Emerson's Brewery

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Emerson's Brewery Limited
Location Dunedin, New Zealand
Opened 1993
Active beers
Name Type
WeissBier Bavarian hefeweizen
Bookbinder Bitter
Oatmeal Stout Oatmeal stout
Maris Gold Pale ale
Old 95 Old ale
Pilsner Pilsner
London Porter Porter
India Pale Ale India Pale Ale
Seasonal beers
Name Type
JP Belgian ale
Taieri George Spiced ale
American Pale Ale American pale ale

Emerson's Brewery Limited is a microbrewery located in Dunedin, New Zealand established in 1993.[citation needed]

Emerson's produces eight year-round beers and three seasonal beers.[citation needed]

In November 2012 the brewery was purchased by Australasian company Lion.[1]

Richard Emerson[edit]

When Richard Emerson travelled to Scotland with his parents in 1983 he was first introduced to European style beers. After spending a year in Edinburgh, he returned to New Zealand and became disillusioned with New Zealand beers. This lead him to brew for himself.[citation needed]


Emerson’s beers are not pasteurised like most mainstream New Zealand beers. The yeast is left alive in the beer to mature and enhance the flavour of the beer. Emerson’s ales are produced from malted barley, hops, yeast and water. They do not have preservatives, added sugar, artificial colouring, have not been pasteurised and some are not filtered.[citation needed]

Some Emerson’s beers are presented in French oak barrels. Pints are sometimes available on hand pump, ensuring that the beer is served at the correct level of carbonation, eliminating gassy beer.[citation needed]


London Porter[edit]

Based on what is probably the oldest style of English beer, this Porter is a deep brown colour with a toasty aroma. It is firm bodied with a creamy texture and has a sustained bitterness. It should be served at 8 to 10 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 4.9%.

1812 India Pale Ale[edit]

To survive the long sea journey between mother England and the colonies, English brewers developed a beer with large quantities of hops which acted as a preservative. This beer pours a copper colour and has a slight toffee maltiness, balanced by complex hop notes. It should be served at 4 to 8 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 5%.


Based on Bavarian style wheat beers, this bottle conditioned brew uses a yeast specially imported from Bavaria to give it its authentic German character. It should be served at 4 to 8 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 5%.


Pilsner is the most popular style of beer which Emerson's brew. It was originally an all organic brew, but shortages of hops meant that they had to start using non-organic hops to keep up with demand. This version claims to be the first organic style in New Zealand. It has citrus and passion fruit aromas and flavours. It should be served at 6 to 8 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 4.9%.

Bookbinder Bitter[edit]

This is an ordinary bitter, brewed with a combination of four malts and two hops. It pours a reddish brown and has a sweet perfumy malt and hop aroma. It should be served at 6 to 8 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 3.7%.

Old 95[edit]

This bottle conditioned English Old Ale is full bodied with a toffeeish malt sweetness followed by complex fruity notes and hop flavours. It has an alcohol content of 7% and should be served at 10 to 12 degrees C.

Maris Gold[edit]

Modelled on the pale English summer ales, this beer is made with maris otter pale malt and aromatic hops. Fermented at a higher temperature than a lager it produces a range of refreshing citric flavours. It should be served at 8 to 10 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 4.5%.

Oatmeal Stout[edit]

A sweet dark, creamy ale which pours a deep brown colour with reddish highlights. It is ideal as a desert drink. It should be served at 8 to 10 degrees C and has an alcohol content of 4.8%.

Seasonal brews[edit]

Taieri George[edit]

Taieri George is released every year on the 6th of March, the birthday of Richard Emerson's father George. Taieri George is a Belgian-inspired spiced ale. It is bottle conditioned ale which includes nutmeg, cinnamon and an unnamed spice in its ingredients. It weighs in at 6.8%.

American Pale Ale[edit]

The American Pale Ale is released each September. It pours a copper colour and has a strong hoppyness to it. It should be served at 5 degrees C. It has an alcohol content of 6%.


The JP is a Belgian ale introduced as a commemorative tribute to University of Otago food scientist Jean-Pierre Dufour. Sales from the beer assist in funding an Otago University student scholarship established by Emerson's in February 2007. JP is produced annually in June and each vintage reflects a different Belgian beer style.

Other releases[edit]


This dark wheat beer is made from the same wheat malt and yeast as the Weissbier plus a little something which gives a more pronounced malty aroma and flavour. Dunkel is chocolate dark with a first hint of sweetness, but a dry finish. It is currently not being brewed.

Whiskey Porter[edit]

An infusion of dark ale and whiskey is achieved by maturing a batch of London Porter in whiskey. Three to four months are needed for the infusion to complete. Not currently being brewed.

Media coverage and recognition[edit]

The quality of Emerson's beers was praised by English beer critic Michael Jackson,[2] who rated the 1812 India Pale Ale as one of the best 500 beers in the world.[3] Emerson's has won numerous beer awards in Australia[4] and New Zealand.[5][6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°52′19″S 170°31′4″E / 45.87194°S 170.51778°E / -45.87194; 170.51778