The Mussel Inn brewery, which is located adjacent to the cafe, was built by Andrew in 1995. The original 400 litre kit was built in Nelson (before the days of cheap Chinese kits) and this served us well for 10 years. In 2005, the brewery was upgraded to a 1200 litre batch size, with a new brew plant produced by Chris Little of Brightwater, supplemented by an array of second hand pub cellar tanks for conditioning and bright beer storage.
All of our products are made from locally sourced ingredients and are naturally brewed, un filtered and un pasteurised. The water for brewing comes from a small bush filtered stream located in the hills behind the Mussel Inn and all ‘waste’ products are recycled on the property (so they’re not really waste at all). The products are packaged into 30 and 50 litre kegs, 330ml glass bottles and 1.3Litre PET bottles (riggers) that are also produced on site.
We grow some of our own hops - an old variety we have named ‘Onekaka’ - which are picked by hand in March. People are welcome to join us in this fun day out - an easy and pleasant task followed by a feastl - usually cooked in a hangi - and much merriment.
We also grow apples and feijoas for our ciders, along with chillies for the chilli beer and lemons and mint for our lemonade.
Head brewer: Reuben Lee (since 1998) Packaging and bottle store manager: Vinny Astill. General hands: Dom Makham, Dave Astill and Henry Dixon. Brewery maintenance, label creator, deliveries and general dogs body: Andrew Dixon