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Highlanders, MPs and Dunedin business people were among those to offer a toast — with a glass or two of the amber fluid — to the success of the new Speight’s brewery tour.
The tour, which opened in 1983, reopened late last month after being closed for two months for a $1.3million revamp.
Original fixtures of the 1940s factory, including gleaming coppers, are complemented by a series of interactive displays explaining the history of the brewery from its establishment in 1876, to its amalgamation with Lion in 1917 to fight 6pm closing, and on to the present day and the use of modern brewing technology.
Speight’s marketing manager Jane Dempsey said the tour was very much about telling the history of the beer.
"Speight’s is pretty unique in that we are one of the few breweries in the world to have a historic brew house under the same roof as a state-of-the-art modern working brewery."
The tour also explained the beer-making process, and offered samples of malt and beer to try.
The tour revamp follows a $40million redevelopment of the brewery in 2014, after Lion shifted South Island brewing operations from Christchurch to Dunedin as a result of the earthquakes.
The recent revamp also includes a new tasting room with 10 beers on tap and a merchandise store.
Lion employs 120 people at Speight’s and fellow Dunedin brewery Emerson’s.