The Garage Project was recently named the best craft brewery in New Zealand at the 2017 Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards. No small feat beating out 111 other breweries, and taking four golds, nine silvers and 13 bronze medals at the recent awards celebration held in Christchurch.
A fun and fearless crew who’ve been successfully pushing the brewing envelope for more than six years, this is huge win for Garage Project, onene of the world’s most deserving brewing operations.
Housed in an actual repurposed gas station & garage in Wellington’s hipster Aro Valley neighborhood (think San Francisco, but closer to the South Pole) Garage Project was founded by brothers Pete and Ian Gillespie along with childhood friend Jos Ruffell in 2011.
The trio released an amazing 24 boundary-pushing beers their first 24 weeks in operation, and they’ve never looked back.
They started small, but even as they’ve expanded over the years (to keep up with demand they’ve partnered with the Brewing Studio, a New Zealand contract brewer) they’ve remained eclectic and adventurous to their core.
We first met Jos Ruffell (ripped jeans, cool Garage Project tee) at the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver a couple of years back. We kept bumping into him and Pete at other beer outings like the Firestone Walker Invitational, and always enjoyed hanging with them.
Jos looks a bit like a younger Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and he evinces that American west coast hipster vibe till he opens his mouth and you get that he’s from halfway around the world.
The same could be said for Garage Project’s exciting beers (they’re kinda American too, but really, a world apart).
And in spite of the brewery’s growth over the years they’ve remained committed to trying new things, taking some risks, and definitely to having some fun.
Garage Project has built an extensive footprint throughout New Zealand and they currently export to Australia, Sweden, Norway and three states in the US – California, Nevada, and Illinois.
Yet they’ve remained a ‘micro’ at heart and it still feels like they’re driven by the same youthful passion and eclecticism that they were founded on.
On top of this year’s flagship offerings, Garage Project is reportedly on track to produce a mind-blowing 60 new beers in 2017.
So yes, we’re big fans of this dynamic operation…can’t help it, we like them and the beers they decide to brew…
And as far as we’re concerned, Garage Project being named New Zealand’s Best Craft Brewery, is not only well-deserved…it’s also long overdue.
All images courtesy of Garage Project