This summer the Chronicle is bringing you another look at some of the best content of 2019. This story originally ran on March 25, 2019

Roots Brewing Co. owner Andy Henshaw has "gone old school" with his Refund or Tree Fund scheme.

Henshaw, known as "H", began brewing beer in his commercial brewery in a old dairy factory on State Highway 3 at Westmere last year and earlier this year opened his cellar door to the public.

"I've gone a bit old school - I like the idea of reusing rather than recycling," Henshaw said.


"Our bottles are unique and I want them back so I'm offering a 25 cent refund per bottle when they're brought back to the brewery or I can take that off the purchase price of the next bottles.

"But everyone is going for the tree planting programme."

Instead of claiming the refund, customers are donating it to Henshaw's Tree Fund to pay for planter bags, compost and other materials for the native seedlings he is raising.

"We're harvesting seeds from local forests and bush areas and when they're ready to go, which is about a year away, we want to give them to at no charge to schools and community groups," Henshaw said.

"Everyone loves the idea. We are Roots Brewing and we want to get more roots out there, more trees in the ground. We've got about 400 seedlings planted and we're adding to that all the time."

The business has been busy since Henshaw opened the cellar door and is in demand for events.

The cellar door sales started with four beers and Henshaw intends to release another five beers over the coming months.

"Stocks are up so we're getting some fairly regular hours and a lot of return custom and recommendations by word of mouth," he said.


On April 6 Roots Brewing will serve craft beer at the Taranaki-Whanganui-Manawatū Young Farmers regional final at Cooks Gardens, as well as running a contest for the competitors.

Later that day Henshaw will talk about the brewery and offer craft beer tasting at a fundraiser for Hospice Whanganui at Gonville Domain.

Future events include a beer tasting event at Frank Bar in May, the Whanganui Home Show in August and planning is in the early stages for a beer and music festival later in the year.