Cargo Brewing Company
Cargo is a unique and innovative brewing company based in Queenstown, NZ.
The Cargo Brew Hall opens mid 2024. Check back then to discover a new range of freshly brewed beers
After 12 years of working in event management Malcolm discovers the joys of brewing using a basic brewery set up in his garage. ‘The whole process of brewing fascinated me. The fact that it was just as much a science as an art and there was so much to learn about it. Brewing was a hobby for me back then but the beer industry had me captivated from that point’.
Logo and packaging design
Cargo’s innovative and distinctive design is credited to MakeBardo, a creative design industry based in Queenstown. Moving far away from the stereotypical beer labels, Luis Viale & Bren Imboden created a simple and empathetic design which breaks down the gender stereotypes linked to beer and focuses instead on the essentials of the product. The Cargo design has been featured in design magazines and blogs around the world and has won various awards.
The Bedford joins the family
After many months Malcolm managed to persuade Meron to be part of turning a 1971 Bedford TK into a mobile brewing and food truck. Meron, who happens to be a chef by trade, took on the challenge on the condition the food would be innovative, fresh and healthy. And so the mobile Cargo Brewery & Kitchen hit the streets.
First commercial beer produced
After a year of working on the recipes of the Cargo Classic Range – Lager, Pilsner, Pale Ale and IPA – Malcolm handed the reigns over to Invercargill Brewery who produced the first 2,000 litre commercial batches and the beer entered the market. Malcolm would go down to the bigger brewery and help brew to get a better idea of the processes and scale. ‘I remember being hit with equal doses of excitement and fear when I saw cases and cases of my beer being bottled and realising that I now had to sell it all!’ The Cargo Classic range is now brewed by bStudio in 20,000 litre batches.
We find our home in Gibbston
After years of looking, Cargo finally found its home! The stunning Waitiri Creek became available and in November 2017 Cargo moved in and transformed the venue into a unique tasting room with plans for the best beer garden in New Zealand.
To launch Cargo’s new beer and to celebrate the end of the summer Cargo invited The Black Seeds to perform in April 2018 at their first live music concert. 2000 people enjoyed a beautiful day, great sounds and tasty beer
Hop Farm established
With plenty of space available at Waitiri Creek, the home of Cargo Brewery, the decision was made to pioneer hop growing in a region otherwise known for grapes. 100 hop plants were planted in October 2018 and hops will be used for fresh hop beer to be sold at the cellar door and at events.
Cargo’s reputation as an open air music venue grew as guests enjoyed gigs with Carl Cox in November 2018, Fatboy Slim in February 2019 and Ben Harper/Matt Corby in February 2020.
Cargo at Gantley’s opens!
Gantley’s is Queenstown’s oldest hospitality business and we believe it was always destined to be a Cargo pub! This historic stone building was built in 1865 by Patrick Gantley to provide food, drink and lodgings in the gold rush era. Cargo at Gantley’s opened as a summer pop up in summer 2019/2020 … closed for a short time in April and May of 2020 thanks to Covid-19 then was re-opened with fresh enthusiasm in June. No matter the season you have to check this place out!
Time to relax? Not yet
Cargo is now 8 years old but our story has only just begun…
Construction of our new Brew Hall began in April 2023. We decided not to renew our lease on the Gibbston location and focus all of our efforts on Cargo at Gantley’s and the new Brew Hall. The new venue is going to be the talk of the town and will complement Gantley’s by giving us an on-site brewery and extra function space.
Our story has only just begun.
We believe in fresh, locally sourced ingredients for both our Brewery and Kitchen. We believe that people are unique and so should be the products we offer. We push ourselves by creating new recipes which will inspire and excite.