Beer Birthday: Peter Aldred

federation-university
Today is the 58th birthday of Peter Aldred, who is the Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator of the Brewing Program at the Federation University. I first met Peter when he was teaching at UC Davis for a few months in 2011, and he delivered some AIBA awards to Moylan’s. Last year, we judged together at the AIBA awards in Melbourne, and took a trip to Ballarat, where he teaches brewing. Join me in wishing Peter a very happy birthday.

P1050401
Peter at Moylan’s in Novato to present the Australian International Beer Awards Trophy to Brewmaster Denise Jones and Owner Brendan Moylan.

DSCN9552
Peter (second from the left) with a number of the foreign judges during a dinner in Ballarat for the AIBA in 2014, including me in the back right.

Historic Beer Birthday: Peter Grant Hay

carlton-and-united
Today is the birthday of Peter Grant Hay (July 9, 1879–August 29, 1961). He “was an Australian brewer, landowner, pastoralist and thoroughbred racehorse breeder. He founded the Richmond N.S. Brewing Co. Ltd. in Melbourne Australia,” which upon his death was sold to Carlton & United Breweries. “He is responsible for both the introduction of pasteurization to Australia’s dairy industry and the introduction of the Swiss Nathan System of brewing to Australia.”

peter-grant-hay

Here’s his biography from his Wikipedia page:

Grant Hay was born in Bright, Victoria, the son of James Grant Hay, partner of Melbourne shipping firm, Coulson Hay & Co. and Catherine Margaret (née Cox), daughter of Irish distillery founder, Charles Cox. The Grant Hay’s owned hop farm estates in Bright, Victoria and the Derwent Valley in Tasmania and were the main supplier of hops to Carlton & United Breweries in Victoria.

Upon the death of his father in 1914, Grant Hay traveled to America by steamship to San Francisco on board the USS American, meeting Tooheys Brewery manager Arnold Resch. The two agreed to inspect the major American breweries of Milwaukee, including the Valentin Blatz Brewing Company, Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, and the Miller Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch brewing company in St Louis. Grant Hay then sailed to London to inspect the Courage Brewery plant and its hotels.

He then flew to Zurich and met with Dr Leopold Nathan, a Swiss chemist, who had invented a new brewing system. Grant Hay drove to Munich and attended Oktoberfest in the company of the Reinheitsgebot before the outbreak of war and returned to Australia.

In 1918 he married Margaret Glover, cousin of Australian landscape artist John Glover. Grant Hay was forty. They had four children, Patricia, Kathleen, Alison and Peter. The Grant Hay’s settled at Sackville Street, Kew and later moved to ‘Egoline’ at Albany Road in Toorak, Victoria. The family also owned ‘Kilby Park,’a one hundred acre dairy farm and thoroughbred racehorse stud at Kew, Victoria.

By age fifty Grant Hay was already one of Victoria’s wealthiest hop merchants when the Victorian beer wars began in 1925. Carlton & United Breweries had grown into Australia’s largest brewer and began to use monopolistic practices of lowering the cost of supply to hop growers, including Grant Hay’s ‘Kentdale’ hops from the Derwent Valley.

kentdale-invalid-stout

And this is a history of his brewery, the Richmond N.S. Brewing Co.:

The Kentdale Hop Estate was one of the finest properties in Tasmania. It was located fifty kilometres from Hobart and harvested thirty hectares of finest-quality hops. In 1927 a business disagreement took place between Grant Hay and Carlton & United Breweries over the price and quantity of hops, causing Carlton to cancel its contract with Kentdale.

Resentful of Carlton’s unfair business practices, Grant Hay proceeded to off-load his hops successfully to Carlton’s interstate rival, Tooheys. He then summoned a meeting of his hop estate managers from Bright in Victoria and the Derwent Valley in Tasmania for a meeting at Coulson Hay & Co. headquarters in Melbourne to establish his own brewery.

On 4 April 1927, Grant Hay wired a cable to Dr Nathan Leopold in Zurich, Switzerland for the order of the first Swiss Nathan Brewing System to be shipped to Melbourne and to be accompanied by Master Swiss Brewer, Heinrich Walter Haenggi of Zurich. Over the course of three months, Grant Hay proceeded to buy up five industrial sites adjoning his Church Street property. He then ordered a consignment of three thousand units of purified gin to be shipped from British Army headquarters in Lahore and resold the rebottled gin to American bootleggers in prohibition controlled Chicago, netting Coulson Hay & Co. a million pounds. The deal set Grant Hay up for life, and bankrolled the construction of the brewery.

On 13 August 1927, Grant Hay’s application for permit to build a brewery on the site at Church Street Richmond was approved by the Richmond City Council. Grant Hay then hired contractors to excavate the site in preparation of the brewery’s construction, when the excavation was delayed, Grant Hay proceeded to dynamite the site himself using three tonnes of dynamite.

On the morning of 23 August 1927, the sound of percussion could be heard as far away as Brighton, and was said to have woken the Mayor of Melbourne from his sleep. When nearby Richmond residents objected, Grant Hay sued the residents and offered to buy their homes. Eventually, council sided with the residents and sought an injunction against Grant Hay to the detonation, but Grant Hay won on appeal and continued unabated.

Mr Grant Hay retained Brigadier Sir Eugene Gorman KBE, MC, QC as his full time barrister and confidant. Litigous by nature, Grant Hay later sued the Camberwell City Council on its liquor licensing trading laws on appeal before the Privy Council, UK. Mr Gorman’s rooms in the Equity Chambers building on Melbourne’s Bourke Street are named Gorman Chambers in his honour.

On 24 October 1927, Heinrich Walter Haenggi and his wife arrived at Port Melbourne aboard the SS Modolva bringing with them the single largest steel works consignment for disembarkation. Three transports were used to unload and deliver the Swiss brewing plant machinery and equipment to Church Street. Mr Grant Hay drove the Haenggi’s to their hotel in his new 1927 Packard Roadster and held a dinner in honour of their arrival at his home.

By Easter of 1928, the construction of the Richmond Brewery was completed and a toast was held on the assembly line by Mrs Grant Hay and included two hundred guests, from growers, hoteliers and workers. The brewery began its first run of Richmond Lager and Bitter Beer on 24 April 1928 with 88 dozen bottles of output per week which continued to grow to 200 dozen bottles of output per week by 1929. The quality of the beer, and the fact that it had been produced free of any combine commended the beverage to the public’s taste. With his own hop supplies, Grant Hay had lowered his costs of production and unit costs considerably. He then followed Courage Brewery’s example by purchasing his own pubs and hotel outlets across Australia, exclusively serving Richmond beer.

The Richmond Brewery was a remarkable success. By 1940 shipments of Richmond Lager were eagerly consumed in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. By 1950 annual tunrover revenues in the Richmond Brewery had grown to almost three million pounds. Exports to India and Brazil soon followed, with the bottle labels Richmond Pilsener, Lager Bitter and Stout all sporting the illustrated Tiger’s head logo, designed by Mrs Grant Hay.

During World War II, Grant Hay negotiated the supply of Richmond Beer to Australian troops in North Africa and American troops stationed at Sandown Racecourse, which he owned. He also purchased land on Flinders Island in Tasmania where he stood Fourth Hand, winner of the 1927 Irish 2,000 Guineas and bred champion Australian racehorse Counsel, winner of the 1944 Caulfield Cup and champion American racehorse, Warra Nymph at Del Mar. Grant Hay also owned the seventy-two foot ketch, “Jane Moorhead” which was used by General Douglas MacArthur for the Allied troop landings in the Pacific.

By 1960 the brewery continued to prosper controlling sixteen per cent of Victorian beer sales and eight per cent of Australian beer sales nationally. Mr Grant Hay’s health was however deteriorating and no succession plan was put in place, despite his only surviving son. A charismatic autocrat and fierce business competitor, Mr Grant Hay would not allow the company to be controlled by anyone but himself. He refused to publicly list the company and repeatedly rejected merger offers from Courage Brewery and Carlton & United Breweries.

Upon his death in 1961, Mrs Grant Hay negotiated the sale of the Richmond Brewery between bidders Courage Brewery, Asahi Breweries and Carlton & United Breweries, accepting a final offer to purchase the brewery from Carlton & United Breweries on January 26, 1962.

Richmond-Special-Lager-Labels-Richmond-NS-Brewing-Co-Pty

Richmond-Special-Bitter

Here’s another history of Hay’s brewery from the Nathan Institute:

richmond-ns-brewing

richon-non-pasteurized
This must have been interesting….

Beer Birthday: Warren Pawsey

little-creatures
Today is the 54th birthday of Warren Pawsey, head brewer for Little Creatures’ brewery in Geelong. And for the last couple of years, he’s been the head judge for the Australian International Beer Awards, which I had the privilege to judge a couple of years ago, and I keep planning to make it back. I first met Warren at Russian River Brewing, the night before he and a contingent of Australians flew to San Diego, where I also then joined them to judge at the World Beer Cup. Warren’s also a terrific person to share a pint with and a great brewer, too. Join me in wishing Warren a very happy birthday.

DSCN9607
Warren and me after AIBA judging in 2014.

DSCN9553
At a judge’s reception in Ballarat, with many of the judges of the AIBA from outside Australia, plus head judge Warren in the back row, next to me.

Historic Beer Birthday: John Toohey

tooheys
Today is the birthday of John Thomas Toohey (April 26, 1839-May 5, 1903). He and his brother James bought the Darling Brewery in Melbourne, Australia, and eventually it became known as Tooheys Brewery.

John-Toohey-older

This brief biography is from his Wikipedia page:

He was born in County Limerick to businessman Matthew Toohey and Honora Hall. His family migrated to Melbourne in 1841, where his father was involved in unsuccessful business dealings that eventually forced them to move to New South Wales in 1866. Toohey settled near Lismore, and around 1869 established a cordial factory. The following year he and his brother James began brewing at the Metropolitan Brewery; this would eventually lead to Tooheys Brewery, which the brothers ran. On 26 August 1871 Toohey married Sarah Doheny, with whom he had five children; he would later marry Annie Mary Murphy Egan, a widow, in New Zealand. In 1892 he was appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council, where he was known as a supporter of Irish nationalism and as a prominent Catholic. In 1902 he embarked on a world tour, but he died in Chicago the following year.

tooheys-brewery-hall

And here’s part of their early history from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:

Tooheys dates from 1869, when John Thomas Toohey (an Irish immigrant to Melbourne) obtained his brewing licence. Toohey and his brother James Matthew ran pubs in Melbourne (The Limerick Arms and The Great Britain) before moving to Sydney in the 1860s. They commenced brewing Tooheys Black Old Ale in a brewery in the area of present-day Darling Harbour. By 1875, demand for their beer had soared and they established The Standard Brewery in inner-city Surry Hills. In 1902, the company went public as Tooheys Limited, and commenced brewing lager (the present-day Tooheys New) in 1930. In 1955, the brewery moved west to Lidcombe. In 1967, Tooheys bought competitor Miller’s Brewers located in Taverner’s Hill, closing that brewery in 1975.

tooheys-flag-ale

This is a shared entry, with his brother John, of James Toohey from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, 1976:

John Thomas Toohey (1839-1903) and James Matthew Toohey (1850-1895), brewers, were the sons of Matthew Toohey (d.1892), businessman, and his wife Honora (d.1878), née Hall. John Thomas was born on 26 April 1839 at Limerick, Ireland, and was taken to Melbourne by his parents in 1841. His father bought town lots and settled many Irish families in Victoria. One of the founders of the St Patrick’s Society in Melbourne, he was a political ally of (Sir) John O’Shanassy and (Sir) Charles Gavan Duffy. In the 1860s he was forced to sell at a loss; in 1866 he went to New South Wales and lived in virtual retirement. James Matthew was born on 18 March 1850 in Melbourne: he is said to have been named after Fr Matthew, the Irish apostle of temperance.

After unsuccessful business ventures in Victoria, New Zealand and Queensland, John settled near Lismore: later James had a property near Coonamble. About 1869 with W. G. Henfrey John set up an auctioneering agency and cordial manufacturing business in Castlereagh Street, Sydney; the next year the brothers began brewing at the Metropolitan Brewery and in 1873 they bought the Darling Brewery in Harbour Street. In 1876 they moved to new premises on the site of the old Albion Brewery in Elizabeth Street and began the Standard Brewery, employing twenty-six hands. Before 1880 imported beer was preferred to the local product, but in the 1880s Toohey’s and Tooth’s beers quickly became popular.

Vice-president of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, in 1886 James was appointed to the royal commission on the excessive use of intoxicating drink, but withdrew when he felt the balance between local and anti-local optionists was upset. In evidence to the commission he said that ‘the system of shouting’ was the cause of all the excessive drinking in the colony and that beer was less injurious to health than ‘the ardent spirits’. He approved of the tied-house system and maintained that the 830 public houses in the Sydney metropolitan licensing district were not an excessive number, though there were a few too many in certain areas of the city.

Campaigning in 1885 for the Legislative Assembly seat of South Sydney, James claimed that the government’s action in sending troops to the Sudan ‘had resulted in a huge advertisement for the colony’. Favouring an elected Upper House, payment of members and the eight-hour system, he said he opposed local option and the abstinence party, as no Act of parliament could make a man sober. He represented the seat in 1885-93. A firm protectionist by 1887, he saw most free traders as ‘the curled darlings of the [Potts] Point and the merchants of Sydney’. He was a good speaker, if a little impetuous at times. According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s political correspondent in 1887, he ‘rolls the letter “r” beautifully, he drops his voice down to sweet whisper, lifts it up to a palpitating splendour, and then rolls it over the solemn path of prophetic parlance’. Dissatisfied with Sir George Dibbs’s administration, he opposed him for Tamworth in July 1894, but polled poorly. Next year he visited Ireland, England and Europe. James died at Pisa, Italy, on 25 September 1895 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. He was survived by his wife Catherine (Kate) Magdalene (d.1913), née Ferris, whom he had married at Parramatta on 5 June 1873; they had four sons and eight daughters. Probate of his estate was sworn at £133,623.

On James’s death, John and James’s eldest son, also named John Thomas, took over the brewery. John was a leading Catholic layman, benefactor to numerous Catholic charitable institutions and a financial supporter of the Irish nationalist movement. On Christmas Day 1888 Cardinal Patrick Moran invested him as a knight of the Order of St Gregory. A leader in the Home Rule movement, he was prominent in the erection of the monument over the grave of Michael Dwyer in Waverley cemetery in 1898. Well known in business circles, he was a director of several companies including the City Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. He lived first at Moira, Burwood, and later at Innisfail, Wahroonga, and assisted in the development of both suburbs. He stood for Monaro in the Legislative Assembly in 1880 but was defeated by Henry Septimus Badgery and (Sir) Robert Lucas Tooth. In April 1892 he was nominated to the Legislative Council, but he very rarely spoke. In September 1901 he gave evidence to an assembly select committee on tied houses. Next year the brewery became a public company, Toohey’s Ltd, with John as chairman; the vendors received 375,000 fully paid shares and £175,000 cash. The well-known advertising slogan and symbol ‘Here’s to ‘ee’ originated in 1894.

For health reasons John went on a world tour with his family in 1902. He died suddenly in Chicago on 5 May 1903 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. On 26 August 1871 at St Mary’s Cathedral he had married Sarah Doheny who died in 1891 survived by two sons and three daughters. Toohey was survived by his second wife, a widow Annie Mary Murphy, née Egan, whom he had married in Auckland, New Zealand. His estate was sworn for probate at £275,215.

tooheys-brewery

And this is a commercial that Tooheys produced that tells some of the history of the brewery.

Beer Birthday: Dave Bonighton

mountain-goat-red
Today is the 47th birthday of Dave Bonighton, who is a co-founder of Australia’s Mountain Goat Beer. I first met Dave either judging in Japan or in the U.S. at the World Beer Cup, although we also judged together in Australia last year at the AIBA. Dave’s a great guy and his beers are some of the best I’ve had from Australia. In 2015, Asahi Bought Mountain Goat, though Dave and his partner stayed on and at the time said “Mountain Goat will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.” Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.

Dave-Bonighton-au
Mountain Goat co-founder and brewmaster Dave Bonighton.

dave-and-cam-aiba
Dave and Cam Hines at the AIBA Awards.

Historic Beer Birthday: Edward Fitzgerald

castlemaine
Today is the birthday of Edward Fitzgerald (March 19, 1820-March 19, 1896). He “was an Australian brewer and founder of the Castlemaine Brewery.” According to his short Wikipedia page. “Edward was born in 1820 in Galway to parents Francis Fitzgerald and Eleanor Joyes. His family owned and operated a distillery establishment at Nun’s Island, Galway. In 1854 Edward Fitzgerald migrated to Australia during the Victorian gold rush and established a brewery in the gold field town of Castlemaine.

Side_view_of_Castlemaine_Brewery_in_Milton,_Brisbane_1901

In 1859 his brother Nicholas Fitzgerald emigrated to Australia and joined him in the brewery business. By 1871 the name Castlemaine Brewery had been adopted, in 1875 the brothers opened a brewery in South Melbourne, and in 1885 the enterprise was turned into a public company. Breweries were opened right across the country and the brothers were involved in the establishment of the Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Brisbane which is home of the XXXX brand and is still brewing to this day.”

Unfortunately, while there are photos of his brother, I couldn’t find any of Edward, or any specific biographical information about him that wasn’t related to the brewery.

castlemain-carbine-stout

And this short history is from the Castlemaine Perkins Wikipedia page:

In 1877, brothers Nicholas Fitzgerald and Edward Fitzgerald bought the site of a failing distillery and created a brewery, which they named after an existing brewery that they owned in Castlemaine, Victoria in the Victorian goldfields. They began to brew beer there in the following year and the brewery continues production to this day. The first beverage was called XXX Sparkling Ale.

In 1866, Patrick Perkins started the Perkins Brewery in Toowoomba. In 1872, he later extended his operations to Brisbane with the purchase of the City Brewery in 1872.

The company restricted its operations entirely to brewing by 1916. XXXX was introduced with new advertising campaign in 1924 after the brewery employed German brewer, Alhois William Leitner. The advertising included a depiction of a little man wearing a suit with a smile, a wink and a boater hat. The so-called ‘Fourex Man’ soon became one of the most recognised symbols in Queensland.

In 1928 (long after the death of Patrick Perkins in 1901), the Perkins brewing company was bought by the Castlemaine Brewery with new company being known as Castlemaine Perkins Limited.

Castlemaine Perkins was acquired in 1992 by drinks conglomerate Lion Nathan.

fourex

The Castlemaine or Milton Brewery was established at Milton, Brisbane, in 1878 by Fitzgerald Quinlan & Co. The brothers Nicholas and Edward Fitzgerald had established brewing interests at Castlemaine in Victoria, and then in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Newcastle. In Brisbane, Quinlan Gray & Co. had taken over the interests of the Milton Distillery that was established on the site at Milton in 1870. The first brew by the new Milton Brewery was called Castlemaine XXX Sparkling Ale and was made to the same formula as the beer brewed by Castlemaine Brewery in Victoria. (Information taken from: Public Affairs Department, Castlemaine Perkins Limited, comp., History of the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, 1877 – 1993, 1993).
This drawing of the brewery depicts some laden wagons in the street in front of the three-storey building. A worker stands alongside. The signage reads: Castlemaine Brewery, Fitzgerald, Quinlan & Co.

castlemaine-brewery-tower
The Castlemaine Brewery at Milton, Brisbane, 1879, from the State Library of Queensland.

castlemaine-xxxx-bitter-ale

Historic Beer Birthday: James Toohey

tooheys
Today is the birthday of James Toohey (March 18, 1850-September 25, 1895). He and his brother John bought the Darling Brewery in Melbourne, Australia, and eventually it became known as Tooheys Brewery.

TooheyJames

This brief biography is from his Wikipedia page:

He was born in Melbourne to businessman Matthew Toohey and Honora Hall. He was a brewer, opening a business with his brother John in 1870 that eventually became Tooheys Brewery. On 5 June 1873 he married Catherine Magdalene Ferris, with whom he had twelve children. In 1885 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for South Sydney. He held the seat until he resigned in 1893. Toohey died at Pisa in Italy in 1895.

tooheys-brewery-hall

And here’s part of their early history from the brewery’s Wikipedia page:

Tooheys dates from 1869, when John Thomas Toohey (an Irish immigrant to Melbourne) obtained his brewing licence. Toohey and his brother James Matthew ran pubs in Melbourne (The Limerick Arms and The Great Britain) before moving to Sydney in the 1860s. They commenced brewing Tooheys Black Old Ale in a brewery in the area of present-day Darling Harbour. By 1875, demand for their beer had soared and they established The Standard Brewery in inner-city Surry Hills. In 1902, the company went public as Tooheys Limited, and commenced brewing lager (the present-day Tooheys New) in 1930. In 1955, the brewery moved west to Lidcombe. In 1967, Tooheys bought competitor Miller’s Brewers located in Taverner’s Hill, closing that brewery in 1975.

james-toohey-older

This is a shared entry, with his brother John, of James Toohey from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, 1976:

John Thomas Toohey (1839-1903) and James Matthew Toohey (1850-1895), brewers, were the sons of Matthew Toohey (d.1892), businessman, and his wife Honora (d.1878), née Hall. John Thomas was born on 26 April 1839 at Limerick, Ireland, and was taken to Melbourne by his parents in 1841. His father bought town lots and settled many Irish families in Victoria. One of the founders of the St Patrick’s Society in Melbourne, he was a political ally of (Sir) John O’Shanassy and (Sir) Charles Gavan Duffy. In the 1860s he was forced to sell at a loss; in 1866 he went to New South Wales and lived in virtual retirement. James Matthew was born on 18 March 1850 in Melbourne: he is said to have been named after Fr Matthew, the Irish apostle of temperance.

After unsuccessful business ventures in Victoria, New Zealand and Queensland, John settled near Lismore: later James had a property near Coonamble. About 1869 with W. G. Henfrey John set up an auctioneering agency and cordial manufacturing business in Castlereagh Street, Sydney; the next year the brothers began brewing at the Metropolitan Brewery and in 1873 they bought the Darling Brewery in Harbour Street. In 1876 they moved to new premises on the site of the old Albion Brewery in Elizabeth Street and began the Standard Brewery, employing twenty-six hands. Before 1880 imported beer was preferred to the local product, but in the 1880s Toohey’s and Tooth’s beers quickly became popular.

Vice-president of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, in 1886 James was appointed to the royal commission on the excessive use of intoxicating drink, but withdrew when he felt the balance between local and anti-local optionists was upset. In evidence to the commission he said that ‘the system of shouting’ was the cause of all the excessive drinking in the colony and that beer was less injurious to health than ‘the ardent spirits’. He approved of the tied-house system and maintained that the 830 public houses in the Sydney metropolitan licensing district were not an excessive number, though there were a few too many in certain areas of the city.

Campaigning in 1885 for the Legislative Assembly seat of South Sydney, James claimed that the government’s action in sending troops to the Sudan ‘had resulted in a huge advertisement for the colony’. Favouring an elected Upper House, payment of members and the eight-hour system, he said he opposed local option and the abstinence party, as no Act of parliament could make a man sober. He represented the seat in 1885-93. A firm protectionist by 1887, he saw most free traders as ‘the curled darlings of the [Potts] Point and the merchants of Sydney’. He was a good speaker, if a little impetuous at times. According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s political correspondent in 1887, he ‘rolls the letter “r” beautifully, he drops his voice down to sweet whisper, lifts it up to a palpitating splendour, and then rolls it over the solemn path of prophetic parlance’. Dissatisfied with Sir George Dibbs’s administration, he opposed him for Tamworth in July 1894, but polled poorly. Next year he visited Ireland, England and Europe. James died at Pisa, Italy, on 25 September 1895 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. He was survived by his wife Catherine (Kate) Magdalene (d.1913), née Ferris, whom he had married at Parramatta on 5 June 1873; they had four sons and eight daughters. Probate of his estate was sworn at £133,623.

On James’s death, John and James’s eldest son, also named John Thomas, took over the brewery. John was a leading Catholic layman, benefactor to numerous Catholic charitable institutions and a financial supporter of the Irish nationalist movement. On Christmas Day 1888 Cardinal Patrick Moran invested him as a knight of the Order of St Gregory. A leader in the Home Rule movement, he was prominent in the erection of the monument over the grave of Michael Dwyer in Waverley cemetery in 1898. Well known in business circles, he was a director of several companies including the City Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. He lived first at Moira, Burwood, and later at Innisfail, Wahroonga, and assisted in the development of both suburbs. He stood for Monaro in the Legislative Assembly in 1880 but was defeated by Henry Septimus Badgery and (Sir) Robert Lucas Tooth. In April 1892 he was nominated to the Legislative Council, but he very rarely spoke. In September 1901 he gave evidence to an assembly select committee on tied houses. Next year the brewery became a public company, Toohey’s Ltd, with John as chairman; the vendors received 375,000 fully paid shares and £175,000 cash. The well-known advertising slogan and symbol ‘Here’s to ‘ee’ originated in 1894.

For health reasons John went on a world tour with his family in 1902. He died suddenly in Chicago on 5 May 1903 and was buried in the Catholic section of Rookwood cemetery, Sydney. On 26 August 1871 at St Mary’s Cathedral he had married Sarah Doheny who died in 1891 survived by two sons and three daughters. Toohey was survived by his second wife, a widow Annie Mary Murphy, née Egan, whom he had married in Auckland, New Zealand. His estate was sworn for probate at £275,215.

tooheys-brewery

And this is a commercial that Tooheys produced that tells some of the history of the brewery.

Asahi Buys Mountain Goat

mountain-goat-red asahi
So larger breweries buying smaller ones is not confined to the U.S., or even the Western Hemisphere. Australia’s Mountain Goat Beer announced on “Monday that Asahi Holdings (Australia) had taken a 100 per cent ownership stake in the company.” Co-founders Dave Bonighton and Cam Hines will be staying on although an Asahi employee, Matt Grix, has been “named as the new Mountain Goat general manager,” but they also added that “Mountain Goat will continue to operate as a stand-alone business.”

I first met Dave Bonighton either judging in Japan or in the U.S. at the World Beer Cup, although we also judged together in Australia last year at the AIBA. Dave’s a great guy and his beers are some of the best I’ve had from Australia.

The Australian magazine Beer & Brewer has the full story.

Dave-Bonighton-au
Mountain Goat co-founder and brewmaster Dave Bonighton.

Beer In Ads #1646: Beer Is Good … Because Everything In It Is Good


Wednesday’s ad is for Tooheys, from 1932. The Australian ad starts with awesome tagline. “Beer is Good … because everything in it is good.” There’s a number of great bon mots in the text. “Beer is as pure as Nature and hygienic brewing can make it,” is a good one. But I love this ending, too. “Serve beer in your home … at any time. Enjoy it regularly … and benefit from its goodness.” Well, okay.

Tooheys-1932-beer-melbourne

Star Wars Downunder: The Good, The Bad & The Thirsty

australia
For some reason I really got caught up in the hoopla of Star Wars Day today. But what about beer and Star Wars, you might ask? Believe it or not, I found something. It’s an interesting fan film made in Australia, entitled Star Wars Downunder. It’s shot in 35mm and took 10 years to make, directed and co-written by Michael Cox. And because it’s Australian, it’s also about beer. The creators describe it by asking “what would happen if you crossed Star Wars with an Australian beer commercial?” And their answer was “Star Wars Downunder: an epic tale of the good the bad and the thirsty, described as “half an hour of action, special effects and lovable Aussie larakins.” On the film’s website, they recount the plot as follows:

The film tells the story of a lone Jedi: Merve Bushwacker (David Nicoll), returning home after a long absence. His mission? To partake in a refreshing beverage, known locally as amber fluid. On his arrival, he is dismayed to discover the planet has become as dry as a dead dingo′s donger, thanks to the tyrannical rule of Darth Drongo. Drongo has hoarded all the amber fluid in his impenetrable fortress “Dunny’s Deep” for reasons unknown. Can Merve, and a motley collection of unlikely allies band together to topple Drongo’s evil regime? Will liberty and amber fluid flow freely once more?

As many reporting on the film lament, there’s no scene in which the character says: “That’s not a loightsabah! THAT’S a loightsabah!” And while that would have been hilarious, there are, however, lightsaber boomerangs, because … well, why wouldn’t there be? Here’s the trailer:

Star Wars Downunder Trailer from Michael Cox on Vimeo.

Star_Wars_Downunder_Fan_Film_Poster_Small

Intrigued? You’re in luck, because you can watch the entire 30-minute film on YouTube, or below.