In 1905, after a raucous heyday that saw Oamaru serve as the home to the largest number of brothels and taverns in the Southern Hemisphere, the local council voted in prohibition in an attempt to curb the town’s bawdy reputation. Prohibition resulted in the closing of all the town’s breweries, and even though it was repealed in 1962, no new breweries have established themselves in the town. That is, until now. In a few short weeks, Scotts Brewery will begin to churn out up to 5000 litres of beer a day, producing craft and gluten-free beers using the town’s pure water and local grains.
Scotts Brewery had previously been based in Auckland, but decided to make the switch down to Oamaru both to gain access to superior local ingredients and for the quality of life that the town offers the owner and his young family. The brewery will have a tasting room and will offer tours of the facility, as well as selling beers on site to take away. And since the size of their new facility is far larger than their Auckland brewery, they anticipate expanding the range to include up to eight varieties.
In related news, the New Zealand Whisky Company, based in Oamaru’s Loan & Mercantile building, will soon begin offering tours of its maturation rooms. These whiskies have been garnering award after award in international competitions and can also be sampled at the sales room on Harbour Street.