Welcome to

The Free House - untied to any brewery.
Over 650 different beers poured on tap and hand pump since 2009.
Highly Recommended - Lonely Planet 2011-14
Best Pub Nelson-Tasman Region (SOBA Awards) 2013, 2014
Best Pub in NZ (Beer and Brewer Magazine 2013,2014)
Best Beer Destination (Wild Tomato 2011,2012,2013,2014)

Upcoming Happenings in our Tardisian Event Yurt

Mon Mar 30 - Nelson Live Poets BIG OPEN MIC NIGHT - 6pm Koha with purchase of a drink
Mon Apr 20 NO LIGHTS NO LYCRA. 7pm
Thurs Apr 23 THE BOMBADILS, 8pm, $10 on door.

Details of all Free House events here.

Sign up for Free House and Marchfest news updates here
Read everything you ever wanted to know about The Free House.
Can't find us? We are opposite the Giant Squid at 95 Collingwood St. or see map below...

Check out the new Spring menu from FOK (From Our Kitchen) here. PLUS Pizzas from STEFANO'S (5-8.30pm only), BLINC Pies, Gourmet Chorizo, Ploughmans, bowl of dolmades + artichokes + olives, bowl of mixed olives, pickled eggs, PROPER crisps, peanuts and occasionally PICKLED EGGS! OR Bring your own takeaways into the pub and we will usually provide plates, napkins and cutlery. (Sorry no McDonalds, Burger King or similar fast food outlets). If you can bring your plates etc back to the bar when you have finished eating, we will love you forever.

*PLEASE NOTE: Regardless of the kitchens at FOK, Stefano's etc. being open/closed we can offer customers other substantial dishes at all times, right up until closing time. These include gourmet pies, pasta meals, chorizo/cheese platters and Ploughmans.

A selection of fine local wines from Blackenbrook, Greenhough, Orinoco, Richmond Plains, Rimu Grove, Aronui, Brightwater Gravels, Kahurangi Estates, Woolaston and Waimea Estates. Plus a superb selection of premium Whisky, Vodka, Grappa

ON TAP: Mussel Inn Ginger Beer, Mussel Inn Lemonade, filtered water.
BOTTLED/CANS: Da’ Maha Cocunut Water, All Good Lemmy Lemonade and Gingerella, Karma Organic Cola, Benger Juices (Apple and Boysenberry, Apple and Feijoa, Apple and Raspberry, Apricot, Nectarine and Tomato), soda water, tonic water, lime juice etc.
IN CARTONS: Charlie’s Pressed Apple Juice, Charlie’s Squeezed Orange Juice.


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 - our goal is to 'set the beers free' - meaning we aim to offer you an endlessly changing menu of local and national craft beers. We are the only pub in Nelson serving cask-conditioned real ales.

Only hand pumps in town ~ religious paint job ~ the amazing Free House Sound System.

Nelson’s first free house pub is the brainchild of Dead Good Beer Events, the creators of the ‘Nelson Beer Fêtes’ held quarterly at Founders Heritage Park and the annual MarchFest hops and music festival.

* What is a ‘free house’ ?
WIKIPEDIA: “Unlike a tied-house, a free house is a pub that is owned independently of the brewery (or breweries) that supply it. As a result, a free house can stock whichever beers it chooses from whichever breweries it chooses. Free houses are rare, the majority of pubs are tied-houses.”

Be. Accessible has completed a Be. Welcome Assessment for The Free House beer garden. This location has been rated a Gold Organisation - defined as having excellent levels of accessibility in a number of areas.



Lonely Planet 2011 picks the Free House as the best pub in Nelson! This is what the new edition of the guidebook says:
OUR PICK: Come rejoice at this church of ales. Tastefully converted from its original, more reverent purpose; it’s now home to an excellent, oft-changing selection of NZ craft beers. You can imbibe inside or out and even bring a takeaway curry from the Indian Café opposite. Hallelujah! “


Links we like:


The Free House was inspired by ...

Email is here

Our address is:
95 Collingwood Street, Nelson (opposite the Giant Squid !) or PO Box 1975 Nelson.

Opening Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 4pm to 10.30-ish,
Fri: 4pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.

Mon-Thurs: 3pm to 10.30-ish,
Fri: 3pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.

Our tel nos are:
03 548 9391 (opening hours), 03 548 3887 (office hours)

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