The secrets of Dunedin’s craft beer and food scene

Speight’s opened as New Zealand’s first brewery in 1876. This perennial favourite of Otago’s university students is now joined by an innovative band of brewers keeping the city’s hop-fuelled history alive.

The popular Dunedin Craft Beer & Food Festival 2020 (October 30-31, is a sell-out this year, but the city’s taprooms will all be open for frothy business.

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Reflecting the tight bonds between brewers and Otago artisan food producers, collaborative beers are a regular feature around the city, and a focus on harnessing local ingredients also extends to the best of Dunedin’s new cocktail bars and restaurants.

Emerson’s Brewery

One of New Zealand’s pioneering craft breweries, Emerson’s is now part of the Lion group, but there’s still plenty of innovation evident at their modern HQ. Usually only available in Dunedin, the seasonal Brewer’s Reserve series includes interesting versions of classic German, Belgian and Czech beer styles, while the kitchen delivers some of New Zealand’s best brewery food. Try the chilli salt squid with the Green-Eyed Penguin West Coast IPA, brewed to support organisations working to protect local Otago wildlife.

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