Terry himself has moved on, but the spirit of ‘What if’ still runs through everything we do in our beer range, our ciders, our non-alcoholic sodas, or the Mac’s Brewbars around the country. The ribbed bottle and the rip cap are symbols of Mac’s pioneering history, and we look forward to carrying on in the same imaginative and passionate way for many years to come.
Breweries big and small regularly win international awards, and Kiwi beer lovers are spoilt for choice. This wasn’t the case in 1981. Back then, the word craft was only used was to describe the crocheted socks your nana churned out for the church fair.
Then, in 1981, a man called Terry changed all that. He was a publican, and didn’t think much of the beer he could get for his pub, so he thought: ‘What if I brewed some myself?’. No-one had applied for a brewing license for 50 years, and no-one could even remember what forms you had to fill out. But he persevered, and he got his forms, and he got his license, and he brewed his beer, and what he brewed was Mac’s. It didn’t get any easier. Finding a brewery to brew in, and some bottles to put the beer into, and bottle caps to seal it with was equally hard.
Being a pioneer is hard work, but beer drinkers liked what they tasted, so the hard work began to pay off as Mac’s started to make a name for itself. A few of those beer drinkers also thought ‘What if we brewed some ourselves?’, and soon, a few more of those brewing licences got filled out. Forty-odd years down the track, Mac’s is proud to have played a key role in kicking off our thriving beer scene, and even prouder to still be brewing award-winning naturally brewed beer that Kiwis love today.