Speight's Brewery Tour and Tasting
Dunedin, New Zealand
- Brewery tour: Learn about the history of beer-making in New Zealand, the unique gravity-fed brewing process, and the natural spring that feeds water to the brewery; you'll see, touch, smell, and taste the natural ingredients that go into making the legendary ales.
- Taste the beers: After the tour, step into the brewery bar where you can pour yourself samples of six Speight's premium beers; you'll understand why the brewery calls this the "appreciation session."
About This Dunedin Tour
In 1861, the Central Otago region of New Zealand became the setting for the second-biggest gold rush the world had ever seen. The population swelled with prospectors from every corner of the globe, including gold rush veterans of both California and Australia.
Central Otago is a harsh, rocky, parched land with the least amount of rain in New Zealand – and unforgiving riverbeds that don't give up their treasures without a fight. The men worked long and hard, and they were thirsty. Sensing a golden opportunity, James Speight, Charles Greenslade, and William Dawson quit their jobs at Well Park Brewery and opened a brewery of their own.
It was the right idea at the right time.
With Dawson as the brew master, Greenslade as the maltster, and Speight as the marketing-savvy businessman, they aimed their beer at the rugged individuals who were migrating to the South Island, playing up a manly pride in hard work and hard living – the stereotypical "southern man" still at the heart of Speight's marketing.
By 1887, after just 11 years, Speight's was the biggest brewery in New Zealand, its product sold in Australia, Fiji, and Tahiti. The popularity of the beer was such that, with no political training or experience, brew master William Dawson ran for mayor of Dunedin.
He was 35. He was anti-prohibition. He was elected.
The prank that had Dunedin foaming at the spout
Outside the Speight's plant, a public tap provides free water from the same spring that supplies the brewery. In 1998, the Otago Daily Times caused a big commotion, with lots of pushing and shoving, when it reported that the spout would flow with free beer for 24 hours. It was April Fool's Day.
Please make your way to 200 Rattray St, Dunedin to begin your adventure.
Bring small coins for the bathroom. Take a light jacket or rain coat for the weather.
Travelers must walk roughly 500 yards over paved surfaces, with about 100 steps and extended periods of standing. Tour is wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Tickets, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Children under 18 cannot participate in tastings.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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