13 Feb 2024

Tuatara relocating craft beer base from Kāpiti coast

9:38 am on 13 February 2024

Tuatara is one of Wellington's earliest craft breweries. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Paraparaumu based craft brewery Tuatara is moving to Upper Hutt after more than two decades as a dedicated Kāpiti coast business.

DB, which has owned the brand since 2017, said it was investing in a new, purpose-built facility at Upper Hutt's Brewtown hospitality complex, a 45km drive away.

Brewtown currently houses the Panhead, Boneface and Te Aro taprooms, among other hospitality and entertainment businesses.

In a statement, a DB spokesperson confirmed the move would happen this year.

Tuatara is one of Wellington's earliest craft breweries and has been a dedicated Kāpiti business since it started in Reikorangi, near Waikanae, in 2000. It moved to larger premises in neighbouring Paraparaumu in 2013.

DB said it has 19 staff at its Paraparaumu site.

"We are still working through the various options open to affected staff, which will be determined by factors such as how many are willing to relocate to the new site at Brewtown," its spokesperson said.

"The wellbeing of our people remains our top priority and we are supporting them through this transition as well as hoping that many do wish to relocate."

Tuatara closed its central Wellington micro brewery and taproom in 2020.

New Zealand's craft beer industry has faced some difficulties since the Covid pandemic, with several breweries and taprooms choosing to close, downsize or enter liquidation in recent months.

In the Greater Wellington region, Whistling Sisters brewpub on Taranaki Street closed in January.

It followed Auckland breweries Epic and Deep Creek being forced into liquidation last year, and the Brothers Beer brewpubs entering voluntary administration.

Epic was later bought, while Brothers Beer also avoided liquidation with shareholders injecting more funds into the business.

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