At Canyon our mission is to


That ethos is embedded in who we are and is a driving force behind everything we do.


In the hopes to find new ways to reduce our breweries carbon footprint, we did some investigating to figure out where our emissions were actually coming from. What we found is that malting barley (one of the key ingredients in every beer) accounts for an estimated 33-39% of our total emissions. After some more digging we realised around 60%* of malt’s embedded carbon emissions come from the industrial farming of barley that is focused on volume and yield. 

Luckily for us, director and lifelong farmer James Paterson is an expert in growing grain, and in November 2021 Canyon planted its first fields of barley right here in Queenstown. By implementing small changes in the farming process to focus on the quality and health of the grain, as opposed to the maximum yield, these practices will give us the ability to improve the flavour and consistency of our beer, and most importantly reduce our carbon footprint.

In March 2022 we harvested and malted our first crop - 20 tonnes of Queenstown grown barley - enough grain to last us a years worth of brews. Since then we have continued growing our homegrown barley year-on-year, in the hope to one day grow enough for all of our Canyon beers.

You can taste the fruit of our labour in our Canyon Gold Lager, the first Central Otago brewed and grown lager. So, crack open a cold one and kick back, ‘cause sustainability never tasted so good. 

Innovation and sustainability are two key pillars we have built the Canyon brand around, and we are proud to say that doesn’t stop at the brewery.  

At the end of the brewing process, we are left with a surplus of spent grain, a by-product of malting barley. A portion of this grain is used by our chefs to create various dishes at Canyon Restaurant, while the remaining grain is taken right back to our Cardrona and Queenstown farms to feed our livestock. 


Our head brewer Kit works collaboratively with local farmers and suppliers in the Central Otago region to utilise by-products that would otherwise go to waste. One of our first sour releases was made in collaboration with Sherwood where we used fresh botanicals from their organic garden and combined them with cherry pulp (a by-product from a Cromwell juicer) to create a refreshing cherry sour - A Perfect Pair.

We are firm believers in giving back to the land and our community, which is why we choose to partner with brands that align with our values. Our Vacation Hazy Pale Ale was released in partnership with the Backcountry Trust, with a portion of every beer sold in the first three months being donated to BCT help restore and maintain our beautiful backcountry huts.

We recently teamed up with Sherwood again to create ‘Be Here Now,’ a collaborative brew that supports local carbon removal initiatives. This joint endeavour marks a significant milestone in our mission to brew responsibly and create a more sustainable future for Queenstown.


We joined forces with Cardrona Alpine Resort for the 2023 ski season to donate 5% of all sales to the The Kārearea Project, which takes place on our Cardrona Valley farm.

The kārearea is New Zealand’s only native falcon species and is at home in the mountains of the South Island.

There is a significant knowledge gap in our scientific understanding of kārearea in the alpine environment which inhibits conservation management. This project aims to collect more data about the kārearea in order to understand how best to protect it.

In 2023, just by drinking our beers at Cardrona, you helped us raise $1,505.