For such a young country – young in European terms, that is – New Zealand’s drinking habits have been through a hell of a lot of changes.
From being a dry country (there are no records of Maori drinking alcohol prior to European settlement), we went through a period of massive growth of beer consumption.
Then the ‘‘binge drinking’’ culture emerged, typified in the six o’clock swill. Men packed into bars like sardines, sculling beer from jugs and small glasses, with barmen distributing the insipid drink known as New Zealand draught from hoses.
Drinking yourself under the limit
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