Wyeast Order Deadline
Beer Books
  • Hops and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire
    Hops and Glory: One Man's Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire
    by Pete Brown
Email Updates

Enter your email address:


Invercargill - Invercargill Brewery

Why?: NZ's most southern brewery

Address: 8 Wood Street, Invercargill
Postal: P.O. Box 889, Invercargill 9810
Phone: 03 214 5070

Beer ABV
Invercargill Biman 5.2
Invercargill Boysenbeery 5.8
Invercargill Pitch Black Real Stout 4.5
Invercargill Smokin Bishop 6.0
Invercargill Stanley Green 4.7
Invercargill Wasp Honey Pilsner 5.2


View Larger Map

New Zealand craft breweries are climbing the business ranks as New Zealanders change the way they drink.

Invercargill Brewery brewer Steve Nally said year-to-date sales were up 41% on the same period last year, prompting a need to increase brewing capacity to meet the growing demand for craft beers both in New Zealand and internationally.

“Of course as any accountant will tell you, it’s easy to record big increases when the total volumes are low, it gets harder as the business grows and we’ve had our fair share of growing pains,” Nally said.

“If I ran a law firm, there would be a national guideline on what I should pay for rent, how much I should spend on marketing and how much I should be paying the receptionist – as a craft brewery there is nothing so as an industry we rely on a lot of anecdotal evidence – which makes craft breweries particularly challenging businesses to run.”

Year-to-date production of 126,000 litres is still just a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 299 million litres of beer Statistics New Zealand recorded as for sale in NZ in 2010; nethertheless it’s an achievement for the home-grown brewery which began life in a disused cow shed.

Nearly half its production this year has been contract brewing for a growing number of virtual breweries – most famously Yeastie Boys, a partnership of an Auckland banker and a Wellington IT specialist who have a shared passion for craft beer that has seen them quickly develop an international reputation.
“The contract beers give us an opportunity to make beers I’d never otherwise make – so it helps keep things fresh. Some virtual brewers give us a recipe, while others describe the style of beer they want and we develop it,” Nally said.

Problems and opportunities are usually flip sides of the same coin – because most Invercargill Brewery beer leaves the province bottling became an issue as early at 2007 when other equivalent-sized craft brewers were worrying about selling kegs into their local markets.

“We went on a road trip to find out what everyone else was doing and were so envious that all the Christchurch breweries were able to take their beer to a central bottling line at Harringtons Brewery.

“Instead we had to go cap in hand for investment to buy our own machine – however it was because we had a bottling machine we were able to move into the contract market in 2009.”
Invercargill Brewery was far from alone in its growth, Mr Nally said.

In 2010 Dunedin’s Emerson Brewing Company won a supreme Business Excellence Award and Manufacturing/Primary Award at the Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce.

While last year Wellington’s Tuatara Brewing Company jumped two spots to 32 on Deloitte Fast 50 index of New Zealand’s quickest growing businesses with growth of 216.24% – and was one of only four businesses on the list to have appeared three or more times.

Part of the reason for the success of craft breweries in New Zealand is the changing taste of New Zealand beer drinkers, said Mr Nally.

The Department of Statistics Alcohol Available for Consumption figures show while overall beer consumption in the last decade held steady, dropping just 1.9% there was a big change in the types of beer New Zealanders were drinking.

NZ draught style-beers of 2.5-4.3% dropped 28% falling from 245million to 176million litres; while the 4.3-5% alcohol beers, which include European style lagers jumped 177% from 40 to 111million litres between 2000 and 2010.

June 10, 2012 | Registered Commenter[]
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this forum in order to post messages.