Sunday, December 30, 2007

This Years Gifts

Sometimes it’s hard buying gifts for the beer enthusiast. It seems on the face of it an easy task, an impressive bottle of lager from the off-license, a novelty bottle opener or a gimmicky slogan t-shirt. All of the above are pretty common under the tree, however once in awhile something special turns up. This year in addition to a couple bar towels to go on the wall in the bar I was given something very special.

I collect bottles and prize of place in my collection sit a full bottle of 1940’s Bulldog Guinness and a full bottle of 1940’s Pilsner Urquel, I also have a full bottle of 1960’s Dominion Breweries Lager. This year my Grandfather added to my collection 2 full bottles of Burridge’s Invalid Stout dating from 1950 or before that he found while cleaning out his liquor cabnet. Burridge’s owned the Eagle brewery in Masterton, a traditional regional brewery that was eaten in the wave of takeovers that characterised the brewing industry in the post war years. I have been able to find out that the brewery was closed in 1950 after being taken over. However I don’t know whether it was New Zealand Breweries or DB that bought and closed the Eagle Brewery or anything else about the company, if anyone has any information I would appreciate it.

It seems that more recently there was a micro operating in Masterton by the name of Burridges, no doubt referencing the brewing history of the area.


Greig McGill said...

Hi Keiran,

I've got a very weathered copy of "Hosts to the Nation", which is NZ Breweries old propaganda document about how awesome they are. ;) It has the history of all the breweries they purchased up until 1960. It doesn't even mention Eagle or Burridges, but it does mention "a tough period" after WWII where 12 breweries closed including one in Masterton. That's it.

Sorry there isn't more info.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I imagine the one in Masterton would have been the Eagle.