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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Great Northern Brewery

Great Northern Brewery (Ltd.). At Khyber Pass, Newmarket, on the north side of Mount Eden, stands the well-built Great Northern Brewery. It is popularly known as “Seccombe's Brewery,” and was founded in 1860 by Mr. Richard Seccombe. In February, 1890, the business of the Great Northern Brewery was formed into a company, with a capital of £200,000, with Mr. John Mowbray as managing director, and Mr. H. M. Jervis, junior, secretary. Under the new company the business expanded, and extensive additions were made to the brewery. The output has since increased between sixty and seventy per cent.; a fine three-storey bottling department has been erected on the land opposite to the brewery; and a tower, five stories high, has, been put up to cope with the increased trade. The main buildings are situated on a commanding site, over six acres in extent. Shortly after Mr. Seccombe started business he had occasion to sink a well, and when sixty feet was reached the crowbar in use disappeared, and a great underground stream of water was tapped. In the driest seasons the flow of this pure spring water—cool and refreshing—remains unaffected in its volume; in fact, the city at one time drew part of its requirements from this well. The bottle store, a corrugated iron building 100 feet by 33 feet, is the sleeping house of what are known as the “dead marines.” Here between 4000 and 5000 sacks of bottles are seen, and frequently when supplies are coming forward freely there are as many as 10,000 sacks in store. The bottling building is a capitally designed three-storey brick structure, 150 feet long by 40 feet wide. The Great Northern Brewery has a reputation for supplying the best in the colony, and also for bottling in the summer time a light ale, which has no equal in its suitability for the Auckland climate. It allows the beer
Great Northern Brewery

Great Northern Brewery

page 335 and stout to mature for from six to nine months before it permits a pint of it to be bottled. The Great Northern Brewery, in addition to its immense Auckland trade, does a large business with the Islands. To meet the demand for its famous bottled ale and stout, the brewery has to stock over 12,000 dozen. The company's bottled ales and stout are especially suitable for invalids, and for all who require an invigorating tonic, as well as a delicious, wholesome beverage. They are strongly recommended by the medical faculty, being the purest brewed in the world, next to the celebrated Burton-on-Trent ales and Guinness's stout. The rock cellar, 240 feet long and 35 feet wide, with its rows of “tunners,” is particularly well built of solid stone, and perfectly ventilated; and in the summer time it is a delightfully cool place in which to keep the beer. The offices of the company, on the second floor of the building, are well arranged, and contain a waiting-room, public office, and accountant's, secretary's, manager's, and managing director's rooms. Telephonic communication is provided for the manager and managing director, in addition to the public telephone. The malthouse, spotlessly clean, is 160 feet by 30 feet. It is here that some thousands of sacks of barley are annually converted into malt. The ground floor is of concrete, upon which is laid the soaked barley to promote germination. There is a boiler-house, where the water supply used for supplying the bottling department is heated. The brewery tower, of five stories in height, is of very handsome design. It is strongly built, and is fitted throughout with the most modern brewing appliances, and was designed by Mr. Charles Arnold, architect. The walls are of brick, with iron rail supports and girders, and the floors of concrete, so that the building is practically fireproof. From the very top of the tower, the spring water can be heard running into a huge iron tank, which holds 5000 gallons. Last season for the Great Northern Brewery's summer trade over 1000 hogsheads were stored in the cool rock cellars, and this year they will require 1500. The Great Northern Brewery's celebrated draught ale is a first-class production; it is absolutely pure and bright, and is now the best and most popular beer drawn in the colony. The best of hops and malt, and sparkling water—better cannot be drawn from any mountain spring in New Zealand—are the simple ingredients of this nutritious and invigorating tonic.
Great Northern Brewery: Another View.

Great Northern Brewery: Another View.