Home sought for dad’s extensive beer collection

Southlander Les McNaught spent close to 20 years collecting beer and beer paraphernalia from...
Southlander Les McNaught spent close to 20 years collecting beer and beer paraphernalia from across the globe before his death in October last year. PHOTO: ABBEY PALMER
One of the biggest challenges sisters Robyn and Janis McNaught had growing up was trying to find a beer for Christmas or a birthday their father did not have.

Southlander Les McNaught spent the better part of 20 years of his life before his death late last year searching, sourcing and collecting beer and beer-related items from across the globe.

What he left behind was thousands of trophies, from beer bottles to openers, coasters, clocks and coolers — he had it all.

Neatly stacked in co-ordinated rows, the bottles lined the walls of his home garage in rural Southland.

Labels stamped on each vessel tied them to a myriad of places — Germany to Japan, England, Australia and all around New Zealand.

Robyn said family and friends went to great lengths to get hold of something original and always kept an eye out wherever they went.

"It was struggle to find something dad didn’t have already.

'We would buy a lot of stuff online and whenever someone went away they would bring him back something. One of dad’s friends even sent him over some beers when he went overseas."

His daughters would often travel up the countryside looking in antique stores and supermarkets in different regions to find something unique.

When asked what sparked his interest in collecting, Janis said it was the small beer can collection she gave him.

"Dad liked the history of the beers, he was a real collector and not just of beer."

It was hard to tell how far some of the bottles dated back to, but it was clear they were very old, she said.

"Heaps of them aren’t even opened. A lot of them won’t even be drinkable, unless you want get really sick."

Robyn said some of her most laughable memories were of trying some "god-awful" new beer at Christmas.

"Cherry Spike, it was horrible. A cherry flavoured beer."

While the memories of their father’s collecting were fond, it was too difficult to find somewhere new to store the collection in their own homes, the sisters said.

The goal now was to find a new home for it all, where someone else could enjoy its value just as much as their father did.

"We’re thinking surely there’s another collector out there who would want it," Robyn said.

abbey.palmer@odt.co.nz