Hey there – I’m James Hay. Like any other Wanaka local, I spend most of my time outdoors, enjoying the mountains and lake at our fingertips. At the end of the day, I’d always enjoy cold beer and started to realise that there weren’t a lot of local breweries or craft beers in the area. So I took it upon myself to create refreshing, sessionable beer for the mountains and the lake. In 2015, I started brewing my own beers under the b.effect name.
Starting a local brewery in Wanaka
What started as a contract brewing company, brewing at breweries all over the South Island, has now grown into b.social – Wanaka’s local brewery in the heart of Anderson Heights. This prime location was perfect for having a bar and tasting room to serve as the friendly neighbourhood bar for all the people living in the area. I teamed up with Matt and Anna Lamming, owners of local eatery Urban Grind and The Hawea Hotel, to make b.social an iconic brewpub.
Together, we found the perfect building – an old car mechanic shop. We had to fill in the pit when we replaced the floor for the brewery. There was an extensive fitout to take the building back to just the iron, and we even had to remove most of the concrete floor. Then, we rebuilt the whole bar and added an upstairs mezzanine, and separated the bar from the brewery with an internal wall. We absolutely love the way it turned out – we had full creative control over the look and feel of b.social and we are so excited to share it with you.
Local brewery, local beers
b.social officially opened in November 2019 and today offers 16 taps, with approximately half of them being our own b.effect beers, a few guest beers, two wines on tap and kombucha. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper brewery if there wasn’t excellent food to go with it. We have a full kitchen serving up delicious brewpub classics like hearty burgers and steaks, as well as unique dishes like kimchi fries and hoisin nachos to pair perfectly with our tasty beers. We’re constantly coming up with new ideas for drinks, food, events and more – stop on by and check out our gorgeous outdoor beer garden and sample a flight in our tasting room.
(tap the tap badge for details)
Refreshing, sessionable craft beers made right here in Wanaka. Our core range includes a variety of lagers and ales to suit any taste. We use as many local New Zealand ingredients as possible to ensure a unique flavour profile you won’t find anywhere else.
We know you’ll love them all, but if you’re having trouble deciding which one to try first, why not sample a few on a tasting flight? Stop by our tasting room and we’ll help you figure out which of our tasty craft beers might suit your taste. Our experienced bar staff would love to help you discover your new favourite beer.
- Wanaka Lager
- Pop’n Pils
- Press Send
- Hazy IPA
- Cut Cat
- Social Experiment
Cider & Other Brews
- daywalker gingerbeer
ask your bartender for current guest-tap offerings!
Not feeling beer today? Don’t worry – we also offer wine, kombucha and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages:
- b.effect Kombucha – Jasmine Tea or Original
- Lamont Chardonnay
- Carrick Rose
- Pinot Noir by b.effect & Maude
- Karma Cola
- Lemony Lemonade
- Phoenix Juices
We were lucky enough to build our Wanaka brewery and bar from scratch so it could be exactly how we imagined.
To book a complimentary brewery tour and sample some delicious craft beers, please enquire with firstname.lastname@example.org
Craft Beer Tasting
With so many beers on tap, it can be hard to choose which one to start with! Don’t worry – we offer craft beer tasting flights so you can try four different beers and see which ones you like best. Our experienced bar staff will help guide you and are happy to answer any questions you might have about our beers.
Beer tasting flights include four beers of your choice for $25 (250mL ea). Check out our range of beers here.