In 2017, the foundation of Lads Brewing began to take shape in the corner of Taco’s garage. It all started with Hami and Taco experimenting with brewing their own beer. Soon enough, Andrew and Adam joined the team, and their collective enthusiasm for quality beer united them as a group of friends eager to venture into the brewing industry.
Initially, they brewed beer primarily for themselves and their friends at the Whanganui Marist Football Club. Their casual post-game gatherings quickly turned into a conversation about taking their brewing hobby to the next level. Though Taco’s garage had served as a starting point, it was clear that a commercial venture required a more substantial setup. They decided to partner with Massey University in Palmerston North for contract brewing. In 2018, they introduced their first beer, the Hula Girl Coconut Ale, at a local bar, marking the beginning of a successful journey in the beer industry.
The four founders brought diverse expertise to the table, with backgrounds in avionics, mechanical engineering, commercial insurance, and shearing. This combination of skills allowed them to channel classic Kiwi ingenuity in building and developing their brewery from the ground up.
Their efforts did not go unnoticed, as they clinched the Best Emerging Maori Business award at Whanganui’s Te Manu Atatu awards. In December 2019, they found the perfect spot for their brewing operations at 1 Taylor Street. They moved the equipment in and started brewing by February 2020, gearing up for an eventful year ahead. Although faced with unexpected challenges due to the lockdown in March 2020, they adapted by becoming a Foodstuffs approved supplier and expanding their core range, originally crafted during their garage brewing days.
Emerging from the lockdown, they focused on establishing a solid presence in the Whanganui region. After the second lockdown ended in September 2020, they introduced the Lads Brew Days, a bi-monthly event featuring live music and brewing demonstrations under the Whanganui sun. This period also saw the addition of ‘Buck’, a beer truck that became a staple at various festivals across the Manawatu/Whanganui/Taranaki regions.
In 2022, they took another significant step by transforming into a full-time Craft Brewery Bar. While undergoing renovations, they temporarily halted open days, eventually resuming with a vibrant schedule from Thursday to Saturday, offering live music and a diverse beer selection. Lads Brewing Company continues to grow, with their products now available in various locations including Whanganui, Auckland, Wellington, Ohakune, Palmy, and Bulls, solidifying their presence in the New Zealand beer market.