From small beginnings in Aro Street, our Garage Project has grown to work across multiple sites in Wellington and further afield..
From the original 50 litre brew kit we have expanded. See our different breweries and what goes on below!
68 Aro Street
It was way back in 2011 when we moved into the Garage. It was a derelict petrol station and car workshop with a colourful history. It had been a Jaguar workshop, run by a female race car driver and mechanic Sybil Lupp, but by the time we came to Aro looking for a space to start our brewery, the building had seen better days. I remember sitting on a dusty old couch, surrounded by rusting cars, cobwebs and cardboard boxes, watching the rats running along the rafters, and wondering what we’d got ourselves into. It took a while but we cleaned it up enough to pass the local council health regs and moved in with our little pilot brewery.
Some things have changed since then, but not everything. Things are a little bigger now. After 24/24 we were able to get a bigger brewery. We brewed on that for a year before we outgrew it and opted for another twice it’s size. We got a bottling machine and canning machine and we’ve added a cellar door where you can taste and takeaway the changing line up of Garage beers. We’ve still got the 50 litre kit, you can still see it at work from the cellar door.
After filling every square inch of space in the Aro Street site, we shifted our focus to how we could continue brewing in Wellington and develop new beers and approaches with an added ingredient - time.
Our Wild Workshop site in Marion Street is a dedicated space for spontaneous, mixed culture and wild ferments. We’ve converted an old print press factory into a cellar of wine barrels, foudres and amphoras all dedicated to ferments that are expressions of native New Zealand yeast and wild cultures.
The cellar is slowly but surely filling and every opportunity that we get sees the team heading into the hills around Wellington to gather wild flowers to bring back to kick off new ferments. These projects are evolving and changing and in some cases, will spend several years in barrel before being blended and released.
Alongside the beers, new projects are popping up, like Garage Project Crushed - a collaborative foray into the world of Wild Wines, using fruit we’ve brought in from Martinborough and Nelson to ferment in the heart of Wellington.
At the moment, the Wild Workshop is not open to the public, though we are working to change that in the future. Occasional special events do pop up in the cellar space downstairs, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page for those.
To grow and remain independent has always been a challenge of small breweries. To overcome that hurdle and to stay committed to being relentlessly experimental, we found a path forward by partnering with a brand new production brewery based out of the Hawke’s Bay. From being involved in the project from day one, we have been able to oversee the design and construction of our dream brewery.
Completed in mid 2017, B-Studio is now home to several Garage Project beers, along with being a facility that other breweries can use to help with their own growth. Built to truly world class specs, the site features a highly efficient Krones brewhouse, alongside top of the line bottling and canning lines.
Traceability and transparency is important to us, so any beer, be it from Aro Street, the Wild Workshop, or B Studio is clearly date coded to reflect the site at which it was fermented and packaged. Just look for a little ‘Aro’ or ‘HB’ or ‘WW’ on the bottle or can to see which site your beer came from.
We expect to add new sites as we continue to grow and develop, so watch this space. We’re excited to see our Project spread from it’s small beginnings in an old petrol station in Aro Street to the far corners of the globe.