Brew Master and Big chief bottle washer – Reuben Lee

Packaging technician and bottle store manager - Vinny Astill

Management, maintenance and general dog’s body – Andrew Dixon (with whippings from Jane!)

Quality control panel – Neil, Izzie, John, Pete, Humfrey, David, Toni, David, John & Jenny (in heaven), Jamie, Jamie, Andrea, Chris, Selena, Lisa, Geoff, Steve, Wendy, Rod, Bruce, Glenn, Greg, Jamie, Punj, Joe, Simon and anyone else with positive feed back to offer.

.... and now for the beers.....

 Click on the labels to view a larger version. If you would like a set of labels for your collection, send me $15 and I'll send you a set.              (see see the merch page )

On the taps  


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 Captain Cooker Manuka Beer  -  The Mussel Inn flagship  - A red brown beer flavoured with the freshly picked tips of the Manuka tree. 4.4%

Read the story    

Availability:    Retail outlets      Fresh from the brewery         The Beer Cellar        Trade enquiries   

Has also brewed in Invercargill , Belgium , in Salt Lake City, Utah, by the  Squatters brewery   and the  Hawkshead Brewery  , UK

Over the years there have also been several interesting sub breeds of the pig - check them out..

 Also available in 1.3 litre PETs  and 330ml bottles in selected supermarkets or The Beer Cellar


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Golden Goose Lager - A hoppy golden easy drinking lager. 100% Canterbury Pilsner malt - 100% local hops. 4.4%

Also available in 1.3 litre PETs  and 330ml bottles in selected supermarkets or The Beer Cellar

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 Dark Horse Black Beer - Dark and roasty and not too dry. A solid and dependable performer - pulls away strong at the finish. 4.4%4%

Also available in 1.3 litre PETs  and 330ml bottles in selected supermarkets or The Beer Cellar

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Pale Whale Ale - IPA - Big body – long tail!  Good for a stranding or just getting beached. 6%

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Apple Roughy Cider - dry organic apple cider. A great mix of Sturmers, Grannies and other random  apples from around the hood. Rough 'n country as it should be! 4% (pressing 09).

Also available in 1.3 litre PETs  and 330ml bottles in selected supermarkets or the Beer Library

Seasonal Brews on now:

Made with the addition of 20kg of blackcurrants to the ferment. The fruit for this was lovingly grown by the Rush's of Tasman (who also supply us with most of our cider apples). Check out their roadside stall next time you're out there driving the old road - they're just down the road from Jester House. And for a little extra blackcurrant presence - 12 litres of Barkers unsweetened juice has been added to the bright beer tank - so now it's the Barking Rushin Cur!

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Cool Giraffe - Golden Ale. 5% (from this original shot Etosha, Namibia, 2013)

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Brown Cow - Rich brown ale.  A little something to put the smile back on the farmers faces   4.5%


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Polar Beer - Winter lager. No - you don't have to drink dark beer just because it's winter! 5.5%

for GABS - Melbourne, Sydney and for the first time, Auckland

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Corker Porker - made from manuka and hops grown at the Mussel Inn,  within spitting distance of the brewery. Available NOW

Both the 'Onekaka' hops and specially cultivated manuka were picked and added on brew day.

Beers in bottles 

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Black Rhino - Robust imperial porter style dark ale. 6%  

(I shot this lovely rhino in Etosha, Namibia, 2013)

Look out for these puppies in your fav bottle store and if they haven't got them, tell the owners to get in contact with Craig at BeerNZ .

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Monkey Puzzle – extra strong ale - Belgium style ale full of … everything.  10% abv - ya don't mess with the Monkey!

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Lean Lamb - Farm house sour ale form our barrel of joy our - slightly tart 'n somewhat frisky! New version out now - Very limited supply. 

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Heat Rash Chilli Beer - Golden Goose with a chilli added to the bottle. The older the hotter. Small runs  available depending on supply of chilies. Usually available after the Easter chili harvest. Served with the chilli for those who can hack it. 4.4%

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Spring Bock - Colonial ale. 7%. Put a Pale Whale in a pinot barrel for 9 months, stick a Monkey on it's back, run a Dark Horse past it and then give it a good kick with an Ass. Bringing back the flavours of our forebears. A funky barrel aged semi sour - tasty as!

330ml bottles only - seasonal special - get it while you can.

Seasonal / occasional and past beers on tap or in the bottle

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Barking Rushin Cur - Blackcurrant stout 6%. MARCHFeST 2016 special

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Little Red Rooster - Red ale 4.7 %

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Lawn Moa Lager - makes the toil worth the while. Made from 100% homegrown 2015 'Onekaka' hops.

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Golden Retriever  - 5.2%  Bouncing Golden Ale - celebrating 20 years of brewing at the Mussel Inn!

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Blue Gnu - Session ale - latest version 4.2% -  using the new manuka smoked malt from Gladfield - and this trophy Gnu I shot in Namibia

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Foxy Tale - Session ale / Luncheon ale. 3.7%  A sneaky little number offering some easy drinking light relief from all those hop bombers. Ideal for those who like to spin a yarn over some time or have expensive / dangerous machinery to operate after lunch.

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Super Swine - Imperial manuka beer 7%.

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Red Deer Draught  - Rich red lager with a trophy head. 4% . Just like Tui - yeah right!

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Bitter Ass - Double IPA - 8.5% -  From an extremely high hopping Stallion and a kick ass  funky Donkey - approach with caution! 

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White Heron Wheat Beer  - Sharp at the top - long legs underneath. Wickedly quaffable. Quite nice served with a slice of lemon. 4.8%. Migrates here in the summer

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Zebra Zebra - 5% Black Whit Beer - the perfect sundowner  (label from original shot in Namibia last year)

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Mad Dog - Wild colonial ale  5% GABS special brew 

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Strong Ox Strong Dark Ale   - Malt driven with a moderate whipping of hops. For strength and endurance. 7%

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Green Pullet - Farmyard Lager. 5% - 2014 MARCHFeST special (available first at Marchfest)

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Welcome Swallow - Quaffing ale - 4.7% 2015 MARCHFeST special (available first at Marchfest)

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Weka - Tasty Dark Ale - a barrel aged strong darkish ale. This version started life as Captain Cooker, then did quite a few months in an ex bourbon barrel which had just seen service of seven years of GRAPPA. Back blended with a little Strong OX. One of a kind and extremely rare! Quite strong.

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Bush Baby - NZBush beer GABS special - think manuka / kawakawa / rata honey

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Laughing Owl - Lager of extinction. 

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Paddington Bear  - English Breakfast Beer - 5% MARCHFeST special - 8 litres of marmalade and 5 loaves of white bread toast!

Mousey Tongue - 6% Great leap lager. 2011 MARCHFeST special (Revolution theme)

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White Tiger - 5.7% SAISON. Big and fluffy but watch those teeth. Good for a mauling. Now sadly extinct.

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 Missing Lynx - MARCHFeST  2010 special limited edition 5.2%. (Evolution theme)  330ml bottle

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Love Mussel - porter  MARCHFeST 2013  special   

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 Happy Jackal - Pumpkin Ale 5% -  Pumpkin pie in a beer.

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Red Herring Autumn Ale - Lightly smoked golden ale 5.8%

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Whiskey Kiss Bourbon Barrel Fermented Beer - A brown beer fermented and matured in a bourbon barrel. 6%

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SPACE MONKEY - Orbital Lager 5.2% Made from 100% 2013 Orbit hops 

Black Swan  - Dark wheat beer. Substantial body - long neck. 4%

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Bison Weizen Dark Wheat Beer  - Big and round and roly poly - nothing better to settle the dust after a good stampede. 4%

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Black Sheep Unusual Dark Beer  - A label reserved for that occasional dark beer that refuses to be easily  categorised. 3-7%

Other products  


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Freckled Frog Feijoa Fizz - A fun and frivolous 100% feijoa cider (contains no apple). A worryingly easy quaffer. 4 - 5%. (original pic)

Also available in 1.3 litre PETs  and 330ml bottles in selected supermarkets or the Beer Library

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Savvy Blonde – Sauvignon blanc. She was a feisty wee number but alas, no competition for the cheap bombshells that are so common these days. 

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Weasel's    2% - Any of our 4% beers cut 50/50 with soda water. A shandy without the sugar. Great for drivers and wowsers.

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Side Winder - Bourbon barrel matured cider. Cider with a bite!

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Old Slugger - 100% natural slug bait. Let those slippery little buggers die in the most pleasant way imaginable - to drown in beer!

Alcohol free:

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Ginger Beer – real ginger and raw sugar with a touch of mint. Grandma's envy.

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Lemming Aid – lemon juice, crushed lemons and sugar. Of course its good for ya!

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Pink Panther -Raspberry fizz. Cut the legs off a lemming and smack it with a raspberry! Watch those kids go!!!

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Lemonashi  – Organic nashi pear and lemon juice from fruit grown in Onekaka. No added sugar. Very seasonal - comes out around late Jan to mid Feb. if the fruit behaves itself.

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Karanji Crystal - Pure water as used in all of our liquid products - straight from the source, filtered through the forest of Kahurangi National Park. This water is un-pasteurized and has had nothing removed from it, bringing you all the life giving goodness that the modern world does it's best to deprive us of. Bottled in recycled bottles. Available on tap NOW.

Products in the pipeline.....

Kaka-Cola and Para-Phanta - we're workin' on it!

 About the Brewery

  The brewery is located adjacent to the Mussel Inn in a small purpose built building built in the winter of 1995. The brew length is 10 hecto litres (1000 L) - we usually brew a couple of times a week  but production is limited by our bright beer tanks, the 20mm water pipe line from the stream above and the hectare of orchard that has to absorb all of our spent wash water and grain . Basically, we're pretty much working at maximum production.

The main ingredient for our beers – the water – comes from a small stream in the hills behind the Mussel Inn – bush filtered and low in dissolved minerals. The hops we use are locally grown organic whole cone varieties with a few special brews being made from our own hops which we grow in our own plot out in the apple orchard. For bittering we mainly use Pacific Gem followed by  Wakatu (NZ Hallatau) or Riwaka (Saaz D) or some other low alpha variety for aroma. All of our malt is grown and malted in Canterbury by Gladfield Malts and is of unsurpassed quality.

All of our beers are produced in the traditional way, using a gravitational system in the brewing process. We use a straight infusion mash and a gas fired kettle which has now been converted to electric because it's way more environmentally friendly and is a lot less likely to blow Reuben's head off!. Except for our bottle ales which use various top fermenting ale yeasts, a bottom fermenting lager yeast is used in both our lagers and dark beers, fermented at 13°. All beers are unfiltered and are naturally carbonated in the conditioning tanks through  secondary fermentation then topped up with a little help from Mr BOC before bottling or kegging. Our beers are vegan friendly - being kettle fined with carageenan. This is, of course, if you don't consider yeast to be an animal.

WHY NO TAKE AWAYS?  (click to find out)

However - due to popular demand, the Goose, Pig and Horse are now available in 1.3 litre PET bottles and 330ml glass bottles in our local Fresh Choice Super market and spreading.  (availability)

 Want beer delivered to your door? email us or try The Beer Cellar

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want to find more good beers and places to drink them?  Check out THE BEER TOURIST