The brewing company with the big name just got a bit bigger.

Behemoth has opened a new type of venue that could be the first of many.

Called Turtle: Pizza & Pints, it is an ode to 1990s nostalgia and pop culture for the generation, probably now aged 35-50, who may recall visiting all-you-can-eat pizza joints and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were young (and presumably before they started drinking beer).

It’s located at The Green, a little enclave of respite for residents, workers and travellers that sits in a little pocket between Greenlane, Ellerslie and Penrose, and offers a different experience from the Churly’s taprooms in Mt Eden, Titirangi and Wellington CBD.

Turtle serves a spin on Detroit-style pizza (famous for its thick crust and straight edges), with toppings named after those heroes in a half shell: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. Naturally, there is also a pizza called Cowabunga. The pizza dough was developed to be substantial but not so heavy that customers won’t have room for a couple of pints.

“The idea is to sell simple, unique food that goes down well with our beers,” says Behemoth founder, co-CEO and self-confessed Ninja Turtle nerd Andrew Childs, who says the concept is one that the company has been working on for more than a year.

“Turtle is something a little different from Churly’s,” he says.

“We were looking to go into this area, which is a great catchment area for offices and hotels and is really under-serviced.”

The Green, which Turtle shares with other eating establishments serving coffee, salads, dumplings, sushi and Asian fusion food, is a chill open space where customers can relax on a beanbag al fresco if the weather allows or sit in an area protected from the elements when necessary.

turtle pizza

“We’ve only been open a few weeks,” Andrew says, “but we have had a couple of really busy Fridays and Saturdays already.

“We think the concept has legs and we have identified other parts of Auckland that might work for future Turtle venues.”

The beers served at Turtle are favourites from the Behemoth range made at the brewery adjoining Churly’s Brewpub in Mt Eden. However, something special for the new venture is in the offing.

“We are working on a beer that will be unique to Turtle and is brewed to complement the pizza,” Andrew says. “It’s almost an amber ale, coming in at 4% abv.”

Hannah Childs, better known as The Lady Butcher, is a craft butcher, as well as Behemoth co-CEO and Andrew’s wife. Through her eponymous charcuterie business, she has developed the signature pepperoni that adorns the Raphael pizza.

Practically every other conceivable pizza topping is available, including spicy chicken, nduja, crispy potatoes, scamorza cheese and wagyu beef, plus vegetarian options and a range of gastropub-style bites such as wedges, croquettes and Caesar salad.

The pizzas may not be an all-you-can-eat affair but they are certainly generous.

As well as Behemoth beer, Turtle serves wine and a few cocktails on tap to provide a wider offering to go with the pizza.

“We are obsessed with pizza,” Andrew says, “and we are optimistic about Turtle.

“Beer and pizza is a combo that is as old as, well, beer and pizza … and it isn’t going away any time soon.”