From the landing built above Lion Nathan's sprawling packaging hall at the firm's newly commissioned plant in East Tamaki, it's clear the the festive season is thirsty work.
Bottling lines can turn out up to 120,000 bottles each hour - that's 10,000 dozen every 60 minutes. Put another way it's 2000 every 60 seconds.
And, if you're cracking a cold one these holidays, here are more numbers to ponder.
Up to 180 million litres of beer can be produced annually, 20 per cent more than the yearly capacity at the old brewery in Newmarket.
Lion Nathan says if that was put into pint bottles, and laid end-to-end, it would stretch two and a half times around the earth, or a quarter of the distance to the moon.
The packaging area and warehousing facility at the site in Ormiston Rd, Flat Bush, occupy an area equal to four rugby fields.
Lion Nathan began shifting its Auckland operations to East Tamaki this year after about 150 years of brewing at Khyber Pass in Newmarket. The old inner-city plant was officially shut down in July, although some corporate staff remain there.
Building what is affectionately known as "The Pride" by workers began in December 2008.
The plant was into its busiest weeks of the year when the Business Herald made a pre-Christmas visit.
The holiday season feeds extra demand for this factory's products but Lion Nathan's operations manager, Simon Taylor, was unfazed by the challenge of steering the plant through its first Christmas rush. He says a warm October prompted early demand, meaning production began increasing at The Pride in late spring.
"Getting into Christmas it just ramps right up," says Taylor, an Australian who moved to Auckland to take up his job. "As you can imagine, you've got all the work functions and parties going on - people are out celebrating and enjoying themselves. At the moment we're operating seven days a week - if we had an eighth day it would be fantastic."
The Pride produces many of New Zealand's best-known drops, such as Speights, Steinlager, Waikato Draught and Lion Red.
But it's not only beer that is produced at The Pride - RTDs and ciders are also made there, and the facility has the capability to produce wine in the future.
Getting the brewery up and running required an investment of $250 million - 70 per cent of which went to New Zealand companies, according to Lion Nathan managing director Peter Kean.
One of the biggest challenges was running the two Auckland breweries in tandem during the switchover to the new facility before Newmarket was shut down - without interrupting the supply of products to market, he says.
The company says the Khyber Pass operation would have required large-scale investment to keep operational.
Newmarket, once an industrial area on the edge of the Auckland CBD, has become a retail, light commercial and residential area. Lion Nathan says transport restrictions now make it unsuited to large-scale manufacturing, while The Pride has good access to motorways heading both north and south.
Opening the new facility also allows the company to incorporate operations once spread across Auckland on to the single East Tamaki site.
The firm's Contract Bottling Company in nearby Springs Rd will move to Ormiston Rd during the first half of 2011.
Taylor says the new operation is more automated than its inner-city predecessor, meaning less manual labour is required to turn out products.
And that's apparent looking down to the packaging hall.
Although the plant is nearing full production capacity, only a few staff in orange high-visibility gear can be seen on the factory floor as thousands of bottles and cans race off the lines.
That said, the plant now employs about 180 staff, with Taylor saying that will grow to 250 once production levels ramp up.
Staff at The Pride are a mixture of existing workers who migrated from Newmarket and fresh recruits.
"We've got all sorts of different nationalities, which is fantastic for the site because it gives us different cultures," says Taylor.
After descending to the factory floor we meet one worker, labelling operator Jim Magatogia, who began working for Lion Nathan at Khyber Pass four years ago, before moving to The Pride.
He oversees machines that label 900 bottles every minute, checking each one against a photograph of a properly labelled product to ensure quality standards are met.
"The technology [at The Pride] is making the job easier - it's just more efficient" says Magatogia. "It's nice be somewhere new, somewhere fresh."
The Pride epitomises the concept of a "greenfields development" - a totally new project built on previously undeveloped land.
Aerial shots of the site taken before construction began show a verdant pasture being grazed by cows.
Now, giant brewing cylinders shoot up from the ground alongside 60,000sq m of buildings.
Technology used at The Pride is state-of-the-art, with much of the manufacturing gear made by Krones, a company with headquarters in Neutraubling, Germany.
Picture a brewery, and an image of sweating men toiling over boiling vats of grain and hops may come to mind, but the reality at Ormiston Rd is far removed.
Brewing technicians sit in a white-walled, air-conditioned room, staring at computer screens.
"You can see that the technology is such that there's no human intervention in the actual process," says Taylor.
"[The brewers] take samples and do tests, but on the computer screens is everything that's going on in the brewhouse. Alarms come up and the brewers modify or change processes as required."
Unlike at the former site, The Pride's brewing process incorporates "membrane filtration" that results an extra pure end-product.
Asked if beer quality has improved since the new site's commissioning, Taylor says: "I think the quality is the same as what we had in Newmarket, but I think [the technology] here has given us an edge to process more consistently."
The future of the Newmarket site remains uncertain. In October Lion Nathan bought back the 5.2ha in Newmarket it sold to an investment fund three years ago through acquiring Great Northern Developments (GNDL) - the firm that was set up to redevelop the brewery site.
At the time of the acquisition Kean said that under Lion Nathan's management, GNDL would be able to attract good investment interest and eventually accomplish the redevelopment of the area.
GNDL had planned a $1 billion project to turn the site into a "mini village" - including dozens of shops and hundreds of apartments - but did not secure the funding required.
* Lion Nathan's origins stretch back to 1840, when L.D. Nathan was established as a trading company in the Bay of Islands town of Russell.
* In Auckland, the firm traces its heritage back to the early 1860s, when a man called Thomas Hancock began brewing beer at the Captain Cook Inn in Khyber Pass.
* In the late 19th century the business became Hancock & Co, before the Khyber Pass site eventually became known as the Lion Brewery in 1914.
* Lion Nathan was formed in 1988 when L.D Nathan & Co, a retailer, merged with beer, wine and spirit manufacturer Lion Breweries.
* The company delisted from the New Zealand Stock Exchange late last year after shareholders voted in favour of a takeover by Japanese brewing firm Kirin.
* The Japanese company then merged Lion Nathan with Australia's National Foods, which it had owned since 2007, to form transtasman firm Lion Nathan National Foods.By Christopher Adams Email Christopher