Waikato Draught Logo

The History of Willie the Waiter

In 1945 William T Waiter began work at the Innes Brewery where he quickly became a popular member of staff.  Willie's prominent nose and distinguished characteristics lead to much mirth and amusement amongst the brewery staff and caught the eye of resident artisit Dick Abnett who portrayed Willie as a cartoon character not serving martinis but beer.



Wille the Waiter, as he became known, has gone on to become an iconic symbol for the people of the Waikato and for passionate Waikato Draught drinkers and can be found in the most unlikely of places.


In 1997 Willie celebrated his 52nd birthday with a limited release 500ml Waikato Draught Can.


Willie was also recongnised in October 2003 with the release of "Willie's Birthday Brew" on his 58th birthday.  This malty and dark 5.5% brew drew critical acclaim from punter and quickly sold out of the warehouses.


Willie continues to work for Lion Breweries to this day and has been immortalised in the annual honouring of his birthday every October with Willie's birthday handles available in many fine Waikato Draught establishments.


2005 was a landmark year for Willie the Waiter, turning 60.  Celebrations were held at the Te Rapa Tavern in Hamilton on Friday 28th October.  On the night there were spot prizes, great company and Willie's Waitresses.  One lucky winner even won a years supply of Waikato Draught.