Brewery tour revamp celebrated

A million-dollar makeover of the oldest brewery tour in Dunedin was celebrated yesterday.

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."

Speight’s Brewery tour guide Lana Cunningham leads a tour yesterday. Photos: Gregor Richardson.
Speight’s Brewery tour guide Lana Cunningham leads a tour yesterday. Photos: Gregor Richardson.

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.

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