About The Brewery
Fitzpatrick’s Brewing Co Limited is a small (5ha) family owned Brewery which became licensed in September 2012.
As per the namesake, the brewery is owned and operated by Craig Fitzpatrick (aka Fitzy) and wife Catherine. Their primary goal is to serve the immediate local market with fresh flavoursome beer.
The brewery has been a long time in the making, stemming from a long passion for beer and many years of home brewing. Fitzy started out brewing his first beer back in 1987 as a 16 year old. It was a Muntons – English Mild that seeded the journey many moons ago… in an era where good ingredients and quality information were very hard to obtain – oh how different it is today.
Having become lost in the wilderness for several years, the passion for great beer and brewing was rekindled when working with some like minded individuals circa 2001 at Unisys in Wellington. They would knock off at 4.30pm and have regular Friday afternoon beer tasting sessions, blind critiquing whatever was brought in, including their own special brews. Needless to say there was a great deal of heated discussion regarding the qualities or faults of each particular beer.
The passion for great tasting beer grew to such an extent that when the Fitzpatrick family moved to Tauranga in 2003, a “brewery space” was added to the new shed plans, for that ‘one day dream’. Ten years later, with the help of wife Catherine, that dream is a reality.
It all started in 1985 with a homebrew kit and a tin of Muntons Mild. Craig Fitzpatrick (aka Fitzy) produced a beer that to this day lives in his memory as something special. This was the defining moment where his obsession with brewing beer began.
Brewing beer fell by the wayside when Fitzy studied for four years at Otago University in Dunedin. The move to Wellington for his first job, introduced him to ‘Not Enough Taro’ MSP Social Rugby Team and these special guys have remained friends to this day. It is also, when working with like-minded individuals at Unisys, where his passion for brewing was rekindled.
Now during his time working for Unisys, Fitzy started putting down full mash brews. This was when his obsession for old cars started to wane and his passion for beer was formed. Fitzy started collecting shiny stainless steel tanks (instead of old wrecks). He hoped the tanks would one day be used in a commercial brewing venture.
In 2003, Fitzy and his family made the move back to his roots in Tauranga. They bought a lifestyle block in Pyes Pa and built an enormous shed, with a section framed up to one day become a brewery. Without a doubt Fitzy is a perfectionist and passionate about brewing. He is always looking for ways of tweaking his recipes and to bring it up a notch or two. Fitzy has converted all those around him to enjoy beer full of flavour and hops.
Catherine Fitzpatrick is a special woman. You have to be to have lived with Fitzy’s obsessions with Ford Anglia’s, container loads of car parts and springy things and the building of an enormous shed to house an unnecessarily large collection of old cars.
Catherine is responsible for sales, marketing, purchasing of only 90 tasting glasses for the recent very large food show in Tauranga (she has learnt from this mistake) and pretty much everything else, other than brewing the beer.
Catherine’s special responsibilities also include running ‘Flagon Filling Fridays’ (which is a flash way of saying ‘Brewery Door Sales’). You can find Catherine each and every Friday at the Brewery between 3:00pm – 6:00pm, for beer tasting and flagon purchasing (at 19 Keenan Road, Pyes Pa, Tauranga).