The Mussel Inn


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1259 State Highway 60
Onekaka, 7182
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

+64 3 525 9241 | map

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Added by alexgash on 06-04-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by dgilks:
Photo of dgilks
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Located in what is basically the middle of nowhere, the Mussel Inn is a bastion of good beer. This small wooden shack, hidden away just off the highway is home to a small microbrewery and a collection of broken mobile phones stuck to a pole in the beer garden. The small bar features a regular series of concerts ranging from classical quartets to rock'n'roll. The beers, all made on premises, range from their signature beer, Captain Cooker, a brown ale brewed with Manuka tips, to Pale Whale Ale, a hoppy IPA to Lambagreeny, a barrel-aged feijoa lambic. The thing that stands out about the Mussel Inn is their commitment to organics and their willingness to experiment. The Captain Cooker is herbal, bitter and medicinal, a true tribute to the hers involved in the production. Lambagreeny is the type of beer most breweries won't produce; Tart, fruity and refreshing, it's the sort of beer more breweries should play with. The tropical flavour of the feijoa plays well with the light acidity of the young lambic.

The food at the Mussel Inn is also decent, focussed on the clean, clear flavours of organic produce.

 1,116 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Located on what is the main road in a very rural location, this brewpub is set back in the woods in a tranquil, woodsy setting. Inside, in addition to a number of tables and a small bar at which one places their order, is a stage with sound equipment that indicates the "inn" is not always quiet and tranquil. Only Mussel Inn beers are available here, with about 6 on tap and a few others in bottles. Some food of various types is available. Both the foods and the beers are more imaginative than a typical brewpub. A fine variety of options for outdoor seating.

Well worth the stop if in the area.

 600 characters

Photo of tcpublick
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

In the repetitive and bland beer market that is new zealand The Mussel Inn stands out both for its distinct and varried selection and its comfortable atmosphere. Its flagship beer is the Captain Cooker Manuka Beer, a redish beer brewed with the fresh tips of the manuka tree -- a native tea tree. The result is a very interesting spiced beer. I use spiced with hesitation, as it tastes much like a refreshing tonic or elixer (they claim it has medicinal qualities) and not like a christmas desert. They are proud of it and rightly so, as it is by far the most unique and adventurous beer I've tasted in NZ. The other beers highlight this adventurous attitued, and have included a whiskey barrel aged ale and a belgian style ale, in at 12% huge for NZ (taste is somewhere between a double and a pale and something of a missed effort). There is not a lot of hops in the beers but the golden goose has a nice crisp finish.
The feel of the place too is fantastic with a large open garden and warm cozy interior. Eco-friendly composting toilets are an experience, and if you kill a possum the tail will get you a free pour ( PETA: they're pests here and kills the native birds!)They dont have the lights turned up too high, like most beer halls in the country, and its a welcome change to those of us used to alluringly dim pubs.

The food was on par with what college students might make in their microwave or galley kitchen. I'd suggest feeding yourself before you arrive as the food seems to be an afterthought. Though it's hard to mess up something like nachos and pints.
Service is pretty standard for NZ... order at the bar and expect a friendly pour, but not a conversation.
They have live bands constantly and you will be amazed that so many will turn out. They can't do off site sales, which is a bummer because its 20km from town and most accomodation, so plan on a DD or self restraint.

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Photo of ticeman
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Reputed to be a "legendary" brewpub and music venue in the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, we found the Mussel Inn to be a great place to enjoy a pint or two and catch some live music. As it's located in the Golden Bay, expect a cruisy, hippie vibe and some well-crafted microbrews. I believve they had 5-6 beers on tap, as well as a number on bottle.

We didn't try the food on either night we stopped in, but Mussel Inn looked to have a decent little menu with better-than-average bar food, perhaps a tad expensive, but eating out in NZ generally is. The Mussel Chowder, served at another table, looked especially good.

All in all, a highly recommended stop, as the beers are well done, the music entertaining, and the atmosphere is great. If you go, be sure to try the Captain Cooker Manuka beer. Whale Pale Ale was also a nice, hoppy pale ale, and a friend really enjoyed the Chilli beer, as well. Sitting outside by the fire under the NZ sky and sipping a Manuka beer should be obligatory for a trip up to Golden Bay.

 1,039 characters

The Mussel Inn in Onekaka, New Zealand (Aotearoa)
3.46 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
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