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bullet 1929

The Waitemata Brewery Co, founded by W.J. Coutts, begins operation on the corner of Great South Road and Bairds Rd, Otahuhu (where it is still in operation). Coutts joins forces with Levers and Co (an Auckland wholesale wine and spirit firm and distributors of beer), ensuring the Waitemata Brewery Co. a continuous supply of bottles.

bullet 1930 Henry Kelliher

Dominion Breweries was created, and Henry Kelliher named as the managing director. Dominion Breweries purchases Levers and Co. and the Waitemata Brewery Co, and begins the process of acquiring hotels in the Auckland district and in Hamilton.

bullet 1931

Mr H. Reimers appointed chairman of the company.

bullet 1932

The Great Depression leads to the government imposing a 50% increase in beer duty.

bullet 1935

Mr L. J. Stevens appointed as the chairman of Dominion Breweries.

bullet 1936

Net profits recorded at £15,224 and patient shareholders receive their first return from the company.

bullet 1938

Technical improvements to the company continue and net profits nearly double to £41.257. Mr Kelliher announces to shareholders that the company had devised ‘a scientific system for the storing and serving of draught beer which . . . is the most hygienic ever applied in the trade.’ Specifically, the beer does not come into contact with the atmosphere at any time during the brewing process. The investment service of the Australian Stock Exchange issues a review of Dominion Breweries, which describes it as one of the major enterprises of New Zealand.

bullet 1946 Morton Coutts

Mr. W.J. Coutts died, and his son Morton Coutts takes his father's place as a director of Dominion Breweries.

bullet 1947

A report made by the Royal Commission on Licensing comments that the competition provided by Dominion Breweries has been to the great advantage of the public, and recommends nationalisation of the licensed trade. The report's recommendation is not accepted by Parliament.

bullet 1948

Statistics show that one in five pints of beer drunk throughout New Zealand has come from the Waitemata Brewery.

bullet 1951

The Waterfront strikes affects the company's sales and production, through difficulties and high costs in getting barley malt up from the South Island. Dominion Breweries purchases Sunshine Brewery in Napier and invests 40,000 in Canterbury (NZ) Malting Co Ltd-the company from which it still draws its malted barley.

bullet 1952

Dominion Breweries wins seven prizes at the Commonwealth Brewer's Exhibition in London.

bullet 1953

To improve quality, Morton Coutts installs seven large fermenting gyles at the brewery with electronic temperature control equipment and maturing vessels, giving more than a million gallons of storage.

bullet 1955

The companies Silver Jubilee saw a net profit of 208,407. Morton Coutts addresses the Master Brewers' Association of America on the new production process: Continuous Fermentation.

bullet 1956

Collaborative research between Dominion Breweries and its largest competitor; New Zealand Breweries, led to the introduction of the Continuous Fermentation Process. The new process significantly reduced brewing times. There was such a demand in New Zealand for the new beer that the company brewery could not keep up with demand.

Dominion Breweries held the patent for the Coutts process and negotiated agreements with various brewing companies overseas enabling them to use the process in Canada, the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Spain and Morocco.

bullet 1957 Hotels

After acquiring funds through selling rights to the Continuous Fermentation Process, the company embarks on an expansion programme that quickly develops into a contest for outlets. The company successfully expands from its Auckland provincial base into a national operation. Building controls on hotels are lifted and the company undertakes major modifications to its existing hotels and the building of new hotels in Papatoetoe, Onehunga, and Auckland.

bullet 1959

Labour introduces the infamous 'Black Budget', which doubles the excise duty on beer.

Hotel development continues, with the Commercial in Shortland Street being extensively remodelled and reopened as the De Brett, the first hotel in Auckland designed to meet international standards.

bullet 1960

The quality of beer improves markedly (85 percent of all beer produced in New Zealand is made using the Coutts method), and New Zealanders became the third highest beer consuming population in the world.

Mr. Colin Coutts, the general manager of the brewery since 1945 and brother of Morton Coutts, dies in December, and and is succeeded by Mr Walter Otto.

bullet 1961

The company's modernisation and building programmes are paying dividends and the hotels returning good profits. Dominion Breweries takes over the Northern Properties Group of hotels in Auckland.

bullet 1962

The company takes an interest in the young New Zealand wine industry, with a minority shareholding in McWilliams Industries Ltd, and secures a financial interest in the New Zealand Distillery Company Ltd.

bullet 1963

Her Majesty the Queen knights Henry Kelliher during her visit to New Zealand. Substantial expansion of the Waitemata brewery begins, after delays in obtaining import licences.

bullet 1966 Masonic Tavern

One of the founding directors of the company, Colonel W.B. Brittian, died.

Properties are bought for further hotels in Hamilton, North Auckland and Mangere.

bullet 1967

Legislation forcing licensed premises to close at six o'clock is repealed, allowing licensed premises to stay open until 10pm. This saw draught sales expand at the expense of packaged beers.

Dominion Breweries begins to acquire the remaining independent breweries in the lower North Island and the South Island.

The Waitemata Brewery completes its 2 million makeover. The brewery doubled its capacity, as on numerous occasions the company has been left short on supply due to high demand.

The company's tanker fleet is expanded to service draught beer to Gisborne, Hastings, Taihape, Wellington, and New Plymouth.

The company sets up recruitment and training programmes in response to a shortage of trained hotel staff.

bullet 1968

Hotel development continues, with a new hotel at Onerahi, near Whangarei and new hotels underway in Gisborne and Mellvile (a Hamilton suburb). Others were planned for Kaikohe, Whangaparaoa, Mairangi Bay and Dinsdale (Hamilton).

The improved Waitemata Brewery wins the Commonwealth Bank Brewers Championship Challenge Cup for DB Export beer, judged the best in any class.

Dominion Breweries takes over four wine and spirit firms outside of Auckland: T. & W. Young Ltd; Hardwicke & Robertson Ltd; Frederick Cross & Sons Ltd; and W. Scoular Ltd.

bullet 1969 Tui Label

Dominion Breweries acquires the Taranaki Brewery at New Plymouth and the Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka in the lower North Island. This not only gives Dominion Breweries the capability to increase production but also the means to supply the lower half of the North Island with draught beer more economically.

bullet 1970

During the year Dominion Breweries had taken over Nelson Breweries (and its group of hotels), the South Island Wine and Spirit Company and the Poverty Bay Wine and Spirit Company. The company could now adequately meet the demand for Dominion Breweries beer in the lower North Island and South Island.

bullet 1971

Dominion Breweries has 30 outlets throughout the country. Plans for the Tui Brewery to be expanded to double its capacity are announced.

bullet 1972

Mr L. J. Stevens, the company chairman for 40 years, dies on March 31 1972. Sir Henry Kelliher became chairman as well as managing director and Mr. H. R. Wigley is appointed a director.

Net profits for the year were recorded at $2,817,765.

bullet 1973 Vita Stout

DB completes its programme of establishing itself as a national brewer, in a joint venture with South Island Licensing Trust, both sharing the risk and improving access to markets hitherto dominated by New Zealand Breweries.

bullet 1974

Net profits are $4,355,000. In the five years since the expansion programme commenced in 1969, total group assets had increased from $22.4 million to $77.4 million. Sir Henry also announced plans for a new brewery in Timaru.

bullet 1975 Rotorua Hotel

Dominion Breweries completes six new hotels and taverns. The company continues to expand its wine and spirit division with a new outlet in Rotorua, the purchase of Central Otago Wine & Spirit Co. and new depots at Invercargill and Christchurch.

bullet 1977

The $11.4 million Timaru Brewery opened. The company now has control of 254 hotels, 53 of them operated by the company and 201 by lessees.

bullet 1981

Brierley Investment (BIL) acquired an interest in listed Dominion Breweries.

bullet 1982

Sir Henry Kelliher retired as managing director of the company and was replaced by Jim Fletcher.

bullet 1983

Morton Coutts retires from Dominion Breweries and is awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE).

bullet 1986

Jim Fletcher quits his position at Dominion Breweries after the Brierley Investments Ltd (BIL) controlled Magnum Corporation moves to take control of Dominion Breweries. Magnum's other interests include Quill Humphreys and Progressive Enterprises.

bullet 1987

Magnum takeover completed: group assumes Magnum name; Graeme Hawkins appointed chief executive of Dominion Breweries operation.

bullet 1989

Magnum expands into Australia in beverage distribution and retailing, winemaking and hotels; BIL extracts $244 million for the cash-rich group by a $1.25-a-share special dividend; Lindsay Fergusson, ex-managing director of New Zealand Steel, takes over from Bob Matthew as group managing director.

bullet 1991

BIL sells down part of its holdings in Magnum into a controlling joint venture with Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) of Singapore; Magnum acquires 50% stake in Austotel Trust for $110 million (190 hotels in Australia) and 49.4% shareholding in Wilson Neill (Cascade and Boag breweries in Tasmania and hotels in Queensland); Lindsay Fergusson departs after a dispute with Brierley Investments over direction of the group.

bullet 1992

Magnum sells its Countdown retail and Rattray wholesale grocery businesses to Foodland Associated for $175 million; shareholders approve group name change to DB Group; brewing division becomes DB Breweries; Tony Serneck departs in a move by James Strong to 'flatten' management structure.

bullet 1993

Brian Blake appointed chief executive of DB Breweries; James Strong quits to become chief executive of Qantas and is replaced by Erik Johan Korthals Altes; BIL offers DB Group $76.6 million for its 50 percent holding in Austotel.

bullet 1994

DB Group sells its 50 percent stake in Australian hotels group Austotel to Brierley Investments for $76.7 million.

DB Group enters into a Management Service Agreement with Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (a majority shareholder of the DB Group).

New Zealand distribution of imported Heineken taken over by DB Breweries; and the company invests $12 million in new technology to meet Heineken brewing requirements.

bullet 1996

Mr. Morton Coutts is recognised for his lifelong work in the brewing industry with the New Zealand Distinguished Biotechnologist Award. More specifically Mr. Coutts is recognised his pioneering beer-making method- the Continuous Fermentation Process.

bullet 1997

DB Group's managing director, Erik Korthals Altes, is summoned back to Holland to assume the position of general manager of Heineken Netherlands, he was replaced by DB Breweries chief executive and company stalwart Brian Blake with Jac van Herpen, previously regional director for Heineken in Singapore, taking the position chief executive of DB Breweries.

bullet 1999

DB Breweries announces it is leaving the spirit market, meaning contracts for liquor brands-such as Coruba Rum and Jim Beam Bourbon will go up for tender.

bullet 2000

Asia Pacific Breweries make its first offer to buy out shareholders in DB Group, with a $2.80 buy-out offer.

bullet 2001

DB Breweries sells Corbans (its wine division)to Montana Wines.

bullet 2002 New Head Office

The company, now renamed DB Breweries, completes a redevelopment of the Waitemata site in Otahuhu, Auckland. The redevelopment includes a state-of-the-art packaging hall, a new office building and a realigned road improving access and safety around the 40-acre site.

bullet 2004

Mr. Morton Coutts turns 100 but later passes away in June. After more than 70 years as a public company, DB Breweries left the New Zealand Stock Exchange, as Asia Pacific Breweries finally succeeds in buying out shareholders.

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