+64 9 522 1050
NZ: +64 9 522 1050
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The team at Gorgeous Creatures recently hosted some friends at GodsOwn. We love taking friends here, this is what we thought!
An easy flat 30-minute drive from Napier, or 20-minute drive from Hastings, through beautiful Hawkes Bay country filled with orchards, vineyards and farmland, you will find the quintessential New Zealand experience. The drive there is a part of the whole experience.
GodsOwn Brewery will show you how Kiwi’s relax, and give you the laid-back casual family-friendly vibe you have been searching for. If you have visitors staying from overseas, take them here, and they will never want to leave. This truly is a destination venue!
The first thing you will see, other than Pepper the dog welcoming you with a bark, is the safari tent. The tent is kitted out with an eclectic mix of recycled tables, benches and chairs. The front veranda has a lovely seating area that reminds me of a Kiwi holiday home.
This Hawkes Bay venue does larger family groups really well. There are plenty of large picnic tables, all with umbrellas dotted through the hop vines. In summer the hobs give you ribbons of shade.
A fire pit is ringed with logs that could hold about 20-25 people. Sit around telling tall stories with a craft brew beer in your hand. It looks like they could roast a whole pig on a spit over that fire!
GodsOwn grow their own hops in wire baskets. I don’t think there are many breweries that go to the trouble to grow hops in New Zealand, but it adds to the magic of this place. The hops grow as a vine up strings that are supported by an extensive pole and cable system. The hop plants are dormant in winter and sprout new growth in the spring. The rows of hops give you some separation and privacy from the other tables.
The annual Hop Festival is usually held on the first weekend in March. Bring the whole family, and come and help to harvest the hops. The event includes live music and guest food trucks.
GodsOwn brew their own craft beer, the flavours change with the seasons, and they are always experimenting. Their website has a very good description of each beer that is pouring now.
The on-site brewery has the capacity to brew 6000 liters of beer! Notably, none of their beers are subjected to filtration or fining methods that involve animal-based agents. As a result, these beverages are proudly vegan-friendly.
There is a biblical theme to the names, what else would you expect at GodsOwn! During or last visit we tried the Prophesy Pilsner, Creation Pale Ale, Silent Night Espresso Stout (loved this one!), Holy Hop Green IPA, Burning Bush IPA, Cardinal Cream Ale & Fiesta Mango & Jalapeno Pale Ale.
The menu also includes a lovely range of local Hawkes Bay ciders, wines and non-alcoholic drink options. We recommend the Zeffer cider, especially the tangy Hazy Passionfruit Cider or sweet Apple Crumple Cider (this one is mind blowing!).
The wood fired pizzas are great, they are roughly 30cm in diameter, and give you 8 slices. The proper traditional pizza dough base is so delicious. Flavours will probably be different each time you visit, but the garlic & rosemary or Margarita are always on the menu. Order your food and drink through the window of a classic old kiwi caravan. The wood fired pizza oven is beside a second caravan that acts as the kitchen.
There is a range of cured meats like Biltong and Chilli Sticks. We ate our way through about 10 places of the cured meats, they are so moreish! We also had the brew grain crackers with baked camembert.
For your kids they have a kids plate with fruit, crackers, carrot, hummus, raisins, chips and something sweet. Copper Kettel chippies (crisps for the rest of the world) and icecream or ice-blocks are also on the menu for everyone.
Following on from the biblical theme of the beer names, take a brightly coloured rock with names like Jacob, Mary, Adam and Noah to identify your table. They also work well to hold down your pile of napkins!
For additional information please read this recent article from Restaurant and Cafe New Zealand, with great background information about GodsOwn and the founders.
This place is very child and dog friendly. For kids and dogs there is a lot of space to run around, but although it is mostly fenced, a dog could run up the driveway and onto the road. There are often cows in the paddock next door. Pepper likes to bark at them.
A huge playground made of recycled objects gives hours of fun for kids. The pirate fort flying a pirate flag overlooks the trampoline. An old tractor and piles of tires to climb. A play house and jungle gym.
Friendly dogs can be off-leash, but take a leash just in case your dog gets over excited. Pepper the resident dog will be roaming around, visiting every table to make sure everyone is OK in her role as visitor host. I’m sure there is a large bowl of doggie water somewhere.
Most Kiwis know to take a raincoat, jacket, sunblock and a change of clothes & shoes in the car, because the weather in NZ can be so changeable. This open and flat landscape can be a bit exposed and catch the wind, but there is the safari tent to shelter in, and all the outdoor tables have large umbrellas for relief from the sun.
You will be thankful for a cooling breeze in the summer, but take sunblock! At colder times of the year they even have half-barrel fire-pits dotted throughout the outdoor seating areas.
The opening hours can change, check the GodsOwn facebook page first, but in general they are only open Friday 3pm – 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 12 noon till 6pm.
They occasionally have a private function and are closed to the public, (even on their normal opening days) so check with them before you go out. Bookings might be required on their busiest summer days. Like many NZ small family-owned businesses, they sometimes have a winter close-down period for a few months.
This is a great summer wedding venue for a smaller wedding. For a relaxed and rustic Kiwi inspired wedding, they can cater for up to 100 guests. Around forty guests can be seated in the safari tent, with the rest seated outside on picnic tables. There are lots of photo opportunities on the property and near by.