Pub spy: Brother Beer, Auckland CBD

By Don Kavanagh

Address: 90 Wellesley St West, City Works Depot, Shed 3D, Auckland
Phone: (09) 366 6100 brothers

Nick Anderson-Gee, manager of Brothers Beer. Photo / Doug Sherring
Nick Anderson-Gee, manager of Brothers Beer. Photo / Doug Sherring

I honestly didn't know this place existed until about four months ago, which shows how far under the radar Brothers Beer has flown. So when a friend suggested meeting for a beer we settled on this place.

It's an interesting space, and space is the perfect term for what feels like a small aircraft hangar situated in what aims to be a culinary hub and succeeds in looking like nothing more imposing than a light industrial estate. Never mind, looks aren't everything, as I've discovered down the years.

Inside it's a noisy spot on a busy evening, but there is plenty to look at, with craft beer on shelves around the wall and serious-looking men with beards gazing intently at their beers. Because Brothers Beer is a craft-beer-lover's dream, a place that sells nothing even remotely resembling mainstream brews and one where beer is taken very seriously indeed.

From the hundreds of bottled ales available to the 18 taps, which offer a dazzling array of niche beers in rotation, this is an ale anorak's nirvana.

The beer selection is unrivalled but from a bar point of view it's probably best to remember that this is a retail shop with a tasting lounge attached rather than a more traditional pub.

Which means there wasn't much of a wine or spirit selection, if any, so I'd recommend coming here purely for the beer. Foodwise, it limits itself to pizza and toasted sandwiches, but who couldn't love a place that offers toasted spaghetti sarnies?

Also, the atmosphere can be a little odd, partly because of the weird acoustics which amplify noise and make conversation a bit interesting if there is a crowd in.

The service is friendly enough, but there is a definite feeling that if you asked for something that wasn't craft enough you'd get a funny look.

Overall, it's either a weird little place or a slice of heaven, depending on what you're looking for. If it's beer you're after, you can't do much better. But be warned that the tap selection can contain some hefty beasts, so make sure someone else is doing the driving.


Service: 3
Menu: 3
Drink: 5
Atmosphere: 3
Overall: 3.5

Brothers Beer is open Tuesday and Sunday midday-8pm, Wed-Sat midday-10pm.

- Herald on Sunday

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