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Our History


The Waitemata Brewery Co, founded by W Joseph Coutts and his three sons, begins production on the corner of Great South Road and Bairds Rd, Otahuhu (where it is still in operation).


Waitemata Sparkling Ale – a new type of clear sparkling lager, and a revolutionary departure from standard beers on the market – is produced at Waitemata Brewery, heralding a new era in NZ brewing.


Construction of a new brewhouse commences before war breaks out, housing beautiful Ziemann copper vessels. Morton Coutts devises “a scientific system for the storing and serving of draught beer which...is the most hygienic ever applied in the trade”.

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During the war years (1939 - 1945) many DB employees joined the armed forces. For the duration of the war, the company made up the full wages of any of its staff who volunteered. Their positions in the company were also assured when they returned from service.


Following World War I, drinking hours had been restricted and licenced premises were forced to close at 6pm. This legislation is repealed, allowing pubs to stay open until 10pm. This sees draught beer sales expand at the expense of packaged beers.


DB acquires Taranaki Brewery in New Plymouth and Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka in the lower North Island.

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DB acquires Nelson Breweries and Westland Breweries (which will become Monteith’s Brewing Company) allowing the company to meet demand for DB beers in the South Island.


The $11.4 million Mainland Brewery (now DB Draught Brewery) opens at Washdyke near Timaru. Sir Henry Kelliher had announced his intention to open a new brewery in Timaru in 1970, further establishing DB's footprint in the South Island.

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DB establishes Drinkworks Australia - designed to sell and market DB and other premium beers in Australia.


DB establishes Barworks Group (now Joylab). The hospitality joint venture between DB and JAG Hospitality rapidly expands to own and operate over 20 outlets around Auckland.


DB opens a new state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar brewhouse at Waitemata Brewery, just in time to celebrate HEINKEN as the worldwide partner and official beer of the Rugby World Cup 2011. Delegate member of the HEINEKEN Board, and Heineken family member Mrs. Charlene L. De Carvalho, and Mr Michael R. De Carvalho, visit Waitemata Brewery and see the RWC 2011 Final where the All Blacks lifted the trophy for the second time.


Asia Pacific Breweries is fully acquired by HEINEKEN, making DB a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEINEKEN, one of the largest brewing companies in the world.

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