Interior detail of the new bar at Tantalus restaurant on Waiheke. Picture / Babiche Martens

Tantalus Estate's New Brewer's Lounge

Alibi Brewing Co. is serving up a plethora of summer flavours in a charming lounge on Waiheke Island

Bernard Neate, the head brewer at Waiheke’s Alibi Brewing Co., has a plethora of summer flavours in the works for the warmer months.

Those keen to try his tropical sour beer (with mango, guava, and passionfruit) or watermelon and oyster gose, can now do so in Tantalus Estate’s dedicated Brewer’s Lounge, the latest addition to their vineyard, winery, restaurant and brewery.

Tantalus’ owners, Carrie Mendell and Campbell Aitken, originally wanted to open a relaxed craft beer brewery, but their plans cascaded into something far more elaborate.

This means the new bar isn’t a mere afterthought, but something that’s been brewing for a long time.

Bernard says the design — brick-lined walls and dim lighting — was influenced by intimate speakeasies, and smoking rooms that used to be found in train stations. Sitting adjacent to the brewery itself, the result is like “something out of the movies”.

In winter, it’s the perfect place to cosy up with a cocktail, while in summer it provides an intriguing selection of refreshing beers. You can choose to enjoy the lounge’s charm, or take your pick from their 12 taps to the deck and soak up the views.

RECIPES: Refreshing Cocktails for an Afternoon Tipple

To match what’s in the glass, the menu includes sharing plates of wagyu beef sliders, calamari and crayfish bao, pork belly buns, and truffle fries with creme fraiche.

The latter were added because they became “the talk of the island” when they were on the menu at Tantalus’ restaurant.

Another new creation, says Bernard, is a Belgian wheat beer brewed with grapefruit grown on site. “I’m lucky to have the luxury of having the fermenters right in front of me, meaning I have the freedom to get creative with the seasons as they come.”

Bernard says the Tantalus Estate winery, restaurant and brewery are filled with “people of passion” who constantly come up with new plans.

The latest involves an emphasis on sustainability, which sees the kitchen team minimising waste by pickling and fermenting, and making the most of what they’re able to forage themselves.

• 72 Onetangi Rd, Waiheke Island. Open Thursday to Sunday, and then daily from December 26. Visit Tantalus.co.nz

 

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