History of Workshop
Back in the mid 1940’s Jack Hartstone would hand dig shingle out of the river at Mako mako into the back of his Model T Ford, go and hand-fill pot holes on Te Mata Road, then go home to crash In his tent with his family. Hard core. Back then goods and supplies arrived to Raglan Wharf by boat as rail was still undeveloped. With no carriers at the time good ol' Jack stepped in to provide a transport service to distribute all sorts of goodies locally and throughout the Waikato. Business started to crank and it wasn’t long before he built a trucking depot from locally harvested and milled timber. In the intervening years the Raglan ‘Workshop’ as it became colloquially known, remained a hub of transport and mechanical service supporting repairs to trucks, local fishing boats, and more recently, general engineering to the wider public. The Workshop still stands tall in all its glory, the thickly oiled and heavily worn floors and dusty wooden rafters an historical tapestry of immense manual labour and know how - which continues to this day.
A Spanner In The Works.
Then, it happened. In 2016 a small corner of the Workshop became available, just enough space it so happened to fit a custom brewery - we pounced like a bunch of sugar deprived kids at a lolly scramble. It was time for the boys to learn how to build a brewery…actually we needed to learn how to weld properly first. Dismayed by the absence of locally produced quality beer, and spurred by a long held dream shared by friends with a love of beer, the ocean and our great little town, the logical concept of Workshop Brewing - Raglan’s first craft Brewery - was founded. What better way to honour the ‘Workshop’ than with the trademark obstruction spanner….mmm, I can’t get to that bolt. No worries, how about we just bend the spanner? - genius…bent and twisted just like the idea of building a brewery.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
Genuineness, quality, sustainability, and creativity describe our core philosophical principals. Brewing is an energy intensive process so efforts to recycle and re-use this energy or incorporating local ingredients in some of our beers to minimise our footprint is a continual process to be more sustainable. Our key objective is to provide fresh, enjoyable and diverse beers for our local community and town….yeah yeah yeah…blah blah blah…insert every other brewery’s objective here….boring…just come in and try the beer.
Our Water Source H2O
Beer is of course mainly water so it is one of the most important ingredients to consider in brewing. In Raglan we are very fortunate to have some of the most epic water around. Waipatukahu (or Riki) spring emerges from the volcanic depths of Karioi near Te Hutewai Road, caressed by layers of ancient tertiary and volcanic rock to give slightly hard alkaline but temporally consistent mineral profile. We pay homage to the sleeping wahine for providing us with a distinct and unique base to craft our local beers from.