Newspaper Article 1978 – Historic site for brewery

Historic site for brewery

The site of the Leopard Brewery in St Aubyn St, Hastings, is an historic one in many ways. It was the same piece of land in which Hastings’ first brewery was established 100 years ago.

The fertility of Hawke’s Bay land attracted many of the colony’s early settlers and a brewery was built here in Hastings in 1870, when the population was 300.

In 1881 the brewery was taken over by Mr Edward Newbigin and named the Burton Brewery. This name stayed until 1897 when it became Leopard Brewery.

Family business

The brewery continued as a family business until 1956 when it was sold to Malayan Breweries, Singapore, which established a New Zealand-registered company.

Ten years later, Malayan Breweries sold half of its interest in the company to New Zealand Breweries and it is under this joint ownership that Leopard Brewery runs today. At the time of the merger with New Zealand Breweries, the Gold Tap Brewery in Gisborne was closed and the East Coast has been supplied from Hastings since.

Leopard draught beer is delivered in bulk to hotels between Auckland and Wellington with bottles and canned beer being available throughout New Zealand.

Leopard Brewery now exports to more than 30 countries throughout the world.

Hotel chain

Today the brewery runs a chain of hotels and taverns in major North Island centres and dominates the industry in the Hawke’s Bay region.

Since the brewery entered the field of hotel management there have been major changes in services provided and in the part hotels play in the life of New Zealand people.

In the 1950’s hotel dining habits were generally restricted to table d’hote from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.

In 1960 at its Mayfair Hotel, Hastings, Leopard introduced a major change with a-la-carte dining in leisurely fashion between 6pm and 11pm. This has spread throughout New Zealand and is provided in the chain of Leopard hotels.

Original digital file


Business / Organisation

Leopard Brewery

Date published

18 November 1978

Format of the original

Newspaper article


  • Edward Newbigin

Accession number


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