New Zealand’s Southernmost Brewery What began as a hobby for father and son team Gerry and Steve Nally grew to become the all-consuming business that is Invercargill Brewery. When Steve graduated from Canterbury University with a handy degree in chemistry, his OE took him to Europe where he ended up playing rugby for Epernay in France – on Moet’s home turf. “At the rugby club the major sponsors were champagne houses so we would drink champagne. That was one of the more surreal parts of my life but it was one of the more defining periods.” On returning to Invercargill in the mid-90s Steve got a real job in a lab – just briefly mind. Even then the call of the brew was strong – Steve found himself at weekends touring abandoned orchards to fill a trailer with ground-bruised fruit to try his hand at cider. Gerry, who by rights should have been thinking retirement, found himself spending more and more time thinking about brewing. Eventually the bug took over. In 1999 Steve and Gerry leased the dis-used diary shed in Oteramika Road on the outskirts of the city and set up business. When, just three years later, beer writer Keith Stewart released his Complete Guide to NZ Beer he described it as “an impressive wee brewery that epitomizes the enterprise and creativity of New Zealand’s next brewing generation.” Stewart gave Pitch Black a 9/10 on the taste test, and awarded Biman “different but delicious” a 7/10. Invercargill Breweries first brew – IBS – has since been superseded by a popular pale ale called Stanley Green. Lance Corporal Stanley Green was Steve’s maternal grandfather who survived Dunkirk only to die in a training accident in Scotland in 1942. “I think he was an ordinary man doing something extraordinary” Steve reckoned, and a great inspiration for one of his favourite beers. In 2005 the brewery outgrew the old blue dairy shed and moved to downtown Invercargill where the story continues.