Beers, Bites, and Bowling: A Guide to Upper Hutt’s Brewtown

People walking under a large 'Brewtown' stign.

Just a stone’s throw from Upper Hutt train station lies Brewtown, a 6,000 square metre entertainment and dining hub that effortlessly attracts families, parties, and thrill seekers from around Wellington and beyond.

Words by: John Son

Photos by: Anna Briggs

Just a stone’s throw from Upper Hutt train station lies Brewtown, a 6,000 square metre entertainment and dining hub that effortlessly attracts families, parties, and thrill seekers from around Wellington and beyond.

As a purpose-built brewing facility, Brewtown is a real who’s-who of the Wellington region’s craft beer scene. Upper Hutt’s water quality is renowned, and it’s just one of the reasons the likes of Panhead Custom Ales, Fermented, Te Aro Brewing, and other heavy hitters have set up shop here.

But make no mistake: Brewtown is so much more than craft beer, although the brews on offer are certainly worth the trip out to the Hutt. A dazzling array of food - from small snacks to full-on meat platters and desserts - and a huge assortment of entertainment options, all in one spot, means it’s easy to spend a whole day here. Being a short walk from the train station also means indulging in the full craft beer experience with complete peace of mind.

Here’s how to make the most of a day at Brewtown.

People dining behind a painted mural.

Drink

With some of the region’s top craft breweries having set up shop here, Brewtown is a craft beer lover’s paradise and a must-visit for any beer connoisseur from around Aotearoa. Choose from Boneface Brewing Co., Panhead Custom Ales, Fermented, Te Aro Brewing Co., and Wildkiwi Distillery - with all the breweries conveniently lined up right next to each other, it’s easy to create your own craft beer tour and dip in and out of each establishment and try the freshest releases.

Eat

A craft beer experience isn’t complete without a worthy food match, and Brewtown has you more than sorted on that front. Each brewery boasts its own fulsome menu to pair perfectly with its beer, and you can rest assured you’ll be well-fed wherever you head, from stacked BBQ platters to pizzas and burgers dripping with sauce, along with naughty desserts so you can finish on a sugar high. Fresko has its famed fish and chips offering out of Daytona Adventure Park. And make sure you check out the food vendors outside as well, from a waffle stall to Get Fixed and that Wellington icon, Lucky.

Play

Feel the need to work off all those carbs? Brewtown practically has its own in-house theme park, so there are plenty of ways to work up a sweat while having some fun to stir yourself out of your food coma. Try your hand at axe throwing or mini golf, or if you’re feeling up for it, test yourself in one of Scapegoat’s escape rooms. For the younger ones, there’s a Chipmunks playground, and Daytona Adventure Park is an all-ages, one-stop shop of fun where you can go karting, ice skating, tenpin bowling, paintballing, or trampolining. 

Shop

If you’re after a souvenir of your time at Brewtown, there’s plenty of merch you can get your hands on, along with some practical tools and gadgets to continue your craft beer journey at home. Head along to the merch shop for limited edition memorabilia straight from the breweries, along with all sorts of gear and supplies to get you started on your own craft beer brewing journey. For something a bit special, sign up for a class at Stackhouse Knives, where you can make your own artisan knives or jewellery for a truly unique souvenir or gift. And if you’re swinging by on a Sunday, don’t miss the Brewtown Farmers Market and the range of fresh produce, food trucks, and handcrafted products you can explore.

Neat Hutt Valley Places

House of Good Fortune

Exterior of mint-green character house in Petone Wellington
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Petone’s myriad side streets hold plenty of delightful surprises, and if you’re lucky enough, you might just stumble upon the House of Good Fortune.

Abandoned Taproom Petone

Graffitied walls inside a bar.
Place Hutt Valley
Bars key icon.

The upcycled furniture, the bike frame fence, and of course, the walls covered ceiling to floor in graffiti (literally, there’s writing on the ceiling).

Kilim Petone

Chairs and tables in kebab shop with Turkish decor and tapestry on walls
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Restaurants key icon.

A revered name in Wellington’s Turkish scene, Kilim is synonymous with quality, hearty kebabs done well, with its reputation extending far beyond the Hutt Valley.

Tartines French Cafe

Fresh tuna salad and aperol spritz on an outdoor French style table
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
Cafes key icon.

Tartines offers a small slice of French culinary delight, with handmade tarts, pastries, fresh bread and classic dishes that will have you mistaking Lower Hutt for Lyon.