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

Studio Toru

The little cottage exterior of Studio Toru.
Place Hutt Valley
Galleries and museum key icon.

Established by jeweller Philothea Flynn, Studio Toru is housed in one of Eastbourne’s original settler cottages, originally built by and for an Italian fishing family.

Humble & Grand

Homewares on display on shelves at a retail store in Upper Hutt.
Place Hutt Valley

Making its home in Upper Hutt is Humble & Grand, a homeware store stocking an assortment of contemporary and classic goodies.

Maidstone Max

A skate ramp a Maidstone Max on a sunny day.
Place Hutt Valley
Stay and explore key icon.

Only a hop, skip and throw from Upper Hutt’s CBD is Maidstone Park.

Staglands

Wildlife reserve with birds running around and a sign saying "Staglands"
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
Stay and explore key icon.

Tucked away deep in the Akatarawa Valley, Staglands is a serene wildlife reserve with a focus on encouraging each visitor to nurture a genuine connection to and appreciation...