s natural ingredients. They do regular collaborations and specialty seasonal beers too, which means there’s always something new to try. You can book a tour of the brewery, or even hire it out for events.
Beer is also featured in The Port and Eagle’s food menu, which truly has something for everyone. Save room for the lager and lime cheesecake, or the brownie which comes topped with a rich, stout infused, chocolate sauce. Before you get there though, check out the burgers, pizzas, sharing plates, salads, platters, and brunch menus too. Jedd’s fish and chips, for one, are made with Chatham Island blue cod and an Eagle Pale Ale beer batter. The pizzas are all handcrafted and come heaped with toppings and a Raptor APA sauce. With tons of gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan options, it’s easy to find something you'll love.
At Port and Eagle, you can sit inside the brewpub or along the river’s edge. With a vaulted ceiling, and plenty of historical photographs the interior feels like an old boat shed in the best way possible. The huge floor to ceiling windows bring the outside in all year round and at Christmas, Marilyn decks the whole place out. She even suspends Christmas trees from the ceiling. If the weather’s nice when you visit, you can sit under an umbrella on the patio and let the kids run wild along the riverbanks. It’s not uncommon to find locals swimming in the river, bombing off the bridge, and then heading inside for a feed. Dogs are also welcome here, and you’ll probably meet Marilyn and Dave’s pup, Molly, when you visit.
Above all, Port and Eagle is a community hub. On top of everything else they do they’ve got live music gigs, quiz nights, weekly specials, a spicy wing eating competition every July and host Karma Keg events too. Dave started Karma Keg when Eagle Brewing was based in Riccarton and it has become something of a tradition at Christchurch’s neighbourhood pubs. On Karma Keg days, the brewpub partners with a local community group and a portion of beer sales go towards their mission. It’s just one of the many ways that this humming spot adds to the vibrancy of rivertown Kaiapoi.
Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou
184 Williams Street, Kaiapoi