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By Martyn• 24 Mar 2015
Once you get past the Illuminati/Masonic style frontage and walk through the front door, The Third Eye (located at 30 Arthur Street, Te Aro) quickly presents itself as a spacious and relaxing environment detailed by exposed brick walls, wood and steel fittings, stool bar seats, comfortable couches and a polished wooden floor. Near the back of the room sits a microbrewery, and by that, stairs leading up to a private function area.
What we've got on our hands here people is a tasting room, bar and take-home beer shop, equipped with a 500-litre cooper brew-house, 14 taps, and a guide rule of brewing several new experimental beers a month. My first impression is that Tuatara have made great use of what was formerly the Boy's Institute, a 109 year old building.
To the left of the entrance sits a simple bar manned by friendly and attentive staff, even at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon. They're quick to walk you through your tap options, while also on prompting, expanding on their range of regular Tuatara favourites, limited edition ales, collaborations with other craft breweries and beers from up-and-coming craft brewers.
For the hungry, daytime attendees can order from a small selection of toasted sandwiches and bar snacks, and if you come through in the evening between Wednesday to Saturday, Berhampore restaurant The Goose Shack operates a nighttime food cart in their outside pallet seating beer garden, offering up some of their signature sandwiches next to fries, pork croquettes, and crumbed black pudding.
Given the time of day I attended, I settled for a zucchini, chilli, pesto and racette cheese toasted sandwich alongside a Tuatara APA and pleasant conversation with a friend, while classic hip-hop, reggae and soul music gently bubbled in the background. My friend went the tuna melt, pickled egg, celery and cheddar sandwich, both were well-prepared, presented and flavoursome.
Everything came out promptly, the staff were polite, and the place felt relaxed and comfortable. If you want to find out more about beer and brewing processes, everyone seems pretty willing to talk, but at the same time, if you want to be left alone, that won't be a problem either. Unprompted, a staff member wanders over to me and asks if I need the onsite wi-fi details.
I look forward to coming back, checking out the vibe at night, and grabbing a fish sandwich alongside a couple of pints.
Georgia looks forward to Winetopia and gets some help from Master of Wine Bob Campbell.