Best use for an old bank? Turn it into a pub

TASTY: Eruption brewer Chris Wells samples a drop at the new premises on London St.

The former BNZ building in Lyttelton will reopen its doors in April – dealing not in bank notes, but beer.

Eruption Brewing owners Shaun Crossan and Steven Leftly have been working for two years to transform the old bank into a rustic brewery pub.

Although the original concrete panels are still visible, the addition of wooden decks and structures have given more of an unpolished, industrial feel, venue manager Brendan Hyndman said.

Since it started in 2013, Eruption Brewing has been operating out of Woolston.

But the first batch was put down at the new premises in October last year. Mr Hyndman said the last time beer had been brewed on London St was 150 years ago.

The venue won’t fully open to the public until April “if the stars align.”

There had been “a few hiccups” with the renovation, Mr Hyndman said. “Just a lot more concrete to make it comply with EQC regulations.”

In the meantime, Eruption Brewing has a special licence to open from 9am-1pm on Saturday mornings while the Lyttelton Market is in full swing.

On its first Saturday, the brewery sold 90 cups of coffee and 20 litres of beer.

“It was a really, really good feel from the heart of Lyttelton,” said Mr Hydnman. “Steve and Shaun are quite local and do quite a lot of activities through the community and it’s been well-received.”

One of its brewers, Chris Wells, comes from Dunedin and has been on board for the past year.

An on-licence and off-licence are in the pipeline and there are plans to offer food, but this was still being worked on.

“We have a couple of chefs on board but it’s early stages yet; it could be tapas, it could be burgers.”

Live music on Sunday afternoons and weddings and functions are also being considered for the venue.