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“Outstanding craft beer selection”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Free House Inn

The Free House Inn
Ranked #25 of 171 Restaurants in Nelson
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Bar, Pub, New Zealand
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol
arizona
Level Contributor
129 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Outstanding craft beer selection”
Reviewed 20 February 2014 via mobile

Found this place from a Nelson craft beer guide. Excellent selection of beer and wine with a knowledgeable bar professional who happily provided tasters. The evening we visited there were a lot of small children underfoot. However, they were well supervised.

Helpful?
Thank traveler2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    28
    3
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
South Wales
Level Contributor
185 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Best ales in Nelson”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Nelson is at the heart of New Zealand’s hop growing region and is the epicentre of the Kiwi craft brewing industry. The 'Free House' is Nelson’s first pub of its kind and their goal is to 'set the beers free' - meaning they aim to offer you an endlessly changing menu of local and national craft beers. In fact, they are the only pub in Nelson serving cask-conditioned real ales.

Such devotion to real ale has provided them with accolades such as Nelson's Best Pub - Lonely Planet NZ Guide 2011-12; Best Pub in NZ (People's Choice -Beer and Brewer Magazine 2013); Best Pub Nelson-Tasman Region 2013 (SOBA Awards); and Best Nelson Beer Destination (Wild Tomato 2011,2012,2013).

Situated in an old converted wooden church with a garden and even a Mongolian Yurt in which they hold gigs, movie nights and other events - this is a ‘must-visit’ place when in Nelson.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ingenius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“One lady brings down a great bar”
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Normally a great night but the lady working the bar on 10/10, short dark hair, was grumpy and extremely uninviting. Would not let us try any beers and unable to smile. If I see her again I am walking straight back out the door. Such a shame as the free house staff are normally great and we love this place. Please do something about her as she has put us off.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Monster87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
106 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“The church of beer.”
Reviewed 29 August 2013

We didn't eat here, just popped in for a drink. We'd gotten used to the tied-house pubs all over NZ, but when we mentioned at our B&B that we were big beer fans and homebrewers, our hosts sent us to The Free House. Let's start with this: it is in a tiny old converted church building, with a yurt built next door for events/concerts. When we walked in, we were in love with the atmosphere - this is just a COOL place. There were couches, big tables, small tables, lots of art, an old piano, and a bar at the back with a slew of taps. The beer list was beautiful - varied styles from varied places, the essence of a craft beer movement represented...and they were generous with the samples before we made decisions. We were able to sample a few beers each, while we sat and enjoyed ourselves, that we'd never had and thoroughly enjoyed. The barkeeps are knowledgeable and you can tell they enjoy being there. While we sat, an older gentleman came in, got a pint, and sat down at the piano. He played classics and rock tunes, and he played well. I still don't know if he was paid to show up, or just randomly sat down, but it was awesome. Two guys started this place because they saw a need to provide more choices to patrons, and spread the love of the craft beer movement in NZ. Preach it, brothers. And WELL DONE.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stokes007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Almost a religious experience.”
Reviewed 9 June 2013

First up, I confess. I'm a huge crafted beer fan and a brewer. So of course I'm going to like this place. I just didn't expect to like it so much. Great beers, bar food that had me happily using it as an excuse to order another beer, and intelligent beer conversion with a knowledgeable barman. What better way to spend a wet winter afternoon when you are away for business?

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DancesWithPoultry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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