Today is the 60th 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 57th birthday of Warren Pawsey, head brewer for Little Creatures’ brewery in Geelong. And for the last couple of years, he had 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 Edmund Resch (June 9, 1847-May 22, 1923). He was the oldest brother of Richard and Emil Resch, who founded the Lion Brewery in Australia, although it was later known as Resch’s Brewery. The brewery was taken over by Tooth and Co. in 1929, but today is owned by Carlton and United Breweries.
Because his career is so intertwined with his brothers, this is his older brother Edmund’s biography, also from the Australian Dictionary of Biography:
Edmund Resch (1847-1923) and Emil Karl Resch (1860-1930), brewers, were the sons of Johann Nicolaus Resch, ironmaster, and his wife Julia Bernhardine Louise Wilhelmine, née Heitmann, both of Saxony. Edmund was born on 9 June 1847 at Hörde, Westphalia, and arrived in Australia in 1863. In 1871, after mining in Victoria, he moved to New South Wales where he and his mate were the first to strike copper at the Cobar South mine. After prospecting for a year between Cobar, Louth, Bourke and Gilgandra he went to Charters Towers, Queensland, where he built, then operated a hotel for four years. He sold out because of ill health and about 1877 bought with a younger brother Richard Frederick Edward Nicolas (1851-1912) a cordial and aerated water factory at Wilcannia, New South Wales. Next year he visited Germany, where at Munich, on 17 October 1878, he married Carolina Rach (1855-1927).
Business flourished, for Wilcannia was a busy river port and centre of a vast pastoral district. In September 1879 Edmund and Richard opened the Lion Brewery and in 1883 purchased a brewery at Cootamundra, renaming it the Lion Brewery; by 1885 they had branches at Silverton, west of Broken Hill, and Tibooburra on the Mount Browne goldfield. On 11 August 1885, however, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, Richard carrying on at Cootamundra and Tibooburra and Edmund at Wilcannia, where he built up an enviable reputation as a skilful brewer.
In 1892 Edmund Resch installed a manager and retired to live in Melbourne. In 1895, however, he moved to Sydney to manage Allt’s Brewing & Wine and Spirit Co. Ltd for a banker who had assisted him in his early business career. In 1897 he purchased the brewery for about £67,000 and in 1900 also acquired the business and plant of the New South Wales Lager Bier Brewing Co. Ltd. Assisted by John Herbert Alvarez (d.1913), his able accountant and manager, and his sons Edmund (1879-1963) and Arnold Gottfried (1881-1942), who had both studied modern brewing methods in Europe and the United States of America, Resch embarked on a large building programme, centralizing his combined interests in Dowling Street, Redfern. In July 1906 Resch’s Ltd was incorporated with an authorized capital of £150,000.
Resch’s second business career was even more successful than his first. In 1901 he told a Legislative Assembly select committee on tied houses, where he was reprimanded by the chairman Richard Meagher for answering ‘in an acrimonious way’, that he was the only brewer in New South Wales who did not use ‘salicylic acid and other antiseptics’ in his beer, and, not surprisingly, that he was against tied houses. He successfully advertised in 1904-14 as ‘brewer by appointment to His Excellency the Governor-General’: his ales, beers and stout captured much of the State’s market. From 1903 to October 1913 he was consul in Sydney for the Netherlands government and on his retirement he was appointed knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Wealthy, but uncultivated, he lived in great style at Swifts, a Gothic mansion on Darling Point built by (Sir) Robert Lucas-Tooth; sailing on Sydney Harbour was his chief recreation. During World War I Resch contributed generously to the war effort and made up the difference in pay for about sixty employees who had enlisted, but in November 1917, following an indiscretion, he was arrested and interned in Holsworthy camp.
Edmund Resch died at Swifts on 22 May 1923, survived by his wife and sons, and was buried in the Anglican section of Waverley cemetery. Probate of his estate was sworn at £316,828. In 1929 Resch’s Waverley Brewery was taken over by Tooth & Co. Ltd in exchange for shares issued to the Resch family.
During World War I, like many Germans living in Australia, Edmund was imprisoned for the duration of the world because people believed his German heritage would make him a traitor to the allied war effort.
Despite, or perhaps because of his German roots, Edmund contributed generously to Australia’s war effort after the outbreak of WWI, as well as paying his sixty-odd enlisted employees the difference between their service and civilian wages. Nonetheless, he was not immune to the 1916 War Precautions (Alien Restriction) Regulations that required all non-British subjects aged fifteen and over to register their whereabouts. In November 1917, he was arrested and interred at Holdsworthy, near Liverpool, home of Australia’s largest war internment camp, despite having been a resident of Australia for more than fifty years.
This story about the brothers is from a breweriana collector in Australia:
Edmund Resch arrived in Australia from Germany in 1863, probably with his younger brother Richard, and after spending time on Victorian and New South Wales mine fields and as an hotelier in Queensland, he and Richard bought a cordial and aerated water factory in bustling Wilcannia in 1877. Business flourished and in 1879 the pair opened the Lion Brewery in the township.
Four years later, the brothers expanded their activities by taking over Cootamundra’s Burton Brewery. Originally established by Mary Jane Rochester, Henry Morton and Frederick Henry Jackson in 1881, the new owners renamed it the Lion Brewery in line with their earlier establishment and in December 1883 advertised that “…for cleanliness, condition, fullness of the palate, great keeping qualities and mellow vinous flavour, our ales cannot be surpassed.”
In 1882, a third brother Emil arrived in Australia after serving a brewing and malting apprenticeship in Germany and following a short stint in Melbourne, moved to Wilcannia to join his siblings. By 1885, their expanding business empire also boasted branches at Silverton and Tibooburra, but in August that year, the partnership was amicably dissolved, with the various holdings split up between the brothers.
Richard continued the Cootamundra and Tibooburra businesses, and after trying unsuccessfully in 1888 to sell the former brewery, carried on until 1903, when he relocated to the Clarence River Brewery at Maclean. Operations ceased around 1915.
Edmund carried on at Wilcannia until 1892 when, after installing a manager to oversee operations, he moved to Melbourne intending to retire. This was short lived, however, and three years later he relocated to Sydney to take over management of Allt’s, a brewing, wine and spirit company, on behalf of a banker who had supported him in his early business activities.
After purchasing Allt’s Brewery in 1897 for more than £65,000, Edmund went on to acquire the New South Wales Lager Bier Brewing Company Ltd’s Waverley Brewery business and plant in Redfern three years later. Together with his sons Edmund and Arnold and his accountant/manager John Alvarez, he embarked on major construction works to centralise activities on the Dowling Street, Redfern site. Directories show that he also continued to operate his Wilcannia business until at least 1909.
Promoting himself between 1904 and 1914 as “brewer by appointment to His Excellency the Governor-General”, Edmund became so successful that his brewery’s output secured much of the State’s market. In 1906, Resch’s Ltd was incorporated with a capital of £150,000.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Intrigued? You’re in luck, because you can watch the entire 30-minute film on YouTube, or below.
Tuesday’s ad is for the Coopers 62, from 2011. Although it’s a newer ad, given that I post my own reasons to drink for any given day, this ad certainly spoke to me, despite most of the reasons being fairly pedestrian. But in a sense, that was the point, that any reason was good enough to drink this Australian beer. Whether that’s true, I couldn’t tell you. I like their sparkling ale, but they don’t strike me as a pilsner brewery.