A true southern man, Pete Moffat does not just drink
Speight's, he compiles a history of the Dunedin brewery by
collecting anything and everything associated with it.
Born and raised in Dunedin, the 44-year-old started his
collection nine years ago when he moved back to the city from
As a young schoolboy, he would walk past the Speight's
Brewery in Rattray St every day, and it has become an
organisation he stays loyal to.
Mr Moffat loves drinking Speight's beer and has almost always
preferred its Gold Medal Ale to any other.
''When I first started drinking, I drank DB [Dominion
Breweries] but not for long. I soon changed allegiances to
the good drop.''
He started gathering posters, beer labels and clothing then
branched out to focus on items of historic and regional
Posters from the 1920s, full beer bottles from the 1930s and
even beer duty stamps from the 1860s when the beverage was
taxed make up part of his collection.
Other treasures include Speight's couches, flags, keg and
crock taps, pens, coasters and drink trays.
He has a photograph of the ''Jas Speight & Co Limited''
employees taken at the City Brewery, Dunedin, in 1922 as well
as a Dunedin Brewery Company Ltd match striker for ''old wax
vestas [matches]'' from 1920.
Internet auction sites have allowed Mr Moffat's collecting to
accelerate. On average he buys, trades or finds an item a
''The main thing I collect is beer labels, but if I get my
hands on any other stuff that is old or would look good in a
home bar, I collect that too.''
With the expansion of his collection has come the desire to
preserve Dunedin's brewing history, as well as that of the
wider Otago region and even Southland.
Accordingly, Mr Moffat has McGavin and Strachan items as well
as more modern memorabilia from Green Man and Emerson's.
New Zealand Breweries grew out of a merger of 10 breweries in
1923, including Speight's, Strachan's and McGavin's in
Speight's was established in 1876 and, by merger time, was
the biggest brewery in New Zealand.
The Victoria Brewery, established by William Strachan in
1861, and the McGavin Brewery, established as the Union
Brewery in 1882, did not survive the merger for long,
Mr Moffat also has relics from the Wilson Malt Extract Co
Ltd, which was built in 1920 and closely associated with the
''Over the years, the collection has got a bit out of hand.
If it's branded Speight's or has the three stars on it, I
have to have it.''
If he won the lottery, Mr Moffat would build a home bar in
which to display his treasures.
His odd Lion brewery posters may even have a place on the
Lately, items from the McDuffs brewery in Dunedin,
Invercargill Brewery, Wanaka Beerworks and Wetherstons near
Lawrence have come into Mr Moffat's possession.
He boasts about 70 vintage beer bottles, still with their
original contents, a further 100 empty antique beer bottles,
and close to 500 beer labels.
''Some of them are quite rare, especially to find in good
Mr Moffat's collecting has yet to reach the point where he
must set himself limits.
''I'll worry about that later. At the moment, if I want it,
I'll get it,'' Mr Moffat admits.
He is a member of the New Zealand Breweriana and Can
Collectors Society as well as the Otago Antique Bottle and
A favourite item of his is the early 1900s William Strachan
and Co stone beer crock he recently acquired.
Mr Moffat says he will always collect, so long as there are
brewery items for him to covet.