Though Dunedin wasn’t originally in our plan, we made an executive decision to dedicate our afternoon to a tour of the Speight’s Brewery. We had already had our fair share of Speight’s while in New Zealand, so why not learn a bit about the brand?
Our guide, Rod, was the ideal guy to take us around—mainly because he kept reminding us how close we were to the free pints at the end of the tour.
Unsurprisingly, beer is ingrained in the Kiwi culture, and has been since it was first brewed in New Zealand in 1773. Speight’s itself is over 130 years old, and has become the gold standard in pubs throughout the country, as well as “the pride of the South.”
In fact, this commercial is just one example of the ad campaign that has been maintaining Speight’s legacy all these years.
Like most beer tours, we walked through the working brewery and learned about the brewing process, discussing the impact Speight’s has had on the local community, jobs, and pub culture throughout its history.
I won’t give away all of the tour’s secrets, but one of my favorite aspects is that the brewer’s founders wanted Speight’s to promote community and bonding–themes that have been always been of utmost importance when it comes to the history of beer. The founders made sure that bars were on multiple floors throughout the brewery, with clear instruction to all Speights employees to make it a priority to stop by for a pint during their work day.
This is still apparent at the brewery, and Rod told us that many employees will gather together in the on-site bar at the end of the day to chat before heading home.
Another important perk to the brewery? The natural spring buried deep below the building. Speight’s has since tapped into the spring, and like all good beer, depends on quality water to maintain their “Gold Standard” taste. The spring also has a pump out on the street, and locals and tourists alike regularly line up to fill up because the water is that good.
At the end of the tour, as promised, we made our way down to the aforementioned bar and poured ourselves each a pint… and then another, and another. Rod encouraged us to try all six beers, including their cider.
Our day at Speight’s was a highlight of Dunedin, and fully recommended if you make your way down to the this little university town in Southeastern New Zealand.
– Thanks to Speight’s for having us tour the brewery and learn how to pour the perfect pints of their Pride of the South. All opinions are, of course, my own.