Despite being responsible for around 90 percent of all beer sales in the country, both Lion and DB have come under pressure from independent craft breweries. In order to combat this, both brewing giants are expanding their craft beer offerings, opening dedicated craft beer bars.

The latest of these is Lion’s new Fermentist Bar, which opened in Sydenham. The site is located near the old Christchurch Brewery, which was in use from the 1950s until being destroyed in the 2011 earthquake.

The Fermentist will supply other outlets, with the aim of supplying 20 bars around the Garden City.

The Fermentist is also laying claim to being the world’s most sustainable brewery – a focus from the beginning. There will be no use of LPG or natural gas, instead relying on solar panels on the roof of the building. Organic waste will be composted, recyclable products will be recycled, the company car will be electric and there will be an electric vehicle charging station. The house garden, growing lettuce and herbs, will be irrigated by rain and other veges will be bought from a Christchurch co-op.

The Fermentist is a sounding board for an upcoming brewery in Hobsonville Point, Auckland. Little Creatures will follow a similar philosophy and is set to open in January next year.

“The special thing about these new ventures is we’ve been able to set them up from the outset through the lens of sustainability both for the building and for the food and beverages,” said Lion director Rory Glass.

Lion has managed to keep ahead of the craft beer trend, purchasing Emerson’s Brewing Co. in 2012, Panhead Custom Ales in 2016, as well as Crafty Beggars and, Little Creatures and James Squire.