So the tour includes a tasting?

Food in the Wairarapa

Food in the Wairarapa

Tui Brewery Guided Tour

When there's a big job to be done (like trialing a new brewery tour) it seemed only fair to ask Our-In-House-Bloke David Hancock to give it a go. Here's what happened: 

'So the tour includes a tasting?'

I don’t care if you’re doing a Cadbury chocolate tour or a cheese making tour… the one thing you want to know is that there’s a tasting. So it’s not unexpected, but nonetheless reassuring, to hear our Tui Brewery hostess explain to me that ‘of course the tour includes a tasting.’

Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka, north of Masterton, has had a massive makeover. The iconic tower, a brick legend that is instantly recognizable to any kiwi beer drinker worth his salt, has been earthquake strengthened ensuring it remain around for another eight decades. A modern glass walled brewery has been built along the grassed backyard so everyone can keep an eye on the brewing process. The ‘histui’-museum and ‘everyman’s’ bar still looks out onto the backyard - it feels like your best mate’s place.

‘So when is the tasting?’

The new Tui Brewery building has all the smells and sights you’d expect of a modern beer producer. The new German engineered brewery, which arrived in seven containers and took a dedicated team a few months to install, brews small batch beers. It’s shiny and is described as the “Mercedes Benz” of breweries. But it’s that tower that is worth seeing up close. Not part of the beer production process these days and you can’t go inside, but the brick monolith is Tui. Always will be.

‘Did she say when the tasting would be?’

In the Tui tongue in cheek, ‘Yeah right!’ style, the tour stories stick with me. Not this many litres and this many kilos. But more contextual stories of it taking you and your three mates, four years to drink this vat of beer at a dozen each per day. Our guide passes this on as a Tui fact but I hear it as more of a challenge. And either way, it just serves up a reminder that we haven’t had our tasting yet.

‘So grab a seat and I’ll bring out your tasting tray.’

And there it is. Different beers brewed at Tui in a colour and taste line up. Ten beers! Who knew? Three of the lineup can only be tasted and bought on site at Tui. Tasted, compared, discussed. The tour is complete.

The Facts: Tui Brewery Tours

•Take a 40 min guided tour that traces Tui Brewery's 125 year history, see iconic  those landmarks and walk through the new state of the art brewery. You will finish up in the Brewery Tap Room and Kitchen bar tasting three on- tap beers of your choice. You’ll also get  a Mangatainoka Passport which includes complimentary vouchers for local hotels as well as discounts at other tourism hotspots in Tararua and Wairarapa.

• Tours run daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm. Book in now! 

•For larger groups, private tours can be arranged. Call or email (

•Note: you must wear covered shoes on the tour.

 Tui Brewery  Mangatainoka SH2

Ph: 06 376 0815