Tuesday’s ad is for Foster’s Lager, from the 1930s. From the late 1800s until the 1940s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Foster’s Lager, with the most interesting tagline “Most Nourishing.”
Monday’s ad is for Resch’s Dinner Ale, from the 1940s. From the late 1800s until the 1940s, poster art really came into its own, and in Europe a lot of really cool posters, many of them for breweries, were produced. This poster is for Resch’s Dinner Ale, which originally was brewed by Resch’s Waverly Brewery in Sydney, Australia. But in 1929, it was bought by Tooth and Co., who owned it when this poster was created.
Today is the birthday of Thomas Cooper (December 17, 1826-December 30, 1897). He was born in England, but moved to Australia when he was 26. He initially worked a variety of jobs, but in 1862 founded the brewery known today as Coopers Brewery “at his home in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood. He brewed his first recorded batch on 13 May 1862.”
This biography of Cooper is from the Cooper Brewery Wikipedia page:
[He] was born in Carleton, North Yorkshire, the youngest of 12 children of Christopher and Sarah (née Booth). His parents died when he was young (Sarah in 1830 and Christopher in 1832), and he was raised by his sister Ann. Thomas was apprenticed to a shoe-maker, and by the late 1840s, six of the seven living children had moved to Skipton. John, a shuttlemaker, lived in Bradford; Jane and Mary married; Ann was a housekeeper; Elizabeth and Martha were domestic servants.
In 1849 he married Ann Laycock Brown (1827–1872) in the Wesleyan Chapel in Skipton. Their first child, William (1850–1882), was born in 1850, and Sarah Ann (1851–1852) in 1851. In 1852, Thomas, the pregnant Ann, and their two children emigrated to South Australia, setting sail from Plymouth on the SS Omega on 29 May 1852. During the 86-day voyage, Sarah Ann was one of the six children who died, but their third child was born as they rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and was named Sarah Ann (1852–1854) in memory of her sister. The family arrived in Port Adelaide on 24 August 1852. Their first home was a rented two-room cottage near the Rising Sun Inn on Bridge Street in the then village of Kensington, about three miles east of the city. In the ten years before he commenced brewing in Norwood, Thomas worked initially as a shoemaker, then as a mason, and then as a dairyman, while Ann bore four more children: Mary Ann (1855–1856); John Thomas (1857–1935); Christopher (1859–1910); and Annie Elizabeth (1861–1921). In 1856 he purchased land in George Street, Norwood, and using his new skills as a mason, built a house which he described to his brother as having “6 rooms & Cellar & Passage” and 12 ft ceilings “on acct of Sumr heat”. In the same letter, and many others, he urged his brother and family to join him in South Australia, but this never eventuated.
On 13 May 1862, Thomas brewed his first recorded batch. He did all the work himself (purchasing, calling for orders, brewing, washing, filling, corking and wiring the bottles, delivering the finished product), possibly with the help of then 12-year-old son William, while continuing to attend the cows, run the dairy, and do the daily milk deliveries. Being unlicensed, in early June he sought “professional advice on the sale of beer” from a solicitor, which his ledger records as having cost 7s 6d. Towards the end of 1862 Thomas realised that to make a living as a brewer, he would need to increase his brewing capacity, so he mortgaged his property to Frederick Scarfe, the Mayor of Norwood, a butcher, and a customer of Thomas’s ale, for £300, and built a new brewhouse. In January 1863 he sold his cows and the milk delivery run. Although with half-a-dozen breweries in Adelaide, there was a lot of competition, Thomas’s ale was unique in that he used no sugar, “consequently, ours being pure, the Doctors recommend it to their patients”. Although one of the smaller South Australian brewers, Thomas gained a reputation for quality. By 1867 he had over 120 customers, some quite notable (e.g. Samuel Davenport, John Barton Hack, George Hawker, Dr Penfold and the Lord Bishop of Adelaide, but he did not supply public houses, “apparently because it was against his principles”.
Ann bore four more children before dying suddenly in 1872: Joseph Brown (1863–1888); Jane Amelia (1865–1943); Margaret Alice (1868–1869) and Samuel (1871–1921). She was survived by all five of her sons, and two of her six daughters.
Thomas remarried in 1874, and Sarah Louisa Perry bore eight children: Stanley Reasey (1875–1938); Thomas Perry (1876–1876); Francis Scowby (1877–1878) Frederic (1878–1952); Edward Booth (1880–1881); Charles Edward (1881–1936); Lily Louise (1881–1893); and Walter Astley (1882–1909).
When he died in 1897, Thomas was survived by his wife, and nine of his nineteen children – seven of his sons, and two of his daughters.
This story is of Coopers’ beginnings is from the brewery website:
When Thomas Cooper used an old family recipe to brew his first batch of ale back in 1862, it would be fair to describe him as a novice craft brewer. Apparently he’d only intended it to be a tonic for his sick wife, but the resulting ale was so flavoursome that friends and neighbours soon came to appreciate it for more than just its ‘restorative’ properties. As demand for his naturally conditioned ales grew throughout the fledgling colony of South Australia, Thomas Cooper’s growing passion for brewing soon became his profession.
Before Thomas passed away, he handed over the reigns of the brewery to four of his sons, and so began a proud family tradition that has continued in an unbroken chain of six generations, for more than 150 years. While we’re still using Thomas Cooper’s original recipe, successive generations of Coopers have made improvements along the way.
The fusion of traditional Coopers brewing methods with cutting edge production technology has helped us grow our capacity and deliver consistent brew quality and flavour. As a result, we now have the ability to produce our naturally conditioned ales and stouts for a global audience, with absolute confidence that whenever one of our signature beers is poured, the drinker will enjoy a quality Coopers brew. This marriage of century-old brewing techniques and modern innovation is what makes Coopers unique in Australia’s brewing landscape.
This more modern history is by Martin Wooster, which was part of a longer travel piece he did for All About Beer in 2000 about Australian breweries, entitled “In the Shadows of Giants:”
The brewery that has done the most to provide Australians with choice and diversity is Coopers of Adelaide. But even when given clear directions, it’s a hard brewery to find. It’s quietly nestled in the shady Adelaide suburb of Leabrook, hidden beneath towering jacaranda and lilly pilly trees. For a brewery that’s been making beer on its site for over 100 years, it’s an amazingly quiet place.
The Coopers story begins in 1862, when Thomas Cooper, a British emigrant, decided to make some ale to help his ailing wife Ann deal with a fever. Ann Cooper came from a brewing family, and Thomas Cooper used her recipe. In south Australia’s relatively hot climate, Cooper had to adapt the British recipe, making his ale bottle conditioned to last longer and adding sugar to spark the secondary fermentation. The result was a style known as “sparkling ale.”
Cooper then followed with Coopers Extra Stout. Like the ale, the stout is bottle conditioned and can age for a long time. The Lord Nelson Hotel in Sydney serves five-year-old Coopers Extra Stout⎯when it mellows and develops port-like notes.
Thomas and Ann Cooper had 10 children; when she died in 1874, Thomas Cooper married Sarah Perry and had 10 more children. Eleven of these children survived into adulthood, ensuring that there were lots of Coopers to continue the family name. Coopers is the only Australian brewery controlled by descendants of its founder. “We wouldn’t want to be the generation that sold the brewery,” says marketing director Glenn Cooper.
Like most family-owned breweries, Coopers has gone through hard times. Coopers refused to adapt to changing times; it did not make lager until 1968, and until 1982, secondary fermentation for its ale and stout still took place in giant wooden casks called “puncheons.” While many younger drinkers thought that the cloudy beers were something only grandpa drank, Coopers stubbornly stuck to its traditional ways. The result was that, even when Australian beer was at its blandest, consumers knew that a good beer didn’t have to be a lager.
Coopers paved the way for us,” said Blair Hayden, managing director of the Lord Nelson Hotel, Sydney’s only brewpub. “It showed Australians that there was something else to drink besides lagers.”
What saved Coopers was homebrewers. Homebrewing was legalized in Australia in 1973, and Coopers at first sold sacks of wort that could be fermented with the addition of yeast. But customers found the sacks cumbersome, so in 1977 Coopers was the first brewery to market malt extracts for homebrewers. Coopers engineers also built the canning equipment needed to mass produce the extracts, and created a special lid to ensure that the Coopers yeast packets were securely fastened to the cans.
According to Glenn Cooper, Coopers currently has 35 percent of the world market for homebrew kits and 80 percent of the Australian market. Sales, he says, are largest in countries with high beer taxes, such as Canada and the Scandinavian nations.
In the 1990s, Coopers has diversified into many other areas. In the early 1990s, it began to enter the honey business through its Leabrook Farms subsidiary. Why honey? “Like malt extract, it’s a heavy, viscous substance,” Glenn Cooper said. Another Coopers division makes gourmet vinegars.
The core of Coopers business remains its beers. Under the leadership of head of brewing operations Tim Cooper (who abandoned a career as a cardiologist to work in the family brewery), Coopers now has 10 beers, adding several filtered beers and a dark ale to its portfolio. In 1998, the company released Extra Strong Vintage Ale, the first vintage-dated beer ever issued in Australia. Production of the ale, which is designed to age for up to 18 months, is limited to 25,000 cases, for sale only in Australia.
Production, Glenn Cooper says, is increasing by 18 percent a year. And Coopers beers are becoming more available in America. They are available in most Outback Steakhouses, and, repackaged under the Old Australia label, are also sold in most Trader Joe’s stores.
Today is the 51st birthday of Paul Holgate, who’s the co-founder of the Holgate Brewhouse is Melbourne, Australia. I met Paul in Melbourne a few years ago, when I was there to judge at the Australia International Beer Awards. Getting to know Paul was great fun, and, like me, he’s an old timer in beer terms. Join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday.
Today is the birthday of Patrick Perkins (October 10, 1838—May 17, 1901). He was born in Ireland, but emigrated as a child to Queensland, Australia, with his parents in 1854, when he was sixteen. “With his brother Thomas, he started breweries in Victoria and Queensland. 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. In 1876, Patrick Perkins moved to Queensland in order to manage the Brisbane and Toowoomba breweries.” He was also heavily involved in local politics. After his death, “in 1928, the Perkins brewing company was bought by their rivals Castlemaine Brewery with new company being known as Castlemaine Perkins.”
This is his biography from his Wikipedia page:
Patrick Perkins, nicknamed Paddy Perkins, was a brewer and politician in colonial Queensland. He was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly and, later, a Member of the Queensland Legislative Council.
Patrick Perkins was born in a humble cottage on a small farm in the village of Clonoulty near Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. He was the second son of Thomas Perkins, a farmer, and his wife Ellen (née Gooley). He attended the local National School.
Thomas and Ellen Perkins and their eight children (including Patrick) immigrated on the Persian, departing Southampton and arrived in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 9 April 1854.
Toowoomba circa 1865.
In 1861, he married Mary Ellen Hickey in Victoria. They had three children born in Victoria: Thomas Hector (born 1864), Edgar Colin Francis (born 1868) and Lilly Eleanor Perkins (born 1875). They had two children born in Queensland: Patrick Harold (born 1878) and Helene Cicilia (born 1880).
Patrick Perkins was a miner and storekeeper on the diggings in Victoria in districts including Ballarat, Bendigo, Woods Point and Jamieson.
With his brother Thomas, he started breweries in Victoria and Queensland. 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.
In 1876, Patrick Perkins moved to Queensland in order to manage the Brisbane and Toowoomba breweries.
Perkins also had interests in property and mining, including the Mount Morgan Mine and coal mining in the West Moreton area. He was considered a shrewd and successful businessman.
On 9 April 1877, Edward Wilmot Pechey, the member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly in the seat of Aubigny, resigned. On 1 May 1877, in a by-election, Perkins was elected in Aubigny, defeating Angus Mackay (the then editor of The Queenslander) by a large majority. He was elected again in Aubigny in the 1878 election and was appointed as Minister of Lands in the First McIlwraith Ministry from 21 January 1879 to 13 November 1883.
Perkins was elected again in Aubigny in the 1883 election, However, allegations about electoral fraud (including intimidation, bribery, and ballot stuffing) in the Aubigny election started to surface, resulting in a petition to the Governor of Queensland detailing numerous kind of electoral fraud and asking to declare that the Aubigny election was void and that Patrick Perkins was guilty of bribery and corruption. On 21 February 1884, the Committee of Elections and Qualifications ruled the Aubigny election was null and void and called for a by-election. Perkins had denied any involvement in the alleged electoral fraud and the Committee of Elections and Qualifications did not disqualify him from re-contesting the seat, which provoked outrage in some quarters. However, Patrick Perkins announced he would not re-contest the seat as he would be taking a trip to England. James Campbell was elected unopposed at the resulting by-election on 4 March 1884.
At the 1888 election, Perkins was elected in the seat of Cambooya on 10 May 1888, which he held until 6 May 1893.
On 23 May 1893, Perkins was appointed to Queensland Legislative Council from 23 May 1893. Being a lifetime appointment, he served until his death on 17 May 1901.
Late in life, Perkins was in poor health and moved to Hawthorn, Melbourne. He attended the opening of the first Federal Parliament at the Royal Exhibition Building on 9 May 1901 and caught a chill which developed into bronchial pneumonia, from which he died on Friday 17 May 1901 at “Ingleborough”, Berkeley Street, Hawthorn. On Saturday 18 May 1901, his funeral was conducted at the Roman Catholic church at Glenferrie, after which he was buried in the Boroondara General Cemetery in Kew, Melbourne.
In 1928, the Perkins brewing company was bought by their rivals Castlemaine Brewery with new company being known as Castlemaine Perkins Limited.
The Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Brisbane (pictured above early last century) has strong links to the history of Toowoomba. Don Talbot and John Larkin outlined the story In their book Strange and Unusual Tales. Queensland’s first brewery was built in Toowoomba in 1867. By 1869, it was one of the largest breweries in the southern hemisphere. The brewery’s original and official name was the Downs Brewery, but came to be known as Perkins Brewery. Paddy Perkins was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1838 migrating to Australia in 1855 with his father Thomas, and brothers James and Thomas. Paddy and his family travelled the Ballarat and Bendigo goldfields. Paddy and his brother Thomas set up a merchandising store in Castlemaine, Victoria, and later held an interest in the Castlemaine Brewery in Victoria. After testing water quality in Brisbane and Ipswich, the Perkins brothers located a reliable spring in West Swamp, Toowoomba. In 1867, the brothers purchased land in Margaret St (where Grand Central is today). In December, 1869, Perkins Brewery brewed its first commercial hogshead of light ale in Queensland. At this time, the brewery was one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with the capacity to produce 400 hogshead (113,650 litres) of XXX (Extra Exhilarating Extract) beer per week. Paddy Perkins later purchased the City Brewery, Mary Street, Brisbane in 1872. In August, 1876, tragedy stuck the Perkins family when Thomas was killed aged 35 while riding his horse in Grandchester. Paddy continued running the breweries in Toowoomba and Brisbane which prospered and expanded up until the 1920s. Profits began to decline due to competition from the new and extremely popular XXXX Bitter Ale, a stronger beer which was bought out by Perkins’ competitor Castlemaine Brewery Brisbane. The Perkins and Co. Ltd Downs Brewery in Toowoomba and the City Brewery in Brisbane were sold to the Castlemaine Brewery in August, 1928. The company was then restructured as Castlemaine Perkins Ltd. The Downs Brewery ceased brewing in 1958 after it had operated continuously for 89 years.
And this history of the Perkins Brewery is from a site focusing on the Toowoomba Region:
Queensland’s first brewery was built in Toowoomba in 1867. By 1869, it was one of the largest breweries in the southern hemisphere. The brewery’s original and official name was the Downs Brewery but came to be known as Perkins Brewery. Read about its history and how it eventually became part of Castlemaine Perkins.
Perkins BreweryPaddy Perkins was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1838 migrating to Australia in 1855 with his father Thomas, and brothers James and Thomas. Arriving in Victoria Paddy and his family traveled the Ballarat and Bendigo goldfields.
Paddy and his brother Thomas set up a merchandising store in Castlemaine, Victoria and later held an interest in the Castlemaine Brewery in Victoria.
After testing water quality in Brisbane and Ipswich, the Perkins brothers located a reliable spring providing the quality they required in West Swamp Toowoomba. In 1867 the brothers purchased land in Margaret Street (where Grand Central is today) and contracted Mr. John Garget to construct Queensland’s first brewery.
In December 1869 Perkins Brewery brewed its first commercial hogshead of light ale in Queensland. At this time, the brewery was one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with the capacity to produce 400 hogshead (113,650 litres) of XXX (Extra Exhilarating Extract) beer per week.
Another product from the Perkins Brewery was Carbine Invalid Stout that was promoted for fortifying the blood and as a tonic for nursing mothers.
The Perkins brothers also founded the malting industry in Toowoomba, building a malt house in addition to their Dent Street brewery. In 1871 maltster J. G. Sims processed 14,000 bushels of barley on the floor of the Perkins’ malt house (1 bushel = 0.363 litres).
The opening of the brewery in Toowoomba saw an increase of barley growing on the Downs which led to experiments in the cultivation of hops, all of which were unsuccessful. The malting process was discontinued in the 1880s and 1890s until a duty was imposed on imported malt and processing of local barley was again encouraged.
Perkins and Co described their beer as “A good, light, drinkable and nutritious ale, having been a long-felt want in Queensland, the proprietors beg to announce that they are now prepared to supply unlimited demand with a sound and nutritious ale, such as they trust will command general favour and support.”
Paddy Perkins later purchased the City Brewery, Mary Street Brisbane in 1872.
In August 1876 tragedy stuck the Perkins family when Thomas was killed aged 35, whilst riding his horse in Grandchester. Thomas Perkins is buried at the Toowoomba & Drayton Cemetery.
Paddy continued running the breweries in Toowoomba and Brisbane which prospered and expanded up until the 1920s. Profits began to decline due to competition from the new and extremely popular XXXX Bitter Ale, a stronger beer which was bought out by Perkins’ competitor Castlemaine Brewery Brisbane. The Perkins and Co. Ltd Downs Brewery in Toowoomba and the City Brewery in Brisbane were sold to the Castlemaine Brewery in August 1928. The company was then restructured as Castlemaine Perkins Ltd.
Today is the birthday of Nicholas Fitzgerald (August 7, 1829-August 17, 1908). He “was an Australian politician, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council from 1864 until 1908,” and co-founded the Castlemaine Brewery, along with his brother Edward Fitzgerald.
Here’s his short biography from his Wikipedia page:
Born in Galway, Ireland to Francis Fitzgerald and Eleanor Joyes, Fitzgerald attended Trinity College, Dublin from 1845 until he entered King’s Inns in 1848 and Queen’s College, Galway in 1849. After travelling in Ceylon and India he moved to Victoria in 1859 and established a family brewery at Castlemaine with his brother Edward. The business had soon expanded and Fitzgerald owned property in New South Wales and Queensland. He was a member of the Victorian Legislative Council for North Western Province from 1864 to 1882 and for North Central Province 1882 to 1904, Southern Province June 1904. until his death on 17 August 1908. He also represented Victoria at the Federal Convention in Sydney in 1891 and the Colonial Conference of 1894 in Ottawa where he represented both Victoria and Tasmania. In 1863 he had married Marianne O’Shanassy, with whom he had seven sons. Fitzgerald died at St Kilda on 17 August 1908.
His brother Edward started the brewery, and Nicholas emigrated to Australia in 1859 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.”
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.
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.
Today is the 59th 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Here’s another history of Hay’s brewery from the Nathan Institute:
This must have been interesting….
Today is the 55th 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 few 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And this is a commercial that Tooheys produced that tells some of the history of the brewery.