I’ve just sampled some of the finest beer from right here in Queenstown. I’m a lightweight, so forgive me if I hiccup throughout. I’ve also just met a very hungry man. Hungry for action, for good taste, for quality and for beer.

Altitude Brewery is the brainchild of said hungry man Eliott Menzies. A long term Queenstowner (rare in these parts) and brewer of a fine selection of beers, small for now but I see the future and the future shows a long list. And its shows me drunk, drinking a fine selection of beers. Hiccup (I told you)

Eddie (man of many talents) and Eliott (man of beer-ing talents)

The story is set. After high school Eliott set off (as some of us did) to other lands. Far off lands. London-land to be precise and thankfully didn’t stop there. He continued up north to the lands of Scotland where he worked in bars and the process of beer making caught his beady eye. (He’s nosey too, we’ll definitely get on). The States came next where he thankfully carried on drinking the fine stuff until he headed back to Queenstown. Still involving himself in the beer scene Eliott wanted more, and decided to try the wine route. It didn’t work out. Thank heavens for that.

Goldpanner’s Profit, Long White Cloud and Mischievous Kea

A few years ago spying a gap in the market here he saved his pennies and filled his mind with the tools and knowledge he needed for brewing and produced Mischievous Kea. An IPA (India Pale Ale for those in the know) which Queenstown didn’t have. A no brainer, one batch which sold out. Clever man.

The beer is currently brewed in Christchurch with the dream in the future to have it brewed right here. Listening to some expert advice from Mr Emerson’s was a great idea. “Make sure you’re consistent, can meet demand and work slowly towards doing it yourself”. Another clever man.


So let’s recap, talented man, learns about beer, makes beer, beer’s a success, the end. Well not quite. This is not just any beer.
Eliott was passionate about making this product relevant to the area, thus the names, but also set a standard, a high standard for the beer that is brewed. We all work hard for our pennies, we want something we can believe is made the best way. This is.
A donation from each bottle of Kea sold is given to the Kea Conservancy Trust, a donation from Professional is given to Search and Rescue. See I told you he was clever.

Let’s update for those in the know (and those who aren’t)
Mischievous Kea (IPA)
Goldpanner’s Profit (Lager)
Posturing Professional (Pale Ale)
Long White Cloud (Hefeweizen)


It’s here we introduce Eddie. The ‘new edition’. No not another beer. A clever type in all things advertising. He worked in the town of London before he escaped (well done Eddie) and landed on these fair shores with his little family and was a nosey parker about the craft beer industry too. One nosey parker met another and they like the cut of each other jib.
One can brew the other knows how to sell it. Job done.

What I like about this duo is that they are passionate about not just beer, but bringing us the best. They’re not just beer drinkers, they are climbers, skiers, sailors (I think they made that bit up), frisbee golfers (they absolutely did not make that bit up) and they want people to drink quality beer from right here on their home turf.

The last sentence on Eliott’s lips is simple. “if you want to bring quality brewing back to Queenstown. Buy the beer”
It’s that simple. My keys are in the ignition. I’m off down the pub.