Pub of the month, February 2016, The Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery, Auckland

In most months there is a fair and level playing field in the battle for pub of the month. But in the month when you visit New Zealand for the first time, that playing field gets rather tilted towards the direction of one of the furthest flung corners of the empire…

So let’s start with the plucky English runner up.

The Parcel Yard in Leicester was a new one for us. It’s been around for a while, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked past it when leaving the station. We were off to a show at De Montfort Hall, and were not eating at the Marquis, because we ate there the previous night and Mrs MOFAD didn’t fancy a second night there. In The Parcel Yard we encountered a good menu to choose from and some good ales on tap. We had a nice meal.

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In second place, we have a pub and brewery, in the shape of Brothers Beer in Auckland. Andy and Ant, the Brothers Beer boys, first met over a beer, and eventually talked about starting a business together. Whilst drinking more beer, they came up with the idea of opening a brewery together. After visiting Good Beer Week in Melbourne, they agreed that restaurant menus need not be an anti climax when you get to the beer list. Pubs and bars can and should serve beers from little breweries, not just the big boys.

They opened a brewery and a shop, where they could stock beers from all over the world (we chatted about some of their Thornbridge ales), including their own. You can drink beer there (and eat some pizza) and you can take it home as well. They are based in the old City Works Depot in Auckland, alongside lots of other interesting local businesses, a great little pub and brewery all in one. You can pick up plenty to take away:-

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There is a clear winner here, and sorry to the runners up, because you didn’t stand a chance when we got to the Southern hemisphere and discovered The Shakespeare, a hotel, pub, restaurant and brewery all rolled into one, and just a few hundred yards from our hotel. Technically, I discovered it quite a while before this, after hunting out various places to eat and drink whilst we were in NZ. And I had a feeling that it was going to be in the running for pub of the month either this month or next (depending when we would be visiting).

Everything has a Shakespeare theme, from The Bard pale ale to The Jester pilsner and “The Works of Shakespeare” burger….

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That’s a burger, with a fried egg, bacon, beetroot, tomato, lettuce and a pineapple ring. Definitely the complete works of Mr S. A big portion and very tasty. A proper hand made burger, perfectly cooked, juicy and delicious. It lived up to their “best burger in Auckland” claim.

A great pub, and a worthy winner of pub of the month.

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