Meet The Brewer | Chris Ormond, Giant Brewing Co

Chris Ormond grew up in Hawke’s Bay and spent his young adult years travelling domestically and internationally in various jobs.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s, when Ormond was in Wellington, that he quickly had a taste for the city’s fast-evolving craft beer industry.

Moving back to Hawke’s Bay in 2011 with his wife and young family, Ormond turned a home brewing addiction into a small business.

Giant Brewing Co quickly transformed from a nano-sized wholesaling business into a busy on-licensed brewpub.

With a few owners involved and a relational customer base, the soul of the business is ensuring all stakeholders feel delivered on their wants.

Partaking in sustainable practices such as installing solar panels on the roof provides opportunities for Hawke’s Bay's sunshine to deliver up to 25% of the business energy requirements.

On top of this is the reduction in packaging beer into bottles, encouraging those to come in and drink on-site.

The brewery also transforms the wet floor into a DJ booth on certain evenings to provide a multi-utilisation of the space.

Ormond believes a great deal of experience and attention to detail is needed from all ends of the process, with beers often coming out better or worse than the previous batch.

“No matter how good a brewer is, they will make subpar beers occasionally, but it is incredibly pleasing when it exceeds expectations,” said Ormond.

Alongside the brewing aspect, Ormond spends time behind the bar, which is excellent for engaging with the crowd of regulars, and provides an opportunity for mid-shift beer.

Ormond’s most significant highlight is being a part of the brewpub from its birth and Giant Brewing Co becoming what it is today.

Moving forward, Ormond has many future projects with his current takeover alongside friends of a local TAB-orientated sports bar.

“I’m not sure if it’s exciting or frightening, to be honest, but I did win big on my first bet, so I’m hoping that’s a sign.”