About Us

The ethos at Martinborough Brewery is to produce premium hand crafted beer, using natural ingredients, blended together by people who are passionate about their craft, product and region.  The brewery is “micro” in size, producing 1200L batches of beer.  Production is a labour of love and hands on process, from the grinding of malts to the application of caps and labels.  We intend to expand our capacity and product range over time but won’t be compromising on quality.

The background story

Hayden Frew and Stephen Fox (better known as fish) both began their appreciation of beer while studying at Otago University.  Back then there wasn’t a lot of choice and the idea wasn’t exactly to savour the flavour.

They have matured since then with stints overseas opening their eyes to the world of beer.  Through their travels they developed an appreciation for the many different styles available and were pleasantly surprised to find on their return to NZ that a beer revolution had occurred.  Small breweries had popped up everywhere and were producing some of the beer styles they had experienced overseas.

Hayden had been living in Martinborough for some time and had experience in setting up and managing businesses.  Stephen, a surveyor from Wellington had been reading books, surfing the internet, attending brew courses and generally studying brewing through and through.

One evening in a Martinborough bar, a realisation came to light. Martinborough was missing quality beer to match the wine of the region.  It was decided to set up a small brewery. Hayden would establish and manage the business while Stephen would focus on creating the beer.

After purchasing a small (50L) pilot brewery and plenty of R&D (a tough job!), we released our first beer at the inaugural Greater Wellington Brew Day held in Martinborough during April 2013.  Our Black Nectar went down well and subsequently we received orders to stock a couple of local bars and restaurants.

At this stage the focus was on producing enough of our current releases to satisfy demand while also working on other styles for future release.   Our production capacity was small and we both had day jobs, hence the release of beer to market took time.  As they say, good things take time!

The current situation & future plan

In 2015 we expanded and opened a purpose built brewery and tasting room in the heart of Martinborough.  The brewery is now a bit bigger (1200L batch size) and we intend to continue producing our existing range while expanding our seasonal varieties. Our focus is selling direct from our well-appointed tasting room in Ohio Street, Martinborough.

Hayden sold up his interest in another business during 2016 and now works full time in the brewery along side his wife Janalle who manages the tasting room operations.

We intend to remain a boutique local brewery with a focus on quality over quantity.

Hayden & Fish