Invercargill Brewery • New Zealand
At the very southern tip of the South Island sits the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world: Invercargill. Perhaps best known for its dairy and meat industry, it should also be noted that it has a long and tumultuous relationship with alcohol.
In December of 1905, Invercargill voted in favor of local prohibition of alcohol sales. For 40 years, citizens were forced to sneak kegs of beer into their homes, or gather for surreptitious pints in special hiding spots round the city. It wasn’t until returning World War II servicemen voted down the dry spell that locals could drink their beer in the sunshine of the Southland.
When prohibition finally ended, a committee of citizens persuaded the Government to give the monopoly on liquor sales in Invercargill to the specially formed Invercargill Licensing Trust. Basically, the government sells the booze. Even today, alcohol is not sold in supermarkets.
And yet, from adversity comes greatness — in the form (of course) of an excellent little brewery. In 1999, Steve Nally and his father Gerry set up shop in an old blue dairy shed on Oteramika Road in the outskirts of the city and began to brew what have turned out to be award winning — and extremely tasty — beers and cider. In 2005 the brewery outgrew the shed and moved to downtown Invercargill, where the story continues.
While we appreciate their consistently refreshing, food-friendly beers here in the U.S., locals appreciate the fact that they can stop into the tiny bottle shop at the front of the brewery to fill up bottles of them to take home.
We also appreciate the Nally’s commitment to “putting less in and getting more out.” In the spirit of their small island nation, they’re constantly looking for ways to make their brewing process more sustainable, from ingredients to packaging to shipping.