A New Look For Some Old Favourites – Tuatara Has Changed Its Skin

July 23, 2019
2 mins read



The first wheat beer I ever had was the Tuatara Hefe. This was, alongside the Tuatara Pilsner, a staple in most fridges in late-2000s Wellington. But Tuatara grew, they added more beers to the line-up while around them slowly the craft beer market changed.

New breweries were popping up almost weekly, so to differentiate themselves, in 2016 Tuatara’s style driven names were minimised in favour of more memorable ones. “Motureka” for Pilsner, “Weiz Guy” for Hefe, “Kapai” for the Aotearoa Pale Ale, and so on.

This year Tuatara has a whole new set of entries into their range, with new pack and label designs, and a return to the simpler beer names.

The core line-up, available all year round, is filled with old favourites like Pilsner, APA, Helles Lager, Aotearoa Pale Ale, and the now fully named Hefeweizen. It’s a varied set of beers that include two lower alcohol beers, a session IPA (4.6%) and the always popular Iti (3.3%), which kept its name. Alongside these are new brews, the Hazy Pale Ale and the new IPA.

This group of nine core beers also had a makeover to go with the new set of style driven names. The Tuatara “eye” branding, formerly only on the cap, is now front and centre. The core range is available in 330ml bottles 6-packs. Each beer has its own colour scheme so you can tell them apart at a distance, both on the bottle labels and the 6-pack packaging.

Tuatara Founder, Carl Vasta, says that the new packaging makes great sense for the brand.

“We always like to challenge ourselves to be better, and so we’ve taken a look at our core range and have simplified it to make it easier to navigate. The style of each beer has been made bigger and clearer so hopefully customers will find it easier to find what they want,” says Vasta.

“We know our customers love the ‘Tuatara’ in our packaging, and so we are giving them that with the more overt use of the distinctive tuatara eye bottle cap design. We think the new designs really get to the heart of Tuatara – as well as making it easier for drinkers to explore.”

Alongside the core range is a brand new set of three specialty beers to complement the newly named ‘Conviction’ Belgian Tripel, formerly called Tripel Barrel. These are exciting brews and at least one has already become a “fridge favourite” of mine. This part of the range come in large 500ml bottles (for sharing) and have unique artwork on the labels. Done by local artists, they still have the Tuatara eye theme incorporated, but in a much subtler fashion.

Primeval Tendency is a New Zealand IPA, a 7% fruity, citrusy beer that is so drinkable that I bought a keg of it for my recent birthday party.

Conviction Belgian Tripel is a spicy mix of cloves and orange peel. It’s a hefty beast at 8.5% but with so much flavour you’ll want to drink it slowly anyway.

Roughneck Hazy IPA is the second new hazy beer to enter Tuatara’s repertoire. The 7.1% beer is tropical in the best ways and dense like a good hazy beer should be.

Finally, Midnight Sun Baltic Porter is a big (7%), velvety, dark beer; perfect for winter nights by the fire. I’d call it a dessert beer, something to have with ice cream or apple crumble.

As with any brewery, you’ll still find seasonal beers that will come and go whenever Tuatara’s brewers have a flash of inspiration. But going by what’s currently on offer, the future is looking bright for Tuatara.


The core range (available as 6-packs):

  • Tuatara Pilsner
  • Tuatara IPA*
  • Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale*
  • Tuatara APA*
  • Tuatara Hazy Pale Ale*
  • Tuatara Hefeweizen
  • Tuatara Iti
  • Tuatara Session IPA
  • Tuatara Helles Lager

*also available in 500ml bottles


Specialty (500ml bottles)

  • Primeval Tendency
  • Conviction Belgian Tripel
  • Roughneck Hazy IPA
  • Midnight Sun Baltic Porter


Hadyn has been writing about beer for well over a decade.

While he can’t nail down what the best he’s ever had was, there’s no doubt in his mind about the worst: a paua stout.

He’s often asked, “Why don’t you brew beer?” And the answer is still the same, “Because I can buy beer from people who are very good at making it.”

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