The legend begins here. In 1880 Speight’s enters it’s flagship ale into the Melbourne Exhibition. It cleans up, winning 2 gold medals and gets a new name; Gold Medal Ale is born.
Speight’s Gold Medal Ale is the traditional beer of students at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. While marketed as a ‘Gold Medal Ale’, Speight’s is actually a New Zealand draught style beer, brewed using lager yeast and lagering techniques, so is therefore a lager and not an ale. The brand extended through New Zealand and into the Pacific in the 19th century. The company consolidated into New Zealand Breweries in the early 20th century when the brand’s identity became reduced. Rediscovered by its owners it was promoted as a regional brew, with some success.
The wild popularity of the “Southern Man” series of advertisements has led to Speight’s undergoing something of a boom and it can now again be found throughout the country.
The Speight’s brewery also makes Speight’s Old Dark, and the Speight’s Craft Range of beer, including Speight’s Distinction Ale, Speight’s Summit, and Speight’s Triple Hop Pilsner, all of which are lagers of varying colour. Speight’s also makes a cider.
In 2008 Speight’s Summit, a lager brewed with all natural ingredients, was introduced. Then in 2009, Speight’s Traverse, a low-carb beer, was released on to the market.
Speight’s is the beer of choice after a hard day’s work. Probably the least sweet of all New Zealand beers, this characteristic allows the full flavour of the malt and hops to shine through.
Speight’s Gold Medal Ale is a great accompaniment to any meat dish and is superb with Southern game dishes such as venison, duck and rabbit.