“I thought you guys had closed.”

“What am I going to do about my Christmas Party booking now that you’re going out of business?”

When are you selling off your brewing equipment?”

When Deep Creek Brewing Company went into liquidation in October 2023, there was a fair amount of confusion in the local community about the brewpub at 111 Clyde Road. Despite the bar having changed hands and being renamed The Browns Bay Brewing Co. a year earlier, many thought the brewery, bar and restaurant were still under the ownership of Deep Creek Brewing and would be closing imminently.

General manager and head brewer, Andrew Ranum, has been a familiar face – and a source of top beer tips – at the pub since 2016. “I totally understand the confusion,” he says. “Deep Creek Brews & Eats was an iconic venue in Browns Bay, and the birthplace of Deep Creek Brewing. Even I still find myself calling the place ‘Deep Creek’ from time to time!”

In 2019, the bar was sold to North Shore entrepreneurs Jurgis and Rachael Inta. For some time, the two companies worked closely together, with Deep Creek beers still featuring prominently in the tap beer selection. The bar continued trading as Deep Creek Brews & Eats until 2022, when the name was changed to The Browns Bay Brewing Co. to align with the brewing side of the business.

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. When Covid came along and the bar was forced into a prolonged period of closure, the opportunity arose to develop the brewing side of the business. The Browns Bay Brewing Company (BBBC) was born.

Since then, BBBC has been steadily growing its volume and brand awareness. Its beers now feature regularly on tap at Auckland craft beer bars like 16 Tun in the CBD, The Lumsden in Newmarket, and Fantail & Turtle at Smales Farm.

As well as being popular with punters, the beers have already impressed industry pros. Last August, Toffee Pop imperial stout and Creature from the Deep chocolate porter claimed silver and bronze medals at the NZ Beer Awards.

“We were just hoping for some constructive feedback from our brewing peers, so were absolutely chuffed when we picked up some medals!” Andrew intends to enter more beers in this year’s competition and is hopeful for more success. Other plans for 2024 include canning beers and working on national sales and distribution.

“It’s a tough trading environment for many industries at the moment, with hospitality venues and breweries finding things particularly challenging,” he reflects. “Epic Brewing recently went into liquidation and Brothers Beer into voluntary administration.”

Browns Bay’s business community has not been immune, seeing a number of hospitality businesses close recently, including Soulshine Cafe and Atas Bar & Kitchen. However, Andrew is optimistic about the year ahead. “The brewpub remains a focal point for the local community. We’ve got great beers, great food, and an awesome location, which make it a destination for locals and tourists alike. And with inflation and interest rates coming down slowly, 2024 should see a bit more money in everyone’s pockets. All we need now is a long, settled summer!”


Published in ShoreLines magazine, February/March 2024, p.42.