Sometimes Mistakes Have Great Outcomes

Beer in New Zealand has a simple story. Beer was created in New Zealand in 1770 by a British man named Captain James Cook, who had originally created the rudimentary brew out of pine needles, molassas, and tree bark. As a captain, it was a major concern to find a cure (or at least a treatment) for scurvy. The original beers (or any others for that matter) did not accomplish what Cook had originally intended, but it did ultimately bring the beer industry to the Maori and New Zealand. In 1835, Joel Polack, another Brit, started up the first commercial brewery of the colony then known as New South Wales, which also spanned the southeastern portion of Australia. As Londoners were the first Europeans to settle the lands, Ales were the beer of choice. Mostly Amber, and some red, Ales were the dominating style of beer until Morton Coutts invented the continuous fermentation process in the 1930s. From then on, Lagers, both pale and amber, became the most popular beer in the country.

Breweries became consolidated in the 70s, and today, DB Breweries (owned by Asia Pacific), and Lion Nathan represent nearly 90% of the industry in New Zealand by volume. Very recently, Ales and craft beers have been chiseling market share out of Pale and Amber Lagers, though as a whole nation, the beer industry has been decreasing in favor for other types of alcoholic beverages. Many local breweries contract brew for major international brands. Brewpubs and festivals have become popular in the past few decades. For such a relatively small nation, there are many Microbreweries as well. So despite a declining trend in beer, you'd still be spoiled for choice if you ever made your way to the fjords... and no, we're not talking about Norway.

Kia Ora.

Rated Kiwi Beers


6-18-14 - Moa Brewing Imperial Stout - 4.04, Russian Imperial Stout, 10.20%
5-12-10 - Lion Nathan Steinlager - 3.21, Export Lager, 5.00%

Popular Beer Styles in New Zealand

  • Pale Lager
  • Amber Lager
  • Ales
  • NZ Draught
  • Iced Brewed
  • Kiwi Breweries with Rated Beer

  • Lion Nathan (of New Zealand) Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Moa Brewing Company Blenheim, New Zealand