When we were searching the National Library of New Zealand’s archives for images of people engaged in recognizable and uniquely Kiwi pursuits from an era that also referenced our traditional brewing technique to feature on our new-look 6 and 12-packs we not only found some cool pictures, we also uncovered some cool stories that in some cases were at risk of being forgotten.

For example, the great-grandson of Sammy Turner who made the first ascent of Mt Cook alone in 1919, and claimed the world record for skipping in 1911, was unaware of his great-grandad’s achievements. He now knows his family’s remarkable connection with one of our country’s most iconic mountains because we tracked him down and asked him for his family’s permission to feature Sammy on our new Session Pale Ale 6 and 12-packs. True story.

The whole process got us thinking about how many other stories have been, or are at risk of being, forgotten over time. The stories we uncovered also reminded us that New Zealand is the way it is, and New Zealanders are the way we are, because of those adventurous, innovative, hard-working and determined pioneers who helped shape our country and our unique identity and approach to life.

Given our country’s relatively young history but rapid development, it is easy to forget about the many achievements both big and small that have been accomplished in the short space of time since New Zealand was first inhabited.

So we’re hoping that if we share a few stories of our own and provide a platform for other Kiwis to share their own stories we might just be able to uncover a few more gems and insights into what it means to live in New Zealand and be a New Zealander.

There’s no particular reason for doing this, it’s not a competition or anything. Who knows where it will all end up, but if nothing else it’s a good reminder to share a beer with your family and learn a little bit more about family history.

To read these stories and to share your own visit www.howtobrewacountry.co.nz

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