Local brewers, Golden Bear Brewing Company is the creation of Jim and Anne Matranga.
Jim was born in Los Angeles, where he worked as a cabinetmaker and ran his own millwork company for over 25 years. Anne manage small and large architectural firms, as well as Jim’s company.
In 1994 the couple traveled to New Zealand for the first time. Jim says, "We fell in love with the land but found the available beer to be uninspiring. I half jokingly suggested I would learn to brew beer when we got back home and after mastering the art we could move to New Zealand and raise a family."
They moved to New Zealand in 2005 and stumbled upon a rotting steel shed full of stored junk, located at the historic Mapua Wharf and envisioned the future site of Golden Bear Brewing Company. After two and a half years of planning, consents and construction, Golden Bear Brewing opened on Labor weekend - October 2008.
Eleven years on, the Matrangas have just completed the long-delayed expansion of Golden Bear. The revamp includes an extended bar with 40 taps for beer, wine and other beverages, a chef’s kitchen, larger restaurant area, and concreted outside patio area - all extending toward the water. Lighting and acoustics will enhance the live music shows. Underfloor heating and a fireplace will warm up the interiors during winter.
Jim and Anne’s original dream has now been realized. Located at the historic Mapua Wharf, Golden Bear Brewing Company is a great place to chill out with friends, savour craft brewed beers, listen to live music, admire the view, and enjoy dishes inspired by flavours from California, Mexico and the Southwest of the USA.
Jim talks about brewing with New Zealand Hops.
Stop by, have a beer, try a dish, listen to some music, admire the view and enjoy the space.