The Gentle Cycling Company

The Townsend Brewery


A family friendly micro-brewery located to compliment the atmosphere at Toad Hall café in Motueka, right on the Great Taste Trail, draws Hodgson in for a sample and chat with owner and beer lover, Martin Townsend.

I first crossed paths with Martin Townshend long before he started brewing beer. We shared column space in the Nelson Mail some 16 years ago, when he wrote a beer column one week and I wrote a wine column the other. When he started brewing his own beer I very quickly became a fan of his amber nectar, you will always find a few bottles of Townshend Brewery beer in our fridge at home; his hand-crafted products have also won many accolades with Townshend being named as the top brewer at the New Zealand Beer Awards in 2014.

The latest move is to a brand new brewery in Motueka, behind Toad Hall, “we were lucky to be offered the space beside their café and we are there to enhance what they are offering. We were nervous because we had to produce something that would fit in and we are trying to compliment what they have already achieved so the brewery is tucked away at the back while they manage the visitor experience. Folks may get the impression we are still very separate businesses but we are working together to create something special: essentially a unique and exciting entertainment venue and garden bar where Toad Hall’s excellent food and service is backed up by our weird and wonderful craft beer range. A great outdoor area and massive deck between the two buildings really complements the connection between us.

“People get to enjoy the wonderful family friendly café and they serve my beers, people can look into the brewery and see beer being made, engage more with the brewing experience in a family oriented way.”

There are lots of new things in the pipeline at Townshend Brewery including “seasonal beers, lots of experimenting with things like small batch barrel aged beers and maybe wild ferments all with the goal of growing the business, engaging more with the general public so they know who we are and why we do it, we want to create a beer mecca for Townshend Brewery and be part of a tourist destination as well as part of a great network of craft brewers.”

Thanks to Neil Hodgson for permission to use this article, first published 8/11/17