Work on brewery near end

Work continues on the redevelopment of the Speight's Brewery in Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Work continues on the redevelopment of the Speight's Brewery in Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.

The redeveloped Speight's Brewery in Dunedin is expected to be officially opened in late February, as the last work is completed.

Lion external relations manager Jude Walter said all the major construction work in the $30 million project was completed. Speight's Gold Medal Ale had been brewed in the new brew house since November.

Seismic strengthening work was still being completed on some of the buildings, which was why scaffolding was still up on parts of the brewery.

''We expect this work to be completed in early February, at which time the new fence and gate will be built and the canopy going across the yard [in front of the arched cellar building] will be erected.''

A rumour that Lion's purchase of the former Furniture Court building in Rattray St was so it could establish a bottling plant on the site was incorrect, she said.

''I can confirm that Lion has absolutely no plans for 180 Rattray St.

''We purchased the site about nine months ago as we needed continual access via this land as part of the redevelopment at Speight's.''

Neither of the two buildings on the site was occupied.

The bottling hall was removed from Speight's in 1988, because of a lack of space and capacity at the site.

Since the Canterbury earthquakes forced the closure of Canterbury Brewery in 2011, all pack beer (bottles and cans) was produced and bottled at Lion's The Pride brewery in Auckland.

Since then, Speight's Brewery had, and would continue to, produce kegs only of Speight's Gold Medal Ale, Speight's Summit, Speight's Craft, Mac's Gold and Canterbury Draught, to supply South Island pubs, clubs and bars.

It also produced the Maltexo malt extract range used in home brew kits.

Non-notified resource consent

DCC saw fit to non-notify the application to effectively leave the public out of the drive to retain the business at Dunedin. I can understand that, given what happened to the company in Christchurch and the decision to boost production at the Dunedin site, and the timelines involved. Nevertheless, too few affected parties were identified and consulted insodoing. The aesthetic outcome speaks for itself. I would have expected strong contemporary industrial design to front Rattray, instead we have the black box, and a billboard to arrive in the next while. Sigh. DCC refuses to establish an independent multidisciplinary urban design panel, although this is not always the answer either. However, without a City Architect there are no credible checks and balances on architectural design for strategic sites. Instead we have small-time players cutting deals incestuously with City Planning and our elected politicians.


Great. Another black box to blot the Dunedin landscape. Whoever approved that eyesore should be ashamed. With such a rich and glorious architectural past it is just disgraceful that our city settles for what really is less than mediocre in so many of the buildings that pop up these days. 

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