Move from Upper Moutere shed to Motueka's main road August 30 2017

Townshends BreweryMartin Townshend built his reputation as a one-man beer brewing operation in a shed at his Upper Moutere home.

But the award-winning brewer has outgrown his shed and is re-locating Townshend Brewery to a bigger, busier site in Motueka.

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Townshend Brewery Crowned New Zealand’s Champion Brewery for 2014 August 26 2014

Martin Townshend interview after winning BGNZ Champion Brewery

We have been named New Zealand’s Champion Brewery!

The announcement was made at the 2014 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards held on Thursday night (21 August) in Wellington.

We are blown away, the award is the icing on the cake in what’s been an excellent couple of years for the brewery. We would like to say a thank you to all our loyal customers who have enjoyed our beers over the years as we have grown and experimented. The beer industry is so supportive and encouraging, we are so proud to be part of it.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make it on the night so a huge thank you to Stu McInlay of Yeastie Boys who accepted the award and spoke on our behalf, what a star.

Townshend was up against stiff competition, with a record 670 beers from 74 New Zealand and 10 International breweries entered across 15 different categories this year.

All beer entries were rated against a style guide for each category for its aroma, colour, bitterness, flavour and presentation. A beer’s overall balance of characteristics was judged by a panel comprising 25 national and internationally qualified judges.  

In addition to being named Champion Brewery, Townshend was also awarded the Champion New Zealand Manufacturer trophy and won the New Zealand Specific Style category for his Oldhams Tap Riwaka Pilsner. 12 of our other brews also earned medals.   

Like most things in life, the secret to our success is passion, hard work and dedication to the task. I still enjoy brewing now as much as I ever have and I think most brewers will tell you the same. That said, it’s huge to be recognised and this award is the best possible recognition a brewer could get. It seems like only yesterday that I created my first brew in the shed.

We have some great plans afoot for the next 12 months and are looking forward to sharing more of our ales of the unexpected with an fantastic growing community of beer lovers.

Martin & Keri Townshend


Read more about the win here;

3 News - Solo brewers takes out New Zealand championship

Brewers Guild of New Zealand - Townshend Brewery Named Champion NZ Brewery 2014

Nelson Mail - Family Comes First for Brewing Champion

NZ Herald - NZ's Best Beers Named

Paul Henry Show - One man brewery takes top beer prize 2014


Hardware Upgrade July 15 2014

We’ll after a whirlwind UK trip catching up family and stopping in on the old local English pubs, We are back in the brewery refilling up all the Townshend’s fermenters and catching up with orders and enquiries.


Remember those Meccano kits you got as kid, well imagine about 1000 of those scaled up to adult size with an instruction book to match - it’s our new bottling machine taking shape. Sometimes you need a better tool to do a better job, and thats exactly what our new Townshend's bottling line is being set up to do. 


With the old tasks made easier will be able to spend more time inventing great brews, and reinventing old ones… Like our latest re-releases Scissor Jacks Hoppy Lager, and Kings Landing Scotch Ale which have had some subtle tweaking from the first stunning batches to make them even more damn tasty.


Keep an eye on twitter, we will be flipping the switch on the online store again once your locals have been fully re-stocked with bottles and kegs.

Online shop closed while on holiday sorry May 16 2014

Hello to all the craft beer drinkers out there,

As a lot of you probably already know, Townshend's Brewery consists of 2 people... myself and my wife. We are truely craft, creating the beers ourselves in our brewery tucked away in the bush in Upper Moutere. Our beers are based around the craft beers of my English heritage, and we have decided to head back over to the UK to see family and of course try some craft beer.

What that means though, is we wont be selling any beers or tees online until we get back. But don't stress we had prepared for this, and made sure that the supermarkets, bottlo's and pubs that sell our beer are well stoked up. So you can still head to your local and get a pint of our well balance and damn tasty craft beers (if we do say so ourselves).

We have been really blown away with all the exceptional feedback on our new look, and website orders we have been getting. So thanks to all of you that have been part of this, and we look forward to getting our store back online, and filling you in on all our new exciting brews.




What beer we'd serve Will & Kate April 15 2014

So if you've been living under a digital rock for the past few days, I may as well let you know that the royals are in the country.

Tomorrow is the last day that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make their away around the country to see the sights, wear outfits women are jealous of, show off our future head of state and yack to politicians. 

Our elected representatives have already been bickering about the event though, with Labour leader David Cunliffe saying the prime minister is milking the event to get some good photo opportunities in an election year.

John Key would know all about photo ops with Prince William after all, as the prince's last visit here resulted in one of the most ''blokey'' shots Key has had in his career yet - Key swilling some lager while he and the then-unmarried prince cooked some of the biggest slabs of meat I've ever seen put on a grill.

While Wellington's weather has not been conducive towards barbequing, there has been beer involved on this trip.

Beer writer Neil Miller, who admits to having Republican tendencies, hosted a New Zealand beer tasting for the media contingent who travelled from the United Kingdom for the tour.

And while introducing our finest brews to journalists from the home of real ale is a great thing to do, I wish he could have been hosting a beer tasting for the Duke and Duchess.

So what should the Duke and Duchess be given if they were to experience the best of New Zealand beer? Say, the five beers they should drink?

The Republicans among us would probably give them Rheineck, Viking, Tui, Lion Red and DB Bitter, but I would rather send them back with memories of good beer.

1) Emerson's Bookbinder - A taste of home, but with a new world twist, is what Bookbinder would be to anyone from England who knows a thing or two about beer. Four types of malt and two Nelson-grown hop varieties - Fuggles and Riwaka - create a traditional English bitter with so much flavour packed into its 3.7 per cent ABV frame, I am pleasantly confused every time I try it.

2) Wigram Spruce Beer - While The Mussel Inn's Captain Cooker is arguably our most famous manuka beer, Wigram's is said to be a closer match to the first beer brewed in New Zealand. Captain James Cook brewed an ale using molasses, manuka and rimu when he hit the shores of Aotearoa, and the Christchurch brewery does the same today. The unconventional ingredients create an aroma which screams of tramping through native bush, while the ginger flavour gives a spicy finish.

3) Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta - Oh c'mon, you cannot tell me one of the most English couples in the world would not love a tea-infused beer. It contains Earl Grey instead of the classic English Breakfast, but the intense floral aroma and juicy hop finish goes down well with almost anyone who tries it. And if they really enjoy it, they can get a hand pumped cask version of it when they get home. But at 6.5 per cent ABV, it may not be the best choice for afternoon tea

4) 8 Wired Hopwired - While England may be the home of India pale ale, it got transformed in the United States into a style known for its massive doses of hops. With the unique hops grown in New Zealand renowned for their distinctive flavour, it was only a matter of time before a brewer here put them into an IPA. Naturally, in the spirit of foreigners using our stuff better than we do, the Danish brewer Søren Eriksen made what he believed was the first IPA with all New Zealand-grown pale ale malt and hops. Still a benchmark on the New Zealand market, Hopwired's intense aroma and tongue-numbing bitterness would jolt any lingering jetlag out of the royal couple.

5) Townshend's Flemish Stout - If the royals are going to have some weird, it may as well come from a fellow Brit. Now living in Upper Moutere, English expatriate Martin Townshend's brews have made him the second-best brewer in the country, and it is easy to see why after drinking any of his beers. But the jewel in his brewery's crown is this rich, smooth, deliciously tart stout. The royals could also take a few bottles away to cellar, or to make their time in Australia a bit more bearable.

- © Fairfax NZ News click to view on stuff

New brews add to old favourites February 18 2014

In the case of Townshend's Brewery in the Upper Moutere, Martin Townshend is the Pommy who makes excellent real ales. The brewery is six years old, and he started out making really high quality English beers as close to style as possible. He now has three beers regularly fermenting in casks, with a cider in the mix as well.

English Bitter in Fine Tradition November 06 2013

The days are getting shorter and the body is beginning to prepare for colder temperatures so our tastes start tending towards warming ales.

Well, mine do, anyway. Today I am tasting a traditionally brewed English ale brewed in Upper Moutere. The beer is called Old House ESB (extra special bitter) and is made by Townshend Brewery in Upper Moutere, Nelson.

Martin Townshend, the owner/brewer, is an expat Englishman who married a Kiwi girl and ended up moving to Upper Moutere in 2002. Martin spent 15 years making fine homebrew before he decided to take the plunge and make the stuff commercially. He has a small 280-litre brewing plant on his lifestyle block and at the moment is making about 800 litres a week.

Being English helps in his dedication to the traditional brewing ways of his homeland. He is focused mainly on traditional cask-conditioned real ale and recommends drinking it from the cask via a hand pump.

Unfortunately all his regular outlets are in the Nelson region, with sporadic appearances in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Luckily for us he also bottles some of his beer, and it is available in select outlets throughout the country.

Martin is right, this type of beer tastes best fresh so, if you can, drink it in the Moutere where it belongs.

The beer is not pasteurised or filtered and is naturally carbonated in the bottle. The presence of yeast in the bottle also helps the beer last longer, and for six months or so it will even get better. The bottles are conditioned for four weeks before being released. Having sediment in the bottle does require that extra bit of care but I found that it was fairly well compacted and even when tipping the last of it from the bottle it was still very drinkable. It should not be drunk from the bottle. If you are concerned that drinking a beer from a glass is not manly enough maybe you should be drinking something like a mass-produced beer.

I poured gently into a large glass, taking care not to disturb the sediment. The carbonation was spot on with small bubbles supporting a close-knit white head. The head settled to a thick film. The liquid was very clear and was a deep amber colour with a golden tinge. The nose was fresh with a hint of yeast. Some subtle caramel malt aromas come through with an edge of hop flower. Initially in the mouth it is soft with a hint of smooth malt sweetness. A crisp edge/bitterness shows itself early to indicate that yes there are hops in this beer. A rich intensity dominates the middle, a mix of alcohol and malt body. The finish slowly moves to the back of the mouth where the earthy hop bitterness and a tannic edge take over. The balance throughout the palate is spot on.

This is helped by the yeast in the bottle which helps the beer develop over time.

It doesn't try to overpower you with flavour or hops. It hits the English ESB style on the head. A very drinkable beer.

Old House ESB
Style: English ESB
Made By: Townshend Brewery, Upper Moutere.
Alcohol content: 5.3% abv
Available: Halswell New World. Fresh Choice Parklands.
Description: Rich malt body with just the right amount of earthy hop character.

BY CARL HADLER 25/03/2010

- © Fairfax NZ News

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Tiny craft brewer taking on the big boys August 23 2013

Craft brewer Martin Townshend's national awards prove that the little guy can take on big business, and win - with the right blend of hops, barley, water and hard work.

Townshend Brewery from Rosedale near Nelson placed second-equal overall at the annual Brewers Guild awards in Wellington this month, alongside Lion, New Zealand's biggest brewing company.

Two of Townshend's brews, including the best-selling Old House EBS which he says is popular at the Free House in Nelson, and Oldham's Tap Riwaka Pilsner, were judged best beer in their categories, while six of his other drops also earned medals.

Mr Townshend said the successful awards ceremony proved that small craft brewing operations could compete with corporate giants.

"They [Lion] are enormous, and I'm just a one-man band," he said.

"We [craft brewers] have taken the big boys to task."

He said the true craft breweries in New Zealand made up just 3 or 4 per cent of the market, which was dominated by large companies which often used their economic strength to buy out smaller businesses.

Townshend Brewery has grown over eight years, from being the second-smallest to the tenth-smallest brewery in the country, but it has remained a one-person operation based out the back of the Townshend family home.

Mr Townshend said it was when he took a loan to rebuild his bathroom, but instead invested the money in the makings of a small brewery, that his craft beer story started.

He now brews more than 50,000 litres a year, and though five staple beers have consistently remained best-sellers, he thinks he has produced about 70 other unique drops since pouring that first beer.

"It's wonderfully fun, but it also puts food on the table," he said.

He said it's made him enough, after saving for four years, to take his family on a holiday to Thailand and back home to the UK, but it was still a labour of love.

He was expanding his brewing operation when the Nelson Mail visited his 6.5-hectare rural Moutere property, building extra space to complement his shipping container "man cave" in which he stores grain, thinks, and listens to records.

"Demand keeps going up all the time," he said.

He would continue making more and more beer to keep up with orders, and "just carry on having a laugh, really".

Renaissance Brewing Company Marlborough won best brewery at the awards.

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