Tui brewery changes mean last day for workers

The Tui Tower is a Category 1 heritage building  (Tui Brewery/ Mike Watkins /Flikr)
The Tui Tower is a Category 1 heritage building (Tui Brewery/ Mike Watkins /Flikr)

It's the end of an era for Tui's iconic Mangatainoka brewery as dozens of workers brew their last pint today.

Last year, owner DB breweries announced 24 jobs were being cut at the Tararua site as a part of a multi-million-dollar revamp of the brewery.

Aside from the beer, the brewery is best known for its Category 1 heritage-listed tower.

Ruth Sprosten from the E tū union says there are new plans for the site, and those will only require two workers.

DB Breweries will focus on a range of six boutique brews at the site and still operate its Tui HQ experience.

The union says 11 of its members will be affected by the changes.

"It is the end of an era.  They're a great bunch of guys and this is like the break-up of a family. But it's the way of the world," Ms Sprosten says.

She says a small number of staff will continue on through August until the decommissioning is completed.

Most of the pale ale is already produced in Auckland but the Tui Quarts, which were still made on site, will now be shifted to Timaru.

The Tui brewery was opened at Mangatainoka in 1889 by Henry Wagstaff and was fed by water from a nearby river.

In 1903 he sold it to Henry Cowan who developed the East India pale ale.

The seven-storey, heritage-listed brew tower was built in 1931 so brewers could harness gravity to turn malt into beer.

It was sold in 1969 to DB Breweries.