Bygone Breweries of New South Wales: The Southern Districts, 1830s To 1930s

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Tankard Books, Jul 17, 2019
This is the story of beer brewing in the Southern districts of New South Wales, during the period of time from about 1830, when the first brewery appeared in that part of the state, until the last one closed about a century later. Geographically, it covers a vast swathe of territory stretching around 750 kilometres from the sea coast in the east nearly to the Darling River in the west, and bounded by the Murray River (the border with Victoria) in the south. The most important of the historical brewing towns encompassed within the southern districts are Goulburn, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Narrandera and Deniliquin. The outward spread of settlement from the colonial capital, Sydney, during the nineteenth century, naturally was accompanied by the establishment of breweries to satisfy the demand for beer as it arose in newly populated areas. In the districts canvassed in this volume, altogether around eighty breweries operated in about thirty-six towns, villages and other places of habitation, during the century-long time-span. They are all tracked here from their formation to their demise. Their progress is set against the general history of the places in which they arose, and against the broader history of beer and brewing. The number of breweries in operation at any one time peaked in the southern districts in the high twenties in the mid-1880s. The timing of this peak is consistent with the pattern in New South Wales overall, where the number reached a maximum of around eighty in the same decade. Although some new breweries were opened after the late nineteenth century, a greater number closed, and the total declined inexorably into the twentieth century. In the southern districts, only four breweries remained in operation at the opening of the 1920s. None of these survived into the 1930s.

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