Goldings Free Dive-one of the best in New Zealand

You’ve probably heard of a “dive bar” but what about a “free dive?”

Tied House

A tied house is a bar or pub that sells beer from a single brewery. The tied house system is still common in the U.K. but was outlawed in Canada as anti-competitive. In the U.S. tied houses were common until the 20th century. Now, of course, you can walk into most bars in the States and have your choice of beers from any number of breweries. However, brewpubs that sell only the beer that they produce themselves (a kind of tied house system) have become quite popular.

In recent times, tied house rules have loosened in the U.K. allowing pubs to sell some of their beer from other breweries.

Free House

A free house, on the other hand, is a bar that sells beer from any brewery they like.

New Zealand, once a British colony, has held on to the tied house system. But free houses have become more and more common.

Golding’s Free Dive

Golding’s Free Dive (photo: Brent Petersen)

In Wellington, New Zealand, Golding’s Free Dive proudly proclaims their independence from the tied house system. Not only is Golding’s a free house, but they also profess their status as a dive bar.

Dive bar isn’t a common term in New Zealand, but Golding’s surely fits the bill.

Peeking inside, plastic buckets are used as lampshades and empty kegs are piled near the bar. There’s also lots of sci-fi toys, with a heavy emphasis on Star Wars, hanging from the ceiling and attached to the walls. So, dive bar? Yes!

Pizza Pomodoro at Goldings Free Dive in Wellington (photo: Brent Petersen)

But, this isn’t a PBR-style dive bar. Golding’s beer selections are outstanding and ever changing. Extra points for having a no smoking outdoor seating area (a seeming rarity in New Zealand).

And, they offer some of the best pizza in Wellington. Pizza Pomodoro is right across the alley. They make an excellent Neapolitan style pizza and why not? The pizza chef, Massimo Tolve, is from Naples. Order the margherita, and someone from Goldings will run the order across the alley and a little while later, you’ve got a superb pie in front of you!

Great beer, great pizza, and the Millennium Falcon hanging from the ceiling? Goldings Free Dive has it all!

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent