About Us

Speight’s has a long history.

The Speights Brewery in Rattray Stret, Dunedin, circa 1905.

The Founders

In 1876 three employees of North Dunedin's Well Park Brewery – James Speight, a traveller, Charles Greenslade, a maltster and William Dawson, a brewer – resigned and set up a new brewery in a redundant building in Rattray Street, Dunedin, which had previously served as a bottling house and malt house for the Well Park. Situated on the same site today, Speight’s is the Pride of the South.

The three men made a great team and they wasted no time in getting down to business – in fact, they put through their first brew on April 4th, a month before they received the lease on May 1st and two months before they had even obtained a license on June 6th! By 1887, the combination of clever business sense and great beer had seen Speight’s grow to become the largest brewery in New Zealand. But sadly, with his dream at last a reality, James Speight died in August of that year.

Gold Medal Ale

In 1879 a cask of Speight’s Strong Ale won the fledgling brewery its first international award at the Sydney International Exhibition. Sales soared and the future of Speight’s was secured. Speight’s Ale continued to go from strength to strength, winning major international awards including several gold medals, hence the naming of “Speight’s Gold Medal Ale” in 1893.


After an extensive modernisation, The Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin reopened in 2014 and today brews everything from the Gold Medal Ale to Pilsners, Pale Ales, and the always popular Hazy Ales.

We also team up with our great mates from down the road at Emerson’s Brewery to bring you Limited Release ales direct from their brewery, and exclusive collaborations brews for The Speight’s Ale House.