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The high altitude, cool climate and free-draining volcanic soil of the central plateau create a distinctive terroir for the local wines, distilled liquors, honey mead and craft beers.
But the region’s landscapes not only yield one-of-a-kind beverages; it creates a culture of passionate locals who love their region as much as they love their artisanal products and local ingredients.
Above the scenic Kuratau River is the region’s well-known Floating Rock Vineyard and Cafe. Inspired by the region’s beauty and rich pumice soil, their philosophy creates an unforgettable experience “that doesn’t cost the earth.” Their sustainable wine ranges from Pinot Gris to Pinot Noir. When you visit and dine at Floating Rock, their hospitality is only met with the award-winning wine.
From humble beginnings, Lakeman Brewing Co. quickly became an acclaimed and nationally known brewery. It began and still operates as a farm that sits on a freshwater catchment for Lake Taupō. As the small Lakeman Brewing team says, “it just seemed like a good fit” to utilize the pure freshwater quality and establish Lakeman Brewing Co. Local shopists include most restaurants and eateries as proud supporters of Lakeman Brewing Co. For the ultimate Lakeman experience, sample up to 15 Lakeman taps and tasting flights at Jimmy Coops Lakehouse.
Not far down the road is Crafty Trout Brewing Co., Taupō’s only trout gift and bottle shop, brewery plus a taproom and eatery. This brewery uses alpine volcanic water in an internationally recognized brewing process. The Crafty Trout team says, “combine this with the Best Tasting Water in New Zealand, Water from Glacier Fed Lake Taupō, and you get World Class Beers.” You will be transported by the Bavarian-inspired eatery as you relax by the fire with a Stein or a tasting flight of tap Crafty Trout brews.
5Mile Distilling is Taupō’s first commercial distillery producing prized gin. 5Mile Gin recently won Best London Dry Gin against other New Zealand and international distilleries. Inspired by the beauty of 5Mile Bay in Lake Taupō, the incredible-quality water from nearby Mount Tongariro is a crucial ingredient. Find local shopists and eateries where you can enjoy this gin “worth sharing” with the stunning lake views.
Another local buzz-worthy find is the Beehave! Craft Meadery. Near Lake Taupō, apiarist and mead maker Jay Bennett cares for his beehives with organic and holistic methods. You can taste the utmost care that his floral honey gives as the base ingredient for Beehave! craft mead. Their flavour ranges from non-alcoholic, sparkling mead to Four Berry Mead (perfect for Taupō summers) to a Hopped Mead for IPA fans! You can find Jay himself sharing more about his bees, honey and mead at Market Central Taupō on Sunday mornings or at the Beehave taproom, located beside The Merchant.
Whatever your favourite beverage is, there is a locally sourced and made product in the Taupō region. And at the end of the day, the region’s immaculate scenery is the perfect complement to enjoying your beverage of choice.
Explore and discover craft beer and cider using alpine volcanic water. Tours of the first fully automated brewing system in the world. A perfect indoor activity away from the weather.