Garage Project is an independent New Zealand brewery based in Aro Valley, Wellington. The brewery was founded in 2011 by brothers Ian and Pete Gillespie and Jos Raffel, who converted a dilapidated car garage to start brewing 50 liters at a time – 24 new beers in 24 weeks. The 24/24 project created many of the beers that are still in production – Aro Noir, Pernicious Weed, Venusian Pale Ale, Cockswain’s Courage, Hāpi Daze, Biére de Garage, Red Rocks, Golden Brown, Day of Dead, Hellbender, Summer Summer and Rum & Raisin.
To date, the brewery has created more than 300 different beers.
Since 2011, the brewery has grown significantly, winning the Deloitte Fast 50 in 2015 with an annual growth of over 660% and distribution in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Sweden and California.
The Garage Project has established a Cellar Door and Taproom in its Aro Valley, Wellington location, a mixed fermentation and barrel room in downtown Wellington dubbed the “Wild Workshop” and most recently a Cellar Door in Kingsland, Auckland. In 2017, Garage Project announced a partnership with bStudio Brewery in Hawke’s Bay.
Garage Project has received numerous awards. In the 2018 GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Craft Beers poll, Garage Project took 19 spots, including #2 for Death from Above, #3 for Pernicious Weed, and #5 for Party & Bullshit. In 2017, they were named New Zealand Brewery of the Year at the New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards, beating 111 other breweries and winning 26 medals.
In 2017, Garage Project announced that they would also begin producing natural wines called GP Crushed, made in downtown Wellington. The initial release includes four wines: A Riesling bottled in medium fermentation and added Lactobacillus, a New Zealand Chardonnay 100% fermented with Brettanomyces, a Pinot Noir that underwent carbon dioxide maceration before the addition of Brett, and a Sauvignon/Semillon blend that was bottled pet-nat. More wild wines are planned for release in 2018.