Monday2:00 – 6:00 pm.
Tuesday2:00 – 6:00 pm.
Wednesday2:00 – 6:00 pm.
Thursday2:00 – 6:00 pm.
Friday2:00 – 7:00 pm.
Saturday2:00 – 7:00 pm.
Sunday2:00 – 6:00 pm.
Harbour Street, Oamaru
Ōamaru’s Heritage Precinct is an ode to tradition. In this way it only makes sense that it’s home to Craftwork - an award winning, small scale, Belgian brewery run by brewing couple, Lee-Ann Scotti and Michael O’Brien.
On select days you can find Lee-Ann and Michael minding the taps at Craftwork, their tasting room. The hours are very limited so plan ahead - beer nerds and non-nerds alike will be gutted to miss this spot and its proprietors. When the pair aren’t running the tasting room they’re brewing off site (under Lee-Ann’s house actually!) Here, they slowly churn out their award-winning Belgian style beers.
The beer they are most proud of, O’ambic, has made a splash at beer festivals in NZ and abroad. Sour, smooth and full of probiotics it’s a must try - the perfect showcase for brewing “as it used to be done.” O’ambic is spontaneously fermented wheat beer meaning Lee-Ann and Michael expose it to the air after a long boil in the cooler months to allow the microorganisms to produce the tart, refreshing flavours they’re so well known for.
Lee-Ann and Michael brew in a way that is labour and time intensive but the beers (and their many accolades) speak for themselves. As Lee-Ann put it, “Brewing this way appeals to us because when you put the work out you don’t know what you’re going to get. You have to work with that randomness. Other breweries tend to be product focused, but we are process focused. We live with the end product and don’t manipulate it.”
At the tasting room you can try O’ambic and many other Craftwork beers both on tap and in bottles and because Lee-Ann and Michael have a great appreciation for things that are made slowly, they do a mean cheese board. The slices change with the seasons - “You can’t always get our beer and you can’t always get these things either so it all fits in.”
Beer nerds have flown in from the North Island, Australia and beyond just for these pours so plan ahead and get to Craftwork while you’re in Ōamaru. If you can’t make their hours though, you can get their beers at a number of other Neat Places like The Criterion Hotel and Cucina.
Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou
Harbour Street, Oamaru
Near Craftwork Brewery
3 Tees Street
Cucina’s day time counterpart with colourful, tasty brunch plates. The huevos rancheros have been winning ‘big brekkie’ traditionalists over since 2016 and the bombolino doughnuts are the mid-day treat you deserve.
Deja Moo & Harbour Street Bakery
4 Harbour Street, South Hill, Oamaru
Ice cream and carbs, the perfect combo. You’ll find loaves on the left and scoops on the right.
Everything’s made from scratch with a lot of love and zero nasties. This stuff is famous because it’s
4 Wansbeck Street
Possibly our most bikeable region, the Waitaki is home to plenty of rugged scenery and flat to not-so-flat
cycleways. Get your gear sorted and check out the tours that range from day trips to the full A2O at Cycle Ventures.
The Criterion Hotel
3 Tyne St, Oamaru
First established in 1877, The Criterion has re-emerged in her original form as a classic pub. She’s got everything you need, with Speights to Craftworks on tap, comforting pub grub and accommodation upstairs.