About the Fund

Speight's has always been the beer of choice by hard working men of the land around Otago. From our brewery sited in Rattray St we have a strong connection to our provinces unique environment.  So it was a natural step for us to set up the Speight's Fund. The fund has been established to support not-for-profit groups working to preserve and protect Otago's natural environment. We hope the Fund will reinforce this relationship and make Otago folk proud that our brewery is part of their province. 


The Fund has been an annually contestable pool available for environment projects within Otago Regional Council's boundaries. Preference was given to initiatives concerning the preservation and protection of local water resources and environments. 

This year applications are opening in August and will close again on the 30th October with the prizes awarded in November.


The Fund grows in three ways:

  • Speight's contributes an annual lump sum of $25,000 to the Fund.
  • Every year people who use the spring at our brewery on Rattray Street have been asked to donate 10 cents for every litre they take. Each year one million litres of water is taken from the spring by the public. If people donate just ten cents per litre, the Fund will have a further $100,000 annually to invest in local environment projects.
  • The total amount available through The Fund each year will depend on the generosity of people taking water from the Rattray Street tap.


Speight's Brewery has been part of the Otago community since 1876 when James Speight, Charles Greenslade and William Dawson resigned from the Well Park Brewery and set up a new brewery in a redundant building in Rattray Street, which had previously served as a bottling house and malt house for the Well Park.

Speight's Ale was first brewed on 4 April that same year and by 1880 was winning gold medals at the Melbourne Exhibition, hence the name Speight's Gold Medal Ale.

In 1884 the brewers started to use the pure water from the spring beneath the brewery in their beer. The spring water is still used today and a further 1,000,000 litres is enjoyed by locals annually through the tap on Rattray Street where it is made available free of charge.

Otago and Speight's are inextricably connected. As well as the new Speight's Fund, we demonstrate our commitment to the home of Speight's in a range of ways including our sponsorship of Dunedin Rugby and The Highlanders, the Skeggs Foundation for elite athletes, the annual Otago Cancer Society Ball, and Little Sisters of the Poor as well as various sports clubs and events to name a few.