Located in the village of Upper Moutere the Moutere Inn is recognised as New Zealand’s oldest pub in its original building. It has a reputation for providing both the local community and visitors with huge helpings of hospitality based on smiling faces, craft beers and generously proportioned, quality food.
The village of Upper Moutere was settled in the early 1840s by German immigrants who brought both hop plants and grape vines with them and established some of the very first wineries in New Zealand in the area. Of course they also planted the hops and the Nelson region is still the only place in New Zealand where hops are produced and it just makes sense that beer should be produced here too.
The original Moutere Inn was built by Cordt Bensemann in 1850 and living quarters for the Bensemann family followed soon after. By 1857 the structure that is still clearly recognizable as The Moutere Inn was in place.
Today the Moutere Inn is owned and operated by Dave Watson and Andrew Cole who have returned the pub to its traditional roots as an important part of a small community where the locals feel comfortable and visitors can enjoy great beer, wine, food and good company. Andrew says “our small nod to a traditional pub is the pool table but our real focus is on being a responsible part of the local community.”
Andrew and Dave are particularly proud of the range of local beers and wines they have on their beverage list; when it comes to beer the selection of tap beers is excellent and you will find wines in their list you will struggle to find anywhere else.
Being proper beer people they love real ales; these are beers that come straight from the Firkin and still have yeast working away, fermenting and creating natural bubbles rather than being re-carbonated after they have stopped fermenting. “If you store and serve them properly they are wonderful beers with nice bright flavours and a creamy texture, we usually have two of these on tap all the time alongside about 10 craft beers (many of which are locally made). The vast majority of beers we stock are tap craft beers and we change the range regularly so there is always something interesting to try, we only have very few in bottles”
The Moutere Inn is a great country pub that not only serves outstanding beer and wine but also serves as a hospitality hub in the small village.
Thanks to Neil Hodgson for permission to use this article