6 March 2020 - Dunedin, New Zealand:
International whisky range, The New Zealand Whisky Co. has today announced it has entered into a new lease with leading alcohol beverage company, Lion NZ, to establish production within Dunedin’s legendary Speight’s Brewery.
Works have begun inside the historic brewery’s millhouse, to accommodate the whisky company’s new distillery. As the top selling beer across New Zealand, Speight’s Brewery is already one of Dunedin’s most visited attractions.
Operating out of Oamaru, one hour north on the Otago Coast, the New Zealand Whisky Co has been successfully building its whisky market internationally, including brands such as Dunedin DoubleWood, South Island Single Malt, and The Oamaruvian.
Founder Greg Ramsay, says they’re excited to be working with Lion to help take their production to the next level.
“Both the whisky category, and new-world whisky in particular, are experiencing fabulous demand. We believe that by working with Speight’s to unlock the enormous potential around the Speight’s Brewery property, we can go a long way to creating more world-class whisky, and deliver a distillery destination of international acclaim.
“While we also have grand plans for our new Oamaru Bondstore and Bar, which will remain a key cellar-door and maturation warehouse, it’s great to be moving the physical distilling into such a diverse large-scale property,”says Ramsay.
As part of the lease, The New Zealand Whisky Co. will also source several key production inputs direct from Speight’s.
“We are already working with Speight’s expert team of brewers to tailor the supply of our own wash, a sweet un-hopped beer which is the building-block for distilling all single malt whiskies. To have Lion on board to support us, with such an iconic downtown location, allows us to unlock new avenues and showcase our precious whisky range to more people,” says Ramsay.
Arron Goodwin, Brewery Manager at Speight’s, says the team at Lion are delighted to be welcoming whisky back into the Speight’s property.
“Now in its 10th year, the resurrection and ongoing expansion of New Zealand’s whisky industry is a real Kiwi success story that we don’t expect will be slowing down anytime soon. We’re incredibly proud to be hosting and supplying the New Zealand Whisky Co for this next stage of their journey.
“James Speight’s apprenticed at the Wellpark Brewery, which became the Willowbank Distillery, so this whisky and our brewery have heritage going back over 150 years. The amount of wash that the distillery will be buying from us annually, will result in a very meaningful increase in our brewery production, and as their whisky supply and sales grow, the busier our brewers will be,” says Goodwin.
Works at the Speight’s brewery are due to be completed by May, where the Speight’s team aim to start producing the first distillation in June.
For further information contact:
The New Zealand Whisky Co
Founder- Greg Ramsay
Laura Barrett, Lion External Relations Manager
Notes to Editor:
About New Zealand Whisky Co.
The New Zealand Whisky Co. was formed to share New Zealand whisky with the world. Built upon Dunedin’s rich distilling tradition and the superb whiskies from the old Willowbank Distillery, we have developed high value, blue-chip international sales channels. The New Zealand Whisky Co. purchased the last remaining 80,000litres of single malt and blended whisky distilled in Dunedin’s legendary Willowbank distillery, and has since re-branded and re-launched a range of proudly-New Zealand whiskies, around the world.
We value and develop premium partnerships in each market which prompt sales with good profit margin. To meet this increasing demand the company opened ownership to all New Zealanders, and whisky enthusiasts globally through a successful crowdfund. Having sold through 90% of its original whisky inventory while growing the brands globally, the company has laid down several year’s supply with its production partners and will now control the quality and volume of its production through this distillery located at Speights.
About Lion NZ
Lion is New Zealand’s leading alcohol beverage company with brands including Speight’s, Steinlager, Panhead, Wither Hills, Havana Coffee Works and Hopt Soda. The company employs around 1,200 people across its head office and The Pride in Auckland, Speight's, Harrington’s, The Fermentist, Emerson’s, Little Creatures and Panhead breweries, the Wither Hills winery, Havana Coffee Works and its LK retail stores. Lion has both the Gender and Rainbow Tick and has won many awards for closing the gender pay gap and embedding flexible working into the business. It is a founding member of responsible drinking charity Cheers!, runs its own alcohol education platform called Alcohol&Me and provides funding to support Health Promotion Agency’s moderation programmes. Lion is a founding signatory to the Climate Leaders Coalition and part of Sustainable Business Network and Sustainable Business Council.
For more information on Lion NZ follow us on Twitter @Lion_NZ or visit www.lionco.com