The Beer Library

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Monday11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Tuesday11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Wednesday11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Thursday11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Friday11:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Saturday11:00 am – 7:00 pm.


78 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

03 379 2337

Listen up craft beer lovers of Christchurch and beyond, if you haven’t already visited The Beer Library, you must rectify this situation immediately. Located in the city fringe suburb of Sydenham, among a growing number of independent food and drink purveyors, The Beer Library is a family-run bottle shop and tap room with a difference.

When owner Garth and his family moved to Christchurch from Chicago they found there was a gap in the market for somewhere to buy affordable craft beer. This led them to open The Beer Library in 2015, originally on Colombo Street and now at their base on Buchan Street. The warehouse-style space is purposefully laid back and low-key, it’s a place where everyone is welcome, you can find beers that aren’t stocked elsewhere and Garth is proud to share his passion for well-brewed beer.

The interior is eclectic with flags adorning the ceiling, representing places known for producing stellar beers and those with personal sentimentality for Garth and his family. Along one wall you will find ‘The Beer Library’ itself, with the beer range organised by categories such as Malty, Hoppy, Lagers, Imports and Sours. Opposite the library, there is an impressive range of spirits, with a particular focus on bourbons and tequilas that you won’t find stocked elsewhere. At the bar there are 12 beers on tap with these regularly changing out, so there’s always something new to discover. Plus wine and spirits are available if that’s what takes your fancy.

The Beer Library is very proud of its fillery system, where you can bring a rigger (or container) to have filled with whatever takes your fancy from the beers on tap. And no problem if you don’t have a rigger, they are partnered with Kiwi company AgainAgain and operate a rigger loan programme. A private tasting lounge is also available and is an opportunity for Garth to share his extensive craft beer knowledge. If you start to get a bit peckish whilst enjoying a pint or two, there’s a snack menu that pairs excellently with your craft beer of choice. Or if you want something more substantial, you’re welcome to order your favourite delivery of choice or BYO food.  

There’s always something happening at The Beer Library with regular events such as a monthly pub quiz, tasting evenings and they like to partner with other hospitality providers on bespoke occasions. This is a place where customers quickly become regulars and friends, and after one visit you will easily see why.  

Words by Julia Rutherford & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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78 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

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