The history of New Zealand home brewing

History of Brewtec Brewing

The story of how home brewing came to New Zealand is a rollicking tale of sailors, ships and adventure with a bit of native forest thrown in for good measure.

But first, we have to go back a little further in time.

The noble art of home brewing can trace its origins back around 6,000 years to the fertile region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. As nature is teeming with wild yeast, all it took was for a little moisture to sneak into grain being stored over winter and the world's first home brew (and home brewer) was born.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in New Zealand, we have Captain James Cook to thank for getting the ball rolling.

The year was 1773 and the English explorer was concerned that his crew risked scurvy. With fresh fruit and veges pretty thin on the ground he hit on a brilliant plan - a herb-infused home brew.

Mercifully, history doesn't record what that first Kiwi beer tasted like. (Since its ingredients included rimu leaves and bark - we imagine not all that flash.) Still, Cook was very happy with his effort and the crew stayed healthy, which was the main thing.

That pioneering spirit has been refined a bit over the years, along with the ingredients. But Kiwis are still equally keen to try a bit of DIY where beer is concerned. And we're pleased to help them out. No rimu, sailing ship, or crew required.

Dry Lager banner